Thank you for your support throughout 2016. What a year it has been!
We have had highs and lows. We have had so many challenges this year we thank our Lord Jesus for all His help, support, strengthening, encouragement, care and love, and much more. YOU have been a great encouragement to us, at times we feel a million miles away and all alone. Of course, we´re not, but sometimes it feels so.
We celebrate that Jesus came to do ALL that He did, and He ensured our eternal salvation. He faced so many challenges that we never will, but as we walk with Him we certainly face situations that are not so easy. Spain is not far away, but it seems so many people have the opinion that countries farther afield are more interesting/needy.
We are so grateful that YOU have the vision from the Lord for this country of Spain
We rejoice when we see new people give their lives to Jesus and we desire to see them discipled. This year one challenge has been to establish more firmly our small Bible School. We´ve had a few (4/5) students for the past few years who have been growing steadily in their relationship with and service for the Lord.
This new term has seen more folks coming, approximately 25 now; and possibly some more will come after the Christmas break (from a Spanish speaking African fellowship near us, including the pastor). Those coming presently are folks from our fellowship and some from a Spanish Pentecostal Church in Benalmadena, including the pastor & wife, they meet at 9am every Sunday in our building before the morning meetings. The teaching in Spanish is led by our daughter Lucy, overseen by Sue, and the teaching in English is led by Sue.
We are in early days, but the Lord is calling His children to be serious in their relationship/service with Him. We are pleased with this growth; however, we have to meet the teaching and administrative challenges. All our courses are accredited by Universidad ICI and Global University, overseen by ICI instructor Susan Coley. The courses will provide a student with Biblical knowledge and skills needed for practical Christian service.
This past year we have been very blessed, in February we enjoyed John & Tracey Murfin bringing their special ministry to us. We were very encouraged as they ministered here.
We were surprised by 4 young people who arrived in Malaga as part of ‘Fusion’. They came with limited funds and a mission to reach students with the gospel. We received a phone call, and Howard ‘rescued’ them from the airport. We were truly blessed to have them with us. They slept in the church for the few days they were here, we have since installed a shower.
We joined many believers in Madrid as we marched to proclaim Jesus and stand in unity in prayer for this country. It was certainly a very hot day physically, and we trust it was a step forward as we unite together as the body of Christ in this country.
Summer this year was very hot, we registered some of the hottest days/months on record. We recorded 44C on June 11th ourselves. Phew!! AND the MOSQUITOS WERE BITING all summer. Ouch, scratch, scratch, scratch, even into October! How rude!
Howard and I had the pleasure of being at the Missions Conference, Selly Oak in July. It was great to put faces to names, although I ask you to be kind if I get your names wrong, I ought to take a photo of you, or see you all more often.
That week end Howard and I had the great privilege of sharing the word with the folks at Elim Chelmsford, a wonderful surprise. Then double the blessing Keith and Barbie came to us here in Spain in September. They were staying approx. 5 hours drive away, but they came and blessed our folks.
Elim Missions sent a small team out to us in August. Hannah & Sarah came, they worked hard in the harvest field here. We pray they were blessed and it helped them prepare for their next step forward in the Lords plan for their lives.
Back Here in Spain
Also, this year Howard and I have had the pleasure of being able to be in Girona. Howard is now the President of Elim in Spain; therefore a wonderful benefit is being able to see and share in the work the Lord is doing ‘up north’. We rejoice that their churches are growing and new plants are being planned. At this years leaders conference we were delighted to have David Campbell as our guest speaker. we also had leaders of two christian associations that have joined the "Federation Elim Pentecostal" (Elim España) and on the Sunday, 5 folks were presented as MIT´s (Minister In Training), we´re proud that our daughter Lucy was one.
Llanca a very pretty town on the coast, nearísh to Girona will be reached with the gospel 2017, and we pray a Catalan speaking church that will start on the 8th January, will grow and be established there.
