Con nueva bendición;
inflama el fuego de tu amor
en todo corazón.
Revive us Lord, with a new blessing, set on fire your love in each heart is the rendition above in Spanish. The hymn has been adapted in English by several hymn writers (Fanny Crosby & Albert Midlane), but in essence is asking, like a prayer, to our sovereign God to intervene in His church and revive His people. That was the echo in our hearts at the end of our Conference Passion for the Gospel. We have been looking forward to meeting together to hear how God had intervened in the past, we looked at the Biblical record and also at the historical record where God visited His people. Rev Sugel Michelén spoke with conviction of the immense necessity of such a work of God. We had the largest gathering so far in our history of Passion for the Gospel, nearly 650 people came together from near and afar. Sadly, Spain has never experienced a visitation from God, so it was particularly poignant to end up in prayer and singing this song. Please pray for a new blessing, and for the churches here in Valencia and throughout Spain, that we may be saturated by God and that His presence will be felt and known.
On the 31st October we gathered at the centre of Valencia, a prominent historical building Ateneo Mercantil de Valencia, to celebrate the Reformation Day. It was organized by the Council of Evangelical Churches of Valencia with the cooperation of the Fraternal of Pastors of Valencia. It was a memorable occasion as the event was televised by the local TV in the valencian language, if you would like to watch it, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2bwvRSf8as Our church, Baptist Church Quart, participated with the Choir and Pastor Pau Grau delivered the message. It was a significant event to testify of 506 years of history since the Reformation. The authorities of the city were present together with many brethren from other congregations. We thank God for such opportunities to present the Gospel. Here emerges another petition, to pray for the city of Valencia again, with many churches which serve the Lord, pray for a conviction to come upon all God’s servants to preach faithfully the Gospel of Christ.
The work at the City Mission continues unabated, we welcomed last October a new team from Germany, two young men and a lady participating as volunteers before going to university. We also received as part of the volunteers, two university students completing their Degree and they are in the middle of their practice. This input has been greatly appreciated, and has allowed us to use our facilities more efficiently. We have two premises next to each other, and they can only be used when we have enough volunteers.
I have taken the responsibility of supervising one of those premises, where we have more time to speak directly to those who come seeking help, although there is an immediate barrier because of the language, I feel we are conveying the Gospel by words and actions.
Give thanks to the Lord for the extra help with new volunteers, and pray for a word in season to change hearts. The bulk of the people coming to our centre are young men from different nationalities, but those from Morocco still make the majority of them, they are hardly more than 25 years of age, and at times we can have as many as 75 turning up very early, nearly an hour and a half before opening our doors. They all want to have the basics, which boils down to have a shower and put on clean clothes. Please, pray for an ability to relate, to convey that the Lord cares, to speak boldly, to move up the conversation with a deep genuine spiritual content.
We are attending the First Baptist Church in Calle Quart, Valencia. Again, we give thanks to the Lord for this provision. Pray for the Word preached, that it might be accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, with much conviction and assurance. There is a hunger for the Lord, and as we meet on Thursday for prayer, our petition for that visitation from the Lord is growing. As I mentioned before in this letter, we are asking for a genuine revival, we are not exempted from the eccentricity and “strange fires”. Pray for the Lord’s protection, we are conscious that the Father is sovereign and does give the Spirit to those who asking Him.
The work of the publishing house Editorial Peregrino continues under the care of our God. During the summer and early Autumn our productivity increased but it was not reflected in the accounts. One important partner in the USA died suddenly, he was totally responsible for the management of the business of another company there. Finally, a new appointment was found and we have been able to settle some debts, due to unpaid bills. Also, during the Passion for the Gospel Conference we were able to put in the hands of so many friends good and solid books. We give thanks to the Lord for His care. Continue to pray for the Editorial Board in our deliberations regarding what to publish, and also for the Board of Directors in our responsibilities for the effective running of the work.
Please, continue to pray for us as a family. It is our conviction that if you pray for us, we know that your financial support will continue. We thank the Lord for His faithfulness, ever conscious of our dependence on Him.
Thank you for being there.
