Joshua 1

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:8

These were Moses’ words to Joshua as he handed him the baton. Joshua found himself left with the daunting challenge to “go over the Jordan… and divide for an inheritance the land.” (Josh. 1:2, 6)

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As a spy, Joshua had learned first-hand the impossible odds he faced in Canaan. As Moses’ servant, Joshua had learned first-hand the temperamental nature and weak faith of Israel.

But when God gives a mission, He also gives the means to accomplish it. That is the promise of His presence. He reiterated the promise in Joshua 1:9. “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” The rest of the story, of course, is history.

 

But what strikes me are the similarities between Joshua’s mission and mine. When God saved me, He gave me a mission. It’s the greatest mission there is. In Matthew 28:19, He said “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” To me personally, he has said: “Go, and make disciples, beginning in the city of Irun, Spain.” That’s why I’m a “missionary.”

And as I slowly gain maturity and perspective, I realize that my challenge is as daunting as Joshua’s was. Joshua faced giants in Canaan. I face the work of Satan hardening the hearts here through attacks from all directions. He’s attacking through the patent hypocrisy of a Catholic-molded culture. He’s destroying  people’s belief in God through falsely-termed science. He’s unravelling the moral fiber of the society. Joshua had to lead a temperamental, volatile, and unfaithful nation. I am still coming to grips with my own sinful nature and lack of faith, which is a constant impediment.

But, praise to God, when He gives a mission, He also gives the means to accomplish it. Christ’s promise in the next verse is “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” God promises His presence, and with that, there is nothing that can stop me.

 

David

Please take a second to look through a page I just added to my site. It’s here. I am still personally trying to find God’s will concerning financial provision for myself, and eventually, for my family. I am far from certain about the future, but I’ve outlined where God has led me so far. In the meantime, like Joshua, I’m trusting in the promise of God’s presence.

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.

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[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!

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[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!
David
Ps. 34:3