VALENCIA, Spain – When we first arrived in Valencia, Spain, we spoke with many of the local church pastors about our heart to reach the lost. One of those pastors introduced us to another couple from Valencia who had that same desire. After we met with them and prayed together, we found another Spanish couple who longed to spread the gospel among the people of Valencia. The six of us began Friday-night evangelistic Bible studies, which grew, and God blessed us tremendously by bringing people to our group each week who were curious about Jesus and what we were doing.
We recognize we could not have done anything without God being in these details. We also recognize that the Bible study group — which then became a Sunday-morning worship service, a Wednesday-night discipleship group, and Saturday-morning street evangelism — would not have been as strong in the community without our Spanish partners. We need healthy relationships with local Christians. We need to be working alongside them, serving and learning from them. They are vital to reaching the lost. We cannot do it alone.
One recent example that comes to mind is the story of our friend Jonathan. He was not looking for God, but after we had many spiritual conversations with him, we decided to introduce him to our local partners. In our new church plant, Jonathan found a place to learn, ask questions, express his doubts, and hear stories of how other people met Jesus Christ — and how He changed their lives. In time, Jonathan’s curiosity turned to interest and his interest into desire. We recently had the opportunity to baptize Jonathan.
We can’t over-emphasize the fact that Jonathan’s salvation was a work of God. But God uses us! And God uses others, like our local partners, who have gifts and experiences that we don’t have.
Jonathan needed to see a healthy family of faith. He needed to ask questions, share meals, and express his doubts. And our Spanish partners needed to see his journey to Christ and to be inspired to evangelize even more. And because of this shared experience, we have much more love and trust in each other, and now a victory in Christ’s name to celebrate.
Below, you can read our local partner’s perspective on our collaboration and our friendship. To read the English version, please scroll down.
Un socio español nos cuenta su perspectiva
La verdad es que ha sido impresionante para nosotros poder colaborar con misioneros norteamericanos en la tarea más importante que existe en este mundo, proclamar el evangelio, para nosotros es un honor poder contar con su amistad y trabajar juntos para la obra de Dios. Las perspectivas que tenemos son muy esperanzadoras porque confiamos en la misericordia de Dios para salvar a muchas personas en la zona donde estamos.
Es una bendición de incalculable valor que las iglesias envíen misioneros por todo el mundo a predicar el evangelio y establecer iglesias. Es algo muy necesario por el impacto que tienen sus vidas, tanto en las personas con las que se relacionan al anunciarles el evangelio, como con los hermanos que convivimos con ellos.
De manera concreta Jason y Jennifer han supuesto para todos nosotros una bendición muy grande, tanto por su conducta, como por su pasión por los perdidos, son un ejemplo a imitar y nos supone un verdadero estímulo para proclamar el Evangelio de manera natural como un estilo de vida. Estamos muy agradecidos al Señor por haberlos colocado junto a nosotros. Su celo constancia y pasión por los perdidos, es algo que muy pocas veces hemos visto a lo largo de nuestra vida cristiana. Solo tenemos palabras de agradecimiento al Señor por sus vidas y confiamos que el Señor va a hacer maravillas salvando a muchas personas que le necesitan. Están haciendo una labor preciosa hablando del Evangelio con todas las personas que se relación de hecho todas las personas que asisten regularmente a la iglesia son el fruto de la labor que ellos hacen.
Estamos muy contentos de poder tomar un buen equipo para esta labor tan importante y necesaria. Aportan muchas ideas para tener una presencia cada vez más importante en nuestra comunidad y de esta forma poder llevar el evangelio a las personas de nuestra zona.
A Spanish Partner Tells Us His Perspective
The truth is that it has been impressive for us to be able to collaborate with North American missionaries in the most important task that exists in this world, proclaiming the gospel. For us it is an honor to be able to count on their friendship and work together for the work of God. The perspectives we have are very hopeful because we trust in God’s mercy to save many people in the area where we are.
It is an invaluable blessing that churches send missionaries all over the world to preach the gospel and establish churches. It is very necessary because of the impact that their lives have, both on the people with whom they relate when announcing the gospel to them, as well as with the brothers and sisters who live with them.
Specifically, Jason and Jennifer have been a great blessing for all of us, both for their conduct and their passion for the lost. They are an example to imitate and a real stimulus to proclaim the gospel in a natural way as a lifestyle. We are very grateful to the Lord for having placed them with us. Their zeal, constancy, and passion for the lost is something we have seldom seen throughout our Christian life. We only have words of thanksgiving to the Lord for their lives, and we trust that the Lord will do wonders saving many people who need him. They are doing a great job sharing the gospel with everyone they meet. In fact, all of the people who attend our church regularly are fruit of their labor.
We are very happy to be able to form a good team for this important and necessary work. They bring many ideas to have an increasingly important presence in our community and thus be able to bring the gospel to people in our area.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is by Jason and Jennifer Vanover, alongside Juan Saiz. The Vanovers have been planting churches in Spain for six years. They met Saiz last year after they moved to Valencia, Juan’s hometown.