Eddy & Helen
Valencia, October – December 2023
In our walk with God we need from time to time a strong reminder which asks: What is it all about? What is your mission? Recently I had that reminder, and I needed it, the process of changes has been long and paralyzing, I was reading a devotional, just a text from 1 Thessalonians 2:4 stood out: “...but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” The privilege of having been entrusted with the Gospel is immeasurable, and that finally is the mission, to proclaim the Lord, his work, death and resurrection. The circumstances are irrelevant, even as Paul says: “...we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict…” (v2) This is perhaps the hardest challenge, to proclaim Christ when conflict is present and it is real. At Lystra, Paul was stoned, dragged from the city and left for dead, yet he went back to preach Christ.
In Spain we are grateful for the liberty of religious activity, the law gives us ample room to open churches, and establish a witness in any town or city. But which Gospel are we preaching, the easy one which only pleases men, or the one that pleases God? It is incredibly sad to see churches who are very busy with impressive programs and activities but will never mention the saving of souls from hell, and the uniqueness of Christ. There is always a name of a family or a tradition that prevails, just to please men. Pray for boldness as we preach Christ and all the consequences of rejecting Him, who is the giver of life.
The City Mission will remain closed in August. We have just finished the last opening this last Friday (28 th July), we continue to receive in our centre dozens of young men from Morocco; it is a difficult situation, some have travelled via Algeria, Turkey and Europe to end up in Spain, others have done the crossing by boats from Morocco. If the police identify them, they are in the system which leads to the subsequent expulsion going through the process of interment for 9 weeks and then sent back home. We are only touching the surface, I have had conversations with these young men, just turned 18. There is a language barrier, yet the effort is made to reach them with the Gospel. One conversation was interesting, asking me “Why are you helping us? How much do you receive in salary for doing this service? Surely, they must pay you, how could you then pay for your food and accommodation?” The response I gave him was: It is all of grace, we give of what we have received. Kindness and the certainty of a message of salvation.
In the back of my mind, I was thanking the Lord that many of you have been praying and supporting this ministry for so many years. It was too complicated to explain this to the young man from Morocco, but he went away amazed because he couldn’t work it out, but thankful for all the help. Pray for a breakthrough with these young men, sleeping rough and just waiting to be expelled from the country.
As from April, this year, we are now attending the First Baptist Church in Calle Quart, Valencia. This is a faithful church, I have known its standing all these years, I have preached there a few years ago and have kept an excellent relationship. The Minister is Rev Pau Grau, a long standing friend with whom I am having important conversations. This church was founded in 1888, and it is the oldest in the city, the first evangelical church in Valencia. Please, pray for us to settle well, and find a home there, this is God’s provision.
In May this year we held our Annual Editorial Peregrino Conference, it was a real encouraging time. The publishing house has had so far this year an excellent productivity, and at the Conference we were able to show our books and had a good return. Pray for all of us involved in the work. In the picture (left) Matt Hill (Director), our visiting speaker Pastor José de Segovia, myself and Pastor Luis Cano (Ciudad Real), pray for us as the Board of Directors responsible for the direction of the work, to have wisdom and a clear strategy from the Lord. Our “Lait Motiv” is The Excellence of the Word. Pray for the Editorial Board which is responsible for the books we publish. Recently, I just read the latest revision of the book “Revival. A People Saturated with God” by Brian H. Edwards, an excellent book. We are looking forward to translate it and have it ready for October when we will held our Conference “Passion for the Gospel”. Pray that Spain will experience such revival and the church will be on fire for the Lord reaching this society.
Again, as a family we are grateful for your support and prayer. We are conscious that almost 30 years have passed since many of you began praying and have financially sustained our work. Many good friends have gone to glory, hence we are praying for others to join in as our praying partners in helping us. On the other hand, perhaps you could consider an increase in your giving to share the challenge of taking the Gospel to Spain.
We thank the Lord for His faithfulness that He has kept us all these years with all the challenges, moments of difficulties and also many more moments of joy serving Him.
Thank you for being there.
Eddy & Helen
Valencia, July-September 2023
This first prayer letter for 2023 must begin with thanksgiving and praise. Early January I was complaining of an excruciating pain on my right leg, I had two MRI (Hip and Lumbar area) and a bone scan. The results of the tests didn’t show any evidences of malignancy but instead it signaled a deterioration in the cartilage resulting in osteoarthritis of the hip. It has been 20 years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I have been kept by the Lord. I have had numerous tests ever since specifically tracing any problems in the structure of my bones, so we are thankful for this outcome. Thanks for your prayers, a request I made earlier on this matter; the pain has gone, so praise the Lord for His goodness.
