Monday, October 30, 2006

Lessons from Genesis 21:1-8

Hello All,

One of the more wonderful things about God is His faithfulness to His people. There are 2 definitions that are always accurate when applied to the relationship from God to His people. “Consistently trustworthy and loyal, especially to a person, a promise, or duty,” and “Displaying or resulting from a sense of responsibility or devotion to duty.” These first 8 verses of Genesis 21 really speak that too me especially.

First, He is faithful to His Word. In verse 1, you will note the force with which Moses records "as He had said" and "as He spoken." While it is true that God is never late, it is also true that He is never in a hurry! This promise took 25 years to bring to fulfillment. God never changed His mind or His agenda and even when all felt otherwise, God brought His Word faithfully to pass.

Second, God is faithful to His Timing. God had visited Sarah "at the set time." God is one timetable: His! His time is the best time, the right time. God has a perfect view of time and we see often the concept of God's mastery over it, even though it may not be expressly stated. He puts people in places "for such a time" as this. He allows the Messiah to be born "at the appointed time." Jesus Himself tells His mother Mary that "His time has not yet come." We may not like it, but God is faithful to His timing.

Third, God is faithful to His Glory. God has a way of bringing things to pass that are otherwise impossible. The birth of Isaac happened when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90. Sarah had been barren for many years, but God promised a child through her. There were no fertility clinics or drug experimentation programs in place during early biblical history. The birth of Isaac through a dead womb is an illustration of God's faithfulness to His glory, ie, His reputation to the watching world. He will be glorified by the world as He does marvelous works in, for and through us.

Fourth and finally, God is faithful to His Purposes. Notice what Sarah says when she looks down at little "Laughter" (Isaac): "And Sarah said, 'God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.'" All who hear! God's purpose in causing us to believe and proclaim His Word, to trust in His timing and bring glory to Him, can be wrapped up in this little phrase. "All who hear." God's purpose is to give us a testimony in the world, so that all who hear will laugh with joy when our stories are told.

The Lord is faithful brothers and sisters. Rejoice in the Lord and magnify His name among the nations you are surrounded by. If something is not happening now, it will happen when it's most glorious to Him. Let us keep that in mind as we enter this next week.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Yeah, They Do That Here Too!

Hello All,

Time to "fall back!" At least this is the popular one, as we all get an extra hour of sleep! However, what I have always experienced, especially as a Church worker, that you inevitably stay up an extra hour. For those of you like me, with inquisitive minds, perhaps you have wondered why we even do this. Cut and paste the link below for some answers to that twice yearly penetrating question.

And in case you need help figuring out what time it is...

Enjoy that extra hour!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, October 27, 2006

Momma Said There Would Be Days Like This!

Hello All,

Well, we have had some interesting days this last week. Perfectly normal things that happen everywhere happen here, but are intensified due to their close proximity to one another and because Carlos is in Morocco. It has made for some stress in our lives, but God has faithfully held us together and met all of our needs.

The first story begins on Wednesday. We were going to pick up Renae from school for her lunch hour. On the way, the car began to overheat. We stopped in a parking lot, put some water in the reservoir and continued on our way. The problem continued and we decided just to get Renae, and try to make our way home. Every half a mile or so, we had to stop the car to put more water in the reservoir. It was raining very hard so it was hard to tell where a leak was happening but we knew the radiator was not getting what it needed.

We made it home so the kids could have lunch and then it was off to the mechanic. Thankfully, Domingo Avila, the "First Elder Of Calvario De Jerez," was available to take me to the mechanic. We dropped off the car with Antonio the mechanic, who quickly informed me that the car needed a new radiator and that it would be ready the next day.

So many things were going through my mind at the time. How can we afford this? How can we get Renae to and from school? I had several other questions and plans. But God had better plans. Domingo had an additional day off and Lela had checked and our finances were going to make it and actually leave us with a small cushion for the month.

On that same afternoon, the water was turned off due to street repairs, the electricity went out for an hour, torrential rains not dissimilar from the rains of Noah's day fell upon Jerez so the kids were all cooped up for the entire day! But hey we had that little cushion. Then I was printing off my notes when the ink from my printer went out! There went that cushion!

