“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” –1 John 5:14-15
Hello!! I would like to start by saying: GOD ANSWERS PRAYER, can I get an Amen?! I shared a list of prayer requests in my last newsletter, and God answered mightily!! In this newsletter, I would like us to praise the Lord together as I share with you what God has done in these past few weeks. As I have mentioned before, your prayers are powerful!!
Praise Report #1: One of the prayer requests I shared was: “I am almost hitting the 2-year mark since I’ve left and been back to the US….” I asked you to kindly pray for the opportunity to come back and visit my family, friends, and church. And the Lord provided!! I am writing to you from my parents’ home in California and I will be here for the month of August! I arrived on July 31, and truly dedicated this first week to catching up on much-needed rest and family time! Thank you so much for praying!!
I would love to see you all! I know that one month will go by fast, so I am having a report night at Calvary Chapel Downy on Aug 14th, hoping to see as many friends as possible. I will share testimonies of God’s faithfulness in these last 2 years, miracle stories, and photos of the school. I hope and pray you can make it!!
Praise Report #2: I also asked you to please pray for more volunteers. One of the reasons why I was able to come on furlough was that God answered this prayer! In July, I was introduced to a young lady who is studying to be a teacher. She was looking for a school to work at and gain more experience. She was also available for the whole summer. After much prayer and consideration, she became part of our summer team! The Lord gave us an incredibly skilled volunteer and I’m so grateful!!
Praise Report #3: One of the biggest prayer requests I shared with you was for the Lord to provide the funds to hire a maintenance worker and someone to prepare snacks and lunch. As only the Lord would do it, He exceedingly filled both positions. This was a huge answer to prayer!! Please keep your prayers coming!!
Praise Report #4: Thank you for praying for the Lord’s continual provision over our wish list items and projects that still need to be done in our playground, classrooms, and other areas of the school. I have miracle stories of God’s provision that I will be sharing on the report night – Aug 14th. I can’t wait to share how your prayers have made a difference!!
Praise Report #5: Upon arriving at LAX, I couldn’t wait to hug my family!! Thank you for praying for their continual protection, strength, and blessings over them. They are doing well and I was incredibly blessed to see how they are thriving in their relationship with the Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support through prayer!! May the Lord bless you ever so abundantly! I hope to see you on the 14th and thank you in person! Until then, I leave you with this great quote:
“The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors, as the missionary.” – R. A. Torrey
God bless you,
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Hello! Please receive a huge hug from me and an enormous THANK YOU for your continuous support in the work that God is doing here in Spain. It has been an amazing but arduous last 6 months that has incredibly rocked my world. My prayer is that after reading this newsletter you will continue to pray for the work God is doing through our school and that you would feel encouraged that this is part of your blessing as well! 🙂
On January 11, 2021…
OUR Christian school opened its doors!!
Remember you are so much a part of this as I am – it’s OUR school!
There are so many wonderful things happening at our little school! Here is an overview of what I am sharing in this newsletter:
I. Our 12 Little Disciples – a testimony of our first 12 students.
II. Planting Seeds – the eternal investment happening in our school has been amazing!
III. Photos and Video of our School – see the fruit of your prayers and support!
IV. “Say YES even if you’re not ready ” – faith lessons on the field and a reminder in Isaiah 6:8-11.
V. Prayer Requests
Our 12 Little Disciples
All the prayers, preparation, and time invested brought us to our first day of school on January 11! I was nervous but very eager to receive the students God brought to our Christian nursery school. We started with 7 children on our first day, and it was beautiful to see cute little smiley faces enjoying their new classrooms. A few weeks later, we enrolled more children and we were at 12 students. We remained with our “12 little disciples”, as we tenderly called them, for various months. The Lord impressed it upon my heart to not seek growth but rather to establish our school vision and culture with our “12 little disciples”. So, we did just that! We loved on the children and their parents, some parents began sharing prayer requests with us, we opened up the school so that parents can enter and see what their children were learning, we gave lots of hugs and received so many more from our little 12! As we were doing that, we were hearing from parents and friends that the schools here are not like that at all, that we were a very different school than the rest. Parents began telling us that they felt very welcomed and they appreciated the warm environment they felt throughout our school. And that was confirmation – our prayer had been that our school would run God’s way, reflecting His love to all those families. It meant that our school would be different…and that was ok!
God has often reminded me that what is happening in our little school is an investment for eternity. More than half of our kids do not attend church nor come from families that profess the Christian faith. In light of that, please read the testimonies below, seeds are being planted in the little hearts of the children, and the ground is truly fertile.
Our full-time teacher, Steffi Scherer, who has been an incredible blessing to our school and to me, is a licensed teacher who goes through fun and interesting academic activities with the 3-4 year old children. The kids love learning with Steffi! In addition to the academics, she goes through the Bible with them after lunchtime. When Easter was approaching, Steffi told the kids, “I want to introduce you to my best friend, his name is Jesus.” For a week leading up to Easter, they went through the life of Jesus, culminating with His death and resurrection on the last day before Easter break. Many of the children had never heard the gospel message, had never been exposed to the meaning of Easter and had never heard that Jesus desired to be their friend and savior. From Easter to this very day, the most anticipated time of day is the Bible reading time!
One day during this Bible time, Steffi sang the traditional children’s hymn, “Jesus Loves Me This I know” with the children. A little boy then asked Steffi, “Can we change the words to the song? Can we sing, ‘Yes, Jesus protects us’ and ‘Yes, Jesus comforts us’?” This is a 3-year-old boy with a tender heart towards the Lord! But how could this be, he is so young?
