We want to take the time to thank you all for the prayers, support, and words of encouragement you have given us this year. The Lord has been so gracious to us through each of you. It has been really sweet knowing that the people we care so much for here are being lifted up in prayer all over the world. Praise God for the body of Christ. We want to emphasize that what God is doing here is not anything we are doing but the work of the Lord. Along with that, we want you all to know the fruit of the labor and share in the rewards. Here is a story from the Bible that has really impacted us this year and an overview of what the Lord has been doing so we can praise Him together!Continue reading “Better late than never, a yearly recap”
We landed back in Barcelona at the beginning of September in enough time to enjoy some warm weather before it got chilly. These past two months have been really busy but have been filled with lots of blessings.
At the end of September, we began working with another group of missionaries in their project of equipping missionaries from Spanish-speaking countries to go to unreached and unengaged people groups. The project is called El Proyecto Puente. The guys on our team have been assisting in some training while Emily has been helping watch one of the little girls so her parents can attend. It has been a blessing to be a part of this and get to know fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have the heart to reach the unreached. We are honored to know them and co-labor alongside them.
Well Short-Term Trip
In October, we hosted the first short-term mission team from our sending church, the Well in Austin. It was a sweet time to get to know each person and see them grow and share in our context. They helped us by going out to pray, share the Gospel, and creating follow-ups for us. They went out to survey locals in the community about their spiritual beliefs. We knew this city was really lost but once we got the results back, we realized there was so much work to be done here. The team was a huge blessing to us!
We ended up applying for a visa in Italy due to Tony’s Italian heritage. We have sent in all the documentation and are now waiting for it to be processed. If we receive this we will be able to stay in the country for at least two years.
As we have mentioned before we live in a very diverse neighborhood filled with people from all over the world. That is one of the things we love about living here is getting to meet people from so many different cultures. The longer we live here the more convicted we are to share in our own neighborhood and to build relationships with those here. These are just a few pictures taken recently near our house.
We would love if you joined us in prayer for these things
- Our friends Mari and “S” We met Mari at a park and began a conversation about God. She wanted to study the Bible and come to church with us, so we have been reading the Bible with her and she has been going to a house church of our friends close to her home. Mari’s friend “S” also had an interest in reading the Bible. Please pray for our friends that they will understand the Gospel message, repent and believe. (We used different names for protection)
- Patience and provision for the visa. We trust that the Lord is in control of this situation. Please pray for us to be patient and trusting as well and discerning in the next steps.
- In December our friends from the Bridge Project will leave and head to unreached countries. Please pray for them, for boldness, safety, and reliance on the Lord even in the midst of difficulties.
We are sorry it has been a while since our last update letter. In a few months, we are coming up on 2 years of being here in Barcelona which is crazy for us to believe! While it was filled with many difficult and uncharted times (for the entire world!) we can’t help but look and see how God showed His complete sovereignty and power over everything. He continually provided for our needs here including visa, finances, and guidance as we continue to meet people seeking truth. As we look back and contemplate all that God has done here in Barcelona we are so thankful to each of you for your prayers and support during this time!! Since it has been a while we wanted to give you a summary of what has been going on the past few months.
- After many months of prayer, we rented and furnished an apartment designated for those (within the church) who do not have a place to live. Since the summer of 2019 when we met our now brother-in-Christ, N, we have been praying for the right time to begin investing in an apartment where not only people could live but also where another house church could meet. Praise God He provided!! We found an apartment in our own neighborhood. It was scary at first but we knew the Lord would be faithful to care for this need. It has been 5 months now and currently, two men are living there who are from southeast Asia. There have been many gatherings already at the home full of prayer, worship, and good food. We are so thankful to the Lord for these two men and their hearts to share with people from their own countries.
- Even though there are restrictions on restaurants and stores, we have had no restrictions on going out into the streets to share the Good News of Jesus and give out food. We have been blessed to meet many people over the past month. Many from Central and South America, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and all over Spain. Of these people, many have been open and interested in hearing more about Jesus and reading the Bible!!
- Praise God one of the men in the church chose to take the step of obedience into baptism. It is still a little cold here but he was baptized in the ocean. It was such a beautiful day and we look forward to seeing him grow in the Lord and lead his family to faith.