And then the coup de' grace. Thursdays are a wonderful day of celebration for me. I have always loved Thursdays. They mean that a great bulk of studying is over and I can begin fresh on a new message. So, Thursday night we decided to celebrate at Carrefour Norte (Europe's version of a Wal-Mart superstore) and their McDonalds. After having dinner, we went into Carrefour to get our shopping done. We were in line and Caleb decided to run out from the line beyond the security poles. As he went, I reached for him and the security pole alarm went off.

The checker quickly inspected my son's hands and found that he was clean, but the alarms kept going off. IT WAS ME! Soon the eyes of a thousand Spaniards are all on me. The lady calmly processed our stuff, but the security guards made their way around our family, just in case we would attempt a quick getaway. After the food was put into the cart, one of the security guards came up to me and said, "Caballero..." I did not understand the next words, but I knew they meant come with me!

So, he led me to this investigation room, where I am sure all the hardened criminals of Jerez have been "cuffed and stuffed!" Then, as I am in the room with Security Guard #1, a second guard comes in. I am thinking at this point, "Oh great! Here comes the 'Good Cop/Bad Cop' routine!" Then my thoughts turned to whether or not I had holey socks on...

Meanwhile, Lela was sitting outside getting ready to call the American embassy and trying to figure out how to bake a cake with a file in it when she has no oven!

What was it? A bar code from America that was inadvertedly left in my wallet! Suffice it to say, it was funny afterward. Those poor security guards thought that they had brought down one of "America's Most Wanted" and all they got to show for it was an American bar code from some CD!

So, that was our week. God kept us through all and He was faithful to meet our every need, though we presently have 2 euros left! I wonder if Paul ever had these kinds of troubles...Actually, with that in mind, we had a pretty great week!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Sending Them Out..."

Hello All,

Today was the first of many busy days here in Jerez De La Frontera, mostly because of what we began. Renae started school today at a school called "El Altillo." Don't ask me what it means, as I have no clue and haven't had the gumption to ask! She has a different kind of schedule, mainly due to the Spanish Siesta. This will take some getting used to, but I must commend my daughter, as she walked into her new situation with an unfazed emotional palette. She is quite the trooper and I think that Lela and I were both much more nervous than she was or is! Perhaps this is always the case. I am learning that it's really difficult to let your child go, if even just for the day to Kindergarten!

At the same time, Pastor Carlos was getting ready for his current trip to Morocco.

This Morocco trip takes about 3 days to prepare for, as Carlos gets busy collecting things from various sources to take to the Moroccans. Everything from tools to clothes gets packed into his vehicle and it is an exhausting process, just to get on the road.

And on this particular trip, my good friend Johnny Love came to accompany him. It was good to see my friend and exciting to send him off into this exciting ministry. Almost all of the time that we have left the country, Johnny has been one of the drivers taking us to the airport, so it was nice to see him off this time. We ask that your prayers would be with them over these next several days as they minister among the Moroccan people.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Quess What Time This Photo Was Taken?

Hello All,

This photo was taken at 8:00 AM! Truly bizarre to come out of the house and think how you are going to kill whoever messed with the alarm clock, only to find out that it is actually the right time! This happened to me Thursday and then today, I had to get a picture to give you an idea of what it looks like. The sun does not come up in full strength until about 9. It's a little unsettling at first, even somewhat apocalyptic! However, it's going to be cool to do our Sunrise service on Resurrection Sunday! We will be the envy of Churches everywhere : "What! Your Sunrise starts at 8:30 AM!?"

The reason I have been up and out by 8 the last two days was in order to turn my papers in to the proper authorities before the 25th. On Thursday, Pastor Carlos and I went to the Police Station here in Jerez. Immediately, in typical fashion, we were brushed off and told that we needed to go to Cadiz. That was today's trip, which we took by train. Upon coming into the Cadiz Department of Labor building, we were met with the same kind of "helpful" attitude. I am so glad that Carlos was with me, as he is a delight to be with, even in the midst of truly frustrating events. He kept me laughing the entire time, which kept me from going to my "dark place!" Thankfully, in spite of other intentions, we were able to turn in the papers, and they have been marked as received.

