Spain, 2005

Our dear All,


We have just returned from a weekend in the south of Spain at a village called Segorbe, about 350 kms from Barcelona where there has been a new church formed this year.  Saturday morning John, Mark, Theresa, and I left Barcelona.  Because of the holiday traffic, it took us a lot longer than usual to arrive as there were lots of traffic jams.  This time of the year there are a lot of people who come down from France, Germany, Holland to go to the beach for a holiday.  There are 44 million inhabitants living in Spain but in the year there are 50 million visitors come so you can see how the roads get crowded.  Also what adds to this is the amount of cars that come from Morocco and go up to Europe to buy goods cheap and then go home to sell them.  Lots of cars have great loads on the roof taking things back, so they are also on the roads.  We thought there were only petrol queues in Zimbabwe but now we also found them in Spain.  We had to wait for nearly 20 minutes to get fuel on the way down but at least we did get fuel.  We went to the batch that is rented in the village.  It is an old home done up which has 3 bedrooms and a nice room for the meetings so that is where the meeting is at present.  The beginning of this mission began 7 years ago when John and Isidro were there giving out invitation cards.  The man, Manolo, talked to them and began coming to the meetings with his wife and two children, a boy and a girl.  After that year, there were sisters came the next year.  They came all that year, however they began to draw back.  After that year the workers had to leave them.  Through the past years, just had occasional contact by phone.  Then, 18 months ago, Manolo phoned to say that they had not been to the church for several months and now they have nothing.  They realized that they know nothing and are nothing.  This was music to John’s ears.  They asked if they could have meetings again.  In the beginning, there were just occasional meetings held there.  At the beginning of the mission year here in September last year, the mission began with Theresa and Angeles.  They have had meetings there on the weekends and then on Monday went down south where there is other interest till Thursday and then have another meeting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with these folks.

Then the Father and Son made their choice.  A fellowship meeting was started in the batch for them.  On Friday night, they have a study meeting, Sunday morning a meeting and a gospel meeting in the afternoon.  The Sisters were having 11 meetings the one week and 6 meetings the following week.  The week they were away, they would drive 1500 kms as well as all the meetings.  There was the driving as the field is large and so much interest.

So then another man who knew Manolo who is 78 was told of the meetings.  He also came.  In April this year, he made his choice.  Now there are 3 to take part in the meeting.  Last Thursday evening was the first time that these babes had the fellowship study meeting on their own, as the workers came to preps.  They said that the meeting went well but the singing was poor!!!!

So we had a gospel meeting in the home of Manolo Saturday evening.  The wife of Manolo and daughter were in the meeting.  It would seem that they also are not far away from making their choice either.  The old man and his wife were there.  Also some others, so there is hope of others being helped in this new area.  Sunday morning we had the morning meeting in the batch, which was very helpful.  So nice to see the spirit that these men have received showing through in their testimony.  John spoke of the time that God said to his people, "You have journeyed around this mountain long enough, now go northward."  He did not say that they had not been journeying but they had been going round and round, making no progress.  There are two mountains:  one is when Jesus spoke of praying in faith and the mountain would be removed and it was like this when the people gathered in front of the red sea.  It was like a great mountain, but as Moses prayed the mountain was removed.  Tut there are other mountains that are not going to be removed.  We just have to leave them and go forward.  Leave them as we cannot do anything about them.  We cannot conquer them so we have to leave them behind and journey forward.  After the meeting, the son, Manuel, took us out to see his fields.  They are orchadists, growing mainly persimmons, but also have peaches which they are picking right now.  They also have tomatoes and beans growing.  After this lunch at the home of Manolo, he told us that long before he made his choice he could see that Television is no good.  The daughter also said that it breaks up communication in families.  They are so glad that they do not have it, as they do not want the world in their home.  They also spoke of the division it has brought to their family as Family ties are so strong in Spain.  It is not easy to go against your family, to be different.  Then Theresa told us that when Manolo professed, he asked the workers that if they saw anything in his life that was not right to please let him know as he wants to learn.  He is 55, a nice mark to see, so childlike.

