Posted on Saturday, February 4, 2012
in Prayer Letters
¡Bienvenido a Miami!
I have been visiting our CBFI ministry at FIU in Miami for the past week. Besides enjoying the wonderful weather, the Lord has allowed me to see firsthand some of the amazing work He is doing through the faithfulness of the missionaries here. I have been reminded that He works in spite of us, I sometimes think He allows us to be part of His ministry to remind us of who He is. I wish I had the liberty to tell you some specific stories, but believe me when I say that He is changing hears and lives, and He is using the vision and burden of these missionaries to minister in great ways to these students.
Why Campus Bible Fellowship International . . . in Spain?
If you have read any of my prayer letters at all, or heard me present my field of ministry, or read my website, this may not be a surprise to you: Spain is the least-evangelized Spanish-speaking country in the world. The following is from a fellow missionary in Spain, and gives a good idea of the challenge that lies ahead for those of us God has led to the Spanish people.
“The total number of independent Baptist missionaries in Spain continues to grow, but the country is far from being evangelized. Out of the total population of 47 million, only 200,000 are members of some kind of protestant/evangelical church. There are thousands of towns and villages with no Gospel witness at all as there is only one church for every 18,000 people? When we talk about Gospel preaching churches (correct doctrine of salvation), there may be 300 in the whole country which means that there is one Gospel preaching church for every 150,000 people! And when you talk about fundamental, independent Baptist churches, the ration goes down to one church for every 800,000 people!”
If we truly want to reach the Spanish people, it makes sense that we don’t neglect the younger generations. They are the ones who will more freely tell you they are atheist, that their family is Catholic, but they don’t believe in that. But they are also the ones who are becoming adults who will need to make their own decisions. The presence of humanism is so strong, but God’s Word is stronger . . . and true!
There are 78,000 university students in Castilla y Leon (31,000 of those in Salamanca!). With four public and four private universities, there are only about 50 evangelical Christian students scattered throughout these schools!
Why shouldn’t we target these students? Why wouldn’t we want to fill a church plant with young, eager to learn Spanish students?
“CBFI exists to fulfill the Great Commission to ‘make disciples’ given in Matthew 28:19, 20. Our purpose is to provide sound, Biblical fellowship for Christians, to preserve a Christians, to preserve a Christian witness, to reach out to the unsaved and bring them to faith in Christ. Converts are taught the whole counsel of God, including baptism and local church membership. The goal of CBFI is to see Christian students become faithful, serving members of a good local church so that they will migrate to strong, Bible-believing churches wherever they locate in the future. These are our strengths and distinguishing characteristics.”
Church plating IS evangelizing the lost, discipling young believers, and establishing them in a local church. In a university town, we would be negligent to have a church planting ministry that did not also focus on winning souls of university students.
I am eager to be in Spain! In face, I wish that I were there now. However, the Lord continues to use deputation to teach me more about Him, and how I can serve Him better when I am in Salamanca. Would you pray that the Lord would continue to help me grown more like Him, that I would learn lessons that will only enhance my ministry with the students at the University of Salamanca? Would you also pray that the Lord would fill my schedule, provide the prayer support, and the financial support that is necessary to serve Him in Spain?
I am thankful for the privilege that we have to serve a Sovereign God, and I am grateful for each of you who hold me, and my ministry up in prayer before His throne of grace.
For His Harvest,
- Pray for the students and staff at FIU to know Christ and to grow in Him
- Pray for the current and future university ministry in Salamanca, Spain
- Pray for open doors and softened hearts that would be prepared to hear the gospel
- Pray for my own spiritual growth and relationship with Christ to be honoring to Him and an example to those whom He has called me to minister
- Pray for continued provision of churches, prayer support, and the financial support that I need to minister in Spain
- Internship at FIU is going well
- Students at FIU that are being reached with the gospel
- More churches scheduled for this Spring
- More pastoral and church contacts
- Visit with friends in Miami
- Opportunity to present my ministry while in Miami