Just over two months ago young Gadiel was born to our dear friends in Romania, Radu and Ioana. Gadiel’s name means ‘my happiness is in God’. Radu is a resident in neurological surgery; Ioana a music academy graduate. Last year Radu suffered a heart-related incident and was not sure he could continue his demanding career path that is his life passion. When we spoke with them just a few days ago, both had tested positive for COVID and were in quarantine – though with mild symptoms and rapidly improving. How good to be reminded each time they look at their son, that, through both difficult and pleasant times, their happiness is not found in their circumstances, but is found in God.
Going forward into 2021 we see a glimmer of light at the end of the very obscure and extended tunnel we have been walking through. We still need to persevere and continue to work from Canada until the countries in which we minister have greater stability and medical capacity and the people we work with have a broader freedom to develop ministry activities and have relational interactions. For sure, it is a test of patience and we remind ourselves as well that ‘our happiness is in God!’
In a recent conversation with Pastor Cristi, coordinating pastor of BIC, he spoke these true-to-life words: “God is God of every season. This is a tough season, a season for testing our faith. Do we really believe that God is good, for example? It causes us to look at the Bible with deeper understanding; to know that God is faithful at all times. Though difficult at the outset, good is in the outcome; though the winter ground appears to be dormant, the planted seeds are sprouting under the ground.”
“Attacked from inside, from outside, from everywhere. I am a child of God; it is God’s program, it is His work. Jesus set me free and I am blessed when I go out and blessed when I come in. No weapon formed against me will prosper,” are Iana’s expressed thoughts as she continues to battle both personal and work-related conflicts.
Even amid Covid challenges, the Salem church in Bilbao, northeast Spain, is reaching out to establish home groups and preaching points that will lead to new church plants. Pastor Jesus Giraldo told us that two locations have opened up; one of these already has an established base with two families.
The words of Paul to the church in Corinth found in 2 Corinthians 8:14 are very appropriate right now for Ponferrada: “At this time, their abundance also may supply your lack.’’
Much needed support right now is appreciated by the Salem church in Ponferrada, northwestern Spain, as they are in leadership transition. Help is being sent to them from the leadership teams in Madrid, Bilbao, and, as well as, from nearby Aviles.