Back here, in Benalmadena, we have altered some of our church activities. We pray we will see good fruit.
We’ve readjusted our parents/under 3yrs old group. It now has a more definite Christian content that is reinforced by a craft each week. Last term we saw how much God loved people, the people of Ninevah, Jonah, Noah, Us.
Instead of the Bring & Buy we have a Coffee Morning – we go out into the streets and invite folks to join us, for a coffee, prayer or if they have questions about our faith to come and ask. Last month we had a guy, Walter, and his dog; from Italy who were moving on to Portugal to find work, come in for a coffee. It was a very wet and cold weekend, yet he asked us for nothing. He came back the next day, Sunday, and left, showered, fed, with new clothes and shoes, and most importantly clothed in the righteousness of Christ after he received salvation. We rejoice.
In October, Bob and Edith MacDonald, missionaries in Romania came and shared their adventures with us. It was great to hear how Great is our God.
1st November, Alan Saunders & Mike Vickers came and shared their testimonies. They carry a 12 foot cross around Europe and were walking from Malaga to Gibraltar, the weather was stormy, but all was calm in the meeting. Our Lord met the needs of folks. 2 received salvation. Hallelujah.
Beyond the Church Walls
Every year Howard organises the ‘Hallelujah Festival’. An opportunity for the churches here both English speaking and Spanish speaking to join together to worship, praise and lift the name of Jesus Christ. This was year 8. The Lord’s presence was tangible, one testimony said, ‘it was electric’. Next year the plan is to have 3 festivals along the coast, a distance of more than 100 kms. from Almeria – Gibraltar.
All year we have been able to continue to produce our weekly radio and TV programmes. Our intention is to reach as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to encourage the believers to mature and to be in fellowship. We praise the Lord the broadcast costs are supported so we only have TV production costs, which are very minimal at the moment. Considering our TV program is on the gospel channel on Sky and reaches Europe, Scandinavia and parts of Asia it is amazing what God can do.
We’ve had all the usual Christmas celebrations and hope our folks have been blessed. Last Sunday we had our carol service, the electricity was off in our bloque so we thought we’d have to be acoustic, 2 mins into the meeting the electric came back on!! We were able to have hot choc, cream and marshmallows afterwards, so all was well. Yeah.
The electricity was off again on Monday.
This year we´ve had two carol meetings in bars. One at a mobile home site, full of English people (approx. 1.5 hrs drive from here), the other in Almunecar, the town where we are attempting to plant. Both places people experienced the presence of God. Some said they cried, some want to rekindle their relationship with God, others were interested to know more about the times we live in, so like the wise men 2,000 years ago they too will know about the King.
We need help to be able to really meet the people and spend the time with them that they need.
For us to be able to establish groups in Almunecar, Antequera and a Pentecostal church in Benidorm.
For financial help to keep the church in Benalmadena running. We have experienced a loss of support in this last quarter. Howard may need to increase his working nights. We hope that won´t have to happen because there is so much else to do and only so much energy. We know the Lord provides so we are not afraid.
Thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has given us.
For hundreds of souls to be saved in 2017
For wisdom when needed
For the ability to love all the people the Lord sends
We look forward to next year 2017 and to see all the Lord has planned for us all.
We have a Mission Team coming here from Scotland in February
Followed almost immediately by Alex and Jennie Harries from Elim Western Super Mare who are coming for a few weeks to help us and to lift some of the work load from our shoulders. We pray the mission team will be so successful that the church will be full every day with new believers. (No pressure guys)
Geoff and Carole Feasey will be with us in March – really looking forward to it.
More about the coleys
We will try to get to the UK for the Mission Conference followed by Conference in Leeds, not sure how we´ll do it.
God Bless You & Lots of love
Sue & Howard
A special thank you to every individual and church that is supporting the work here in Spain, you make more difference than you could possible imagine and we greatly appreciate you all. Thank you.