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October Ministry Update

Posted on Monday, October 2, 2017 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

I realize it has been longer than usual since my last update went out, and I didn’t want too much more time to go by without taking time to say thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. I know I say this often–but it is so true–I couldn’t do ministry in Spain without you, and I am grateful for the time and resources that you share with me.

Return from Spain

I left Spain on August 25th, and was able to spend about 10 days in the U.K., and Ireland visiting with friends and missionaries. It was a fun, but not at all restful trip (just the way I like my visits to new countries!), that showed me how much more I want to see of the British Isles. I am thankful for the opportunities that God gives to not only see new places, but also make new friends and be encouraged through seeing His work around the globe.

September was a bit of a blur as I got resettled in at my parent’s house. I was a bit discouraged at first that I hadn’t been able to schedule meetings during the month, but realized that even that was a gift from God when we found out my grandmother’s cancer had spread, and she has been placed on hospice care. It has been good to be home and be able to help out, even in small ways, while I haven’t had to worry about travel. Please pray for my grandmother to be comfortable, and for opportunities that this may afford for gospel conversations with unsaved family and friends.

What’s Next?

My current schedule has me mostly in Michigan, and I am praying that the Lord would provide the remaining (about 18%) needed support from my home state. Please pray for new churches, and even individuals, who would have a desire to partner with me as the Lord allows me to take the gospel to Spain.

As you may remember, I am praying that the Lord would allow me to reach 100% soon so that I can be back in Spain by mid to late January 2018. I am eager to see God provide so that I can get back to Spain and get involved in the ministries that God has waiting for me there.

Thank you for your part in taking the gospel to the Spanish people!

August Ministry Update

Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

I just wanted to say thank you again for the faithful support that you give, whether through prayer, finances, or both. God has been at work this summer, and I am grateful that He allows us to be part of expanding His kingdom.

The last six weeks the Lord allowed me to assist my coworkers, the Templeton and Grotzke families in Ponferrada, Spain – which is located about 160 miles northwest of Salamanca. God allowed me to:

  • make some connections with unsaved friends of theirs

  • participate in their English hour each Thursday

  • take part in their Sunday Bible Studies

  • help with two different groups of college students in our FirstLook program

  • and assist in preparations for a relationship conference that we held for our BMM team

It was a full, but enjoyable time. I am thankful that God allowed me to be challenged in areas, and encouraged in others. Thank you again for praying, and allowing me to part of God’s work here in Spain.

On a little different note, if you aren’t a reader, I would challenge you to become one. I am thankful that over the last several years God has given me a love and appreciation for reading. Sometimes it’s nice to just relax and enjoy a good book, but other times it is good to be challenged, edified, encouraged, and taught through a good book.

Here is a list of some helpful books I have read (or reread) recently:

Thank you again for being part of the ministry here in Spain with me. I appreciate you, and am grateful for your prayer and financial support.

Why do you live here?

Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

After living in Spain for nearly two years this isn’t a strange question anymore; in fact, I’ve come to expect it. Most people assume I am a student – but when I say I work here, more questions follow. Why Spain? What type of work do you do? Why would you leave your country?

I’ve had to learn how to answer these questions in a way that doesn’t have them concluding I’m a nun, but that may also open the door to some gospel conversations. Most often, I tell them in one way or another that I work with a student association that is affiliated with our evangelical church – which, of course, usually begs the question, “how is your church different from the Catholic Church?”

One of my most recent conversations allowed me to talk a bit about the authority of Scripture, not the Pope; why we call ourselves “evangelical” (gospel-teaching); and why we don’t pray to Mary.  I love seeing how God can use their curiosity to plant seeds, to bring up something that maybe they had never considered before. I think those opportunities are all around, for all of us, if we are willing and ready to seize them. They may look different where you are, and may come up through different questions – but don’t walk away from those opportunities without presenting Truth.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” I Peter 3:15

FirstLook

From June 13th until the 29th I was able to spend time with some of our visiting college-age students with BMM’s FirstLook program. I spent time with them in Salamanca, Sevilla, Azuqueca, Madrid, and Ponferrada. We had a good time getting to know one another, learning about Spain, and being involved in ministry opportunities. Pray for the current group as they still have a little over a week left here in Spain. The second group arrives on July 17th, and I will be with them for two weeks in August.