Thanks for praying. This part of the story is done. We must continue to pray for the rest of the family's visas to come in. If they do not, we will have to leave again in January. We don't want to do that, so please be in prayer over this issue.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

A Link To Jerez News

Hello All,

Just found this site again. I bookmarked it last time we were here. It's our only link to what is happening on a regional level. For those who are looking for specificity about how to pray, this might be helpful in identifying social issues confronting Spain. In this last issue, October 12th, Spain is dealing with major substance abuse among the youth. Here's the link to the Costa Del Sol Archive:

And here is the article...

Around 6,000 youths take cocaine daily

By David Eade


In addition some 29,000 use cannabis also on a daily basis. The minister said there has been a steady increase in the use of drugs since 1995 but especially among this young age group.

The consumption of cannabis has increased by 50 per cent between 1995 and 2003 amongst those aged from 15 to 64 years. Over the same period there had been a quadrupling of cocaine use. The use of cocaine among young people is very alarming with 164,000 said to have used it in the last 12 months which is 7.2 per cent compared with 1.8 per cent in 1994. Around 36,000 say they have used the drug in the past month and 5,900 admit to its use on a daily basis.

Cannabis remains the most widely used drug in Spain with 830,000 adolescents saying they have smoked it in the last 12 months. That puts the percentage level at 36.6 per cent compared with just 18.2 in 1994. In the last month 570,000 say they have used cannabis whilst 29,000 say they use it on a daily basis. Salgado stated that the government was seeking a solution to the problem of drug use especially amongst minors. However she seemed to rule out bringing in legislation similar to that regulating underage drinking. The minister stated that trafficking and distribution of drugs were already a crime and public consumption was also an offence. A prevention campaign is the more likely route specially aimed at their widespread use close to educational and leisure centres."

Hey, I've got a great prevention plan!!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We Made It!

Hello All,

Just a quick word to let you know that we are back in Spain. All in all, with layovers and delays, the traveling took over 24 hours. As much as can be expected, the kids again were virtually flawless...and sleepless. We all clocked about 3 hours sleep total. Part of that is because Lizzy is much more active now and is much more difficult to contain in a small space. Her charisma though won plenty of hearts along the journey, especially the two Spanish women who shared space with us on the New York-Madrid flight. Lizzy was in rare form and the ladies were loving the diversion, especially in the light of an unexpected hour long delay. I'll write more about this later.

For now, we are going to be recovering our sleep. Tomorrow morning, Pastor Carlos and I are going in to turn in my provisional visa. I'll let you know what I know when I know it.

Thanks for your prayers. All 5 of us made it, though only 3 of our 6 bags came through. Please pray that these are recovered quickly.

It's good to be home...

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, October 13, 2006

The All Spain Prayer List

Hello All,

Here is my first attempt at creating this prayer list. It has taken time, especially with overseas communications, but this is what we have so far. Pictures and website addresses are included where possible.

The Casco Family, Carlos, Yolanda, Yolee and Miqueas. Jerez De La Frontera.
Carlos is the Senior Pastor of Calvario De Jerez, in Jerez De La Frontera Spain. In addition to his responsibilities there, he has also founded a mission to Morocco which has been met with incredible success. Yolanda, Yolee and even little Miqueas, have been assisting him all the years he has been there.

Please pray for: Financial provision, God's continued protection over Carlos when he travels, God's help with Spain's Drivers License requirements and for the body of Christ to grow in grace and knowledge of the Word of God.

The Manzanares Family, Raphael, Loretta and children. Serving on Mallorca, part of the Balearic Islands.
Rafael is the Senior Pastor of Santa Ponsa Community Church in Palma De Mallorca and they oversee the Mallorca Bible School campus there on the island.