What I have learned is that the world has not underestimated children’s responsiveness to earthly things (i.e. video games, cartoons…), then, as Christians, we shouldn’t underestimate their receptiveness to spiritual things. With that perspective in mind, we have taught the children to pray before meals and for each other, and very often they will now remind us to pray for any children that are ill. They have recently taken prayer to the next level: as we were learning about bugs last month, some children found a dying bug on the floor and they quickly ran to Steffi and said, “Just like Jesus healed many people, we want to pray and ask Him to heal this bug too.” As they each earnestly prayed for the bug, we were all impacted by their initiative to pray!
The seeds are being planted at home as well. Parents have told us that at home their children will sing our “Thank you God” song before their meals and some have even prayed with their parents. With sincere gratitude parents have noticed a change in their children and thank us for the genuine love that freely roams through out our school. We know it’s God’s love for the little ones and it is so beautiful! We are praying for the Lord to continue to use our little disciples to share what they are learning at school!
Photos of our School…
Currently, we have 17 children from 1 – 4 years old. The Lord saw it best to start from the very little ones (nursery/preschool level) instead of the elementary level like we intended to at the beginning. We were reminded that we are doing things His way, and He is allowing us to help set a loving foundation in these children at such an early age. Below you will see photos of some of our children, the classrooms, part of the school grounds, and some fun snack creations!
I would love for you to take a tour of our school and learn a bit more of the vision. It is amazing to see what the Lord has done in the reformation of the building we are using. I shared this video early this year on my social media, but in case you missed it, it is here below!
0:00 – 0:43 Intro
0:43 – 2:07 Local Pastor’s greeting
2:07 – 5:03 Tour of the school
5:03 – 7:13 Info on how to get involved
7:13 – 9:00 Local Pastor’s encouragement
“You can say YES even if you are not ready.”
This is what the Lord placed in my heart after praying about a decision I had to make for the school. Let me give you some context: The first few months as the director of the school were very tough. I asked the Lord for A LOT of wisdom because I have never done this before! Therefore, dependence on running the school God’s way was the only answer I had, and truly it’s the only answer I still have. As the school began growing, we decided that Steffi would lead the older group, the 3-4 year olds and I would then lead the 1-2-year old classroom. Yes, the 1-2 year olds! Steffi and I are the only staff members that are there everyday and we are both licensed teachers. So your girl can now change nappies at record speed, is putting 9 kids down for nap time, and has obtained mad reflex skills that prevent accidents from happening! I also have to say that everything I just mentioned is alongside amazing volunteers and staff that I have the blessing of working with and that help me tremendously! I really believe that the Lord has given me the grace needed to be with the very little ones, and at the same time, the grace to carry out my responsibilities that come with overseeing the logistical and operational functions of the school. There is so much to be done on a daily basis, therefore, I wasn’t ready for what was coming next….
Parents and friends began recommending our school and as a result, we received many enrollment requests. The majority of those requests were for the 1-2 year old classroom! As I was experiencing a season of being stretched by taking on the little ones and leading a new school, guess who was praying to say NO to potential new children?! (I’m so embarrassed!) As I continued to pray about it, I was being honest with the Lord in telling Him that I wasn’t ready to take on more toddlers. On top of that, my plate felt extremely full with all matters concerning the school. I didn’t feel ready to take on more.
The Lord’s response to my prayer was very gentle but convicting, “You can say YES even if you think you are not ready.” Although, in my understanding, it made sense to say “No”, I knew in my heart that the Lord desired to teach me how He provides the resources, the people, the wisdom, and the strength to carry on His mission. He also assured me that the equipping, the grace, the wisdom, and the Holy Spirit’s power are mine through Him to fulfill His purposes. My faith was stretched as I had to believe in real time that He would provide what He said He would. And He has thus far! Taking on more did not mean doing it all by myself – the Lord already had in mind the people that were coming in to help, the strategies, and the insight. My heart just had to trust and obey as the beautiful hymn I sang as a child reminds me.
“What He says we will do; Where He sends, we will go, Never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey, For there’s no other way, To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.”(Trust and Obey, 1887, JHS)
If you are getting ready to step out in faith and you are gaining the courage to say “Yes” even if you don’t feel ready, please let me know, I would love to cheer you on through prayer.
One final thought: In this season, I found comfort in Isaiah’s example. “Here I am Lord, send me”, are words in Isaiah 6:8 that I have prayed with all my heart, this time, however, I was challenged and encouraged with the next verses (vs. 9-11). Isaiah finds out what his assignment will be… and his response was, “Lord, how long?” I was so thankful to see a bit of Isaiah’s humanity as his question was a valid one. How long would Isaiah have to preach such difficult words to the people God called him to? He was commissioned to a very challenging ministry but he didn’t take back the words, “Here I am Lord, send me” nor did he add a disclaimer, “Send me only if I approve of the calling and only if I agree with the way my faith will be stretched.” He didn’t do that, Isaiah remained faithful and obedient to God’s mission for him! In my humanity, the stretching of my faith and character are not always pleasant but I can take God at His word and trust that it’s not my readiness nor my skills that will fulfill His purpose. It’s His mighty resources given to me by His grace that will enable me to live for Him. So let’s pray for each other, for the Lord to give us the strength to remain faithful to do everything He has called us to do, no matter how difficult it may be. Let’s keep running this race set before us with prayer and God’s strength!
