Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,
Allow me to introduce you to Jackson Wayne Velasquez! He was born August 23rd, five weeks earlier than was expected. Thankfully he didn’t have to spend a single moment in the incubator and was able to go home with us after only five days in the hospital. We praise the Lord because although this was Faviana’s fourth c-section, it was the smoothest and easiest of all. I am impressed with her strength and bravery. She had a difficult time the weeks before the delivery. She was instructed to go on bed rest, which was very frustrating for my active wife. But now she is as happy as ever, bonding with our fourth as if he were our first. It’s hard to believe we’re a family of six!
While Faviana was on bed rest, I had to learn new skills that I’d never needed before. I’m proud to say that I can now cook a few meals that my kids say are delicious. If you’ve ever tried Faviana’s cooking you will know how difficult it is to take her place. But of course, I can never take her place. She is unique. My precious companion and helper. I have a deeper appreciation for her. I want to do a better job loving and taking care of her.
In spite of the typical slower summer months in Spain, we have recently experienced growth in the Colmenar church. Some of this growth is from believers that are looking for a healthy, gospel-centered church. What causes some to dislike our church actually causes others to feel attracted to it. We are not a perfect church, but we do believe that God’s Word is sufficient to create and build up the people of God. We strive for God’s Word to be read, preached, prayed, sung, and seen (through the ordinances) in every service. We want to not only believe the gospel propositionally, but to live it out practically as believers.
One of the ways that we try to communicate God’s Word is through our congregational singing. Every week we carefully select music that is full of doctrinal truth and explains the gospel. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. We are commanded in Scripture to sing as a church. On an average Sunday we will sing up to six hymns. We often sing every stanza and encourage our members to meditate on the words and sing out. We fully expect unbelievers to learn the gospel through our singing and wonder why we sing. For over a year, for lack of musicians, we have had to sing a cappella. But no more. The Lord has blessed us with a piano player! Her name is Ruth Anne Saxton. She came to Spain to help teach at Life International School. She will be with us for a year. She is truly an answer to prayer. We love you and appreciate your faithful prayers and support. God bless.