- We have started reading the Bible with two Hondorian sisters. They have really desired community and growth in the Lord. They have left their families (husband, kids, parents) to come to Spain to make a living and eventually have their families move here to a safer country. It has been a blessing to be able to spend time with them and see the Lord work in their hearts.
- Though the past few months have brought many joys there also have been some hard times. One of which is our brothers (Javier) here is left to go back to his family in Central America. He came here to get a job and provide for his family but with COVID this has become nearly impossible. We were sad to see him go but we know the Lord is faithful to provide and care for him.
- We had an Easter gathering where we as a church invited people who don’t know Jesus to come and join us in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! It was a really great opportunity to share the Gospel and care for people with food and fellowship. It was a mixture of people from 10 different nations and countless languages spoken amongst them but they all seemed to really enjoy the time together and seemed to be impacted by the work God is doing here.
- Immigrant house: Prayers that the house would be a place of peace and rest for those in need. Also, for salvation amongst Southeast Asians here in our neighborhood.
- Javier: As he returned home this month, please join us in prayer for him to be filled with the peace of the Lord and for reconciliation in his family. Currently, he is trying to regain custody of his kids which has been really painful to walk through.
- Visa renewal: This summer we will have to apply for a new visa to stay here in Spain in the future. Until now we have been on a student visa but we are unable to reapply for this so we will be praying through other options. Please pray for wisdom and discernment over which visa we should pursue. This process can be very lengthy and costly.
- Leaders raised up: Over the past few months we have had some changes in the church here in Barcelona. We are so thankful and blessed the Lord has brought these people here. As we continue moving forward we ask for continual raising up of leaders in the church. We know this work is not in our own doing but is the Lord’s, so we desire to pass off leadership of growing and multiplying house churches.
- Protection and provision for those in our church: There are many people that are a part of the church who are currently unable to find a job here in Barcelona and are expected to provide for their families. Please pray for peace over them during this really hard time.
- Honduran sisters: Please join us in prayer for these ladies as they really miss their families back home and are not sure when they will see them again. Please pray they look for comfort in the Lord.
Last but not least…
We have begun planning our furlough trip and have booked our tickets! We will be back in the US for a few months starting June 22nd. During this time we will be resting, processing visas, reflecting on the past years, and praying/planning our next steps in Spain.
Most importantly we would love the opportunity to meet up with everyone to share how God has used your prayers and support to impact many lives. There has been so much that has not been shared for security purposes and because email is not the best medium for this. We will be reaching out probably over text soon to see if you would be able to meet up.
We hope you all are doing well. Thank you for reading our update letter. This month has flown by so fast and we have so many reasons to praise God! Here are just a few.
While we were out sharing one Friday afternoon we met a man from North Africa. We shared the Gospel with him and he told us he was really interested and wanted to hear more about Jesus. The following week we returned and he chose to give his life to Jesus and follow Him! Praise God! He was baptized later that day and has been joining us for house Church and evangelism ever since. We are so excited to see God working in his life and see his obedience to go and share the Good News of Jesus!
This past month we were connected through social media with a Catalan girl who was interested in hearing more about Jesus and finding community. She was connected with one of the ladies on our team and began reading the Bible with us. She chose to surrender her life to the Lord and was baptized. We are so thankful the Lord allowed us to be a part of what He is doing here in Spain.
We had our first training within our house church this month. Eight people joined the 6 of us to learn how to share their faith with their friends and family. This time was really encouraging for us and has been a desire of ours for a long time to see take place. We are thankful God gave us the opportunity to share the things He has given us.
Last month we had mentioned a woman who was staying with us temporarily. We are so thankful that time was really challenging, for her especially, but we see so much fruit from those 3 weeks. The Lord re ally guided her in truth and gave her the strength to forgive and care for those who had hurt her deeply. We were so honored to be able to be a part of her life and her journey with the Lord.
Salvation: The women are currently reading with women from many different countries. Please pray for our friends from Turkey, India, and Sweden. Prayers that they would surrender their lives to the Lord and follow him.
Our brother Naz (our southeast Asian brother): His family back in his county is currently homeless and his mother is in the hospital. Please pray for them to know the love of Jesus and for comfort during this time.
