Wednesday, September 19, 2012 comes fall!

Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers through the summer and into this new season of fall! We are so full of God's richest blessings and are just bursting with thankfulness. Here's a quick summary with photos:

We celebrated Father's Day in June with a special tribute and prayer of dedication for all the fathers.

Some of the preschool class on Father's Day

The school age class giving a special dedication to fathers
We had the privilege of hosting a musical group on tour from Rio Grande Bible Institute. They blessed our church with an amazing concert, and then as a family we enjoyed some time with them as we hosted them in our home.

The women had an absolute blast meeting for coffee every other week at a nearby restaurant. Here are most of them during the last coffee get together before the summer hit.

The littlest ones are now consistent members in the nursery, and even they are learning about God's love for them on Sundays! Many thanks to our faithful nursery teacher who gives of her time every week.

With less rain, more sun, and warmer temperatures we returned to our park potlucks! Always a favorite time for the congregation, we love to spend the day in fellowship and sports.

You'll just have to imagine the amazing smells coming from that grill in the background! Latinos know how to cook the best food ever!!

We're not sure who loved the park potlucks more - the adults or the children!

"Now Samuelito, if you want to be a good pastor, it all starts with knowing how to play soccer..."

The men have some "serious fun" when they play soccer!
The summer also allows us to have special one-on-one time with other families. We really cherish that time as we grow our friendships, and encourage one other towards Christ.

Karla is a dear woman with a beautiful servant's heart!

In August we welcomed our newest member, Isabella! She is the daughter of the first couple that got married in our congregation over three years ago.

Also in August we enjoyed a family day-camp at Lewisville Park just a few minutes north. Activities included games for children, competitive family games, worship and a Bible devotional, soccer (of course!), volleyball, splashing in the ice-cold river, and the most delicious food you could ever imagine. And finally at the end of summer, a small group got together to climb to the top of Multnomah Falls:

As you can see from this pictorial review of summer, God has continued blessing the Spanish ministry at Evergreen Bible - raising up leaders, deepening the discipleship, and growing a true family bond. Small groups decided to continue to meet through the summer, so Jose has taught every Monday and Friday nights in different homes, and the men get together every Sunday evening to play soccer. Sunday School remains constant at an average of 10-15 preschoolers and 15+ school age children. We give God glory for bringing forward two gifted teachers who have committed to the preschool class for the rest of the year.

Looking at the new school year ahead, we anticipate further growth - not necessarily in numbers, but a "downward growth" to build a solid foundation and encourage strong roots in the leadership. In the next month, we will put on a Sunday School teacher's training workshop, encourage the families' involvement in the AWANA club at Evergreen, rebuild the youth ministry, and return to the monthly church potluck dinners, just to name a few.

In personal news: I cannot express adequately in words our humble gratitude to the Lord for providing for us financially over the summer. Despite the 50% income, our needs were provided for over and above the minimum! On top of that, we were even able to enjoy some family vacation time, again by God's provision through gracious friends and other family members. Three weeks ago Jose began working at night again, this time with a man from the Spanish congregation. Thankfully the work schedule is flexible, allowing Jose to join the family for dinner, and able to keep up with Bible study teaching. We are currently waiting to hear if Jose will be officially offered a position in the Vancouver School far it looks very promising! Please add this to your prayers! Having a school schedule would be ideal in order to keep up with ministry needs and maintain a sufficient income.

Will you pray for the Spanish ministry and for us?

  • Please pray for leadership development - that Jose would receive the pastoral support that he needs
  • Pray for the Sunday School teachers and other leaders - for stamina, more helpers, and as they teach the children God's Word, for the rebuilding of the youth ministry
  • Please pray for a difficult situation that we have been battling
  • And we ask prayer for our family and our marriage as we continue to struggle to put into practice what our hearts and our heads tell us from the study of the Word
If you are ever in the area, please come visit! We'd love to have you join us in a unique and exciting Spanish worship service, or come to our home for a meal and coffee - always coffee! And if you are reading from far away, we would love to stay in touch with you. Feel free to contact us for any questions, prayer requests, recipes, good jokes....

God bless your fall season!

With love, the Alvarez family