Time for a Baptism!

Hello! Praise the Lord, I’ve got some exciting news to share with you. Amadeo, who I had the privilege of leading to Christ earlier this year, got baptized this Sunday! It’s not often that I can write back with something so substantial, but this is one of those occasions. Along with this letter, I’m sending out a video report. You might want to watch it along with the this letter. I know some people prefer a video to a bunch of text!

The service this week was excellent. Amadeo was very excited about getting baptized, and a number of unsaved friends of his came to watch him. For some of them, it was their first time in one of our church services. Amadeo gave an excellent testimony recounting his salvation and explaining his desire to be baptized. He said that he wanted his life and testimony to be instrumental in bringing many more people to Christ in the future.

[left] Low quality aside, this is one of my favorite pictures since coming to Spain!
[right] Celebrating at MacDonald’s after Amadeo’s baptism

When Amadeo and I had talked about baptism in the past, he had told me he wanted to wait for his sister (who is unsaved) to be willing to come to church with him, because he wanted her to see his decision. He finally decided that didn’t want to keep waiting for her, so he went ahead with it. His older sister used to be completely against his salvation, and tried to keep him from coming to church in the past. She has apparently warmed up very much recently though. She had talked about coming to the baptism, but ended up backing out on Sunday. Please pray for her. Amadeo is very burdened for her, and tells me he is doing everything he can to bring her to Christ as well. I’ve told him to remain faithful and keep praying, and we’re praying for her at church. If you could pray as well, I would really appreciate it. I have still never met her, but I would love to see her come to Christ through Amadeo’s testimony.

Of course, please continue your prayers for him as well. He is a completely different person from the quiet and unhappy young man I met last year. He has opened up to me a lot about his struggles and challenges, but he genuinely wants to serve Christ with his life and bring others to Him. We are continuing our discipleship classes, and he seems to be learning a lot.

Please keep praying as well for my continued contact with the young people/men of Irun. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I go out once or twice a week to play soccer with the people from town. It is mostly immigrants who come out, though not exclusively. Anyone who wants to can come to a park and play. I began as an outsider who knew no one there, but I’ve gotten to know a lot of people this way, and now I’ll often wave to or greet one of them as we cross paths in town during the week.

20131022_200736_1400Soccer in Irun

I’ve gotten to be friends with quite a few as well. There is one friend who comes most weeks. We try to play on the same teem whenever we can. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was passing out tracts on a Saturday, and this friend walked by. He asked what I was doing, and I gave him a tract, and we started talking. He told me that he was a Muslim, but he was very open to talking. I was able to share the Gospel as clearly as I know how with him for over half an hour that day. So please pray for him and for the many others I’ve met and made friendships with. And please pray that I would have wisdom in talking with them as well. I believe these times with unsaved contacts are some of the most important moments I spend here in Irun.

One last thing I wanted to share also comes with a prayer request. Lord willing, I will start going out into some of the neighboring cities outside Irun. My goal is to give out literature and witness to people I meet, with the goal of making contacts in the surrounding area. While in America, people in any of these towns and cities might have several churches close by that preach the Gospel, the situation is completely different here. If the Lord tarries, I would love to one day see churches started in many of these cities. But in the meantime, there are way too few.

mapThese are the only nearby like-minded Bible-preaching churches I’m aware of

But I have a secondary reason for going out. I plan to take Amadeo and a few other young people with me as I go. I want to start training them to go out and spread the Gospel themselves. The only way for the churches here to multiply will be through the efforts of existing believers. Several of the young people are eager to go with me, so I hope to start soon.

I will be taking  a break from my graduate school studies for a couple of months for financial reasons. So I’ll be saving money in the meantime to continue spending on classes. But this break will leave me with some more time to focus on ministry here, and this is one of the goals I have for the time I’ll have back.

