May 2020 Velasquez Family Update

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Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

Seventy-two days have passed since the national emergency was declared in Spain and the country is slowly restarting its economic and social life. Madrid has taken a little longer than other Spanish communities to move towards the new normal, but as of May 25 we are in phase 1 of the quarantine de-escalation process, which means that we can now take walks with our whole family, travel throughout the entire province of Madrid, and even gather with extended family (up to 10 people in total). But what we are the most excited about is the opportunity to gather physically as a church, which we will do once again on Sunday, June 6. It will certainly be different, as we will only be able to fill up our building to 30% of its capacity, but we know it will be special nonetheless. 

So, how has daily life looked like for our church during this time of social distancing? Thankfully, none of our church members have lost their jobs and most of them have continued working from home. So our people have stayed busy, with the added challenge of balancing work and homeschooling. Every day I send out a couple chapters of the Bible for all of us to read together and then we share what has impacted us the most from the reading. This has helped us to remain disciplined in Scripture reading, but also it has given us a sense of community and togetherness even as we are physically apart. On Tuesdays, we are studying a book together and on Wednesdays we have our prayer meeting. All of this happens via zoom of course. Faviana has also taken the initiative to lead a bible study for the women, which has been a blessing and encouragement to our ladies. What has thrilled our hearts is that all of our members are still committed to their local church. One evidence of that is that our giving has remained the same during the quarantine as it was before. Praise the Lord!

Around 27,000 souls have passed on to eternity because of COVID-19 here in Spain alone. What a sobering reminder of the fragility of life, but also of the importance of preaching the gospel and of the central place that local, gospel-centered churches must have in Spain! God has often used trying times to prepare a people to turn to Christ. We look forward to having our friends and neighbors over, as soon as we are allowed to, to share a meal together and tell them of the good news of Christ. We look forward to training an army of evangelists equipped to teach the gospel. We look forward to preparing and ordaining men for the ministry. We look forward to seeing more evangelistic bible studies organized in neighboring towns. I would like to end by expressing my deep gratitude for your continued support during these trying times, that I know have not been easy on any of our churches. Not only have we seen our support maintained, but we have also had two supporting church raise our support, bringing our support level up to 89%. The Lord has been so good to us. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you in that way.

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