Mission Highlight: Thank you Paul for sharing about our church's Spain trip this year. In case you missed it, Paul used six pictures from Spain to talk about his time there. From top to bottom, left to right:
1 .The Phillips Family--Stephen Phillips is a missionary in Spain we support. This is from when they first visited Christ Church in 2015. After hearing him preach in 2015, and receiving his newsletters, this year Paul, and nine others, went to visit him and do an English Camp by hosted by the church he helped plant. He got to meet the Phillips family as individuals in the flesh.
2. Cañete: A great restaurant we all ate at together. Paul talked about his favorite dishes.
3. Petit Moll, a beach closest to the church in Vilassar de Mar. The team frequently went swimming here.
4. Sitges: After the Kurths and Edsons went on to other parts of Europe, the remaining five ("the Remnant") went to Sitges. Sitges is a beach city near Vilafranca, where the Phillips family will move. The move has been a challenge, especially for his kids. Most of Stephen’s prayer requests to our congregation have to do with this transition. Please also pray for the two Greek courses he’ll be teaching at IBSTE, the main evangelical seminary in Spain. The name of our sister church in Vilafranca is Esglesia Evangelica Baptista. Sitges is a famously gay city.
5. Tap dancers in a rotunda in Barcelona. We went around with Brent, who has visited Christ Church in our old building. We prayed for him and sent him off to be missionary in Spain. He taught teens in our English camp, and moved to Barcelona with his new wife Ellie, the day afterwards. He took us around Barcelona. We went to church together (Ciutat Nova 22@), spent the day together, and Paul enjoyed meeting Simeon from the Basque region, who went to the church in Barcelona and accompanied us. This rotunda/gazeba where the tap dancers are is in Parc de la Ciutadella. in 1991, a transwoman named Sonia Rescalvo Zafra was brutally murdered by 6 people in this bandstand gazebo.
6. Life is a sunset. This picture is from the last evening in Spain. It makes Paul think about how life is like a sunset, over as soon as it begins. He thinks about the Psalm that asks God to "teach us to number our days" and "establish the work of our hands."
Paul is wondering how to integrate his time in Spain to his life here. He remembers community and how we are bound to one another and encourages others to reach out and talk to those who went to Spain. He closed with a prayer that Stephen Phillips wrote in 2015 for Spain:
With the economy in shambles, the shallow veneer of apparent prosperity and self-satisfaction which characterized folks from our town has been unveiled for what it was: an empty hope. We know that there are thousands of people in Vilassar de Mar…whose lives are being held up by the tenuous scaffolding of momentary pleasures. And although we encounter rampant skepticism and indifference we also know that they are not an insurmountable obstacle for an almighty Savior like Jesus. This is why we consider it a great joy to join with our Redeemer in his mission & vision for Vilassar, Vilafranca, and every corner of the earth.
Please help us to think about ways we can pray for one another, including our fellow laborers in Spain. We like to pray for the impossible.
In your Name we pray, Amen.