To our dear family, church family and friends,
December 2008 - January 2009
Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support. It has been an exciting past two months as we and the folks here in Centro Bíblico Bautista, Gijón have seen spiritual battles, but have also seen God giving victory. There is an excitement about growing in the Lord and serving Him. The Great Commission teaches us to reach the lost for Christ, and assembled as a local church, teach them to serve Christ by keeping His commandments (Matthew 28:18-20). While we strive in evangelism, we are praying that we can build this core of believers into committed members of a local church and that they will continue evangelizing Gijón.
We have consistently had an average of 15 meeting together for Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday evening services. That is a praise since in the past we would be half that number and those who would come for Sunday morning services would be different from those who would come in the evening, and up to this point we never really had a consistent attendance on Wednesday evenings. Folks are becoming faithful!
Joe Norris, of Bible Baptist Church, Matthews, NC, who is working temporarily here in Gijón, has been praying with me and Chris, the Englishman, for three more faithful men for this work. God has brought Amos, a mature born again believer with a strong testimony who left his Brethren church years ago because it brought in neo-evangelicalism. He is faithful, involved, and in unity with us in doctrine and practice. Xavier, a former member of the Baptist church where Jose Manuel resigned as pastor because of its liberal hierarchy, has been in our services as well. Pray he will grow in faithfulness. And Joseph´s football coach, Jesús Cosie returned for a visit in our services. Pray for his salvation. Also, nearly every week we have had new couples visit our preaching services. Pray with us that God will bring more men and their families to serve as we plant this church.
Danielle has been working closely with Agustina in encouraging the ladies. Thank you for praying for María Elena. She has really gone through struggles, but we praise the Lord for her tenderness a couple of weeks ago as she has made decisions to grow personally. Diana has made an apparent profession of faith and has been in services. Pray that God will continue to give her understanding of the Gospel. Susanna has resisted the discouragement of physical problems and her unsaved family, and Christ´s strength has been evident in her as she faithfully serves with joy.
Continue to pray for Jose Manuel and Agustina. Having experience in the ministry in Asturias, they have become a big part of the church planting work here in Gijón. Their convictions on Baptist distinctives and separation are strengthening and we trust God will use them in a great way here in the long run. Above all, pray that the faithfulness and warm spirit among all the folks in this work will remain and grow so that God would be glorified in Christ Jesus through a local New Testament Baptist church in Gijón (Ephesians 3:21).
Yours for Christ´s Great Commission,
The Contreras family -
Your Baptist church planting missionaries to Gijón, Spain
Joseph, Danielle, Isaiah, Andrew, and Michael