Then, the gospel meeting in the afternoon at 5.00 where Mark and John spoke so helpfully about Hebrews 6.  Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, not leaving the foundation as that remains but going on to perfection, to maturity.  It speaks of 7 doctrines that we go on from.  Repentance is first.  There can be no beginning without repentance.  As we go on, we continue to repent as no one can go through even a day without having something to repent from.  Spoke of Job that God had done so much sifting in his life and at the end could repent in dust and ashes.  Then there are dead works, not bad works but dead works.  These things that have no life to them but is only of the self life.  We need faith every day to continue as we walk by faith.  Then the doctrine of baptisms, not single but plural as there are two baptisms:  the first is when we receive the holy spirit as the result of the dying life and then we are qualified to have the second a baptism of water.  Unless we are alive after receiving new life, we cannot have the power to bury the old life with all its dead deeds.  Laying on of hands meaning that it is more than a ceremony.  It is a reality, like when Paul placed his hands on Timothy.  He had first had his hands laid upon him by the Lord and there was an evidence of that.  Paul could use him in the work.  God can use us also.  It is God first that places his touch on our lives.  The resurrection of the dead:  it is not in the next life that we experience this but, as we are willing to die, we have this resurrection now of newness of life.  Eternal judgment and there is a judgment:  we hear so much of the love of God, the mercy of God, the kindness of God.  That is right, but we also need to remember that there is also the severity of God.  We do not need to fear the judgment when we live in His will now.

After the meeting we returned back to Barcelona.  After a very nice time away, it is so nice seeing the work of God in yielded lives.  The work of God in creation is wonderful, but more wonderful is this work of recreation in lives.  In Barcelona, there had been a meeting with all the folk in Barcelona coming out to the grounds after the evening study meeting in the various homes.  All coming out to the grounds for a meal of bread and cheese, etc.  John gets a person from the City to tell their testimony.  Then, John gets one of the visitors to tell theirs so they had one of the elders last night.  Judy Foyle tell hers, which we missed as we were driving back.  On the way back, John spoke of the 7 times in the scriptures where it says “weeping & gnashing of teeth."  He says it would be a good study for us as we read that in every situation the people thought they were right, thought they were right with God, and that they were on the inside.  Judgment day came and revealed that they were wrong.  This cause the weeping and the gnashing, coming now to the understanding that what they thought they had they did not have.  It is a warning to us to not be complacent, thinking that we are saved and not be saved.  The tares among the wheat thought they were saved.  They looked the same as the other friends but time revealed that they did not have it.

Now we are back at preps this morning.  A good bit of the work is now done.  Today, we expect the nine workers that have been preparing in Madrid to arrive so we will be a bigger staff.  The morning reads through Peter have been so helpful and encouraging.  So nice to see that Peter was able to do what Jesus said he would be able to do when he was converted to strengthen the brethren as you see this all through his letters.  This morning we had the 2 Peter 2 where we read of false prophets among us in the past and now warning of false teachers coming in the future from among us.  The following signs that would show that they had gone out from us, Verse 19:  they promise liberty but it is only a false freedom.  This is what we hear from those how have gone out from us:  we have never been so happy.  They are so free but a false freedom.  John spoke that Peter was concerned about the false doctrine coming in amongst us today:  the doctrine of grace and mercy that only caters to the flesh.  To have life without dying is impossible.  He spoke of Lot, that he vexed his soul from day to day.  This was because of his own wrong choice.  Abraham was not vexing his soul, but was having fellowship with God.  Our wrong choices will only make it difficult for us.  We may be saved but have a difficult time.  Then, all that we have lived for will go up in smoke.  Lot went into Sodom as a Prince, having so much but went out as a fugitive with nothing.  Paul says that if we build with wood, hay, and stubble, the fire will reveal it one day.  Although our souls may be saved, we will have nothing laid up for eternity.

 

With all good wishes and love, 

Bram