Thank you for sticking around until the end! Thank you so much for being a part of this eternal investment. Thank you for your support and your prayers. Everyone at the school truly feels your prayers, they are sincerely powerful, so I kindly ask you to please keep them coming!! If you have any prayer requests, if you would like to know how to get involved in the work here in Spain, or just want to say hello, contact me via email, WhatsApp, or any of my socials. You are very much appreciated, love you all!
God bless you,
1) We currently have 17 children enrolled; please pray for them and their families; that those that do not know the Lord would come to know Him.
2) We need more volunteers! Please pray that the Lord would bring the right people with a heart for children and God’s vision for our school.
3) We are praying that the Lord would provide the funds to add the following to our staff:
– Another full-time teacher
– Someone to prepare the snacks and lunch
– A janitor/maintenance worker
4) Please keep all of us working in the school in prayer. We are all doing so much in light of the help we need. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Neh. 8:10) is the verse that I have been holding on to in this season and one that I have been sharing with the staff.
5) For the Lord’s continual provision over our wish list items and projects that still need to be done in our playground, classrooms, and other areas of the school. If you are interested in receiving a copy of our wish list, please let me know 🙂
6) For my family: for continual protection, strength, and blessings over them.
7) I am almost hitting the 2-year mark since I’ve left and been back to the US. I would love to take some time to see my family, friends, and all the churches that support me. Please pray for that opportunity.
“Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He performs for people!” – Psalms 66:5
Happy one year anniversary!!! I’m so thankful that you have been with me throughout this venture of faith in Spain. I have definitely felt your prayers and support in these last 12 months! So, here’s to us!! I truly could not have made it through this year without you!
One of the biggest truths I have learned this year is that Jesus fulfills one of my favorite verses.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
I always took that verse as an affirmation of what God will do for me; that He would answer my prayer requests in ways far greater than I can ever imagine. I still believe that He can definitely do that, however, during this year, He showed me something even better. I learned that Jesus is “exceedingly abundantly above all” that I can ever ask or imagine!
Not only is His love amazing, but it’s also unfailing. He is not only incredibly faithful, but His faithfulness reaches beyond the heavens. His righteousness is not just perfect, but it’s also immovable as the mighty mountains. Not only does He forgive us of our sins, but He removes them as far as the east is from the west. Jesus demonstrated His perfect love on the cross, His mighty power through His resurrection, and His loving care as He intercedes for me today.
Jesus is “exceedingly abundantly above all” that I can ever ask or imagine!
He knew how important it was for me to learn that truth because in these last 12 months, I’ve missed spending time with my family and amid this pandemic, I wasn’t physically present to assist my parents (who are at high risk). I wasn’t there for very important and significant events of family and friends, and I will not be home for the holidays yet another year. Nonetheless, I have experienced the Lord’s generous measure of grace like never before. He not only loves me, but cares, listens, and blesses me ever so kindly. Jesus truly is “exceedingly abundantly above all” that I can ever ask or imagine!
Praise Reports & Prayer Requests:
• We are still working on getting the school building ready. There is so much to do but we’re almost there! Please pray for more volunteers to help us get it all done as important dates are approaching.
• On November 28 we are hosting our very first Open House! Please pray that parents and children would come to see our school and enroll for the next school term in January.
• Our official opening day is January 11! Please pray as we do not know if COVID regulations will affect any of our plans. We haven’t felt the Lord directing us to stop, so we will continue moving forward in faith.
• We are offering a special price of 200€ for 4 months to help families during this COVID state of emergency in Spain. Our monthly fee should be 350€ to provide for our operating costs but we feel that the Lord wants us to take this step of faith in our budget. Please pray as we will hurt financially with this low cost. We need a miracle in our school finances to provide for these families and to keep us afloat.
• I am overseeing all the logistics and operational tasks needed to start the school. Once the school gets started, I will be in the principal/administrator role. I have taught in a school before and have studied how to lead one, but if I can be very candid, I need the Lord’s help every day because I’ve never started a school before! Please pray for me, for greater dependence on the Lord, for wisdom, humility, and strength.
Calvary Chapel Downey had a wonderful missions event last month. Thank you CCD, for letting me share what God is doing in Spain! In case you missed the short video update, you can find it on this link below:
A lot has been done to the school since that video. Here are some photos of the exciting transformation of our school!
ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE:
I passed my Spanish Driving Test!! Watch out Mallorca streets here I come!! I had to learn how to drive a stick shift car in Mallorca’s “downtown” area. It’s like the equivalent of Downtown LA with the many one-way streets and all the foot and car traffic. It was intense but by the grace of God, I passed the theory and driving test each in one shot (shameless bragging rights, sorry!).
The Lord provided a car for me in a HUGE way! He truly knows and provides for our needs, many times even before we say anything!! Thank you to those that helped me financially via donations and through my latest fundraiser. You guys are the best!!
The Lord provided an appointment with the government on the very day my visa expired, which was a total miracle as the appointments are scarce because of COVID! I got all the paperwork I needed in record time by the office of Religious Affairs here in Spain, another miracle! More news to follow on my visa!
I have so much to be thankful for in this last year, and so much to pray for as well! Thank you for being a part of this calling with me. Thank you for praying for me and the work here in Spain. I definitely could not have survived my first year without your support. Like I mentioned in the video, the blessings here in Spain are yours as well!
I am available to answer any questions or provide more information on how to get involved in this work in Spain. If you would like to donate towards our school specifically, you can do so on our school website: www.spccschool.com or you can contact me for more info. Thank you!
