Milestones in Spain

By Tuesday, December 6, 2011 1 0

Our coworkers in Spain have many opportunities on the horizon to share Christ’s love with their friends and neighbors.

In children’s ministry, they are pleased to report that Friday Bible Clubs have an increase in attendance and that some of the new students are from English camp. We are praising God for this because He is affirming the hard work done for English camp by our team.

A three-day Family Life Conference resulted in two confessions of faith and one of those is interested in Baptism. Our teammates diligently follow up with people with whom they share the Gospel and they are bearing fruit!

Hosting friends for a showing of the movie Amazing Grace during Movie Night produced great discussion and conversation.

Finally, this month our coworkers will be hosting several of their friends in their home for coffee and cookies and a video series showing Spanish Christians sharing their testimonies. After the video, a local believer will also share how Christ transformed his or her life. Pray for this Evangelistic Campaign. Perhaps God will draw new believers to Himself just before Christmas.

The work is by no means complete. When I read of all the ways our teammates are sharing Christ, I am excited and thankful. But I notice something significant missing: youth. It’s not that our coworkers have neglected the youth. Not at all. The movie Amazing Grace is about a young person who follows God and changes the world. But these are the opportunities God has directed for our teammates, and they are being obedient to His direction.

We (Chris and I and our teammates in Spain) believe God is directing us to Spain to fill the spot for youth and college outreach. While we are raising support to get to Spain, we are also engaged in youth ministry in the states. God is teaching us how to do what He wants us to do in Spain. But we aren’t the only ones doing it here. We’re part of a team at our church that does youth ministry – not to mention the local community full of youth ministry resources.

We desire to meet the need in Alcalá. We envision growing a thriving youth ministry there that will in turn enable Spanish Christians to reach youth all over the country, without missionary help. Will you consider impacting young people in Spain for Christ by joining our monthly support team?

Watching God Work

By Saturday, October 8, 2011 1 0

Three times a week, Chris walks a brisk mile to our neighborhood gym, where he lifts weights and uses some machines to stay in shape and shed the stresses of life. He’s been working out for over a year, and the physical results are visible. (Funny story: last night he tried to bench press me but I am not strong enough to keep my body straight or my giggles contained and we ended up in a heap on the floor).

Chris has made a friend out of one of the kids who worked at the front desk, thanks to his car. Bret has been looking for a Subaru Impreza just like Chris’s for a long time. He want to buy one to soup up and work on, and potentially race. Turns out Chris’s car is highly sought after and will fetch a good price when we’re ready to sell. So, week after week, Bret would playfully ask Chris if he was looking to sell his sweet car, and a friendship was formed. One afternoon, Chris and Bret were hanging out and chatting about the future and life and Bret shared a dream he had one night: Bret has purchased the Subaru he was looking for, but as soon as he parked it in his driveway, it started to rust and fall apart, and further inspection revealed that not all the parts were authentic. Walking away, Bret took a frustrated glance over his shoulder at the car, just in time to see it broadsided and destroyed. With wisdom beyond his 19 years, Bret said that he thought the dream was a reminder that he had become obsessive about the car. If he was meant to have the car, he’d be able to get it easily.

Chris and I have been praying that God would direct Bret’s path into ministry, and possibly missions. So this weekend, we invited him to come to Missions Fest Seattle, a sort of trade show for ministry organizations. We think it may have been overwhelming to see so many options available for serving the Lord for a kid who is still discovering his passions. Before today, all he knew is that he loved cars and anything mechanical. Today we think he learned that God can use those passions and skills in ministry, but he still has no clue how.

A YWAM DTS , a short term construction trip, an internship with a mission specializing in using secular careers in ministry… the options are endless. We are praying that God would give Bret a heart for a specific need or people group and then provide a way to serve.

It is so neat to watch God work in the life of someone who has prayed with earnest for guidance.

The Day We Lost A Letter

By Monday, May 30, 2011 0 0

This weekend we were blessed to present at First Baptist Church of Bellevue, a church so close to ours we consider them a kind of “sister” church. We showed up really early, and as we were setting up our display board we discovered a missing ‘a.’ The board said, “The Duryees t king Christ to Spain.” Since we were so early and so close to home, we decided to drive back to find our ‘a.’ Fortunately my scrapbooking supplies included an extra, because the missing letter must be somewhere in Burlington.

It was a good reminder to relax and make the best of these sometimes stressful situations. We did things slightly differently for this church, presenting about Spain during the main service rather than Sunday school. I would say we were feeling some insecurities about the whole morning because we’d made more last minute changes to our presentation and we wanted to be a blessing to this church – not to mention the missing ‘a’! Chris and I each shared the short version of our testimony and then Chris shared about our plans in Spain to lead youth and college ministries.

FBC Bellevue was a wonderful host and very kind to us – they allayed all our insecurities with their welcome and the tremendous support they are already providing to the church plant in Spain. Many of the church members have even visited the Browns! But the best part of all was hearing from the youth leaders that the kids really seemed to be listening intently to Chris’s presentation and that they had questions after. One mom thanked me for sharing my testimony that two friends persistently invited me to church, even though I said no many times, and Chris for pointing out that although he grew up in the church, as her own teens had, God had spoken and moved in a mighty way in his life.

If teens will be impacted by our humble story and the way God has placed His call on our life, then we will gladly endure the insecurities that comes with presenting before large groups!

Three Moments

By Monday, December 27, 2010 0 0

Since 2005, Chris and I have had the privilege of serving alongside our church’s youth pastor as high school youth leaders. While it has always been a challenge and a joy to serve in this capacity, there are a few moments I can think of that mark the work God is constantly doing.

Moment #1

A few years ago, we attended a youth leaders conference with a particularly hard theme: hurting kids. After an intense day of learning, in detail, some of the horrible things our high schoolers endure and put themselves through, we went to lunch to debrief and pray. One of our prayers was this:

Lord, bring us the kids that other youth groups don’t want.

Looking back on that moment, which I venture to say really changed our perspectives as youth leaders, I marvel at just how God answered it. We don’t have an incredible testimony of God giving us “one such kid” (what does it even mean, anyway?) and how it miraculously made our youth group grow until we were bursting at the seams. Nope. As with many heartfelt, honest prayers, God heard what we really meant: use us however You want. Following that prayer, things changed. I am not entirely certain how, but as youth leaders we were more open, more loving, and more bold with our kids. The quantity of our youth ministry continued to fluctuate, as it seemingly always has, but the quality improved. I learned a lot about true ministry that day when I realized that I did want God to give us “hard” kids and all the challenges that came with serving them.

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Moment #2

Two summers ago we hosted an outreach series called GOSPEL Journey. We watched the series first with our regular kids, and then we took a HUGE RISK and watched it again, encouraging them to bring their friends. It worked, and at the end of the summer, one friend, Milton, for whom we had been praying for years, believed in Jesus as his savior. Another of our students described her faith as going from “this big” (imagine her holding her fingers close together to indicate “teeny tiny”) to “THIS BIG” (arms stretched out wide).

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Moment #3

As part of our personal response to the prayer we prayed, Chris and I began to think more deeply about ministering to our neighbors. We lived next door to a mom with two teenage daughters, and quickly formed a friendship with them. We’ve been bringing Amber to church with us for months now – she is one of the lights of my life and a constant reminder to me of what my life will be like in Spain. Amber is one of my first spiritual “daughters.”

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My favorite part of watching her grow in her faith is seeing her stand firm on the truth she knows to be true, that Jesus Christ died so that she could be forgiven for her sins, and grow in understanding just how deep and wide His love is for her.

Moment #4

December 12, 2010.

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