Raymond and Mary Ebbett

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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March 2, 2017

Dear praying friends,

In our last update we highlighted the Bethany House project. We are thrilled with the growing interest and support for this strategic ministry. Please keep it in your prayers!

This month we would like to highlight Raymond’s work with the local and national leaders of our Alliance churches here in Spain. Over the years he has dedicated much time and energy in this area. This involves coordinating the efforts of our expatriate international workers with the local C&MA congregations here in Spain. Raymond’s ministry also entails brokering strategic partnerships in Spain with our Alliance churches in Latin America, North America and Europe.

In 1978 the first C&MA international workers arrived in Spain and launched church-planting efforts in several cities. The results in those early years were discouragingly meager. As recently as the year 2000, and after much effort, the C&MA in Spain consisted of only 3 congregations. Today the Alliance family consists of 25 churches and groups throughout Spain. Five years ago a seminary (INFORMA) was established and a new generation of pastors and workers are being trained. The Bethany House School of Discipleship and Missions is also part of this vision to raise up a new generation of pastors, leaders and missionaries.

Ten years ago the decision was made to form a federation of local alliance churches in Spain (the FIACME). This network of congregations forms our Spain C&MA family. This past weekend, pastors and delegates from these congregations met for their annual national assembly. They were challenged by the need to reach the many unreached cities in Spain which still do not have an evangelical church. At the recent assembly we also highlighted the three pastors (two Latin Americans and one Spaniard) who have been sent from Spain to serve as missionaries in England and Germany. There is a growing missions vision in our local churches!

It is tremendously encouraging to work with this very diverse, multi-cultural group of pastors. Most receive very little financial support from their churches and many are bi-vocational. In addition to the Spanish-speaking congregations we have a Chinese Alliance Church in Madrid (which hopes to start a new Chinese work this fall in Barcelona), and a new bi-lingual church in Alicante. Several of our churches are also reaching out to Muslim immigrants from North Africa. The remaining challenge in Spain is huge, but God is definitely at work! Thank you for your prayers.

We are so grateful for the group of mature leaders who now form the national church board of directors. Raymond has participated in this board almost the entire 24 years we have been in Spain. To be honest, at times it has been very discouraging and the spiritual warfare and opposition have been real. But we presently have a healthy group of committed, mature leaders who love God and have a heart for the lost. Please pray for Raymond as he continues to work with, encourage and serve this group of national leaders.

UPDATED PRAYER REQUESTS

Here are a few specific ways you can pray for us in the near future. Thanks so much!

March 4-9 -- Take some vacation time!
March 9-11 -- Visit our international workers in Malaga (southern Spain)
March 16 -- Field Leadership Team meeting in Madrid
March 19-20 -- Trip to Barcelona with national church leaders
March 20-27 -- Receive group of pastors/leaders from U.S. Metro District
April -- Prepare for our upcoming Spain/Portugal Field Forum (April 24-29)

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for the worldwide work of the Lord through the C&MA family. Please check out this wonderful and inspiring "thank you" video.

Yours for the spiritual greening of Spain,
Raymond and Mary

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January 25, 2017

Dear praying friends,

From time to time some of you may wonder, what exactly do Raymond and Mary do in Spain? While our official title is that of “field director couple” (or field leader couple), that still does not fully answer the question. We currently oversee 40 international workers in Spain involved in a wide variety of projects. So what does this mean on a day-to-day basis? Well, it includes giving overall direction to the field, representing our field to the U.S. and Canada national offices, coordinating our work with a growing C&MA national church in Spain, providing administrative and legal coverage for all our workers, promoting several new projects, recruiting partner churches, and answering a lot of email, to mention some of the areas.

This month we would like to highlight the Bethany House ministry. Over the past year we have mentioned this project several times. Bethany House and the Refuge are two properties donated to the Alliance in the Spring of 2015. They are being used for various retreats, but especially as the base of operations for “Bethany Summer School of Discipleship and Missions”, an intensive month-long discipleship, prayer and missions emphasis for young people.

