Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Imagine baptizing the first convert to Christ EVER in one city. Yes, the first in 2000 years — since Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea. I witnessed that event a few weeks ago.
In the past couple years our Fellowship International ministry has supported our churches in sending two couples to an extremely difficult part of the world to begin pioneer church planting in the region of Extremadura (literally means “extremely hard” in English) in southern Spain.
I’m pleased to share that the Yingers and Castros have recently reported their first conversions and baptisms. We are very excited and praise God for this fruit! Thank you for praying.
Ken Yinger had met Salva this past year, soon after his conversion to Christ — an amazing story. Salva (Salvadore) has been a professional psychologist for many years, but was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune inflammatory disease that has ended his career and severely limited his health and mobility in recent years.
It was through the reading of God’s Word that Salva recognized his need of Christ for salvation. He was saved and has become an effective evangelist in his town. Ken has been meeting with and discipling Salva. It was during one of their meetings that Salva realized his need to be baptized. They agreed that his baptism would occur when all of Ken and Cathy’s missionary colleagues were present to witness this momentous event. It would occur in the public community pool (beside our hotel) so that the community might also witness something very foreign to these religious Roman Catholics.
I asked Ken if this might be the first believer’s baptism ever to occur in this town, to which Ken responded that there was no reason to doubt that this was the first baptism to occur in Encinesola in 2000 years. This area of Spain is very underevanglized, with only 0.1% of the population identifying as evangelical Christians. I encourage you to CLICK HERE to watch a one-minute video of Salva’s baptism with Ken Yinger and Ricardo Castro officiating… it is wonderful!
Keep praying for Ken and Cathy Yinger and Ricardo and Ingrid Castro as they share Christ and, Lord willing, establish many local churches in the years to come. They work with hard ground and need our prayer support.
An example of this happened recently while Ricardo was seeking to befriend a man in the town of Bienvenido. The man was interested in the Gospel and asked to be discipled, but his family became aware of Ricardo’s conversations with him. One of the man’s brothers visited Ricardo and said he was one of seven siblings, all of which would protect their brother from Ricardo’s influence. He mentioned he was a journalist and would write negatively of the Castro’s small church if Ricardo did not leave his brother alone.
By the way, “Bienvenido” literally means “welcome” in English. The town of Bienvenido is a tough place to share the Gospel. Please keep praying for the Castros and Yingers!
Have a blessed week!