Praises

  • Storage unit found in Salamanca for my belongings

  • Travel safety with FirtsLookers

  • Repationship building opportunites

  • Opportunities to share the gospel

Prayer Requests

  • Opportunities with new friends in Ponferrada – to build relationships and for gospel opportunities.

  • I will be helping to format and prepare English curriculum while in Ponferrada.

  • We will be having a counseling/relationship retreat for our team the end of this month. Pray that we would all have hearts responsive to the Spirit’s prompting, and that it would be a fruitful and growing time for us. (This isn’t because of any problems, rather to learn how to work/communicate better with teammates and in our personal/interpersonal relationships, so that we may be better used by God.)

May Update

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

It’s hard to believe that the time has come, but tomorrow (Wednesday, May 24th) my flight leaves Detroit at 1:40pm, and I will arrive in Madrid on Thursday at 11:10am local time (5:10am EST). I have two layovers — one in Toronto, and one in Paris. Please pray that the trip goes smoothly, and that there are no problems with my connections.

As I mentioned in my last update I am still lacking some funds and will have to come back in the fall to finish raising the remainder of my financial support. I am excited, though, to say that God has continued to provide, and has added a new church and an individual to my team of supporters. Praise the Lord for his provision!

Currently, I still need about $750 more per month to return to Spain full-time. Perhaps God has given you a desire to be one of the individuals or churches that will join my support team. Perhaps you will commit to praying every day for God to provide the remaining support, and for the ministry and opportunities God has given in Spain?

Would you pray that God would provide:

  • 30 supporters/churches who can give $25 a month, or

  • 15 supporters/churches who can give $50 a month, or

  • 8 supporters/churches who can give $100 a month, or

  • 4 supporters/churches who can give $200 a month?

Praises:

  • New support! (Now at 74%)

  • Good contacts with some pastors for meetings in the fall.

  • Visits with friends and family before leaving for Spain.

Prayer Requests:

  • Wisdom for summer ministry opportunities.

  • Safety in travel to and within Spain this summer.

  • Full fall schedule in churches that have a burden for missions.

  • Full support – I’d like to be back in Spain by January 2018, Lord willing.

Thank you, once again, for joining me in giving of your time in prayer and financially to be part of the ministry in Spain. I am grateful for you!

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

April Update

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

Return To Spain

I’m thankful that we have a good and loving God to whom we can pray. I am thankful that He, in His sovereignty, does and gives what is best for us, and what will ultimately bring Him glory. That doesn’t mean that I always understand how or why He is working, but I trust that He is.

If you have been reading my updates, you know that my prayer was to have all of my support in time to return to Spain soon. God has worked and provided for me to return as planned on May 24th, but I am not yet fully supported. Therefore, I will be coming back in early September to continue raising the remainder of the financial support that I need to return to full-time ministry in Spain.

There are a variety of ministry opportunities that I will be able to be involved with this summer, and am looking forward to helping my coworkers. My time in Spain will also help me be able to keep my residency status there.

Praises:

  • God allowing this summer’s trip to Spain.

  • The Lord has allowed me to make some connections with new pastors and churches, as well as reconnect with some others that may result in some meetings this fall.

  • Encouragement through God’s Word and fellowship at a recent Women’s Prayer Conference.

  • New monthly support and one-time gifts that have been given.

Prayer Opportunities:

  • Since my last update many have asked what my specific financial needs are. I want to share that with you for two reasons: 1) so that those of you who are praying with me can do so more specifically, and 2) for those who may have a desire to give financially but have never considered becoming an individual supporter. I am still in need of just over $1000 more per month before I can return full-time to Spain. That may sound a bit overwhelming (trust me, I know!), but God can provide. This need is no surprise to Him, and He already knows when and how all my support will come in.

  • For my trip in May – for safety, and that the Lord would give many opportunities to serve Him and share who He is.

  • I will be working diligently to fill my fall calendar, from mid-September on. Pray the Lord would open doors, and that the majority of what I need can come from churches here in Michigan.

As always, thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and financial support. I am thankful to each of you and grateful to God for giving you a desire to be part of the ministry in Spain.

