Greetings from Southern Spain!
The last several months have flown by in a whirlwind, and we have lots to share. Within a week of our arrival here in Spain we participated in the civil marriage of our daughter Kelsey to Gonzalo Garcia Benitez. The next week we baptized four in our church in Cártama and celebrated Kelsey and Gonzalo’s church wedding! One of those baptized was Martin from Scotland. Those who have followed us and prayed for our family and ministry will remember him from prayer letters 4 years ago when he lived and worked in Spain. He came in from Scotland to visit and be here for the wedding and desired to publically profess trust in Christ through baptism while here was here where he first heard the gospel. Joshua, Josiah, and another lady, Antonia, who has been saved through the ministry in Cártama, were also baptized. The church wedding was a beautiful testament to Christ’s faithfulness and love. It was a blessing to have friends from Malaga, Cártama, Almeria, and Scotland, plus our daughter Brianna and Dena’s mother here from the United States for that special occasion! Unfortunately, Bill’s mother was denied travel to Spain because she didn’t have the required 3 months validity left on her passport and didn’t realize the law until it was too late. We don’t yet have any photos or video from the wedding, but hope to post some on our website soon. We now have both daughters “married off” and have just the four boys, three of whom are teenagers left at home!
Thank you to all of you who have been corresponding with some of our contacts here. We have heard good reports from those you have been writing that your messages have indeed been an encouragement to them! We appreciate you giving of your time to be “spiritual pen-pals.” The attendance at the church in Cártama has been about 35 during the weeks that we’ve been here. There are a few faces missing and a few new ones since we were last here, but there is a sweet, sweet spirit in the services! Please continue to pray for our church members to find jobs so that they have incomes to tithe on so that the church could be self supporting. At this time, they are able to pay only about a quarter of the costs for the building where they can worship and teach God’s word. We have challenged them each to pray to reach one friend or family member for Christ this year. Please pray with us that they would continue to grow in maturity and number. Bill and three of our boys will be going with the teens to Palabra de Vida camp from July 25-30. Please pray for this group of 32 that are going to camp that God will move in their hearts for salvations and rededications as needed. With such a large group going, they need to rent a bus. Each teen is contributing, but there is still a financial need. We have also had repeated, expensive problems with our van since we arrived. Please pray with us about the need for transportation finances. We trust that God has it covered, but we don’t yet see how it will happen!
Most of you already know that our family experienced a traumatic situation during our last term here in Spain and we have been in counseling during our time in the US. Our Christian mental health provider has recommended that we remain in the United States for one more year to continue treatment. Our pastor is aware of the situation, and Bill went before our mission board to receive permission to extend our furlough for the purpose of seeking continued healing. We have not shared much publicly in order to protect and respect members of our family who have been hurt, but those of our supporters who feel that they absolutely must have more information may contact Bill personally at 269-587-0212 after August 2nd or our mission director, Joey Bacon, at the World Baptist Fellowship mission office for clarification of our situation. We will be returning to Michigan after our summer here in Spain to continue treatment and healing and we ask that you pray for us and with us for God to continue to work in our family to bring complete restoration. At this time our plans are to return to Spain for another term of service in the summer of 2017. Because the counselor also recommended that we put the boys in a safer school environment when we return, we are seeking to raise $1200 a month in extra support for the next five years for the sole purpose of pursuing private education instead of being bound to the Spanish public school system. $200 of that amount has already been pledged beginning in 2017. God continues to amaze us with how He provides for us through His people. May He continue to bless each family and ministry represented in our supporters and prayer partners richly! Serving together until He comes,
Bill and Dena Rose with Jordan, Joshua, Josiah and JohnPaul