English Action Camp Highlights & Fond Farewell
August 3, 2016 | John David and Sara Bennett
Dear praying friends and family,
As I write this in what was my office since February of 2014, I no longer have my office chair or table here, just boxes and suitcases. Sara and I have come to the end of our term of missionary service here in Puebla del Rio.
It has been an emotional month for us! Even as some have been able to follow some updates from our summer camp outreach and short-term mission team, there are still many things to tell all of you who pray for us.
You Never Know how God can use You. We have been both stunned and humbled by the people we least expected to make an effort to express how much they appreciated our time of missionary service here. Over and over again, since a month ago, we have been surprised by words of encouragement, gifts and notes from non-Believers, neighbors and seekers from our church. What we mean is that we feel God has been telling us that our labor with the un-churched and un-saved has not been in vain. Seeds have been planted and un-churched people who have become our friends are taking more steps towards coming to Christ.
The Long Goodbye to Puebla del Rio Evangelical Church. In June I made an announcement after church one day, explaining carefully to our congregation how Sara and I were nearing the end of our time of service in Puebla del Rio and how after furlough we will be seeking to plant a new church in the unreached city of Los Barrios, Andalucía near the Straights of Gibraltar. Since that announcement, we have had a number of noteworthy occasions for goodbyes. When the flower shop owner, who Sarah Ruth and I would walk by everyday on our way to her school, heard we were moving away, he cried. The day after English Action Camp ended, we had our first emotional goodbye. The short-term missionary team from Mission Valley Christian Fellowship, came and ministered at the Puebla church, with 60 people in attendance. Four team members gave powerful testimonies of faith and Pastor Lyle Detwiler gave a message about the parting of the Red Sea and Jordan River. Afterwards our church held a luncheon. While there, we had some of our first emotional goodbyes as people at church were realizing it was one of our last times together. Later, the English Action Camp Team had a Good-bye Barbeque at the home of one of our local counselors. This gathering had more tearful goodbyes between Americans and Spaniards. (Thank you again to all of you who gave to make the camp possible, both by sending this wonderful team and by giving towards scholarships too.) The following Saturday we did our last church beach trip, where I got to help baptize Jonay, one of our promising youth who I have known since he was 5. Again, lots of bitter sweet moments. The week after that, 50 of our church members and neighbors surprised us with a Farewell Party at church! Sara and I arrived thinking we were doing our last Praise and Worship Night! Here our friends, old and new, gave us very special tokens of their friendship, a scrapbook by the youth group, a plaque from the church, and a personalized Cookbook made by the Ladies Ministry for Sara. It was a very special night, so our cup overflows…
Abigail Mae, The Birthday Girl who has Tonsillitis and Fever: Yesterday we celebrated Abigail’s belated first birthday. Even though she was sick, she was still a sweet baby. We had another round of goodbyes with our little neighbors. Please remember Abigail Mae in your prayers. She has been feeling sick with a high fever for about 4 days and today Sara took her to Urgent Care after another difficult night. It turns out her fevers were related to Tonsillitis. Also please pray for her daddy. While the girls were at Urgent care JD was trying to be a hero, moving stuff out of the house, and may have a broken toe (to be confirmed…)
Please Pray Finally, please pray for us to be able to finish emptying our house and to be able to fit everything into our storage unit. Also, please pray for Abby to be feeling better for when we fly. On this trip we have a 13 hour flight back to Los Angeles.
We appreciate your prayers!
JD, Sara, Sarah Ruth & Abigail Bennett
P.S. You should be able to see a video of the English Action Camp by clicking on this link:
English Camp Video