The work in the publishing house Editorial Peregrino continues, the production of good reformed Christian literature is always encouraging. We have almost completed the whole translation into Spanish of the Commentary of Matthew Henry. Instead of the classic five volumes, we have produced individual books, some like Isaiah have taken two volumes. (I am running out of space in my bookshelf!) Pray for an increase on sales, this is always a challenge as readership in Spain is very low. In Valencia, for instance, there is not one Christian Bookshop, although there is an increase of purchasing goods online, the true reason for the closure of all the bookshops has been the lack of readers. On February 21st the Board of Directors is having its annual meeting; pray for a constructive time as we plan and promote Editorial Peregrino. The strategy to improve our sales is key to maintain this great work alive; please pray for wisdom. On March 16th the Editorial Board will have its quarterly meeting, this time via Zoom. This time is precious because we make decisions regarding which books to publish and evaluate manuscripts, so please pray for clarity in our priorities regarding themes and to encourage new Spanish authors.
At the City Mission the work continues with many activities reaching out to the homeless, providing personal care and most importantly presenting the Gospel.
Recently, there have been a number of homeless people with huge mental problems. The sense of being excluded from society makes them vulnerable and at the same time aggressive. This is a sensitive area as we have young women, in this case from Germany, working as volunteers, and they have been targeted with abusive language. Please pray for protection and the ability to mark boundaries to keep order. A few of them have been banned from any services in the City Mission.
The “Grupo de Encuentro” on Wednesday afternoon is an oasis during the week, as the Gospel is presented clearly. Pray for an effective word and for lives to be transformed.
We are still hoping that people from the local churches will also volunteer to serve in the City Mission.
Recently, a young man from the neighbourhood seeing the work being carried out asked us if he could come along and serve as a volunteer. This is a milestone, as we have restricted the work to church members, so we thank the Lord for this; it is clear that the neighbours are aware of the work, and its good testimony. But at the same time they have requested that we keep control outside the premises. Those sleeping in the streets care little where the night finds them, hence they usually hang about by our premises and a large number of them gather outside early morning. Pray for wisdom regarding how to assure our neighbours of the good work and alleviate any fears they might feel, as they step out of their homes and find so many homeless people outside looking rough and
The famous Falla Festival will be soon with us at Valencia (March 1st-19th). It is a time for an explosive number of visitors to the city that will afford opportunities to give testimony. The average number of visitors is greater than the number of people living in the city; it is a massive input of people. The pictures depict the efforts of the people to celebrate a festive with religious content. The famous Falleras dressed immaculately spending thousands of euros in their vestment; the statues built to be burned on the last day which can be as 20 meters tall costing an excessive amount of money and the fireworks which are heard endlessly during the festival. Pray for creativity as we seek to reach out with the Gospel.
Pray for all the churches in Valencia that they will preach the Gospel faithfully.
As a family, apart from my incident the first few days of January, we are all well. We’re grateful for all your support and prayers. Thank you for remembering our families in Wales and Venezuela. Thank you for being there.
Valencia, January-March 2023
We are coming to the end of a year where we have experienced many changes, especially in my ministry. It has been a long process, seeking the Lord for guidance and still in need to settle in a church where we can worship and function. We are currently attending La Buena Nueva Church where we received a warm welcome, but as I mentioned before, a new pastor was appointed in June this year. The church has an established testimony in the area it is located, and God has been faithful to them. Yet, we are asking the Lord if this is the right place for us. Hence, we would ask you to pray specifically for this need.
The City Mission continues with its activities reaching out to the homeless, providing personal care and most importantly presenting the Gospel. Recently, in our prayer requests, we asked you to pray specifically for the “Grupo de Encuentro”. The picture below captures the moment when Emilio López (Director) was sharing the Gospel; in a simple format, a clear message is presented. Many users of the City Mission are coming regularly to meet each Wednesday afternoon. Pray for the Lord’s work in their heart, and that many will be saved. There is also a great need for volunteers that can invest their time in this outreach. Currently, there are young people who came from Germany to help, some of them are taking a sabbatical year, and others are working there as part of their university studies. Pray for a willingness among the local believers to get involved and offer their time.