Guidance: The restrictions here in Barcelona have increased and have made it difficult for us to meet for Church and care for those here. Prayers for wisdom and guidance on how to gather as the body of Christ and care for those around us.
This has been such a challenging 6 months, as we know it has been for people all over the world. We are so thankful we serve a God who is faithful and is not surprised by the things that come. During this time we pray we find our peace and rest in Him. Thank you all for your love and support. Here are some of the things that have happened in the past few months.
Emily and the two other ladies on our team have been reading the bible with the women in our house church, walking through discipleship, and looking at how to follow Jesus. We have seen them being bold by proclaiming the Gospel on the streets, telling people in their lives about the hope in Jesus, and inviting others into discipleship. Praise Jesus for these sweet friendships and opportunities we get to see God work. They were also able to take the ladies of our HC on a short retreat to spend time together and pursue Jesus. This was a huge blessing!
Tony has been working on discipleship with a brother in Christ from Southeast Asia. He has lived with us since moving to Barcelona. Recently we have been walking with him as he has endured persecution from friends, family, and roommates for his decision to follow Jesus. Despite facing homelessness and the possibility of losing his family he has continued to follow Jesus and share with everyone he can. He is currently trusting God to provide him a job so he can send money home to his family.
As we mentioned previously, weekly we go out into the community of el Raval to give out food, offer prayer, and tell people about Jesus. During quarantine, this was impossible for us to do here in Spain. The police were patrolling the streets and it was nearly impossible to have the same type of interactions. This really saddened our hearts because we wanted to continue the work of the Kingdom here in Spain. Through the time we were locked inside our home we asked the Lord to be able to use us even if it was from our computers. During those few months, the Lord allowed us to connect with people all over the world to read the Bible together and begin new Bible studies while also allowing for our HC to continue on Zoom. While we are so thankful to be able to interact with people now we were so thankful for that time we were locked inside to pursue God and His will. Since July we have been able to continue outreach and caring for our community. Here are some stories that really impacted us:
The Holy Spirit lead me here
One day, while out sharing we met a man who we cannot thank the Lord for enough! While walking away from some people we prayed for, we saw a man sitting on a bench reading his Bible (this is a super rare sight in this country/city). We walked up to him and asked him what he was reading. Turns out that he had come over from Honduras before the virus happened and had no work. He had been praying that week about how lonely he was and how much he desired community with people who follow Jesus. After praying, he felt the Holy Spirit tell him to come to the bench he was sitting at near the water…. and that is when we walked up. He was so excited that we had come over that he got up and came sharing with us. He has been a constant part of the church and loves to go out and share with us. Please pray for Javier, his wife and child are still in Honduras and it is very difficult/dangerous there right now.
We just found out we are pregnant
We recently met a very young couple from Bulgaria. They had sold everything to buy tickets to Spain in hopes of starting a new life. When we met them, they were living on the street and had just found out they were pregnant! After praying for them and sharing with them the hope they have in Jesus. God answered their prayers by giving them a place to stay and eventually a plane ticket back home to rejoin their family to help them with the new baby. We connected them with other believers in Bulgaria to continue to work with them.
God is going to do something on this street
One Thursday morning a group of us went out to prayer walk over the neighborhood. As we were praying one of the guys felt that God was going to do work on a specific street that was known for having several drug dealers. Later that afternoon 2 of the guys went out to share and met a man named Omar. Omar had been an alcoholic for several years but when he heard the message of the Gospel he turned his life to Christ and got baptized a few days later. We are praising God for the work He is doing and being able to see life change in the people in this city.
Jesus is healer
As we write this today we are currently working through healing with a woman who had an extremely traumatizing past. She gave her life to Jesus in January and has recognized Jesus as a healer. We have invited her to stay with us for a few weeks to help her during this incredibly difficult process. There has been much prayer, tears, and reading. In just this first week God has worked so much in her.
In February/March our 6 month student visa was set to expire, we had no idea what we were going to do or how we were going to stay here. In March, Spain went into a State of Alarm that put so many things on hold but with this they renewed the visas that were set to expire during this time so we were automatically renewed until December of this year! Praise the Lord! We are thankful for His faithfulness even in a time of deep sadness and uncertanty in our world.
