Wednesday, August 1, 2012

March/ April 2012 Update

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Prayer Partners,
The Contreras Family
Baptist Church Planting Missionaries in Gijón, SPAIN
March / April 2012 prayer letter and ministry update

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Prayer Partners,                                             
Thank you very much for your commitment to Christ´s Great Commission and to us as your missionaries!

A soul saved!  In our last letter, we shared about Joseph´s opportunity to preach for the anniversary of Iglesia Evangélica Bautista de Tormes (Tormes Baptist Evangelical Church) in Salamanca.  Four people responded to the invitation of that evangelistic message, and we received testimony of one who was saved, as Pastor Albright wrote us:  “Your message on peace [John 14:27] profoundly touched Javier.  He´d been going through terrible turmoil, and after praying in the service with you found incredible peace like he´d never known.”

Pray we can have such tender hearts in our city, Gijón, and that souls would be saved.  Pray especially for our outreach to junior high-age young people.  We had 9 invited guests to our “Semana Santa” party.  Most of them have been in previous outreach activities, for a couple of them it was their first time.  The Gospel devotional was given clearly and we are excited that the seed of God´s Word is being watered.  We are praying these kids will be saved and become our youth group.

Frustration building up.  We have been in Spain for 12 years now, the last 7 years in our present city of Gijón.  While throughout those years we have always been evangelistic, the people who have come along and been involved in this church-planting work have been evangelicals, Pentecostals, Brethren, etc. who have not been in a church, and often times are trying to recreate in us the church of their origin.  Many have come and gone, but more and more they come creating controversy and divisiveness.  We have always wanted to edify open-minded believers, but more often now there is a lack of respect for our Baptist teaching and practice. 

Because this is becoming increasingly hurtful to the work, and to us personally, we are placing more emphasis in our Be Strong evangelistic project, to make ourselves more involved with the lost, than with church hoppers.
Our work is still church planting (Iglesia Bautista Libertad / Liberty Baptist Church), but our strategy must free us from drawing in those who only do damage to the testimony of the church.  Pray God will give us wisdom and patience.

Financial needs.  Although the dollar has gained some strength to the euro, prices have gone up.  Some annual costs are coming up for having our new facility:  a tax on commercial property usage ($600), and insurance for the storefront ($750).  With the loss of some giving folks in the work, the work is unable to cover the expense.  And Joseph will need to take Andrew and Michael to A Coruña to renew their passports ($200).  We pray to go to the USA in 2013 or 2014 to report to our churches and raise more support.  We have found that we are at 70% of support compared to with what other missionaries are arriving to Spain, and we have about half of the supporting churches.  Please pray the Lord will show us how to pay for these expenses, and that He would provide.

We pray God will continue to bless your ministry, and to strengthen you as you serve Him.  In Christ,
The Contreras Family
Joseph, Andrew, Isaiah, Andrew, and Michael
Gijón, SPAIN

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