Monday, August 17, 2020

Spain Update

  • July passed in a flash! We still spent a lot of our time settling-in, but God is faithful! We moved forward in the Spirit, praying and planning.
  • We stayed connected through virtual worship services, and the Youth connected through virtual teaching and prayer. 
  • The Youth held its 1 in-person worship service since the quarantine began in mid-March. We were honored to preach that service; the atmosphere was electric!  
  • July presented numerous opportunities to connect 1-on-1 with members of the youth, and God has open doors to connect us with several families living close to us. Sam has also started his first Bible study (in Spanglish). 

Be still…

And know that I am God. (Ps. 46:10) July came and went quickly. We spent a lot of our time settling-in, but God is faithful! As COVID-19 resurged in Barcelona and the surround region (Catalonia), the government reinstituted some of its previous quarantine restrictions, albeit in milder forms. Bro. & Sis. Harrod anticipated this, and the church seamlessly transitioned back to online services—what a blessing to be led of the Spirit and have Spirit-led leadership! While we wanted a faster start, the Lord used this time to help us plan for a busy August and autumn.  

We remained connected with the youth through weekly Zoom sessions with teaching and prayer. Most often it is the youth giving these teachings. Practical and on-point they prepare the way for the prayer which follows. On several occasions the prayer has moved into periods of intercession for the church, the city of Barcelona, and Spain. It blesses us to watch the youth minister to each other and be ministered to. 

Our 1st Youth Service!  

This month we held our first in-person youth service! The last youth service predates the beginning of the quarantine in Spain, over five months ago.  The Spirit electrified the atmosphere as we began to pray and worship. Kristen and I were honored to preach about “Coming out of The Valley.” We believe God is calling us to be spiritually prepared for moving beyond COVID-19, perhaps in different ways than we ever imagined. 

Thirty attended that service, not including those who tuned-in online. God moved upon many hearts with a spirit of repentance. This was a huge encouragement to both us and the youth. We were also grateful for 5 new youth contacts that came to worship, some of which continue to stay connected to the church.  

It was the first, but it won’t be the last. The last week of August is the annual La Semana de J√≥venes (Youth Week). Three youth services are scheduled for August, including an evangelistic outreach at a main plaza and park. We’re takin’ things slowly, one day at a time, but we’re also takin’ it to the streets!  

Building relationships 

Our first desire in pastoring the youth is to get to know them. Because of July’s restrictions on groups greater than 10, we’ve used 1-on-1 meetings, usually over coffee, to start building relationships. We have so enjoyed these times of fellowship. In early August, we revived a longstanding event here known as Charlas Intimas (Intimate Conversations)—Sam with the boys (chicos) and Kristen with the girls (chicas). The charlas always include a devotion, but more importantly, a time of Q&A, sharing, and prayer with the youth. We hope to do these meetings with some frequency as new youth come into the church.  

Benaiah finished kindergarten this month. He is the smartest dinosaur (see picture below) we know, maintaining his focus amid a move across the U.S. and a protracted transition overseas. Congrats buddy! We’ve taken advantage of the extra time and used it to see some of the beautiful sights and fun attractions here in Barcelona.  Xander entered the perilous world of potty training and perfected the art of photobombing his own family’s family picture. Congrats to you too buddy!  

Prayer requests 

  • Continued revival and harvest in Spain.
  • Direction for the Youth as we close out 2020 and look toward 2021.
  • Wisdom in choosing the proper school for Benaiah and Xander in the Fall, and favor in receiving a space at our top-rated schools.  
  • That Sam would be effective in learning to listen, speak, and read and write Spanish. (He has entered a five-week, intensive course.) For Kristen to further hone her language skills. 

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