A Time To Reflect And To Praise!
March 31, 2018 | John David and Sara Bennett
“Knowing that you were ransomed… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a LAMB without blemish or spot.” ~1 Peter 1:18a, 19
Dear friends & family,
One of the beauties of having small children or even working with them, is getting to share the good news of Jesus to an audience who doesn’t know all about the Gospel yet and to see their reactions to this Good News. We see Sarah Ruth and Abigail light-up as we teach them about Jesus performing miracles! When our girls get enthusiastic about their Bible lesson, there is no greater gift that we as parents could ask for! It is just exciting as we approach this season of Passover, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday to get to teach and tell the wonderful message of redemption through the cross to our daughters and to all that we have an opportunity to share with. Already this year, JD received two invitations for teaching on Easter weekend, to preach an Easter morning message in one church in Northern Spain and to preside a Messiah in the Passover dinner in British Gibraltar. So, this season we have been presented with no shortage of opportunities of proclaiming that those who would believe on the name of the Lamb, might be passed-over in the final judgment!
What is wonderful is that in Spain, “Semana Santa” or Holy Week, is such an event that for a few days your typical Spaniard has a little more interest in Jesus and hearing about Scripture. One Holy Week in Seville, Sara and I were walking down the street and a reporter from the news asked if we would answer a few questions about Easter (I pushed Sara forward!). So just walking through the street, Sara got to share on TV about Jesus dying for our sins, answering a question the reporter gave her about if she sees Holy Week as cultural or religious. It was the kind of question that a missionary is dying for someone to ask them! So, we pray that all of us, our family and yours, can preach the word! Pray for us that we as Christ-followers can be ready in season and out of season. Pray that we can always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks (us) for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet, with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
Church-planting on a Very Personal Level
On alternate Sundays we organize house-church, whether it be our immediate family or with a guest or two. We prepare the worship time: the lesson, the music, Sunday School and the craft. (The Lord recently blessed us with a piano, cool story!) During the week, Sara gives a weekly discipleship course to a lady who lives on our street. It has been such a mutual encouragement, for this lady to grow in Christ and for Sara and JD to be able to feel useful discipling her each week. There is also an 84-year-old man who walks to our Friday night Bible Study each week, for example. It has been a tremendous blessing to our family to have found people who want to be spiritually fed on the very street where the Lord gave us a rental home. We ask the Lord if He can add to this number those who might give their lives to Christ in Los Barrios.
The Search for a Ministry Space
We are seeking to plant a missionary-minded church in Los Barrios, which will include a ministry center for beginning a number of outreach ministries immediately.
We hope to offer kids clubs, senior adult meetings, English conversational groups, Bible studies and discipleship meetings – All these kinds of activities with the goal of leading these precious, unreached neighbors to a saving relationship with the Lord. The commercial space would also give us a place from which to invite people to begin attending our church-plant services and every activity that could be included in body-life in an evangelical church.
So far, our mission, Tentmakers Bible Mission, has a building fund open for this purpose, the Los Barrios Special Fund. We have received some special gifts that would help us to make a deposit down payment and get it in running conditions, however we still don’t have enough monthly commitments to the fund yet, to help with the month to month costs which is keeping us from signing a lease contract (Along with the opening permits from the City Hall, which we have been working on for several months now). If we were to rent this space, we need to raise over 620 Euros ($756.40 USD) a month for our building project to cover renting the building and utilities.
Finally, we are grateful to see progress among the unreached people groups near us. As you understand, we cannot always spell out these details, but thank you for praying for our progress on this end. In the end of March is the last day of a monthly club where we get to serve children by picking them up, sharing snacks with them, doing homework help and workshops. Also, please pray for follow-up opportunities with these children through our English Action Camp (summer camp outreach). We are hoping that contacts we have made will again be able to attend camp this year through scholarships, if this is something close to your heart and you would like to support some deserving young person, please get in contact with us. Thank you all for your cheerful generosity in years past! Our English Action Camp publicity will be mailed out soon and our summer team is preparing back in San Diego, California!
– For our daughters, Sarah Ruth (almost 6!) and Abigail Mae (2), that they will grow in their love for the Lord and His word. For our influence as parents to always greatly outweigh the influence of the unbelieving world.
– We are praying for a mission team coming in August from Mission Valley Christian Fellowship and for two individuals who are planning to come help us get the motor of this church-plant and its outreach ministries started. Please pray for each short-term missionary who has a desire to come partner with us in Los Barrios in 2018. We know we will need lots of partners to see this work get started and stay going.
– For our growing number of contacts in the Campo de Gibraltar region and for boldness and
wisdom in speaking to these people about the Gospel.
– For our project to be approved by the Los Barrios City Hall and for us to receive the permits necessary for opening and operating a church-plant and Family Ministry Center.
Serving with you,
JD, Sara, Sarah Ruth and Abigail