Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We trust that you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior! Here are some of the traditional things that we like to do on Christmas that we were able to do in Spain this year!

  • Watch The Nativity Story
  • Have pancakes for breakfast (But boy did I miss having my griddle!)
  • Read Luke 2 on Christmas morning
  • Talk about the significance of Christ's reincarnation
We were able to go to a fellow missionary's home for lunch on Christmas day and spent the day with several families. We had all the traditional trimmings, turkey and all! We had a great time celebrating with other believers!

The day after Christmas, I had the privilege of meeting with Tita again. She continues to be very receptive, which is uncharacteristic for a Spaniard. We talked for over two hours and touched on many important topics like: sin, death, eternal life, Jesus' death and its significance, forgiveness, and our accountability before God. Please continue to pray for her understanding as we continue to meet. She does not like the Bible, because she says that she doesn't understand it and that she always feels worse after she reads it. I was able to give her a very short summary of the story of the Bible and why it's so important for her to understand it. She seemed to be more open to the Bible after that, but is still hesitant. Please pray for wisdom on my part to know what to share with her and how best to explain these important themes of Scripture. It is very obvious that God is working on her heart, but she is still very confused about many key gospel concepts. 

Andy's friend (see previous post) has prayed to repent of his sins and place his faith in Jesus Christ for life! From all indications, it appears that this was a genuine decision. He is reading his Bible on a regular basis, and he is open to attending a church that Andy found near his hometown. Please continue to pray for Andy's friend, and rejoice that the Lord is working around the world for His glory.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Answers to Prayer

Since our last update, we have seen some really exciting answers to a very specific prayer. Long before we arrived in Spain, we began praying, along with many others, that God would bring us to people that He had been preparing.  The following three examples are amazing ways that God is already answering that prayer!

At the baptismal on Sunday, Andy was having a conversation with a family member of one of the people getting baptized. He asked if he could do a Bible study with Andy to better understand God's Word. His name is Omar, and he's from Ecuador. Please pray for understanding for Omar as he digs into God's Word! He is familiar with the concept of God but does not know Him personally.

On Wednesday, I was reading a book while waiting to have some tests done. I noticed a woman looking intently at the title of my book. It was Nancy Leigh DeMoss', Choosing Forgiveness, in Spanish. As I was leaving, she asked if she could have the author's name and title of the book, because she didn't understand forgiveness and she needed help with this topic. She wanted to know if the book was good and exactly what it was about. I explained that it was first of all about God's forgiveness of us and how we can then forgive others that have wronged us. I asked if she would still be interested in the book, and when she said yes, I gave her the book. She started crying and said that no one had ever given her a gift like that and she thought that God was trying to get her attention. I told her that He's always trying to get our attention, but unfortunately we don't always listen to Him. She asked if we could go get a cup of coffee. I said yes, and we spent the next hour and a half talking. We're going to be meeting again next week and she is interested in doing a Bible study. Praise God for His leading and another example of a divine appointment! Her name is Tita. Please be praying for her.

On Thursday, Andy also had the opportunity to talk with an old friend that is ready to turn his life over to God. When Andy said that he wanted to talk to him about Christianity, his friend asked if someone had put him up to this. He couldn't believe that someone would reach out to him at the precise moment when he was contemplating giving his life to Jesus. We know how that's possible!

We're praising God for who He is and how He works! We will give more details as they develop with each of these individuals that God is drawing to Himself.

Thanks so much for your prayers.
In His Service,
Andy and Lindsey

December Prayer Update

Serving alongside Spanish believers
We are so thankful to God for His faithfulness and His provision in calling us and bringing us to Spain. We truly feel that we are in the place for which God has created us and equipped us. A large part of our first year on the field will be spent in actively observing the ministry here, and in learning the language and culture better. These key steps will help us in our goal of serving alongside Spaniards to help reach other Spaniards. We have really enjoyed getting to know the believers at our church here and are excited to serve God with them this year. God already has opened some doors for Bible studies with some people here, and we’re not sure if they are Christians or not. Please pray for these great opportunities.
As we settle into life here in Spain, we’re thankful that already we have been able to meet some of our neighbors. We’re praying that we’ll be able to have continued interactions with them and form more of a relationship with each one. We’ve been reading through the Bible in Spanish this year, and we’re currently reading about the life and ministry of Paul. As we read about his interactions with the churches that he helped to plant, we pray that God would give us the privilege of pointing Spaniards to Christ. We may not have the same gifting that Paul had, but we can be sure that we have the same Holy Spirit and the power of Christ working through us. Pray that Spaniards would see Christ in us and be able to see past our faults and shortcomings.
Our adjustment has not been without its setbacks. It seems like every aspect of the legal process and different things that had to be done came with its own set of challenges! As we navigate the paperwork trail of the residency process, driving school, finding a doctor, setting up a bank account, getting our crate out of customs and other necessary tasks, we truly are learning to view each of these circumstances as opportunities to grow and to become more like Christ in the way that we respond. As we try to address each issue, we learn a little bit more about how things are done here and what’s required. We’re thankful for the grace and the patience that God is giving us to take care of each of these issues.

