Growth in Complicated Times

I wonder whether seminaries in upcoming years will begin offering classes like: “Dealing with Disasters” or “Going Past PowerPoint in a Pandemic”! Things have certainly been interesting in 2020 here in Spain, but I could not be more grateful for how God has led our church through these times. It’s hard to believe this is the end of our family’s second year at the Puerto church because it feels like every month is something entirely new!

And speaking of things new, in case you don’t follow us on social media and haven’t seen, Raquel and I are the proud parents of Leire Allison Bonikowsky Rodríguez! The name might be a bit of a mouthful, but she’s absolutely worth it! We’re thankful to God for Raquel’s safe and quick delivery in the middle of a pandemic. Leire is growing well and quickly, and though in these masked times she’s practically never seen anyone but her parents’ smiles, she’s an exuberantly happy baby with a laugh to melt your heart!

Roy and Lou Ann Keiser, the missionary couple that led the Puerto ministry before us, put their house on the market in 2019, and God (pretty much miraculously) allowed them to sell their house in the middle of an economic meltdown in Spain. They were able to retire and return to America this November, leaving the Puerto church entirely as our responsibility. We are so grateful for their many, many years of ministry here in Spain, and we know God will reward them as faithful servants.

As I write this, the mobility restrictions in our province are quite high. There is a curfew beginning at 10 PM (which may sound late to friends in America, but here that’s still dinnertime!). People are not allowed to leave their city of residence unless it’s for work or a few other approved reasons. I as a pastor can move pretty freely to do ministry tasks, but Raquel and Leire haven’t been able to go to church in person for over a month. Since the church is in Rentería, only those who live in the city of Rentería can attend services (about half of our people, including us who live in Irun). It appears some of the restrictions will be reverted next week however, so we hope to resume more of our services in-person before Christmas.

This Christmas for the first time we will be participating in the Gospel postcard project my father has organized for quite a few years at the Lazkao church ministry. We will be mailing a Christmas postcard to every home in our church’s neighborhood (a total of 4000 homes). The postcard is in Spanish and Basque and invites people to our church. We’re praying that God will allow the postcards to reach the hands of people who are inquiring spiritually. Lord willing we hope to repeat this project each year, so people in our area eventually begin to expect their annual postcard. Thank you so much to those of you who already contributed financially toward the $400 it will cost in postage.

Postcard front
Postcard back

If you would, please pray for some of the unsaved contacts Raquel and I are working with. There’s a young man I met in my Basque classes who has shown a lot of interest in spending time together, and he’s been receptive to the Gospel. A co-worker Raquel met at her pharmacy named has also shown interest in the Gospel. Since we started doing services online she has been joining to watch them live. Pray for Raquel as she spends time with her friend and tries to bring her closer to Christ.

We trust the Lord will guide you on His plan throughout these months. Believers and non-believers are facing new experiences that serve as a reminder of our fragility and dependence on God. We pray that God will use you also to keep working out the Great Commission wherever you live.

God bless!
David, Raquel, and Leire
Psalm 34:3

My brother Danny and me with each other’s new babies

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