Year’s End Update

Merry Christmas everyone! I trust you’ve had blessed holidays.  I’m grateful to have another opportunity to see some of my relatively scattered family. My brothers Danny and Mark were able to come here to visit (as well as Danny’s wife Jordan), and I’ve had a great time with them, as usual.With family at Christmas

I want to share  a very brief update, and hopefully give a little encouragement to each of you this Christmas. As I usually do in December, I’ve been looking back through my year to see in which areas I’ve learned the most. And this year, the theme that has been most prominent has been God’s work of sanctification. I’ve seen Him at work making many necessary changes in my own life, and I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time studying Christian growth as I’ve worked through Romans 12-14 on Wednesdays with my church over the course of this year.

But the most exciting way I’ve seen this theme played out this year has been in the lives of some of the people here in this ministry. I can’t think of a feeling that compares to the joy of seeing a person’s life change radically through the power of the Gospel. I continue to have weekly Bible studies with three of the newest believers in church, Amadeo, Lucho, and Carlos. All three of them have grown so much in this past year. Each of them has shared personal testimonies in church recently. All three are so different from who they were before being saved. I can think through the 9 fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and see fruit now where there never was before. In recent months, Carlos especially has shown remarkable growth. This summer at youth camp, as I mentioned in a previous letter, the Lord really straightened some things out in his life, and now Carlos is more faithful than ever. He is consistently witnessing to his family and friends, and he even comes out to share the Gospel in Irun with a couple church men and me sometimes. Please pray for these 3 young men. They are all from broken homes, and they face very strong pressure from their unsaved relatives, but they are trying to serve God as best they can.  Two of them have told me of  their desire to enter the ministry full-time, if that’s what God has planned for them.With my young people at camp

In the picture to the right you can see another believer who has shown much evidence of the Lord’s transforming power. This is a Basque young man in his thirties. He was saved about two years ago. I spend a lot of time with him, and he also has a strong desire to serve the Lord with his life, no matter where the Lord leads him. I have been working with him for a while now, teaching himMikel and me how to prepare a message for church. Soon, hopefully, he’ll have the opportunity to preach in church on a Wednesday night or something similar. Please pray for him as well, as he also faces strong opposition to the Gospel from his family.

There are certainly many other cases, but suffice it to say that God is miraculously changing lives for the better. I believe no man-made effort, whether it’s a rehabilitation center, charitable organization, or a religious program, can ever produce true, permanent change in the life of a sinner. Only God’s miraculous, sanctifying work in the heart of a believer can ever transform a life to the extent God is doing with these examples I’ve shared.

I hope this is as much an encouragement for you as it has been for me. God’s work here is a result of your prayers for the ministry, and so once again, thank you for those prayers. Another big source of encouragement has been the way the Lord has been providing the support I’ll need to stay here in Spain. When I came back from the States in October, I had about a third of what I need to live here. Since reaching Spain though, the Lord has provided support from several unexpected directions, and I am so grateful that He keeps providing. Personally it is a great encouragement to see the Lord moving hearts to support the ministry, as it means God wants the work here to keep moving forward. To those of you who have supported me financially in this past year, whether individually or through your church, I just want to thank you so much for your generosity and for your trust. Please keep praying for me and for the people I mention. We need your prayers.

God bless, and and have a wonderful new year!

David
Ps. 34:3

Brother’s Wedding and the Rest of my Trip

Here’s the video update to go along with this letter:

I left for the US at the end of August to be in my brother Danny’s wedding. He was happily married to Jordan Phillips on September 27. He and Jordan are now in Greenville, making preparations to come to Spain as missionaries too. Their ministry website is www.basqueharvest.org. I had a wonderful time with my family while I was back, especially in getting to spend time with some of my siblings, who I don’t see often any more.

a new member of the family!
a new member of the family!
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Catching up with my siblings and of course, my oh-so-adorable niece

It was amazing to see the Lord working out the details of the trip as only He can do. First, He provided financially through the generosity of a friend IMG_20141003_110048who gifted me my plane ticket. This was a huge surprise, and as always it is so encouraging to see the Lord provide in unexpected ways. Second, the Lord provided a good job for my stay in the States before and after the wedding. I was able to work in Danny’s place at his carpentry job in Greenville while he was out of town, and I spent several weeks working full-time to save up for when I came back to Spain. And last, the Lord allowed me to visit a number of churches during my stay to present my ministry. This last thing was one of my primary goals for the trip, and it was great to visit several churches I hadn’t planned on seeing. During my 7 weeks in the States I was in at least 12 churches, and I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities to share what God is doing in Spain. To those of you who invited me to your church, thank you so much!

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As many of you know, I am praying that the Lord would provide missionary support to supplement what I am able to make working on my own.  This trip provided a great opportunity to save up for several months here, but I am still below the support level I would need for a stable living situation. Please pray with me that God will keep providing (as He always has thus far). If you would like, you can visit this page to read about my own philosophy on ministry finances, and if you feel led to do so, to donate as well. And for those who are following the ministry, please consider spreading the word about the ministry here by forwarding an email, using social media, or sharing requests with a prayer group. My ministry presentation is here, and it can serve as an overview of my ministry in Spain.

Now that I’m back in Spain, things are busy here as usual. I’m continuing on with discipleship for several of the newly saved people in church. With my grandfather retired, there is more work than ever to do church each week. Also, this weekend, I will be driving out a camp near Barcelona, Spain. This is the same camp I preached at in the spring, but on this occasion I’m taking a van full of young people at our church. I’m really excited about bringing them, as they have never been there and they will get the chance to meet new brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pray for travelling safety (Friday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 2) and also that the camp would be a spiritual blessing for all of them.

As always, thank you for your prayers, and don’t hesitate to write me back. God bless!

David
Ps. 34:3