If you need prayer, I would love to pray for you! Feel free to send me your prayer requests to this email or via WhatsApp.
Love and appreciate you all!
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“If it were not for uncertainties, we would have no need to walk by faith.” – Elisabeth Elliott
Hello from Quarantine! Hello from Spain!! Thank you for taking the time to read this update. I hope this is a good lockdown read for you! 🙂 I’m so happy to take you on a short journey on what God has been doing in these past few months in quarantine and beyond!
QUARANTINE! Spain went through a very strict lockdown from March until May. It later loosened up a bit, but in those first months, we were only allowed to go out for grocery shopping, doctor visits, dog walks up to a certain distance, and trips to the pharmacy. Otherwise, it was a mandatory stay-at-home order. I have never worked-out as much as I did during the lockdown, and I have never baked as much as well (the irony!). The Lord was my companion during the whole time as it was just me in my little flat! He kept me safe and provided for all my needs. Many of you were a part of that too! Thank you so much for your support! My wonderful care team, family and friends also sent me care packages! I had tortillas during the quarantine!! I was happy!
In the midst of these stringent regulations to stay indoors, the Lord was definitely working in my heart. The Lord was also at work with our school project. The work of the school did not cease during the quarantine, it felt as if we were busier than before!
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
SCHOOL UPDATE! The vision for our Christian school has NOT changed, but the plans on how to start it have. It’s always interesting to be re-directed by the Lord, especially when we have our plans on how and when things should happen! I recently read a quote that sums up what we are experiencing with the school project:
“Pencil in your plans but write your visions in ink.” – Andy Stanley
About a year before moving to Spain, the Lord gave me a very random desire to help in the nursery at church. I was involved in other areas of ministry and was very busy but I just couldn’t shake off that desire to help there. So, I got involved in the nursery and I learned a lot! As many of you know, I was an elementary and high school teacher and never considered working with younger children. However, the last age group I worked with before moving to Spain was with nursery-aged children and I loved it! Why am I sharing all of this??
Our initial plan was to start with preschool and elementary, ages 3-8. The new plan is to start with ages 0-3! The Lord has re-directed us to start a Christian Nursery with the intention of growing with the children; from nursery to preschool, then elementary and finally to secondary.
The Lord is giving us the opportunity to lay a foundation in the lives of children. It is an incredible blessing that we will now start our school by sharing God’s love to these little ones first. We have the chance to take part in their foundational development, both academically and spiritually! What a blessing!! I really look forward to working with parents as well, that as they see us care for their children with a heart full of Christ’s love, that they would want to know more about His love and salvation.
I’m always amazed by the way God works in our lives! He is truly many steps ahead of us! From randomly having this tug in my heart to help with the nursery, to starting the first Christian Nursery in Mallorca! Be encouraged to take steps of faith, even if you don’t understand them at the moment! Trust in Him as you move forward in obedience. God truly sees the bigger picture!!
I’m holding on to Proverbs 16:9 as a reality and as a prayer:
“Lord, we have plans and strategies, but please determine our steps. This is your vision, your plan, your school.”
PRAYER IN QUARANTINE! One day during my quarantine prayer times, the Lord confronted me with the following question:
“Zully, leading the school is different than ‘helping start the school’, are you willing to lead this school?”
[gulp…Lord, can you repeat the question?]
This is the Lord’s commissioning for me, to lead this school with a surrendered heart, trusting in Him as He equips me for this calling. I constantly pray for wisdom to lead the school as the principal, but I have learned that it’s not just about receiving wisdom. King Solomon had all the wisdom in the world but he failed to honor the Lord in other areas. So, my prayer is not just for wisdom, but also for humility and greater dependence on the Lord for this calling.
“You and your team must be important people!”
MIRACLES! We were given an appointment at the Ministry of Education to discuss our re-direction plans. When the local officials at the city council found out that we were given this appointment they said, “You and your team must be important people!” They explained to us that these meetings are not informal and they couldn’t believe we had access to the Director at the Ministry of Education. I was just as surprised as they were! When we arrived at our meeting, the Director came in with the architect hired by the Ministry of Education. The architect was at our full disposal to answer any questions we had! I couldn’t help but think, “Wow Lord, we really must be important people! Of course, we’re your children!” Praise God for the favor and the miracles we have seen in the government officials and their commitment to help us start this vision well!
In our meeting with the Director, we received the suggestion to start a tutoring center as it will enable us to reach more children in our community. We couldn’t believe that she was speaking into what we had already been praying for! We are prayerfully considering a tutoring center as it provides an awesome opportunity to work within the community. This is still in the works but I’m very excited to serve the people around us!! We have many ideas on how to go about it but we are trusting in the Lord as we wait for His guidance and His heart for the tutoring center.
SOCIAL MEDIA! I would like to make mention of the amazing team that I’m a part of! During the lockdown, we met at least once a week via Zoom and for many hours. We worked together on marketing brainstorms, uniform selections, policy writing, and so much more. We were also able to work on all the content and final touches to the website, Facebook Page, and Instagram account.
It’s not official until you’re on social media, right?! Give us a hello if you’re on any of these social media platforms!
“I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers.May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”– Ruth 2:11-12
My Family! These past few months have been quite difficult being far away. There have been tough times back home that I wished to have been there to comfort and support them in person. I have also missed important birthdays and holidays. As I was praying one day about the realities of being away from my family the Lord lead me to this verse in Ruth: “I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”
Talk about finding comfort in God’s Word! He is soooo good!
