Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summing up Summer!

Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for the Spanish ministry at Evergreen Bible Church. We have felt your prayers and have sure needed them too!
Playing volleyball

Grilling burgers in the park
Summer was so much fun, with multiple park outings and plenty of family gatherings. We love being part of a culture that thrives on personal relationships and time spent together! I think everybody could use a little more of that, don't you think? The potlucks and park days gave many opportunities to get to know one another better and to encourage and lift each other up.

Kadalin having fun on the swings
As mentioned last time, the Spanish ministry outgrew the upstairs youth room. We've been having an average of 70 or more in attendance each week, and those last weeks upstairs were literally standing room only! With this came the growing pains of having to move our worship time from the nice and comfortable 11 a.m. in the cozy upstairs room to the challenging hour of 1:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary. We've been meeting at this new time and place for three weeks now, and praise the Lord, so far it's going great! Though sadly we had to say goodbye to some who moved away during the summer, we have yet to lose a family due to the schedule change. Spanish Sunday School has also been going strong with more than 20 children each week. So far we have been able to rotate teachers, but we realize this is only a temporary solution. We would like to be able to have two classes in order to separate the children by age group, and we are praying about how we can achieve that in the near future.

At the end of July, right before our move to a new time, we had the amazing opportunity to share with Evergreen Bible in the first-ever EBC bilingual service. All of the Spanish ministry members mixed with the EBC attenders to enjoy one combined service. Spanish and English worship songs were belted out with tongue-twisting gusto, led by our pastor and by Spanish ministry's worship leader. It was beautiful. Here is a short video clip that slightly captures how fun it was:

Jose was given the opportunity to preach, and I (Ruth) translated. It was quite a stretch for us, believe it or not, as we hadn't experienced a situation like that since before we were married! Jose, a very gifted teacher, shared about the faith of Rahab as mentioned in Hebrews 11, and we trust that others were blessed despite a few glitches in translation and lack of rehearsal. If you'd like to hear it, you can find it here on Evergreen Bible's page.

Little Derek having a blast at Family Camp

In August a few of the Spanish service members attended Evergreen's annual Family Camp. We had hoped for a stronger response, but it was simply too difficult for everyone to get time off work and to find enough funds to go along.  The time we did share with those who went to the camp was a true blessing and completely worth it.

Family Camp
Now we're saddling up and getting ready to ride the oncoming wave of fall and the return to school schedules. I (Ruth) won't be working for a while, as far as we know, so I plan to dedicate more time and efforts to the Spanish ministry in whatever way I am able. Jose will start teaching Spanish at the private Chrisitan high school for a fifth year, and will continue the night job as always. He looks forward to ministering to the many new faces at church in Spanish ministry and will continue preaching, discipling, and everything else that a pastor is so good at doing!

How to pray for us:
* pray that the needs will be met of all the new and dear ones who have joined us this year in Spanish ministry...each of them needs individual time, attention, and encouragement in their walk with the Lord
* pray for Jose, that God might see fit, after five years, to give some relief from a strenuous work schedule, and to allow him to dedicate the time so desperately needed to Spanish ministry
* pray as we all adjust to the new worship service time and location
* please pray for our family, that God would be the center of our marriage and our home.