Steve and Claudia Irvin
Prayer Letter/Ministry Update
Welcome to our web page! A little bit about us: Following a pastorate in Titusville, FL, we served with The Alliance for 26 years in Latin America in Colombia and Argentina, before accepting a call to pastor a church in Toronto, Canada for three years, and then served as interim pastor at Tabernaculo de la Fe church (our sending church) in Orlando, FL. Since January 2013 we are engaged as International Workers in Madrid, Spain in Bible Institute teaching, mentoring of leaders, and evangelism. We have four adult children and six grandchildren. Pray for us that God would continue to form us daily into the image of Christ, even as He would use us to see many come to Christ and follow Him as Lord and Savior.
IRVIN UPDATE/September 2015
GIVE THE GOSPEL A CHANCE
“I took you from the ends the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant;’ I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-10)
12- Disciple-makers whom to mentor.
3- New pastors to emerge from the Bible Institute (INFORMA).
3- People groups in which to see spiritual fruit: Latin American immigrants, North African immigrants, and Spaniards.
Society pressures us to conform to its values. Here in Europe, it can feel like a spiritual straitjacket is imposed upon us so that we must avoid any semblance of intolerance. Followers of Christ tend to adopt subtle approaches to evangelism, emphasizing the building of relational bridges, waiting for others to express interest in spiritual things. In practice, it leads many Christians—and Christian workers— to dedicate themselves to silent, life-style witness without intentionally seeking to articulate the gospel of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. There is relatively little fruit to these efforts.
We want to break out of that straitjacket. We recently read two books that challenged us in this area. One is a biography of Johnathan and Rosalind Goforth, renowned missionaries to China, Goforths of China: Through Deep Waters to Higher Ground, by our friend Lois Neely. The other book is Any 3: Anyone, Anywhere, Any Time by Mike Shipman .
What was the main take away for us from these books? They reminded us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Nothing new with that, right? We tell the world, “Give the gospel a chance.” But I think God is telling us believers to “give the gospel a chance” in witnessing. What do I mean by that? Instead of waiting for the “right time” to share the gospel (which hardly ever comes), tell people of Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection as soon as possible. We think we need to wait to see who’s “open.” But by sharing the gospel, you find out who’s open, and who is not. We think we need to “earn the right to be heard.” Well, maybe Jesus earned that right 2000 years ago and we need to exercise that right today. With boldness and without apology.
As a result, I am now praying that God will lead me each day to someone with whom to share the gospel. Not just to have a “spiritual conversation.” Not just, “to build bridges.” But, to actually articulate the gospel. And He is answering that prayer! Since beginning this, it is a rare day that I have not been able to share with someone as clearly as I can the truth of God’s redeeming love in Christ. Once it was with a drunk man who showed up at a worship service. Sometimes it has been through contacts made at the church. Other times it is with people here in our neighborhood.
What’s different? Each day, I’m expecting God to bring me into contact with someone with whom to share Christ. I look intentionally for opportunities. Do I do it perfectly? No. But isn’t that the blessing of the gospel message? Unadorned and without words of wisdom it is the power of God unto salvation. Give the gospel a chance!
So, please pray for us that we will every day seek to share Christ with others. Pray that God will give us fruit for our labors that many who hear will come to faith in Christ. Pray that we will have boldness, even in a society that seeks to muzzle us, to give the gospel a chance. Maybe you need to pray that for yourself, as well.
All for Jesus Until He Comes!
Steve and Claudia Irvin
Information about the work in Spain:
A Prayer for Spain (Includes stirring videos for use in prayer meetings)
Praying for Spain
We are supported by your faithful contributions to the Great Commission Fund of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 8595 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920, or online.
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
We request your prayers for the following ministry opportunities in the month of September:
Madrid: Claudia will begin teaching discipleship classes again at Alianza de Amor church. She also will begin to teach English in an English institute in downtown Madrid once a week. Ask the Lord to fill her with His Spirit as she seeks to make disciples who make disciples.
Norway: September 13-19, Steve will be in a meeting with peer mentors and leaders of MentorLink from six countries. Central to this week of meetings is considering how to continue fueling a movement of Christ-like leadership development among the nations.
France: September 21-28, we will be in Toulouse and Paris, coming alongside ministry teams as they seek to fulfill the vision God has given them for sharing Christ with their respective cities and people groups. Ask the Lord to make us a blessing to these teams.
- On a personal note, Claudia fell last month and badly sprained her ankle. Recuperation has been slow. Please pray for her complete healing. Jesus is our Healer.
- Please pray with us:
That our one overriding passion would be Christ Himself. That we would seek above all His Name and Renown, His Glory and Honor, His Majesty and His Kingdom. That He would lead us to drink deeply of the Holy Spirit and would daily grant us fresh empowerment to walk in holiness, to love Him with our whole heart, mind, and strength, and to serve Him faithfully. That we would be used by God to hasten the coming of Christ as we await His glorious return when He will establish His kingdom and set things right. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Praise the Lord.
Updated: August 27, 2015
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