Thank you for being “quarantined” with me as you have prayed for me, supported me, encouraged me, and checked up on me! The work of the school and the vision the Lord has given me for the gospel in Spain is yours as well! I’m honored to share it with you!!
I am available to answer any questions or if you would like more information on how to get involved in this work in Spain, I would be more than happy to provide that information for you. Thank you and stay safe!!
God bless you,
School Project: To remain open to God’s direction, for wisdom to abide by all the regulations, for the children that will form part of our nursery, and for greater dependence on the Lord for my role as the principal.
Spiritual Life: To stay consistent in my personal time with the Lord and to be open to the direction of the Holy Spirit. That I would be strong under spiritual warfare and to be aware of the different forms that it may come in.
Finances: For the Lord to continue to provide as He has done so far.
Family: For continual protection over my family, especially my parents who are at high risk during this pandemic.
I truly hope you are enjoying this holiday season alongside your loved ones! I recently celebrated my first holiday in Spain, and although it was tough being away from my family, the Lord definitely did a new thing in my heart and in my baking skills!
As one of the few Americans at church here, I was asked to bake an apple pie for the church’s Thanksgiving dinner. We were low on pies for the dinner, so after being encouraged, I nervously accepted the baking challenge. For many, baking a pie may not be a big deal but when the extent of your baking skills is following instructions on boxed cake mix, it can be a pretty daunting task! I had friends and family pray for this pie, and by God’s grace it turned out pretty good!!
As the Lord would have it, I learned a beautiful lesson from baking the apple pie!
I learned that I need to be bold enough to change my perspective about those things that may seem daunting and intimidating to me. Like Elisha, I need to pray for the Lord to “open my eyes” and to “let me see” what they really look like through His perspective.
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. ‘Oh, sir, what will we do now?’, the young man cried to Elisha. ‘Don’t be afraid!’, Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!’ The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”(2 Kings 6:15-17)
As the school project team and I are moving forward to getting the Christian school started, there are so many questions, requirements, research, and decisions still left to make. Fear and doubt can easily take over and fog our perspective on what God has called us to do. This vision is definitely not for the faint-hearted so we have committed to press on and continually ask the Lord to “let us see”.
I had the blessing to travel with Loretta, Pastor Raf’s wife, to Fuengirola (near Malaga in mainland Spain). We went to visit an established Christian school to glean from their experience. We had many divine intervention moments as we were connected to other people involved in Christian education in Spain. We had an appointment to interview the school’s director and she supplied us with valuable information and great tips as well. This trip was very encouraging and inspiring!
In these last few months, we have been scouting out various potential school locations and have spoken to many building and land owners. We have also met with the city mayor and other town councilmembers to ask for permitted locations for schools. There is a potential premises very near the church grounds, not pictured here, that we are really looking into and praying over. Finding a proper school location has been one of those “daunting” tasks but we are trusting in the Lord for His wisdom and discernment for such a big decision! Please help us pray for this!
“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers
Feliz NavidadDesde España
I have learned that part of the process of adapting to life in a new country is making my new house feel like home. So here are a few pics of some Christmas hints throughout my tiny flat…
Thank you for all your prayers!! The Lord has been faithful and He hears your prayers!! You are a part of this exciting faith endeavor of bringing the gospel to children and their families in Mallorca! I am available to answer any questions or if you would like more information on how to get involved in this work in Spain I would be more than happy to let you know what you can do. Thank you!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
God bless you!
The School Project: Please pray for God’s guidance for all the decisions and regulations that we have to follow to start a Christian school in Spain. Also, pray for my role in the school, I have a greater administrative role in getting everything organized but also in assisting with the managing of the team.
Transportation: I need the Lord’s direction about the right time to buy a car.
Family: Please pray that the Lord would continue caring for everyone in my family. Also for the upcoming holidays away from each other (Christmas and New Year), everyone is telling me to be prepared because it can be difficult.
Spiritual Life: To stay consistent in my personal time with the Lord and to be open to the direction of the Holy Spirit. That I would be strong under spiritual warfare and to be aware of the different forms that it may come in.
Finances: For the Lord to continue to provide as He has done so far.
Discipleship: For the Lord to continue providing opportunities to share with the girls at the church here in Spain and for my time with the girls that I have remained in touch with in the US and Mexico.
I have been in Spain for one month! Wow!! Time goes by so fast! I arrived in Spain on September 30 and it has been a HUGE BLESSING!! I would like to give you a quick update on my first month in Mallorca, Spain!
“Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work.” — A.B. Simpson
A few days before I left California, my home church sent me off with prayer! What a special time that was! I would like to express a huge THANK YOU to all those that prayed for me before I left! My home church (CC Downey), Saving Grace World Missions, Calvary Cerritos, my Care Team, friends, family… truly your support through prayer means so much and I am very grateful!!
ONE WAY TICKET TO SPAIN:
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”— C.T. Studd
The day finally came to go to the airport and say goodbye to my family. I am definitely blessed by each member of my family! Their constant love and support is amazing! I love them very much!! So our time to say goodbye at the airport was filled with many hugs and tears. It was definitely not an easy goodbye but your prayers for strength carried all of us through!
In the midst of the emotions, there was a miracle at the ticket counter! I had an issue with my checked bags and I was being charged almost $300 to let them go through. When the ticket attendant tried to set my suitcases aside, he noticed that they had already been placed on the conveyer belt! So, he then admitted he couldn’t charge me the fee anymore. I didn’t have to pay anything extra! God is good!! The impact of your prayers on full display!!
