Feed on
Waiting for lunch in the medina (city center) of Fes.

Waiting for lunch in the medina (city center) of Fes.

Thank you for your prayers for our ministry in Europe and Africa.

Following is an abbreviated report.

— Answered Prayer

The day we flew to Spain we requested urgent prayer for a missed FedEx delivery of training materials we were to bring with us. That morning FedEx agreed to hold the box for our pickup at their office, which would have involved an hour detour for us. Then they said the books accidentally got on the truck with no way for us to get them. We finally left  this in God’s hands and headed for the airport.

Then moments after we left home FedEx reached us, and a 5-minute detour connected us with the driver and the box! (The friend we carried these books to in Spain is the same one who brought my computer to Greece last year after I left it in a rental car at the Denver airport!)

Praise God with us for His faithful answers to prayer!

— First Leg in Spain

Our first three weeks in Spain was a whirlwind as we worked with two short-term teams from the U.S. (one Hispanic U.S. immigrants). On the ground long-term are already several expatriates collaborating to launch disciple-making movements in Spain, representing Greater Europe Mission (GEM) and Wheaton Bible Church, a non-denominational church, and the Assemblies of God. Should God ever open the door, we would love to be part of a well-informed front-line effort such as this.

We also had a great week interacting with Fouad Masri, founder of Crescent Project, which provides excellent orientation for sharing the Gospel with Muslims in a respectful and loving way. Fouad came to provide training for more than a dozen ministries working in Spain, and the second team came with him.

Pray with us for lasting fruit

– in Spain through the team on the ground,
– in Spain and the U.S. through those who came to learn and help, and
– throughout the world through Crescent Project.

— Morocco before and during Ramadan

This past Friday our family flew to Marrakech for 3 nights, where the temperature rose to 50C (122F) before we left. From there we traveled by train for 2 nights in Fes and two more in Tangier, where we are now. Throughout Morocco we have found friendly, helpful people, a rich history, and a few Muslims with enough English to enjoy “Any-3 conversation” (including a clear gospel presentation without tension or awkwardness).

Pray with us for the continuing work of God’s Spirit in those we have shared the Gospel with here: Rashid and Ali, Balil, Sala, Muhammad, and Omar. (Omar is Muslim, but his wife is a Southern Baptist from Savanna, GA who works as a translator for the U.N. He requested 10,000 copies of the Bible to give out in Berber villages. Sala is a city planner who had tried reading Arabic and French versions of the Bible but found them both too difficult to understand. He was delighted to learn about Bible.is, which offers free access to 100s of languages. Hopefully one of them will speak his heart language adequately.)

A few years ago the government expelled all registered missionaries, but some are still finding creative opportunities to be here through tourism, business or study. The sight from our train travels of 1,000 minarets stretching across the horizon has stirred additional thoughts about how contemporary mission insights and experiences can be adapted to accelerate the spread of the Gospel throughout the house of Islam. Yesterday was the first of 30 days of Muslim day-time fasting called Ramadan.

Pray with us and many others (especially this month) for Muslims to have dreams and visions of Jesus, for Muslims to read what they consider to be “the rest of God’s word,” and for God to raise up laborers to share the good news with them.

— Second Leg in Spain

Next week we head to the coast of Spain for some overdue relaxation and debriefing as a family. Then on 7/20 we return for another whirlwind time time of ministry, joined this time by leaders from GEM’s ministry throughout Europe and three church teams with up to 50 total participants.

Pray for God to refresh and prepare us for more fruitful interaction with leaders and learners in this next period in Spain.

— Mission Frontiers (MF) on Movements and Translation

Before coming to Spain I gathered and edited the main content for the MF which went on-line July 1st. This issue was aimed at motivating and equipping local Christians to start disciple-making movements among their Muslim neighbors. This has sensitized me to the attack on Wycliffe over the past couple of years, through which nearly 2,000 translations have suffered, and the variety of barriers which remain to making accurate and readable translations available to a number of large language groups. I am now in conversation with leaders of Wycliffe and other translation efforts about producing an issue of MF aimed at stimulating global collaboration for more rapid progress in translation to aid in bringing new movements to maturity in Christ.

Pray for God to accelerate the availability of accurate and readable translations for everyone, especially in major language groups and religious blocs.

— More Any-3 Impact

Just before this trip I gave copies of Any-3 to a variety of friends and mission leaders. One wrote back: “I was very encouraged by the book, and had an excellent conversation about Jesus with Hussain, the Kurdish owner of the pizzeria in my town. He listened very carefully when I spoke about salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice. The book was incredibly encouraging.”

Step one in Any-3 is “Get Connected” by building rapport.

Step two is “Get to God” by asking a person about their religion.

Step three is “Get to Lostness” by asking questions about how they atone for the wrongs they do, leading them to express their lack of assurance about what will happen when they die. (This creates a non-confrontational, conversational context for Step Four.)

Step four: “Get to the Gospel.” We lead into this by asking, “Can I tell you why I know what will happen to me when I die?,” then present the Gospel in a culturally relevant way, concluding with our testimony of how God has changed our own life. (Visit our ministry site for more about Any-3 and the Muslim-relevant Gospel presentation we are adapting.)

Step five is “Get to a Decision” by asking “Does this make sense?” and “Do you believe this?” This provides helpful information about how the Lord is working in a person’s life, leading often to either immediate fruit or Bible study together.

Pray for Any-3 to spread widely, and help many believers learn to enjoy guiding conversations to a clear Gospel presentation.

— Engaging National Churches in Spain

The Any-3 step of “Getting to God” has helped open other doors. In Spain we met a born-again Filipino Christian whose pastor wants help to train his 80 members to share effectively with Muslims. He has invited us to provide two hours of training for his English-speaking Filipino congregation on July 21st: one hour before the service and another during the 3-hour service (that will be 7:00am and 8:30am Pacific Time on 7/21). Rather than do this training myself, I am involving long-term workers here who can provide continuing coaching after I am gone.

Pray for God’s spirit to empower those who receive this training, and those who provide it. Pray also that this will be just the first of many local Spanish churches to catch a vision for launching disciple-making movements among their Muslim neighbors.

— Other Matters for Prayer

– Jackie’s mom: We had a wonderful time with Jackie’s mom the day we flew to Spain. She was interactive and in good spirits. However in the past few days she has stopped eating on her own and is unresponsive in conversation. Pray for God’s grace for Jackie, her sister Joanne, and their mom Eva.

– Our Health: Jackie developed a sore throat on our flight to Spain, but recovered swiftly. Joelle had a mild lung infection after our flight to Morocco, but also recovered quickly. I had an intense but brief bout of food poisoning in Fes, but am almost fully recovered. Thank you for your continued prayers for our health.

– Our Faith: Before we left, God provided just enough funds to cover our planned expenses by draining all our normal reserves. Two generous electronic gifts since our departure encouraged us and relieved some of our temptation to worry, but unplanned expenses have more than consumed these. Please pray that God will increase our faith and give us victory over the temptation to worry, and for God’s provision in whatever way and timing will bring Him the greatest glory.

Thanks again for your prayers. Let us know how we can pray for you!


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