A New Chapter Is About to Begin!
May 22, 2017 | John David and Sara Bennett
We write our farewell to you all from San Quintin, Mexico. JD just preached his last sermon of this furlough in Sara’s hometown church. The whole congregation came forward at the end of the service to wish us well on our next chapter in Spain. It was hard not to shed some tears at the outpouring of love and support. It is always bittersweet when we have to leave our loved ones to go to our mission field overseas. In the next few days, we will be saying our good byes to our family and flying back to Spain from Los Angeles International Airport, on Sunday, May 28th.
Furlough Highlights: We were given the blessing of living in the Trinity Church’s Mission House in Redlands, CA. Having that home as our anchor from late August until early May, it enabled us to plan full days of ministry and visits in Southern California, and also extensive deputation plans to be able to share our vision with the most churches, supporters and loved ones as possible. Having a warm bed to return to definitely made a big difference. This has been an unrepeatable deputation time, as our daughters will never be this small again, to be able to travel throughout the school year. So being conscious of this opportunity we marched our way through 26 states, with over 16,000 road miles, while sharing everywhere we could our vision and prayer cards.
Family Life Cycles: When we returned on furlough we never imagined some of the changes that could take place over a few months. When we arrived, our most enthusiastic supporter, Sara’s grandmother Sarah Ruth Poppe, was ecstatic to see us and to catch up before we left on our tour. Little did we know that she would suffer a devastating stroke as we returned from a 2 ½ month tour and would be unconscious by the time we got to see her again. Grandma Poppe went to Heaven on February 16th. Grandma was a wholly devoted prayer warrior, whose life calling was to prayerfully cover her family, friends and many others she came in contact with. Many of us can feel the big void left by her departure, so we thank all of you who have committed to pray for our family and ministry, and also want to reach to others and ask if you would please consider praying for us, and maybe even fasting, as we head to an area that has been under the dominion of Satan.
Thankfully, the sorrow of the death of our beloved grandmother was mitigated with the birth of our nephew, David Alejandro, born to Sara’s sister Lucy on Mother’s Day. So we bless the name of the Most High as He gives and takes away.
Straight to the Strait: As we set our eyes on our new mission assignment in Spain, we can identify with the Apostle Paul, looking forward to seeing old friends on his way to preach the Gospel in Spain. By the time you read this, we will probably also be re-united with old friends, as we will have returned to Spain. We can also imagine Paul choosing to target an area like Campo de Gibraltar, as it is an incredibly strategic crossroads of Europe and Africa, and also a busy crossroad within Spain, a place where people from all nations can hear the Gospel. Paul wrote in Romans 15:24: ”Whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you.”
Friends, please keep in prayer our upcoming term of service in Spain, in which we will be seeking to plant a church that will reach and teach disciples of all nations, that will equip a generation to be actively serving the greater Los Barrios area, and purposefully training locals to be involved in missions. Please pray for the residents of the unreached town of Los Barrios and its surroundings, to have their hearts ready to come near to God.
Please continue to pray for our family’s needs in the coming weeks. Pray for all the logistics of returning to Spain: Choosing what to pack, making connections, not forgetting things in California, transitioning into our temporary housing, finding long-term housing, moving into the new home, setting up utilities and phones.
Once settled in our new home, we will then be prayerfully seeking to rent a store-front to serve as our new church plant and ministry center in the unreached city of Los Barrios. A store-front will give us a visible presence in Los Barrios and a ministry space to invite locals to, for Bible studies, prayer times, and community service and outreach activities. Just this month, in early May, The Tentmakers Board approved a new ministry fund for us, for receive building funds. It’s called LOS BARRIOS SPECIAL FUND.
We pray that the Lord will help us in each of these steps.
1. For our young family as we move back overseas.
2. For providence in finding a place to live in Los Barrios.
3. For our needs to be met regarding moving, settling, and church-planting expenses.
4. For our marriage, spiritual and emotional health to be covered in prayer as we embark on this spiritual battle to raise the banner of Christ in Los Barrios.
5. For our daughters, Sarah Ruth (5 years), and Abigail Mae (22 months) as they transition back to Spain and leave dear family and friends behind.
We thank you for your support. We covet your prayers.
All our love,
J.D., Sara, Sarah Ruth and Abigail Bennett
There is a pdf version of this newsletter with a few more photos if you would like to see that. Click on the link below titled May 2017 Newsletter.pdf. Thanks!
If you would like help us fulfill the great commission when we return to Spain you can send any tax-deductible support for our for our Regular Ministry and Family Needs to:
Tentmakers Bible Mission “Andalucía Project”
PO Box 160, LaGrange, WY 82221
(Please write Andalucía Project on the memo line of the checks.)
For donations towards our new church-plant special fund, to help towards renting a building, preparing it to be used as a ministry space, utilities and for the maintenance of this commercial space, please send your donations to:
Tentmakers Bible Mission “Los Barrios Special Fund”
PO Box 160, LaGrange, WY 82221
(Please write Los Barrios Special Fund on the memo line of the checks.)
Online Giving to our ministry needs, click on:
and select “Andalucía Project (all ministry needs) or Los Barrios Special Fund (only building needs)”