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

“We just live here.”

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

Romans 12 has, for the last several years, been a passage that I love to read. It certainly is not because I do all of those things perfectly, but because in Christ, I can strive to do those things well and better each day as I grow in Him and purpose to live a life that is pleasing to Him. In turn, I can be a brighter light wherever He leads me to serve Him. That’s what God wants for each of us — that we live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to Him wherever we are.

A friend of mine mentioned recently that her family who serves overseas likes to answer the question, “What do you do there?” with, “We just live here.” As redeemed people, our lives ought to reflect Christ, so that no matter where we live the Light of the Gospel shines brightly. I wonder, what impact does our “just living here” have on those around us?

Praises:

  • I was able to visit most of my supporting churches to give an update of the ministry in Spain.

  • New churches visited, and new contacts made with pastors and individuals.

  • New support promised.

  • Safety in over 6,000 miles on the road in 7 ½ weeks of travel.

  • Visits with friends along the way.

Prayer Opportunities:

  • Support. I have visited supporting churches, new churches, friends, and have talked to many individuals over the last two months. Pray that the Lord would burden more churches and individuals to become part of my support team through prayer and financial giving.

  • Schedule. Continue to pray that the Lord would open doors in churches to fill in the remaining openings that I have in my schedule.

  • Return to Spain. Continue to pray that I will be able to return to Spain, as planned, on May 24th to avoid losing my residency (and therefore having to do the whole visa process over again.)

  • Spanish Dinner Parties. I’ll mention this again, for any friends interested in hosting their friends for a Spanish meal, and a presentation of my ministry. This was a highlight of deputation for me, as I was able to get to know people who pray for me regularly, and some who were burdened to give one-time or monthly financial gifts towards the ministry in Spain.

Once again, thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and financial support for me, and the ministry that God has given in Spain.  I am grateful for each of you!

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

Januray Ministry Update

Posted on Monday, January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

As you probably know, I am back in the States as I transition from short-term status to career missionary status. Thank you to those of you who prayed for my safe arrival just before Christmas. Though I may have accidentally told a Spanish security officer that my suitcase would explode if it were unzipped (and then quickly explained that I meant because it was so full of stuff, not explosives. . . oops!), I made it home without incident.

It was good to be home for Christmas, and to see family over the holidays. It is also good to be in my sending church and update supporting churches of what God has done over the last 18 months in Spain. I am looking forward to visiting new churches and sharing the ministry in Spain with people who are excited to be part of taking the Gospel to the “uttermost part of the earth”.

Would you continue to pray for the Lord to work so that I can return to Spain on May 24th? Here are some things you can pray for specifically:

  • A full schedule. I am specifically praying that the Lord would fill my April schedule with churches in Michigan that would be able to join my team of prayer and financial supporters.

  • 100% support. I need this to leave in May. (See next request.)

  • Return to Spain on May 24th. To avoid having to reapply for my visa/residency I cannot be out of Spain for more than six months. It will be costly both financially, and time wise to repeat this process. So I am asking the Lord to provide the needed funds in order to return before the deadline.

  • Safety in travel. This month and next I will be in MI, WI, IL, and then driving to FL. I will eventually be back in OH and MI in March and April.

  • Spanish Dinner Parties. For friends interested in hosting their friends for a Spanish meal, and a presentation of my ministry. This was a highlight of deputation for me, as I was able to get to know people who pray for me regularly, and some who were burdened to give one-time or financial gifts towards the ministry in Spain.

  • Church Contacts. Would you pray that the Lord opens doors, and hearts as I contact pastors and churches? Though I love visiting churches and sharing my burden, it mostly never is easy to get to speak to a pastor and schedule a meeting – that’s not a complaint, just a fact. Would you be able and willing to be a connection or reference in your church or with churches you know? Let me know if you are able to be an encouragement in this way.

Thank you again for your faithfulness in prayer support, and for those of you who faithfully give financially. The Lord continues to bless, to provide, and to open doors for opportunities.

I appreciate the part that you take in the ministry that God has given in Spain!