WELCOME TO SPAIN:
“To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” — William Carey
I finally landed in Spain after about 15 hours of travel! The pastor here in Mallorca, Raf Manzanares and his wife Loretta, had a special warm welcome prepared for me in my apartment! What a blessing!!
One of my dearest and closest friends, Lisa Lampon, traveled with me to help me get settled in! She knew exactly how to help me! My apartment looks very nice and is in order thanks to her! Her support and prayers were a blessing. This was missionary care in a very practical and loving way, and as a single girl moving to a new country this kind of support was very much needed and appreciated. It was a blessing having Lisa in Mallorca! Love you sis!
LET’S GET WORKING:
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” — William Carey
The school project has been in preparation mode since before I arrived. Therefore, upon arriving it was straight to work on this exciting venture of faith! I was asked to take on more responsibilities within the administration aspect of the project so my days are filled with a lot of meetings, emails, researching, and coordinating. I know the Lord brought me here to Mallorca with that purpose. The journey that began many years ago, is now tangibly before me and I couldn’t be any more excited and honored to serve the Lord in this way!
There has been a lot to do as we are preparing to meet certain milestones we have set in place. These milestones will help us ensure that we can start our school next year. It is exciting, but definitely a venture that keeps us on our knees!
The Lord has provided an incredible team from all types of professions and backgrounds that have been a blessing and their involvement has blown us away! We have acknowledged that it is not for the faint hearted, so we have been united in prayer with the team as we fellowship together, stay in contact, and have meetings (both in person and online) several times a week. We know that the Lord will continue to lead us in His wisdom and strength to get this school started!
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7
I have been blown away by the love and welcoming I have received by the body of believers here! Truly, I am learning a lot about a new level of love and hospitality that I have never experienced before. From catching rides to all sorts of places with new friends to enjoying meals at the pastor’s house and others from the church. I have gone shopping for groceries with new friends that are teaching me the ropes – where to shop and what to buy. It has all been a huge blessing!
As I am directly the recipient of that love and hospitality, the Lord is teaching me to freely receive His blessings. I often feel like I have to earn God’s blessings or prove that I deserve them. But what a lie that is!! A lie that can keep me from experiencing God’s pure love given to me FREELY because He is the source of love, and He is my Father that genuinely wants to love on me and you…without having to work or earn His love! Let’s receive those big and small blessings simply and beautifully because He loves us.
“The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors, as the missionary.” — R. A. Torrey
My continual adjustment period of living in Mallorca.
My family back home – for their adjustment period too!
For the Lord’s direction and wisdom for everything concerning the school project.
To complete the final steps in getting the official Foreigner’s ID card to legally live here. This process has been a lot longer than anticipated!
For continual strength and dependence on the Lord.
This update is a true reflection of the impact of your prayers! Thank you for participating in this ministry with me through your support – prayerfully, financially, through encouragement, and sharing this info with others.
If you are new here, welcome! If you would like to know how to be a part of this ministry, please contact me via email: email@example.com or Facebook Messenger (Zully Ruano).
It’s a blessing to serve together with you in this endeavor to bring the truth of the gospel to the lives of children and their families in Mallorca!
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
I am learning that with every new season comes new blessings, new lessons, and new strength. The beauty of walking into a new season is that the Lord is already there, preparing the way for us. I was able to see Him do just that as I spent a week in Mallorca, Spain from August 4 – 12.
Here is a sneak peek into this new season through photos….
Before leaving for Spain, I received the news that I was granted the religious visa!! Thank you so much for your prayers!!!! The verse below is the verse I read a few days before I got the notification. What a precise word from the Lord!
August 4: Airport drop off! We didn’t count it strange to go through a little hiccup right before I checked-in for my flight. When I arrived at the airport and grabbed my new suitcase to take it out of the car, the suitcase opened entirely! We noticed that the zipper broke and although the locks were still on the zipper pulls, the zipper separated and split open! There was so much traffic getting to the airport that heading back home to switch suitcases was not an option. We prayed for wisdom as we walked to the terminal. Upon entering the terminal, we found a travel shop that had exactly what we needed! We bought a roll of plastic-wrap and wrapped my suitcase nice and tight! My suitcase arrived intact to Spain! Praise God!!
The main reason for my trip was to participate in a strategic workshop for the Christian school I will be a part of. Everyone vital to starting this school was there. The workshop was an 8-hour meeting where the facilitator and brother in Christ, Michael Gobran, guided us in such an amazing way. He took us through great discussions about the vision, purpose, and mission of the school. We established the principles and values that our school will uphold. At the end of the meeting, we developed specific and attainable goals to be reached in the next 12 months.
The team is composed of many people from different professions and backgrounds. It was a huge blessing meeting each person! Everyone on this team has a desire and is committed to reach children and their families for Christ. I’m honored to be a part of this team! I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use our gifts and talents for His glory as we work to establish this school together! We had an awesome time after the meeting as we enjoyed a BBQ meal together and sweet fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ!
I tried keeping something a secret during the meeting… the meeting was held on the actual day of my birthday! Thanks to Facebook, the word got out and the team sang “Happy Birthday” to me at the end of the meeting. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift than to be part of this planning meeting! It was an honor to take part in the beginning stages of our Christian school!!
