It’s hard to believe we are already starting second semester here in Barcelona, time is going so fast! Let me catch you up with a few things that have happened since my last prayer letter and then also look ahead to what I am planning for the future.
In general, the political tensions in Barcelona have calmed down but things are not fully resolved. Many people are still very hurt and angry over the referendum situation and how it was handled. Please pray for wisdom for those in power and for Catalonia to have a regional government soon.
At the end of December we hosted an evangelistic Christmas meal where the students were encouraged to invite along their friends and classmates to a sit-down meal and then a talk about the true meaning of Christmas. As a Staff Team in GBU Barcelona we have been focusing on teaching the students about the importance of personal evangelism and they seemed to really grasp onto this as one student invited his classmates to the talk and seven of them came along! Another student invited four of her friends and they each came. In total there were roughly thirty non-Christian students who came to the Christmas meal and heard the gospel preached, perhaps some for the first time! Praise God for the boldness of these students and for the follow-up conversations as a result of coming along to this event.
Another significant event in December was that in Mundet, one of my university groups, we were able to put up a photography exposition in celebration of the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation. Normally this university campus wouldn’t allow us to do any sort of evangelistic activity and so it was a real breakthrough that we received the necessary permission for this. Hundreds of students passed the exposition set up at the entrance to the library during the December exam period. The exposition, (developed by Juan Pablo, staff worker in the South of Spain) consisted of an eye-catching display of 30 photos, each representing and explaining a different area of society transformed by the influence of the Reformation. It was really encouraging for this group to be able to do this activity! Please pray for the students who passed by the exposition and stopped to read and think about it, as well as the conversations the GBU students have had with their friends as a result.
In Tarragona this semester we held our very first Mission Week, with evangelistic talks in the evening and Grill a Christian (a question and answer panel) in the afternoon. During the mornings we had a stand where students could answer the question of the day and also respond to “If God exists, what would you ask him?” by writing a question on a post-it note and sticking it on the banner. The students on the campus really engaged with the stand, although very few actually came along to the evangelistic talks. However, as this was the first time ever doing a four-day long outreach on campus, it did serve to set a good ground-work for the future. Although small in number the GBU group was encouraged to continue to reach out to the campus and are already thinking of future occasions to engage again with the campus.
Back in January I was invited along to the GBU Staff Workers retreat, though I am not yet a staff worker and so it was a privilege to be asked to go along. We had a great time of learning from Lynsey Brown, former General Secretary of IFES and it was great to see what God is doing in other parts of Spain and the impact of this student ministry.
Having worked now for a year and a half with the team here in Barcelona and also having gotten to know the rest of those who serve in other parts of the country I really feel part of the GBU team here in Spain and it is a privilege to be able to serve amongst them and learn from them. In terms of the future, in theory I should be finishing my time here in Barcelona as a Student Worker at the end of July but after much prayer and thought I have decided to stay on with GBU and ECM for another few years, this time as Staff Worker. I have already had an interview with the General Secretary of GBU and in April I have a final interview with the Executive Committee. God has led me to take this decision through timely conversations with different people and through prayer and thought and I am excited to take this step of faith and continue to serve Him in this ministry with university students in Spain.
If you would like more information about how to support the work that I am doing here, both now or as I start in September as Staff Worker, I would love to have you on board! If you would like to partner with me through financial support, whether by a one-off gift or through monthly donations, please contact me and I would love to send you more information. Thank you to those of you who are already supporting me financially, this is such a blessing to me and I really appreciate the sacrifice you are making as you invest in building God´s Kingdom here in Spain.
Lots of love,
Praise and prayer points:
- Praise God for various evangelistic events that have taken place across Barcelona and the impact on the lives of many students who attended.
- Pray for the GBU groups across Barcelona and ask God to bring lasting fruit in the lives of the students who heard the gospel in the last few months.
- Praise God for the team of staff in GBU Spain and please pray that God would raise up more workers as this ministry grows.
- Please pray for this decision of staff worker for the future. Please pray that God would provide all the finance that I need for this new role in GBU.