For His Harvest,
Jodi Harrison

November Ministry Update

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  ~ Romans 5:8-9

Though I can’t believe it, Thanksgiving is just over a week away. These verses from Romans have been playing over in my mind lately — so I thought I would share them as a reminder of what we truly do have to be thankful for as believers. Incredible, isn’t it? The wrath that I deserve I will never know because of the love of God for sinners like me, and you . . . and we get to tell people about that! Amazing!

Campus House Ministry

I am thrilled to say that turnout for Bible study has been much higher than our English Conversation attendance. That is not at all what I expected, but I am thankful that the Lord has allowed us to have a great time in His Word. We have about six semi-regular attenders, one of whom is not a believer. Please pray for A as she attends, and that her eyes would be open to her sinfulness and need of a Savior.

Please also pray for wisdom in our schedule — which is part of the reason for the low attendance at English — and pray for those who will be taking over the activities while I am in the States over the next several months.

Packing and Furlough

As I noted on Facebook the other day, over the past 17 years I have lived in no less than 17 different places (dorm, apartment, house, etc), on three continents, in three countries, in three states, and a U.S. territory. Of course I thought about that while I was in the midst of packing, yet again, as I prepare for furlough — mostly it made me thankful for all that God has done (and a little part of me thought, “I could just get rid of most of this so I don’t ever have to pack it again, right?”) — but I am grateful for the life that God has given me, and the opportunities to learn and serve Him over the last several years.

This time next month I will already be back in Michigan preparing to spend Christmas with my family. And as you know, from January through May I will be visiting churches to give an update of what God has been doing here in Salamanca, as well as to raise the remainder of financial support I need to return to Spain on May 25th.

May I just take a moment here to say that I can only be out of Spain for 6 months without losing the residency that I have — my furlough (or as I am lovingly calling it, “second deputation”) is just about 5 1/2 months so that I do not overstay my limit. Would you pray with me that the Lord would provide the needed funds in this somewhat quick visit to the States? I am so grateful to so many who have already written to say that they are praying — the Lord has given me an amazing group of prayer partners and I am so thankful for that! I am also looking forward to what He will do over the next six months.

Thank you so much for faithfully praying for me, for the ministry here in Salamanca, and for the hearts of the Spanish people to be softened and opened to God’s Word. Thank you also for allowing me to be here by faithfully giving financially towards living and ministry expenses.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

October Update

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“A man’s heart plans his way,

but the Lord determines his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

I’m thankful for a sovereign God. I don’t want to ever forget that about Him, because when we do, it is so easy to worry, and second guess, and wonder how things will turn out well.

That’s true in little things in life, as well as the big things. So I have reminded myself many times over the past nine months as we have been pressing onward (at a pace that sometimes seemed endless) to renovate and prepare the Campus House (storefront) that the Lord had provided. I was so excited at the very end of January when this idea was presented, but probably would have been discouraged out of taking on the project if I would have know it would take so long.

But I am so grateful to the Lord for providing, and using many of you to do so. Thank you to all who prayed and who gave specifically to this project!

Welcome Fair

The Lord gave us a great day at the University Welcome Fair. We had a total of nine people from the church who came out to help us during the day, and we were able to talk to hundreds of students. It was a blessing to see church people excited and willing to help, and the opportunities the Lord gave us to connect with students. Thanks so much for praying!!

We’re finally open!

Thank you also for praying for our first week of activities at our Campus House. Our original plan was to start on October 3rd, but had to push it back a week due to some finishing touches on some repairs.

We started this past Monday with Bible study, and Table Talk (English conversation) on Tuesday. We didn’t have a large turnout, but I am grateful for those the Lord did bring along.

Please keep praying that new students would come, that we would be able to build relationships, and that the Gospel would be clearly presented to them.

BMM Field Retreat

Every three years our team of Spain missionaries takes a week to hold business meetings, and spend some fun, relaxing time together. The last week of September we were able to go to Manilva in the south of Spain and enjoy a view of the Mediterranean, and the Rock of Gibraltar from our resort.

It was a blessing to have our new Field administrator and his wife, Steve and Beth Gault with us, as well as fellow Spain missionaries, Andy and Mimi Bonikowsky there to encourage us through God’s Word and their friendship.

