Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father ... James 1:17

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spain - Festivals for God


Our first festival was Saturday night - the same day we arrived. Tired? YES Confused? YES Chaotic? YES

The good news is the God was not tired or confused and He is not a God of chaos. God spoke to hearts this first night and over 30 people prayed, at the festival, to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. PRAISE THE LORD!

explaining the Gospel using the bead bracelets

We quickly got the hang of things and our typical day went something like this:

9 am - meet for devotions
10:30 am - drive to town where we are having that night's festival
11 am - hand out flyers to advertise upcoming festival
12:30 pm - drive back to SEFOVAN seminary http://worldlinkministries.org/ministry/spain/sefovan-graduation-2009.html
1 pm - eat lunch at seminary
2 pm - siesta (which to Porter kids translates 'swimming')
5 pm - meet in hotel lobby dressed in team shirt, jeans, boots, bandana, cowboy hat
6 pm - drive to town and start festival set-up
7 pm - festival begins (the truth is that as soon as we started setting up the crowds gathered - and the fun began immediately)
7-10 pm - hand out Gospel bead bracelets, paint faces, make balloon animals, play carnival games, line dance, chicken dance, listen to the Gospel presentation (in espanol), give out hot dogs --repeat as many times as possible --
10 pm - take down and clean up
11 pm - eat dinner at local church
12 midnight - drive back to hotel
12:30 am - wash 4 little faces, clean 8 little feet, brush cute little teeth, put on clean PJs
1 am - SLEEP


lunch at seminary

this game didn't work too well - it got replaced with the AWESOME balloon making

the AWESOME balloon making

cactus roping

line dancing

dinner at local church

Here are quick reports about each night:
Festival #1:
Like I said we were exhausted, it was chaotic, but God showed up in a mighty way. We had 32 people pray at the festival to accept Christ.
Festival #2:
This festival was in a more affluent town. Manny prepared us ahead of time that often there is not a good turn out in places of higher economic wealth. We weren't expecting a big crowd and, quite frankly, we weren't expecting to see any souls saved. Again, God is bigger than us and He was evident throughout the night. We had a big, energetic, fun crowd - many many young kids hung out all night. We had a BLAST this night and witnessed 11 people pray to accept Christ.
Festival #3:
Both festival 3 and 4 were held in the same town. This area was a town of lower income and great need --- the people were awesome!! The festivals were in a small ampitheater setting that was really fun. Craig, John, Devon and Luke made balloons -- they were slammed the entire night -- I mean busy like you can't imagine busy. They ran out of the long twisting balloons, but kept up the pace with round balloons they made into baseballs and smiley faces.
At festival #3 we had 32 people pray for their personal salvation and accept Christ.
Festival #4:

This was our last night - it was bitter sweet. We were so tired, and our feet had blisters and hurt, but God was being glorified and His work was being done and we were so blessed in the process. We had the routine down pretty well by the last festival. The only things that got a bit crazy were handing out our extra cowboys hats and bandanas (a bit crazy is a HUGE understatement -- it was down right insane) and the hot dog stand hit an all time high on the crazy meter. I decided it was probably best that I didn't understand Spanish, because I could just keep handing out hot dogs and Coca-Cola with a smile because I didn't have a clue what they were saying. Are you ready to read how many accepted Christ? Wait for it ..... wait for it .... 111. Honestly, that is not a typo, 111 people prayed to accept Christ as their personal Savior. We cried, we cheered, we had chill bumps and we praised the ONE TRUE GOD!!
"I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10
We could almost hear the rejoicing from heaven!!
It's not about the numbers, but it is about the numbers!! This whole trip would have been worth it for ONE person to have eternal life. We praise God for every single person that we will see in heaven some day. Can you imagine what an amazing day that will be?

We know that hundreds and probably thousands of seeds were planted and that God will reap the harvest in His time.

Please pray for those that are new believers, both those that prayed with someone at the festival and those that prayed privately that we don't know about. Pray that they will get connected with the local church (which, by the way, will actively pursue them). And, please pray for those that heard but did not make a decision --- pray for them to choose Christ!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spain - Departure & Arrival


Wow!! I don't even know where to begin..... I guess with:
Day One - Departure and Arrival

Friday, June 26th 1:30 pm
Leaving home to carpool from church

Leaving Arlington TX in our bright blue team t-shirts

10 adults
6 kids
(the rest of the team was meeting us there)
32 checked bags
20 carry-on bags
16 hearts dedicated to the Lord's work

Saturday, June 27th
Our little man, Luke, turned 8 on the airplane
Happy Birthday - We Love you!!

We were SO happy to see Manny & Jamie at the airport!! We arrived and got through all of the lines by 11:00 am.
Too cute for the immigration line

The whole team, by this time was safely in Madrid - God went before us and handled all of the details - things could not have gone more smoothly and if you can believe it, all of our bags, boxes and suitcases made it on time and in perfect shape! After delivering our personal luggage to the hotel we got our room assignments, freshened up (barely) and left again ...
Manny & Jamie had us to their beautiful home for lunch

Saturday, June 27th 3:00 pm
We left TX 22 hours ago - most of us slept very little on the airplane, if you take into account the 7 hour time difference, 9 1/2 hour plane trip, 2 hours going through immigration, retrieving bags and getting to the hotel, we are officially exhausted - but the fun was just beginning!! Time for festival number 1 -- quick stop at the hotel to put on CLEAN team t-shirts (this time bright green), jeans, boots and hats and off we go ... Yee Haw!

Yes, that is one seat and two children -- they are double buckled....sorry!