We are thrilled at what God is doing through this ministry, and are convinced this is an area where the Lord is clearly and wonderfully at work. In the dry, barren soil of Spain and Western Europe we do not regularly SEE much outward evidence of God at work. By faith we believe God has indeed been at work here in Spain over these past 23 years since we arrived.. By faith we have persevered.

Praise the Lord! In recent years we have now begun to SEE God at work and are encouraged to continue believing God for the “spiritual greening” of Spain. Bethany House is one of those projects where we have clearly observed the Lord’s hand of blessing. What an encouragement! While we are not personally involved in this ministry on a regular basis, we participated briefly last summer and are joyfully helping to promote this ministry. It is only one of many projects in Spain, but here are a few reasons why it is a key one.

UNDERSTANDING BETHANY HOUSE / BETHANY SCHOOL

Strategic. Solid investment in young people and great opportunity to help raise up the next generation of leaders and pastors, both in Spain and in Western Europe.

Practical. One of the things that sets this project apart is how it responds to a very real need: the “rescue” and discipling of young people in Spain and Western Europe. This whole generation of millennials is very much at risk due to the toxic brew here in Spain of postmodern culture, secular values and virtual lack of a biblical Christian community and subculture for youth.

National Church “Buy in”. This is not another mission project where we are trying to find national leaders to replace us or help us. Just the opposite. This project was born in the heart of our national church president and his entire family. The Mission is in a supporting role. The national leaders are out front leading the charge, and doing a great job! But they need help.

Divine Favor. This project is the result of a miraculous donation of several properties, which we were not even looking for. We very much see the hand of God´s blessing on this ministry in a special way. The first two Bethany Schools of August 2015 and 2016 were clearly marked by God´s favor, as evident in the following:
- Provision of excellent professors from multiple countries and continents
- Provision of young people who stuck with a month-long, intense, demanding program
- International interest, with young people coming from across Europe as well
- Divine encounters with “visitors” who just stopped by, leading to solid conversions
- Spirit of brokenness, repentance and touches of revival among the young people
- Tremendous spirit of worship and prayer on the part of the young people

Kingdom Impact. For all the above reasons, taken together, Bethany House and Bethany School form a key project that offers the opportunity to make a strategic impact for the kingdom. In human terms, it offers a lot of “bang for the buck.”

Opportunity for Expansion. The main facility is only able to house about 30 people. We have been maxed out both summers, with the young men camping out in the back yard! An empty lot next door is for sale and the vision is to purchase this property and construct a second building that would approximately double the housing capacity, plus add a more adequate meeting room.

Financial Need. The key national workers providing leadership for this ministry are operating on a very limited budget. Original funding came from Latin America, but concluded at the end of 2016. There is a pressing need for financial partners, especially in these first few early years of the project. If you would like to give toward this need (and there is definitely a financial need), click on the "Give" tab of the C&MA website, and then under the section “Give to International Workers and Special Projects,” in the search window, type in “Bethany House”. If you would like more information on how to pray for Bethany House, or get involved in short-term teams, drop us a note.

UPDATED PRAYER REQUESTS

Here are a few other ways you can pray for us in the near future. Thanks so much!

January 28-31 Trip to Barcelona to minister in a church there, and meet with our fellow international workers
February 5 Preach in another church in Madrid
February 17-19 Attend Holy Spirit Encounter Weekend conference (sponsored by Canada)
February 24-25 Participate in the Annual Assembly of our Spain National Church

Yours for the spiritual greening of Spain,
Raymond and Mary

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Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

See the requests included above in the text of our update.

Ongoing request:

Pray for physical strength for Raymond. The postpolio syndrome is an ongoing challenge and we trust God daily for the grace to do what He has called us to do. We so appreciate your support in prayer. God is able!

Additional prayer points for Spain:
Each month you can also find additional updated prayer needs on our Spain field website. (see link above, at right: "visit website")

Spain

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Updated: March 03, 2017

Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Spain
Address
C/ Pico de la Miel, 2
28770 Colmenar Viejo
Madrid,
SPAIN

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