I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek of the apartment I will be living in. The apartment complex is called “Jardin de Luz”, in English that is “Garden of Light”. It is about 1 mile away from the church and a little less than a mile from Brenda’s house, the owner of the apartment. I spent a lot of time with Brenda and I was incredibly blessed by her kindness! We had amazing conversations over coffee/tea about the Lord as we shared our testimonies and prayer requests. I’m so glad I was able to spend that time with her and I look forward to more coffee/tea times together!
I attended Friday morning devotions that Pastor Raf leads every week. The devotions are open to anyone that would like to attend. I took so many notes as Pastor Raf taught and led a time of discussion. It was so edifying!! I’m looking forward to attending every Friday!
I had many lunch and dinner times at Pastor Raf and Lorretta’s home. I was very blessed by their hospitality and care for me while I was in Mallorca! I was also taken along to BBQs and other gatherings where I was able to meet other brothers and sisters from the church. I was blessed by the fellowship I had with so many new people! I truly look forward to getting connected with the local church and sharing in ministry as the Lord leads.
I mentioned earlier that I tried keeping my birthday a secret in Spain. Here at home, however, I wasn’t able to do that at all!! My wonderful care team celebrated with me before leaving for Spain and had a beautiful cake for me too! I am tremendously blessed by this group of loving and supportive friends and family that have committed to “hold the rope” while I take this leap of faith.
My beautiful family also celebrated with me after I got back from Spain. There are more birthday pictures on my Facebook page. I’m easy to find if we’re not friends yet, just type in Zully Ruano!
The month of August was a huge blessing and a wonderful preview of what is to come. Although there is a sense of uncertainty over some things, the Lord has promised renewed strength for this new season. So this is just the beginning!
Your prayers, support, financial gifts, encouraging texts, and your hugs are a huge blessing to me and I am incredibly thankful to all of you!! We’re in this together to further the gospel in Spain!
Contact me if you too would like to take part in this ministry with me. I would love to share with you how you can team up with me in this calling.
God bless you,
Wisdom for the final preparations before my departure
For my family as we get ready to say our goodbyes
To desperately seek God’s direction for all things
Strength in the midst of the spiritual warfare
For the Lord to continue to provide in all areas
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The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “‘It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided.’” -Isaiah 14:24
God’s Sovereignty points to the fact that He knows the length of our trials, the reason for our waiting, and the outcome to our circumstances.
God’s Sovereignty also points to the fact that He knows what He’s doing! My human logic and limited view of the future does not compare at all to God’s All-Knowing character…but I often try to squeeze Him into my way of thinking.
I try to fit Him into my many boxes too like the “It Makes Sense This Way” box or the “It Would be Faster If…” box. And the recent one He didn’t fit into was “The Visa Process Should Work Out the Way I Planned It” box!
As many of you know, I have been compiling my required documents for the visa interview with the Spanish Consulate. I had finally received the important documents from Spain that are allowing me to request a religious visa. All I need is my interview appointment with the Consulate that should occur before some of my paperwork expires in August. Well, the next available appointment is not until September! When I found out, I nervously prayed, “Lord, my paperwork expires in August so when I refresh the appointment website page, can you please open an appointment in July or August? I really don’t want to wait until September.” For the next three weeks after that prayer, I have refreshed that page at random times during the day hoping and praying that God would open a date.
Is the Lord able to work a miracle and open an interview date before August? Of course He can!
Can the Lord make a way when there seems to be no way? Yes, nothing is impossible for Him!
I know for certain He is a God of miracles but I also know for certain that He cares for the condition of my heart.
His Sovereignty reminds me to surrender.
My logistical plans are not the ones that need to be aligned to God’s will, it’s my heart that needs to be aligned to His will. I am quick to strive for the answers to the when, how, and the ever so popular, “Lord is this your will?” But it’s truly a matter of the heart. So I whole-heartedly surrendered and accepted the visa appointment in September.
Let me STOP right here…. I wrote the above BEFORE THE MIRACLE!
A few days after I wrote everything you just read, I received an email from the Spanish Consulate on July 3rd letting me know that I was granted an emergency visa appointment with them for Monday, July8th!!!
I had 4 days (3 days really because of 4thof July) to get everything I needed for the appointment. Since my heart was at peace with the September date, I left some things undone. But God, in the way only He is able to work, allowed me to get everything done in 3 days and I was able to present all my paperwork to the Consulate on July 8th!
Now it’s a matter of waiting for an email that states whether or not I received the visa. Payers please!!
God’s sovereignty amazes me! Not only did the Lord open up a visa appointment for me, but He is also allowing me to go to Spain for one week in August! I received an unexpected phone call from Pastor Raf in Spain, letting me know of an important planning meeting we will have for the school we are praying to begin. Everyone involved in the school, including myself, will be there. More on this one week trip to Spain in the next newsletter!!
I can’t thank you enough for being on this journey with me!! If I have ever needed prayer and support it is definitely now!! This journey has been quite interesting to say the least, but it has been a huge blessing!! It’s never too late to partner with me in Spain. Contact me and I can share ways that you can be part of this team!
For God’s will over the visa approval.
Strength in the midst of the spiritual warfare.
For the Lord to continue to provide in all areas.
For the August meeting in Spain.
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Paul the apostle went to Spain…well there is a great possibility that he made it there! In Romans 15 we read that Paul had a desire to keep moving to new frontiers to share the gospel; this new frontier was Spain.
“My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard…I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome….I will come to see you on my way to Spain.” Romans 15: 20, 24, 28
When you look back at Paul’s missionary journeys, you’ll notice that he kept expanding his mission field. He started off in Antioch and then he kept moving to the west, and a little more to the west, and then farther out to the west! Heading to Spain meant traveling as far west as he possibly could; for Paul that meant sharing the gospel to “the ends of the earth”. Paul was an amazing missionary with a big vision!
