A Word From Steve Jones
FebrUARY 19TH, 2018
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Imagine a region where you can drive your car for hours and not find a single church. You see the cathedral spires peering above each town you pass, but no authentic community of faith gathering to worship Jesus as Saviour and Lord can be found.
Some of you shouted out Quebec – and you would be partly right. Only o.8% of French Canadians self-identify as evangelical Christians. Other nations and regions of our world boast even lower percentages. Fellowship International is sending the majority of our missionaries to these needy places.
There is a region in Spain called Extremadura, where only 0.1% of the population self-identifies as evangelical Christians. Our mission has recognized this country and region as an area in need of Gospel penetration. The spiritual needs are staggering and the opportunities to witness are immense.
Ken and Cathy Yinger (Knollwood Baptist, London, ON) were sent to Jerez de los Caballeros in March 2014 as pioneer church planters. God has done amazing things already: this couple have creatively established friendships and begun to meet weekly with several believers. One couple’s marriage was restored through the Yinger’s ministry. The husband attributes recent marriage reconciliation to Ken’s prayers. Ken is encouraging him to recognize that the God who answered these prayers wants to have a personal relationship with him. One of the women to whom Cathy teaches English was on Cathy’s heart a couple of weeks ago like never before. She decided to go and visit her right then, and found “M” alone in the lobby of the hotel that her family owns. It was so obvious that God had planned this encounter as there were no interruptions while Cathy shared the Gospel with her. It is a reflection of the sad spiritual state of Spain that this well-educated Catholic lady didn’t recognize that the book Cathy was reading from was the New Testament of the Bible. However, her heart was stirred, and she committed to read the book of John. They are getting together to discuss what she’s read so far!
I thank God for the incredible maturity and significant skills of the mission personnel being sent to us from within our Fellowship of churches. Others are needed to serve on a team with the Yingers, as we believe that God will use them to start a church planting movement in Spain. For more information about Ken and Cathy and their ministry in Spain, go to www.fellowship.ca/Yinger.
The team is already growing. In just one month, we will joyfully send Ricardo and Ingrid Castro (Ahuntsic, Montreal, QC) to Extremadura, Spain. As with the Yingers, the Castros will be involved in church planting. They jump on a plane and leave Canada on March 25 to follow God’s call to serve in Spain.
Back in the day, God’s people use to meet by the side of a sailing ship or train to bid farewell to missionaries headed for the field. I hope some will bid farewell to the Castros on March 25 as they leave for their mission field. Feel free to send cards of encouragement for the Castros to our National office, at PO Box 457, Guelph ON, N1H 6K9.
I also encourage you to go online to www.fellowship.ca/Castro to read more about the Castros and their ministry in Spain. Possibly consider being a part of their prayer and support team — they are still in need of financial support. Prayerfully consider joining the Castros and Yingers in Spain to help establish the church in this very needy part of the world.
Thank God that our team in Spain has grown even more! A few months ago, Carlo and Joy De Vito were appointed as Fellowship International missionaries to Spain. Two Fellowship churches in Ontario are sending these missionaries. After years of church planting and pastoral ministry, the De Vitos are preparing for cross-cultural church planting in Spain.
The DeVitos are currently building their prayer and support team. If you or your church have any interest in being a part of their team, please go to www.fellowship.ca/DeVito to learn more about them and their future ministry in Spain.
The Fellowship team in Spain has started to take shape, but we are looking for more who believe God has “tapped them on the shoulder” and set them apart for cross-cultural ministry. Imagine working with a team of fellow believers, trusting the Lord for great things in this region of Spain which is in such great need of Jesus. Talk to us!
Have a blessed week,