“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
(Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
Change is a Part of Life
Change is never easy; that’s the understatement of the year! Sometimes we chose change and sometimes change choses us. Change has been a key word in our life over the last five years. We are learning to embrace change; to let go of a known past and embrace an unknown future. Some of the changes in our lives on mission include empty nesting, leaving long time jobs, moving away from family and friends, stepping out of our comforts of country, culture, and language, and even transitioning to all of the complex changes that come with a pandemic. Whatever the reason, one thing is sure, change is a constant, it’s a part of life for all of us and it’s not easy.
Change Makes Space for Something New
All of the changes that God has brought our way have come with an invitation to know Him and trust Him more, to make space for something new. In our journey, we have had to trust Him in ways we’ve never had to in the past. And we continue to press in, through the ups and downs, to allow Him to transform us and fill us with His heart and mind. At times, we have wrestled to trust Him with this call to mission life in Spain, seeing so much good in the past and so much unknown in the future. It’s a tension that we try to continually embrace. It is painful, but it makes space in our lives for God to do what we believe He wants to do in us and through us. We all make space for something new when we embrace the change that comes with Christ’s invitation to step into His plans for lives. What change is happening in your life? What future is Christ inviting you into? In Him, you can do this!
Love is Fuel to Help Us Move Forward
One thing we’ve learned: love fuels our hearts to press ahead into the new. It was almost 25 years ago when we became parents; that was a big change. The nurse handed us our first child at St. Ritas Hospital in Lima, OH and said it was time for us to go home. We were scared. We were concerned. We could barely take care of ourselves and now we had a little life to care for too! We had no experience with this parenting thing but what we did have was love. We loved that little girl and that love would be the fuel to move us to learn when we didn’t know, try again when we made mistakes, pray every day for God’s help, and to never, ever give up. We felt this again when our family changed from 3 to 4 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Life already felt so full. How would we find the space for another? When our second child came and we held her in our arms, our hearts melted with love and the question of “How” no longer mattered or even made sense.
In 2019, when we met our mission leaders in Malaga, they asked us what we sensed God was up to as we walked and prayed in the streets and interacted with people in the city. I shared some of the visions and dreams that the Lord was showing me – typical guy – LOL. And then Heather spoke up, and I loved what she shared with tears in her eyes. She told the story of our two baby girls being handed to us and simply said, “This is how I feel. I don’t exactly know how we are going to do this but I do know that I love these people.” We thank God for the love He has given us for our calling. We pray His love would always capture us, that we would surrender to Him and reflect His love to everyone around us; each other, family, team, church, neighbors, and our city.
Perceiving Every Step by Celebrating Wins
October 2018 – God opens the door for us to pant an International Church in Malaga
December 2018 – Heather graduates B1 Spanish and Mark graduates B2 Spanish
December 2019 – Our first team members commit to join the church plant team
June 2020 – Return to the US to develop more partnerships for the plant
August 2020 – Second family joins the church plant team
September 2020 – First team meeting for the staff of the International Church of Malaga
March 2021 – Third family joins the church plant team
We CELEBRATE each of these milestones understanding that they point to a God of love who has done great things and is NOW AT WORK in Malaga in ways that we cannot see with our natural eyes!!! WE CELEBRATE YOU!
We cannot do this alone. The Scriptures are clear that mission workers like us cannot go unless they are sent. Thank you for sending us! Your faithful giving, praying, and encouragement mean the world to us and will make an incredible difference in this effort. Thank you for saying “Yes” to God and stepping into this work with us.
Our Current Financial Need
$1100 in new monthly support
$20,000 for streaming equipment for the church
$35,000 for sound and video equipment for the church
Would you dare to believe with us that these needs would be met? At this very moment, would you pray for us, for the team, and for the city? Pray for favor as we travel and share in church and with individuals all over the nation. Once these needs are met, we will be released for return to Spain and officially launch the International Church of Malaga.
International Church Plant … Malaga, Spain
According to a recent demographic study in Spain, from 2017-2019, Malaga has attracted the third most international businesses, just behind Barcelona and Madrid. This growing city numbers 600,000+ people with a greater metro area population of 1.7 million. There are just a handful of Christian churches; an injustice that we believe must be rectified. Everyone, everywhere deserves an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please join with us in praying for Malaga and for the wonderful people who live there.