Winter 2018 … Embracing the Now

Greetings from Barcelona!

And now I have it all—and keep getting more! (Philippians 4:18)

Six weeks ago, we walked through the doors of our new language classroom. Yesterday, hugs were exchanged and tears were shed as some said “Good Bye,” ready to return to their home country. Most of these friends, including Spaniards, have never met a Christ follower. We count it an honor to represent Christ to them not only as we conjugated verbs (mind-melter…), but also as we shared conversations in restaurants and coffee shops. Rather than looking at language learning as a goal for future work, we have seen it as a moment God’s given us to love people who are near us now. God is reminding us to be where we are, embracing the “now” fully; and that can be tough. Too often, we can be tempted to live in the past and be overly nostalgic, wishing life was the way it used to be. On the opposite side, we can be overly fixated on what we believe is waiting down the road in a year or more. Neither approach is living in the now.

To be where you are demands focused attention to the priorities of your life now:

  1. to nurture a vibrant relationship with Jesus, and
  2. to deeply love those closest to you.

Growing in both of these areas will help keep you living in the now. Whether you find yourself looking forward to the future or back to the past, we invite you to join with us on this journey of living in and enjoying the now. Every day is a beautiful surprise!

“A Peak at Our NORMAL Week”

On Sundays at ICB (International Church of Barcelona), Mark co-teaches the Basic Discipleship Course for new believers and seekers while Heather is teaching in the Children’s Ministry. Together, we lead a Couples Community Group in our apartment on Tuesday nights. We also spend time mentoring/looking after a few of the young college students here.

The majority of our time is spent in language learning where we give 7-8 hours a day in the classroom and at home from Monday-Friday. We are gaining competency and hope to have a good handle on Spanish by the end of the summer. The friendships we’ve developed in our classroom, with students and teachers, have become incredibly special to us. Not only have we learned a lot about European culture, we’ve also regularly shared the hope we have in Christ. They continually ask us questions about our beliefs and always want to know more. Your prayers are making a difference!

Ramping Up

In the last two months, we have been selectively ramping up our connections. There are so many good things that we could be a part of but our prayer is that we will give ourselves to the best things, the God things. Some of our ministry highlights include (pictured from top to bottom) #1 and #2) sharing our lives with new friends from our language class, many of which have never met a Christ follower, #3) leading a Couples Community Group every Tuesday night in our home, and #4) Christmas outreach in front of the University of Barcelona.

Family Visits

We are so grateful to have had both our girls, Ashley and Allie, and Heather’s brother, Will, come visit us within our first couple of months of arriving in Barcelona. Our families are a critical part of our support structure and we thank God for them and for the time we can spend together.

We Need Your Prayers … Here’s How…

1. For our ministry at ICB Spain (the local international church). We continue to grow in our understanding of internationals and ministry. Pray for us as we disciple young marrieds, new believers, and children.

2. For our language learning. We invest 7-8 hours per day in language learning. Pray we will have both capacity and endurance through all the challenges.

3. For many people we have, and will develop friendships with. Many of them have never met a Christ-follower or even attended a Christ-centered Church. We love hearing their stories, building friendships, and introducing them to Jesus.

4. For the upcoming church plant in Girona. Pray for the leadership team to have the mind of Christ, for favor with the local government, and for the people of Girona to have a hunger for God.

5. For our finances. Several partnering churches and individuals have recently told us they are unable to continue their monthly support. We are grateful for their giving. Please pray with us for God’s provision.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Our mailing address is:

Mark and Heather McKinstry, 425 W. Willow Court #153, Fox Point, WI 53217

AGWM Account #2535623

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