Upcoming Events:
December 9: Baptismal Service 
December 21: Christmas Program 
January 8: Spanish Language and Culture classes begin at Antonio de Nebrija University 

Prayer Requests and Praises:
Pray for our interactions with our neighbors and that we would be able to continue making new contacts. We are striving to ‘initiate conversations that develop into redemptive relationships.’
Pray for the continuing legal process regarding our residency.
Please be in prayer for the Christmas program on December 21. Pray for church members as they invite their family and friends and pray for God’s to open eyes to the truth of the Christmas message. God’s love came down to us, in the form of Jesus, to save us from our sins.
Praise God that He has called a new couple to Spain for career service. The Byerlys are finishing up a two year short-term assignment and believe that God is calling them to return full-time!
Pray for us as we seek to develop key relationships in the church with both believers and unbelievers.
We have our first appointment with a Spanish doctor on Monday, December 10. So far everything has been going well with the pregnancy, and we are excited to welcome SofĂ­a into our family in April.

Cultural Notes
We thought that it would be fun to include some of our cultural observations and the differences that we’re seeing as we learn about life here in Spain. One of the most apparent differences is our eating schedule: 
8:00am: breakfast (very light) 
11:00am: coffee break (coffee and pastry) 
2:00pm: lunch (biggest meal of the day) 
6:00pm: ‘merienda’ (light snack) 
9:00pm: dinner (usually a lighter meal, but sometimes very large!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We'd be foolish not to think first of the forgiveness of our sins. We serve such a great God, and we're thankful that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins that we could never pay. We trust that as you spend Thursday with your friends and family thanking God for what He's done in your lives over the last year that you'll remember to thank Christ for His ultimate sacrifice.
You may be wondering how we're spending this first Thanksgiving away from the US and our family. We are actually in Portugal!! All of the Spain missionaries travel to Portugal each time this year to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of the Portuguese missionaries. We won't be having all of the traditional food tomorrow, but there will be turkey! We've really enjoyed getting to know the team from Portugal and the daily sessions have been such an encouragement! The speaker is drawing our attention to some neat parallels in the book of Daniel on serving God in a foreign land.  We're thankful for his ministry this week.
We'll be heading back to Madrid on Saturday and then moving into our apartment the following week. These are exciting days! We want to remember to be thankful to God-not just in a vague way, but in a very specific way, knowing that these truly are blessings from a caring God who is watching and orchestrating everything for His honor and glory.
Happy Thanksgiving!
This is our table at the Thanksgiving meal. This is just 10 of us, but there were 75 of us in all.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We Have an Apartment!

Thank you to all of you that have been praying. We have an apartment now, although we won't be able to move in until the beginning of December. We've had the opportunity to walk our new neighborhood and get to know it a bit. We're excited to get settled there and get moved in. The crate with the rest of our belonging should also be arriving early next month. It's exciting to see how God is working out all the details. We'll post pictures of our new place once we're all moved in!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting Started

We've arrived in Spain!  We're getting settled and started on all of the things we'll have to do for our new beginning here in Madrid. We went looking for apartments today, and we're praying that God will direct us to the neighborhood that He has for us and where He's been preparing the hearts of our neighbors. We're so excited to see all that God has done up to this point and all that He's going to do here! Thanks so much again for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Visas Arrived!

We received our visas and have our tickets for Spain! We will be leaving on November 6 in the afternoon. Don't worry...we will be voting in the morning before we leave!  We are so excited to be transitioning into the ministry for which God has called us and prepared us.  We are so thankful to all of our supporting individuals and churches and to all of those that have been praying for us for these last 6 years. To God be the glory!!