Please pray for: From the Calvary Chapel Website: "2Thes 3:1 "Finally, brethren, PRAY FOR US, THAT THE WORD OF THE LORD MAY RUN SWIFTLY AND BE GLORIFIED, JUST AS IT IS WITH YOU." Also we long to be working with the Lord and not for the Lord. So Pray that the Lord may "fill us with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" since we have taken over the pastorate of an existing community church, we need wisdom beyond our years. That God will continue to grow us in grace, truth, love, and compassion, will baptize us with His Spirit, and save many.

For more information:

Ivan & Eunice/The Roybal Family. Preparing to go to Malaga
Ivan & Eunice are from Spain and are currently in Murrieta at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in preparation to return to Spain. The Roybal Family are currently preparing themselves to join them in Malaga, in order to assist them.

Please pray for: Continued blessing in the ministerial training of Ivan and Eunice. Wisdom for timing and provision for the Roybal Family, Paul, Cori, Seth, Luc, Caleb and Eli.

JD Bennett, Northern Spain
JD serves with Tentmakers Bible Mission in the unreached areas of Tafalla, Navarra, Logrono and La Rioja. JD serves with an evangelical church plant and is very active in evangelism and church ministry.

Please pray for: Continued provision financially and open doors to effective evangelism in these difficult areas. Please pray for wisdom with regard to transportation issues that JD has been facing lately.

The Jackson Family, Brian, Andrea, Corrie and Ransom. Near Madrid
Andrea is teaching Missionary Kids at the Evangelical Christian Academy, while Brian is taking care of Corrie and Ransom, raising and home schooling them.

Please pray for: In their words: "ECA and it's teachers that it would develop missionary kids acedemically and spiritually, to be th next generation with a heart for Spain. That the support that ECA and its teachers are providing to local missionaries would allow them peace of mind to be more fruitful and productive in their various works. That our family would learn the language quickly and easily and be a shining light to our community for the Lord. That our little home-church would be a conduit that meets each of our spritual needs; be a place of fellowship, encouragement, and study of God's word."

For more information:

The Cartajena Family. Serving in Valladolid
The Cartajenas have been in Spain for a few years now. Ricardo is an orthodontist who also has a Bible Study that has begun. It is growing and the Lord is doing a good work there with the Cartajena family.

Please pray for: God to reach into this "Spiritual Desert" and do a work of great revival among the Spanish people. Continue to pray for Pastor Ricardo, that He would have all the resource that he needs to continue in what God is calling him to do.

There are other missionaries that we are in contact with. We are hoping to bring reports on them as we grow in our relationships with them. Until then, these missionaries are serving God with their lives and we are priviledged to know and be in fellowship with them. Our prayer is that you would pray for them and that our lives would be a blessing to them.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

PackingHouse College Fellowship

Hello All,

I had the priviledge of speaking to the PackingHouse College Fellowship on Monday night this past week. As many of you know, I spent the last two years of my time at the PackingHouse, serving as the College Pastor. I did so on an interim basis as the College Pastor before me, Pastor Jim Scheer, was busy overseeing the construction of our church's new sanctuary. It was a great time for me, as those two years really served to launch me onto the mission field.

It was wonderful to be with the College Fellowship and my thanks to Jim Scheer for inviting me to come and share. It was great to see the many faces who had just started coming to the PCF when I had begun, still there, faithfully attending and taking part of God's calling for their lives. I was further honored by the testimony of one of the members of the group, Tom Deyoung, who was with me way back when I was the Junior High Pastor. I remember Tom when he was 12. Now, he is a grown, married man who loves Jesus and his lovely wife Leslie.

My message that night was out of John 21, a message that I have been steeping myself in for a few weeks now. To those who were there and to those who were not there, the true subject of my message was that every one of us who calls on the name of Christ, are called also to carry on His work. Jesus told His disciples that He would make them fishers of men. He has to make them that, just like He has to make us fishers of men in our time and generation. I pray that each of you will seek the Spiritual Resource provided by His Holy Spirit in order that you might be equipped for every good work that He has prepared for you personally.

Thank you PCF, for your love and fellowship, and the blessing of your company.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, October 09, 2006

Some Light Confusion!

Hello All,

You'll notice that the last post says "Friday." I had to delay that one so that I could email our Spain Team about the decision first, which I was able to get to this fine Monday morning. Sorry, you are not crazy: The weekend had no update!