At the end of October we held the “Conference Passion for the Gospel”, it was a great encouragement to hear the centrality of the Word, and the challenge we have as a Church to let the Glory of God shine in our worship, preaching and conduct as believers. We are living in a society that has determined to eclipse that glory, and sometimes our own behaviour cooperates in robbing God of His glory. Praying for Revival in His church. We are also grateful for the sales of our books from Editorial Peregrino at the Conference. Fifty to sixty percent of the stock taken to the conference was sold. We trust these books will produce in the life of those who attended a transforming effect in their walk with the Lord.
Praise the Lord for His goodness. We’re grateful for all your support and prayers. Thank you for remembering our families. Thank you for being there.
Valencia, October-December 2022
Thank you so much for your kind and loving responses regarding our new sphere of work. The work of the Gospel continues as further opportunities to serve Him emerge.
This reminds me of the vision given to Paul: Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:9-10) In the midst of direct opposition, Paul listened to, and trusted God, as he continued preaching the Gospel. As we preach, please pray for prepared hearts and for much fruit.
As of June 2022, the church of La Buena Nueva, has officially welcomed its new pastor, Aurelio Esquembri. We trust that the Lord will bless his ministry, and we pray that the congregation will be blessed as it begins a new chapter in its long history. We trust in the Lord and look forward to a time of refreshing from Him.
The evangelistic outreach continues faithfully in the town of Picassent. Pray for all of us preaching on Sunday evenings. Please, remember me in prayer as I will be preaching on the 12 th of June. A good number attend each week, and we trust that, in time, we will be able to gather for Bible study and prayer meetings.
Since 1995, the City Mission has been working with a good number of volunteers from the founding churches reaching out to the needy in Valencia. Currently, a major effort is underway to help the homeless. Providing basic hygiene services can lead to profitable conversations. Please pray for protection as well as new volunteers who are able share the Gospel. Pray especially for those broken lives, for a moment of clarity in their minds as the Lord is presented to them.
Finally, please remember Editorial Peregrino. Pray for effective means of distributing and selling our books, and for much wisdom. Remember the staff and their families.
As a family we are grateful for your support and prayers on our behalf.
Thanks for being there.
Valencia, June-July 2022
After a long pause since December 2021, it is now time to write again to update you regarding our work here in Valencia. In short, I resigned from the pastorate at La Parroquia after 17 years of service in that congregation. We felt it was time to move leaving behind brethren in Christ whom we have loved and cared for all these years. The leadership of the church including the Eldership took a direction incompatible with the Gospel, hence we felt unable to continue. My work as a Pastor and leading the Social Work stopped last December. This was a sad decision but necessary for our spiritual well being. A turning point in that decision was the text I cited in my last prayer letter: 2 Timothy 4:1-2 which came like a thundering bolt into my heart to make the right decision.
Since the beginning of 2022 we have been visiting “La Buena Nueva”; this is an evangelical independent church with a long standing testimony in Valencia. Recently the church issued a call to the pastorate to a new minister who will take over from June onward. Pray for a suitable home as they are moving from the south of Spain to Valencia. I have preached on several occasions there and we are pleased as a family to attend there. The church has an evangelistic outreach in Picassent, just outside Valencia, where they hold services on Sunday evenings. We are looking forward to participating and taking up preaching engagements. Please pray for this new situation, and how the Lord is leading us in the near future.
The work with the publishing house Editorial Peregrino is thriving; we produce Reformed, Biblical and solid Christian literature. On 19 March we held our Peregrino Conference after a two year stoppage; we heard about Revival and its need for this present time; the Lord blessed our time together. We also began the year with interesting projects with new publications. At present, our General Director is in the USA speaking about our work in liaison with our working partners there. The visit includes stopping at Cuba where we publish and distribute books, a particular project is the Peregrino Commentaries; we are in the process of printing a series covering the 66 books of the Bible. Please, pray for this effort, the finances and wide distribution among pastors in Cuba. Continue to pray for both the Board of Directors and the Editorial Board currently under my responsibilities. Pray for wisdom.
As a family we are well health wise; we want to express our thankfulness to you all for your support and prayers on our behalf. Continue to remember our families in the UK and Venezuela; both our parents are ageing without any major health problems for which we are thankful.
Thanks for being there.
Valencia, April-May 2022