Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain

Dear friends,        Image

We just wanted to tell you all how our flight back on January 11th wasn’t too bad at all and that we are now back in the swing of things here in Sevilla.  All our luggage arrived with us, which was almost surprising considering how often it doesn’t show up! We appreciate you who gave to make the flight to California and the flight back to Spain possible. We are getting our home warmed up after it was closed up and cold all these months that we were away and we’re already well thrown back into our ministry and JD’s graduate work at Al-Andalus Theological Seminary.

On Jan. 13th we arrived at 10pm to Sevilla Airport.  We got a great surprise coming tired through the Customs doors, to find our Puebla congregation at the gate holding a welcome banner for us! It was just a very sweet surprise for us. At first our nights back in our home were difficult. Not only did we have jetlag, but Baby Ruthie cried or played until sunrise, making it tough to get up the next day. But we had some heat under us to get things rolling, for one thing, JD had arrived enrolled in the Masters Degree program at Al-Andalus Theological Seminary, so he had to start working on hundreds of pages of commentary and Bible reading and catching up with the class. He only missed the first class, but had the next class on January 15th, complete with homework due.  By Jan. 17th JD, Sara, & Ruthie were back at church and it was JD’s first night back leading worship for the mid-week service. Some there hadn’t been at the airport, so we got some more cheers from our fear congregants and brothers on Thursday night. Jan 18th We remembered two years since JD’s sister, Lisa, went to Heaven after her fight against cancer. That night JD & Sara had their first meeting with the Puebla congregation leadership team since summer and we got caught back up on some of our church’s visions and goals for 2013, including trying to motivate our teens to go to the spectacular Spanish Evangelical Youth Conference called “Mision Posible”, since then JD and others have tried to recruit the teens, but even when there was interest from them, they are still living through a tremendous economic crisis and so far we have no one committed to go. What we will do is begin weekly youth events and also a Young adults group too. Sarah Ruth is now getting used to her home, where she was this summer.  We think that she remembers it.  One tough thing is the tough floor.  There’s no carpet in houses in Spain, so we have to be extra careful where we can let Sarah Ruth crawl.  Soon we’ll be putting throw-rugs in the living room for her to be able to crawl on a softer surface. She seems to be responding well to being in just one home and to be done with all this traveling.  We thank our Lord for sending us home, with visas, and that we had a home to come back to. Yesterday was JD’s big day on the calendar, he got to led the worship, give the sermon and do the Lord’s Supper to conclude, then later that evening we had a dessert time with our ministry team as our dear friends, Dan and Joan Ashcraft will be retiring as career missionaries to Spain.300

The Ashcrafts will be very missed here for all their years of service since the 1970’s to Coria del Rio, Puebla del Rio, and even service in Russia.   Tonight JD will make rounds picking up Sevilla area pastors for our Sevilla County Pastor’s meeting, then tomorrow Sara has a Women’s ministry meeting and JD has a seminary class. Friday we’ll have the teens over to watch a movie at our house.

So we’re getting our gears working back on this side of the world, and we’re always conscious of those brothers and sisters who make this ministry possible. Thank you friends for praying for us! As always, we wish we could have seen more of you, but we did what we could, dragging our poor baby to events all over California and Mexico! Feel free to contact us here in Spain, as we miss all you friends back home.

Sara's family sees us off from San Diego Int'l Airport.
Sara’s family sees us off from San Diego Int’l Airport.
Ruthie doing her chores!
Ruthie doing her chores!

Love in Messiah,

JD, Sara & Sarah Ruth

for our
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