As we shared in our last letter, Bill and 3 of our boys were going to Word of Life camp in Ciudad Real during the last week of July. Turns out that a group of 35 went from Malaga, with 15 of those being from Cartama, “our” city! During camp Bill had the responsibility of organizing and refereeing the basketball tournaments and also served as a counselor for a group of the teen boys. There were about 180 there that week total, and 14 of those made first time decisions for Christ at camp. Most rededicated their lives or made commitments to God for a particular area of their lives while they were there. It was a tremendous week! Please pray for those from Cartama who made decisions: Estrella, Celeste, Miguel, Juan David, Paula, and Sergio. Our son Jordan participated in an evangelistic outreach during the week and was able to lead two homeless people to the Lord. What a joy to see him excited about how God had used him! This year we have two Spanish young people studying at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary: Israel who is returning for the second year and Ismael who has been instrumental in helping with evangelistic events in Cartama and has a real heart for missions. Please pray for these young men as they are preparing themselves for future ministries.
Our travels back to Michigan on standby tickets turned out to be quite the adventure this time! We have been so thankful to be able to travel standby and through the last several years our friend, Bud Nichols, has saved us a huge amount of money by allowing us to use his “buddy passes.” However we are aware that travelling standby is always a risk and this year 3 of us wound up having to buy different return tickets after trying to get out of Spain on standby for over a week and circumstances looking like it would be another week before there was even a chance of getting out! Through it all, we’re thankful that God kept us safe during all of the travel craziness and family separation and the positive thing was that through so many departure attempts, we were able to share Christ with security guards, flight attendants and other passengers while we were waiting. In the afternoons after returning from the “daily airport visit” we were able to spend more time with the folks in the church in Cartama and help encourage the teens with the commitments they made at camp.
Please continue to pray for Manuel and Noemi as they continue to work with the teens in Cartama and for Jose Manuel and Rut as he continues to serve as interim pastor at Iglesia Bautista Renacer in Cartama. The economic situation of the people there has not changed much and many are still without work. The church still requires our financial support and we are communicating with many of the church members on a more or less daily basis through social media and messenger apps. It is a blessing to live in the computer age where we can be away and still keep in touch in real time. It is also a huge encouragement to know that the work continues even without our presence and God is still working in the hearts and lives of people in Cartama!
We also have been able to bring a little part of Spain back to Michigan for the year. This was not something we had planned, but a man who played on Bill’s ball team several years ago contacted us looking for help placing a foreign exchange student. Even though we were not able to house the student ourselves, Bill was able to find a home for him for the next 10 months right here in southwest Michigan where he will be attending school with our boys. He will be a welcome addition to the school soccer team too, even though they are already doing well with 3-0 so far this season. We look forward to getting to know this young man better and spending time with him during this school year. His goal is to learn to speak “perfect” English but our prayer is that he will come to know the Lord and return to his native Spain a changed person, prepared to impact his world for Christ! If anyone is interested in hosting a foreign exchange student, let me know and we’ll see about the possibility of getting a student to your area. Thank you for your support and prayers for our family and the ministry in Spain!
Ever looking for His coming,
Bill and Dena Rose with Jordan, Joshua, Josiah and JohnPaul
PS- If we did not visit you last year and you would like for Bill to come by, please contact him by email or on his cell phone at 269-587-0212. He is working on his schedule for next year right now. ;)