So please pray for blessing and wisdom as we go out, and also pray for the guys I take with me. I believe this will be excellent experience for them, and I’m very excited about training them.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Here’s a summary of what you can be praying for:

  • Amadeo’s continued spiritual growth
  • Salvation of his sister
  • My testimony with the contacts I’ve made through soccer in Irun
  • Salvation of my friends from soccer
  • Evangelizing efforts in the cities around Irun
  • That the young men going with me would gain valuable experience and cultivate a passion for the lost

And as a bonus, I have a praise to share from this past month. I completed the exasperating rigorous affair of getting my Spanish driver’s license. I was able to get by for several months with my American driver’s license, but eventually had to go through the driver’s test here to get a new one. I completed the extremely detailed written test and the driving test with no issues, but I spent countless hours and a whole lot of money (the only way to get a license here) to get them done. It might sound funny if you’re not familiar with the process, but this is a very big praise!


[left] The most expensive bit of plastic I’ve ever owned! Around 600€ ($820)
[right] That triangle above the car means I’m driving an official learner’s vehicle

God bless, and have a great day!
Ps. 34:3

Ministry is People

Hello, and thank you once again for your prayers! Summer always brings with it a lot to be done, so I’ll post a quick update with some of the latest highlights of the ministry here in the Basque Country.

Evangelism/Discipleship with Young People

I’ve been writing a lot lately about new young people in church. Well the Lord keeps bringing people to church through the youth group. In my entire life here, I’ve never seen so many new young people visiting church (and coming back) in such a short period of time. Along with the ones I’ve mentioned before, there are some seven or so new young people who need your prayers. They have all come to church and shown some degree of interest. In several cases, it doesn’t appear they’ve ever attended any kind of church before. Consistent prayer for these souls would most likely be about the biggest contribution you could make to the ministry here.

IMG_05962013-07-07 20.50.252013-06-27 14.37.45IMG_0392
The youth group: a big way God is bringing new people to church

Aierdi Farmhouse Weekly Ministry

I remember one of my teachers in college repeating: “Ministry is people, not programs.” I keep being reminded of the truth he spoke of. For many years, I’ve been going to the Aierdi farmhouse regularly to work. The farmhouse has been a huge asset for the ministry here, and it is exciting to invest time and work there. But lately, I’ve had the chance to bring some of the new young people out with me to work each week. It’s all volunteer work, but several of the people I named above have come with me to spend a day working in the woods, digging trenches, or pouring concrete. It has given me the chance to invest even more time into their lives. During the hour-long drive to the farmhouse or while we work, we’ve discussed a wide range of questions from the Bible, and I’ve had many chances for counseling.

Here’s a video I recorded the other day when I came out to work with Amadeo and Antonio.

Working at the Aierdi Farmhouse with young people from church
Ministry Transition in the Irun Church

My grandfather started Iglesia Bautista Bíblica de Irun in 1973. For many years now, he’s been looking for a young Spaniard to train to take his place as pastor of the church. This year, the Lord opened up the opportunity for Israel Piqueras, a Spaniard who was saved in the church my other grandfather (Samuel Allen) began, to come and meet the believers here in Irun. During the past few months, God has joined him and his wife Laura with the ministry of Irun. The church voted to choose him as the new pastor, and my grandfather is delighted with the prospect of helping him transition into his new role as head pastor of the church.

So this next year in Irun will be a new experience for all of us. I continue to help my grandfather with the responsibility of preaching and helping lead the church worship services. But I’ll also be helping to smooth the change in responsibilities from my grandfather to the new pastor. Israel is a good friend of mine, so I am looking forward to this year and the future. One big task I’ll be facing is bridging the technology gap between my grandfather, who does all his work and record-keeping in one or two virtually obsolete computer programs, and Israel, who is more comfortable doing things from his iPad!

IMG_039520130519 IBBI Isra preaching
Israel and Laura with my grandparents; Israel preaching in church

Prayer Request Summary

Again, thank you for your prayers. Here’s a quick list to pray through.

  • Three guys who have recently made professions of faith
  • Quite a few young people who have visited recently, most of them unsaved, or likely unsaved
  • Israel and Laura, and the Irun church as we transition to a new pastor
  • Continued financial provision as I continue paying for graduate school this next year

God bless. Thank you for your ministry.

Ps. 34:3