We were able to spend a little time in the sun, and make day visits to both Gibraltar, and Tangier, Morocco. It was definitely a busy week, but also refreshing to “pray and play” together as a team.

Furlough Planning

As I have mentioned I will be headed back to the States in December to spend the holidays with family, and then spend January through May visiting churches.

The Lord has begun filling my schedule, but I am praying for new churches or individuals that would have a desire to partner with me in the ministry the Lord has given here in Salamanca.

Please continue to pray that I would trust the Lord to provide all the details, big and small for this time in the States.

Some specific requests:

  • A vehicle to use during furlough

  • A full schedule

  • New churches to join in prayer and financial support

  • New individuals who are burdened to pray and or give

  • Opportunities to clearly communicate my burden for Spain

If you know of a pastor or church that would be interested in hearing about the ministry here, or would like more information about how you could help support me please contact me at jodi.in.spain@gmail.com.

Thank you, as always, for your faithfulness in praying and giving financially on my behalf. The Lord is doing amazing things here in Salamanca, and I am grateful to count you as part of the ministry He has given.

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison
Philippians 4:17-19

August/September Update

Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2016 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

It was a PB&J kind of day . . .

I came home yesterday from visiting the ministry of my BMM coworkers, Mark and Hillary Stipp, in Plasencia. Before I left their house, Hillary played the part of hostess well and was sure to send some food for my trip.

When I arrived home after a two-hour bus ride I thought, “it sure seems quiet in here.” And it was. At some point over the three days I was gone, the main fuse in my apartment blew and everything in my fridge and freezer was nice and warm . . . So, needless to say, I was very thankful for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, and granola bar.

While I was heading back to my apartment after taking two garbage bags full of food to the dumpster I wasn’t exactly happy about throwing away so much, but it was probably time that I gave my fridge a good cleaning anyway.  Sometimes the Lord uses those every day scenarios to remind us of truth from His Word.

I thought about how sometimes He can use others, or perhaps certain situations to reveal sin – and our need of repentance. And it brought to mind some amazing verses that I read over the weekend. Christ offers abundant redemption. Great is His mercy. He is full of compassion. In Him there is hope. What precious words for those who can call him Father and Savior.

I am thankful that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God that we serve. And though we will sin, even as believers, He washes us. He offers mercy and forgiveness. And He does it in abundance. We don’t have to keep all that rottenness inside, we can go to Him, repent, and be forgiven. And then we can become more like Him. That thought overwhelms me – that a perfect, holy God would love me enough to forgive me, but I am so thankful that He does. I am also grateful that we can, and ought to, share this awesome truth with those who don’t know, or may need a reminder of who God is.

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.” ~ Psalm 130:4-5, 7

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

“For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”

“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” ~ Psalm 86:5, 13, 15

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” ~ I Corinthians 6:11

Praises:

  • Special offerings given for finishing touches on the local. God is always faithful to provide for needs, and I am grateful for those He uses.

  • A church family here willing to help with work at the storefront, as well as transportation for me while picking up supplies.

  • I was able to visit my BMM coworkers, the Templetons and Grotzkes in Ponferrada last month, and the Stipps in Plasencia this month. It was a time of encouragement for me, as I was able to see what the Lord is doing in their respective ministry locations, and as I was able to participate in English conversation groups, and meet some of their friends.

Prayer Requests:

  • For the storefront to be finished on time for our first meetings the first week of October.

  • The Welcome Fair at the University is September 22. We will have opportunity to speak to students, and give out literature about our Bible studies, and English conversation group. Please pray for those who will be working our stand, and that the students would be receptive.

  • I am still working on the schedule for all the activities that we will have. Please pray for wisdom for me.

  • September 17-18 I will be driving some of our young people to a youth rally in Toledo, Spain. Please pray for safety, and for tender hearts as we are challenged from God’s Word, and a good time of fellowship.

  • The last week of September our BMM team will head south for a team retreat. Please pray for a good time of fellowship and encouragement with one another, and in God’s Word. And also that we would have a fun, restful time as well.

As always, thank you so much for your faithful prayers, and continual financial support. I am grateful to have you as part of my ministry “team” here in Salamanca.

For His Harvest,
Jodi Harrison
Philippians 4:17-19