Spiritual protection and peace during this season – a lot of our friends are going through hard times and persecution with their families.
Job + Financial Provision – some of our refugee friends have been looking for work because their families back home are dependent on them. Specifically our brother Naz, his family is days away from loosing their home and he has a lot of pressure to provide for them. Please pray we have the wisdom and resources to help him. It has been very difficult seeing the economic situation with a lot of the immigrants here. The economy here has really taken a hit and where they come from have had their economies completely ravaged by this virus. It has caused them to struggle to put food on their tables here, as well as putting food on the table of their families back in their home country.
Reconciliation – that we would continue to fight for unity in the body of Christ here.
Healing of the Heart – a lot of the people are dealing with past trauma and hurts and we are fighting for them in prayer asking that Jesus would heal their wounds and bring freedom to their lives.
House Church Multiplication – that God would raise up leaders who would catch vision and start a church in their own home with their oikos (people they know).
Raising up Leaders + Multiplication – that people here would desire to go and make disciples and multiply Churches their homes. With this we would see so many people of different nations reached for the Glory of our King.
Salvation for our Friends – please pray for our friends Genesis & Andra, that The Spirit would turn in their hearts and that they would desire to surrender their lives to Jesus and follow Him.
We wanted to share a brief report of how people are experiencing the love of God through your obedience. Here are some of the needs that are being met in the name of Jesus to believers and non-believers.
Food – Every Friday we purchase food for the homeless. We pass out sandwiches, snacks, and drinks as we walk around and pray. Afterwards we gather at our house and feed everyone who joins this ranges between 15-30 people. This is impactful because many people who come do not have work or make very little.
Housing – Due to the instability of employment and difficulty to gain legal documents to begin working many people struggle to find places to sleep and afford rent. God has provided rent for several people from many different countries.
Other needs – While in the community there are many needs not being met. God has blessed people with sleeping bags, blankets, asthma medicine, clothes, and work uniforms.
We have been so blessed seeing God work through the blessing we share. I truly hope each of you are encouraged that the fruit of this is for all to share.
We are currently praying through how we can provide more care for the people in Barcelona. If you would like to contribute to this financially you may do so from here.
Hello everyone, we just wanted to send a short update to give you an idea of what is going on in Barcelona. First of all, we love you all and are so thankful for each one of you! We hope that you are doing well and finding peace and rest in the Lord in a time when the world is in unrest. We know we serve a God who is more powerful than anything the world brings.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7
This past week has been a huge blessing for both of us. We had friends and family come to visit us here in Barcelona. It was so sweet to be able to spend time with them and for them to see what our lives are like here. They were able to join us in some of the exciting things God is doing here in Spain and join us in our weekly prayer meeting. We thank the Lord for our time with them.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
There may be a temporary quarantine here in Barcelona but we are doing well and have stocked up on the necessities. Here in Barcelona, as well as all over the world, people have a lot of fear. We pray that during this time we can help others see the love of Jesus and that He cares for us. Last night we had a very small number for house Church but we used that time to pray and give thanks to God.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
We are praying for you all. If you have any specific prayer requests we would LOVE to be in prayer with you, feel free to respond to this email.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! January flew by so quickly and we wanted to send out an update to share with you what God is doing here in Barcelona. We are so thankful for each one of you and your prayers and support! Since we sent out our last update letter this is what has happened.Continue reading “New Year, Same God”
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our Thanksgiving in Barcelona was such a bitter sweet time. We missed our family and friends who were not here with us yet also were able to celebrate with people who had never had Thanksgiving before.Continue reading “Día de Acción de Gracias”
Howdy amigos! It has been far too long since we last talked. This update is going to be packed to the brim with juicy details on what we have had the privilege of seeing. God is adding to the nations represented in His kingdom and we want to celebrate with everyone!Continue reading “Not the tortilla you think…”
After a year of preparing for this moment we have finally arrived in Barcelona! We have been here for 2 weeks now and it has been filled with so much joy and peace, but also mourning the people and things we have left. The Psalms have been a real encouragement during this time.Continue reading “Livin’ la vida boca (dillo)!”