You may be thinking, “Wait a minute Zully, the Bible never mentioned that Paul indeed traveled to Spain.” You are absolutely right. Although church tradition and historical scholars indicate that Paul made it to Spain, the Bible doesn’t recount a 4thmissionary journey to Spain. What the Bible does recount is Paul’s passion to keep moving forward for Christ. Paul was a man with a vision. He was a man with a desire to share Christ. Despite the hardships he went through in his three previous missionary journeys, he desired to keep pushing through boundaries, both earthly ones and physical ones too. (Read his stirring list of hardships in 2 Corinthians 11:24-30!)
I recently listened to an interview of a Christian marathon runner named Ryan Hall. He mentioned that he runs because he enjoys pushing himself and loves realizing that he can do a lot more than what he thought he could. As he goes through the pain and exhaustion of finishing a marathon race, he is able to run all the way to the finish line because when he focuses on someone or something outside of himself (i.e. his family, his charity foundation…etc.); he then has a purpose to keep running even though his body is ready to quit. Ryan Hall’s interview made me think about our Christian race. Are we running this Christian race with purpose? Are we willing to expand our vision? When the going gets tough, do we keep running knowing that we can endure this race because God and His calling are worth it?
While I’m not competing in a marathon race anytime soon, I am following Paul’s footsteps to Spain. I don’t mean that just literally. I want to follow his example in expanding my vision for Christ. I want to follow his example in pushing myself a little more to do those things that the Lord is calling me to do. I want to keep asking myself: How willing am I to push myself a little more for Christ each day? Am I willing to let go, to surrender, to sacrifice, to be uncomfortable for Him and for the sake of the gospel?
What is Christ calling you to do? How is He desiring that you expand your vision?
Let me tell you that just by reading this newsletter and taking part in my missionary journey, you are allowing the Lord to expand your vision! It’s so awesome that we can expand our vision together in the furtherance of the gospel to Spain! I’m very thankful that together we’re allowing the Lord to do something through us that only He can do! It’s never too late to partner with us in Spain. Contact me and I can share ways that you can be part of this team!
Thank you for your prayers! I’m praying for you as well, that your vision may be expanded and that you may be amazed at what God can do in and through you!
~ The visa process is in the works. I’m waiting for an important document from Spain that will allow me to request a religious visa. Please keep that in prayer!
~ The monthly funds I need to have in place before leaving are coming in slowly but surely! Please pray for the Lord to continue to provide in all areas.
~ My Care Team and I have been meeting once a month; I’m blessed by everyone on my team! If you would like to expand your vision in missions and would like to join a Care Team, feel free to contact me!
“Lord, if You were leaving to Spain and you had a long list of things to do, what would You do? How would You handle it all?”
Lately, my prayers have been very simple before the Lord. And His answers have been just as simple and practical! This is what He spoke to my heart after the above prayer:
“Zully, if I were leaving to Spain, and had a long list of things to do, I would desperately seek my Father’s direction every single morning.”
Pretty straightforward! Two words stood out: “desperately seek”.
How do you desperately seek for something? Is it the kind of desperation like when you’re parched and look forward to a glass of water? Desperate like when you’re lost for hours and will do anything for the exact directions to your destination? Desperate as if you were hanging from the edge of a cliff and cried as loud as you can for someone to save you? Yes, yes, and yes. I need to be desperate enough to surrender everything to Him.
Shortly after I was learning about “desperately seeking” for the Lord, at just the right moment, I received lessons on John 15:5 that would solidify this new lesson on dependence.
The following are current personal updates that include a lesson I learned from the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (Ch. 9 – Ye Are the Branches):
Update #1: I have been blessed to share the call to Spain at various bible studies and on platforms like podcasts and webinars. (The links to those studies & platforms will be at the end.) Those who know me, know that sharing on these public platforms have been a huge stretch for me; I’m amazed at what God is doing!
“Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power in work. The branch has nothing but what it gets from the vine, and you and I can have nothing but what we get from Jesus.”
Update #2: I started the visa process! There are so many components to the visa, so I am taking everything one step at a time.
“The living connection of the vine and the branches is hourly, daily, unceasingly… Just so, I must take that position…and morning by morning and day by day and hour by hour and step by step, in every work I have to go out to just to abide before Him in the simple utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing, and can do nothing…. I have no care, my cares are His. I have no fear, He cares for all my fears.”
Update #3: The Association of Christian Teachers and Schools (ACTS) is providing the needed assistance to help establish the Christian school in Mallorca. Therefore, the Lord has put a team together both in Spain and in the US to help begin the school!
“If I am something, then God is not everything; but when I become nothing, God can become all…We need to become nothing.”
What freedom I found in recognizing that I am just a branch! I don’t have to strive or control anything but depend on the Vine and in His direction. It’s as if I have taken a front row seat, and I am watching His every move; it’s exciting! My heart’s desire is that you would take a front row seat with me! What ministry gift does God want you to contribute to this mission?
Your generosity in financially partnering with me, every prayer you make on my behalf, every encouraging message and counsel you send… etc. are some ways that you can share your ministry gift with our work in Spain. If you want to learn more on how to partner with me in this exciting venture of faith, please do not hesitate to contact me! I’m truly blessed that we’re in this together!
Some of the platforms God has allowed me to share on: