Monday, April 9, 2012

Seek God for Alcora!

A little over two weeks ago we held our united worship and prayer service for Alcora.  We had over 60 participants with some 6 congregations and over a dozen nationalities represented, all crying out to God for our town.  It was a beautiful time together, and it was encouraging to hear some of the responses we had from attenders:

  • "This has been a dynamic night and has put Alcora on the map for our congregation."  (Daniel, pastor from Castellón)
  • "We've never been a part such a powerful time of worship and prayer.  You can count on our congregation in Madrid (over 4 hours away) to help reach Alcora with the Good News."  (Abraham and Vicente from Madrid)
  • "When I saw "Prayer Service" on Facebook, I didn't think I could sit and pray for an hour and a half.  But the way the service flowed made our time together fly was great!" (Isaac, teenager from Castellón)
  • "When are we going to do this again?"  (Rubén, University Student from Alcora)
We already know that our night was a success, and not necessarily because we’ve seen numerical growth to our group but because we’ve sensed a direct attack from the Enemy against our daughter.  The week leading up to the worship service, Miriam, who's been sleeping well for quite some time, immediately started having anxiety attacks at bedtime.  She was getting so tense and nervous that she would vomit, which she had never done before.  When Rachel's parents came for the weekend, we prayed for her together in her room and she was noticeably less anxious.  The following Wednesday they left, and that night she began to have the same anxiety, causing her to throw up again at bedtime.  This continued off and on until Sunday when we asked the elders of our church to pray for her and for us, specifically that God would protect us against any attack of the enemy.  Miriam hasn't had a problem since, and that's been over a week ago.  We certainly don't mention all of this to sensationalize what we're doing or over-spiritualize our lives; it's simply what we've lived through the past several weeks.  So we, as believers and missionaries living in Alcora, realize that we are where God wants us to be, on enemy territory, Satan is not happy about that, and we are vulnerable...and the enemy knows how to get to us.

So we urge you to continue asking God to protect us from Satan’s subtle and not-so-subtle attacks, and please continue to pray with us for Alcora as we serve the Living God here. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Conversations with Spaniards: Questions...

Last week, as our friend E. climbed up the stairs to our apartment for her weekly English class, I (Rachel) prayed that God would guide our conversation so that it would be deeper than just about English grammar.  E. almost immediately told us about how the father of one of her student had died this week, and how this was adding to the anxiety and fear of death she normally lives with.  This turned into an hour long converstion about her faith, God's love for her, and the truth we can find in the Bible.

"I believe in my head but still feel doubt in my heart. The Catholic Church has taught me the basics about my faith, but I still have lots of questions," E said. "I have asked God to increase my faith and I feel like a bad Christian or like I'm doing something wrong because of this. What can I do?"

God answered my prayer, and I was able to clearly share the Gospel with E., explaining that salvation and faith are a gift of God that we receive through grace, not works, and that all she has to do is accept it. She explained that she believed in Jesus as being the Son of God but had doubts about His resurrection. I pointed her in the right direction, shared some Scripture with her about how those in Christ do not have to fear death, and gave her a Bible.  

After praying for her, I encouraged E to take some time each day to read the Bible to gain some of the answers she is looking for.  She stated, "I think the problem is that I just don't know enough about the Bible."  Please pray that E will grow in her understanding of and passion for Christ, and that she will take the jump from simply knowing about Jesus, to having a personal and life-giving relationship with Him!  May the conversation continue...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Seek God for the City

During Lent, as a church (in Onda, our mother church) and as a small group of believers here in Alcora, we're focusing on praying for Alcora in a more direct, intentional and intense way than we have before, using a material called "Seek God for the City" (Clama a Dios por la Ciudad).  It's a daily guide that presents fresh, Biblical prayers for us to use personally, as a group of believers and as a help for interceding for our town. Sorry I haven't mentioned this before to try to involve you, but we've been too busy coordinating things locally that we just haven't had a chance to update you on it yet. If you're interested in jumping into it with us, go to to check it out, or you can download a 99¢ app at the App Store (Mac) or Android Marketplace.

In conjunction with this focus of prayer during Lent, we're organizing a joint worship service of praise and prayer for Alcora with our sister congregations here in Castellón, which is something that's never been done here in Alcora before. It will be Saturday, March 24th, at 6 p.m., and we're praying that it will be a powerful time of united prayer and praise as we seek our Lord together on behalf of the 10,000 people here in Alcora who need to come to know Him. Please pray with us as we prepare for this exciting event!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Visit from Cressona, PA!

Last weekend we had the joy of receiving a visit from a group from one of our supporting churches, Bethany E.C. Christian Fellowship in Cressona, PA.  They had come to Madrid to help Rachel's dad do some remodeling work in the ECMI center there, but since we're just a short(!) 5 hour drive away, they decided that they HAD to see us.  We only had about a day and a half with them, and since the last half a day was the Sunday morning worship service, we crammed everything into Saturday that we could.  So we gave them the tour of Alcora, complete with a visit to a local ceramics shop and a time of prayer in front of the Town Hall, as you can see in the photo below.  In the afternoon we packed our lunches and took them to Peñiscola, a town about an hour from us that has quite a scenic castle right on the Mediterranean.  Miriam had a blast with them, and we were incredibly encouraged by their interest in us and what we're doing and simply by their presence with us.  So let us know when YOU'RE coming for a visit!