Some of why I have been out of contact has to do with a few things that I would ask you to pray for. I have been in contact with a few people this last week who have received some troubling news from their Doctors. I am glad that I have been here to pray for and talk with them, but also to ask you to pray for them.

Last week, I told you about Mike Petty and thankfully his successful surgical procedure to remove a tumor from his brain. A few days later, the news of the tumor's malignity took us all aback. We are praying for his complete healing and restoration to full health.

Also last week, I caught up with one of my great musical partners from the last several years, Harvey Ledesma. His wonderful wife Sylvia has been diagnosed with cancer. She went down to the City of Hope last Friday and they are awaiting diagnosis to find the most effective treatment. I got the chance to meet with them last Thursday Night and annoint her with oil, according to James 5:13 and following. Please pray that God would comfort and bring healing to their situation as well.

Finally, there is our good family friends, the Normans. Linda Norman has also been diagnosed with a cancer. She has already been treated surgically and is now going through chemo treatments. Pray that she will be declared completely cancer-free soon.

Strangely, focusing on these precious saints, has served to remind me of the real perspective of life. We are here for so short a time, and we are incredibly fragile. In the meantime, trivial struggles rear their heads and we lose sight of how good we have it. When these things hit so close to home, it really makes you take some inventory while shedding a good light over our mission as well. We are incredibly fortunate, even in unfortunate circumstances.

Lord, please heal our friends Mike, Sylvia and Linda. Touch them, restore their bodies to health and give their hearts a peace in the middle of the process. Let their relationship with you shine through whatever they must endure. We ask that your will be done in the middle of this time and that you would bring glory to yourself in the process. In Jesus Name!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, October 06, 2006

We're Leaving!

Hello All,

Lela and I have finally decided that the best thing for our family is to return to Jerez together. This last week, we searched high and low for the best airfare. We finally were able to secure our tickets and are scheduled to leave out of LAX, this next Tuesday October 17th at around 11AM. This has been a difficult decision, but we feel that it is the right one. For now, we are sure or as sure as we can be, that our stay will be at least 3 months long. Should we receive visas, it will be as long as we can stay.

Immediately upon returning, as soon as I can, I will need to head into the police department and present my papers to the authorities there. Lord willing, this will be a simple deal, though if I were honest, the one thing that I have learned above all others is that nothing has come simply! I will prepare myself for difficulty!

We do not know when we will be able to get back to normal activities, but I will post in when we have returned and keep you updated on what is happening. However, expect a bit of a delay in posts come next Tuesday through Friday.

We ask for your prayers, that we will have some good positive indicators of an ability to stay long term in Spain. We are still praying for visas to come in and hoping that this third visit will be the last one for as long as possible.

Thanks as always for checking in.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Some Light Reading...

Hello All,

I have often been asked about the religious climate in Spain and I thought I might offer these links to those who might have interest in the subject.

Religious Statistics On Spain from 2003

Islam's Claim On Spain from 2005

Islam And Muslims In Spain

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Montebello Christian Fellowship

Hello All,

Hope you had a great Monday. I got a chance to speak to the Men's Fellowship at Montebello Christian Fellowship on Monday night, thanks to the invitation of my good friend and musical partner over the years, Alex Gonzalez. The evening consisted of food and fellowship (a staple at any Men's event!), worship and the Word. I got a chance to speak on John 21 and the keys to being an effective fisher of men. At the end of the message, a few men raised their hands and received prayer for empowerment to face their mission, whether it be family, work or neighborhood related.

To those men who were there, thank you for the warm welcome and the encouraging words after the message. I'll be praying for you as well.

Just a quick side note, after the message I met with the President of a Spanish speaking seminary, which holds classes at the MCF facility. He told me of another brother who has been working in Spain (Segovia) for many years! I was really excited to hear about the possibility of making another connection in Spain. Lord willing I will hear from him soon.

And one final note: We are this close (hold thumb and first finger VERY CLOSE together) to making our final decision about whether the whole family returns to Spain or if I return alone to handle my visa presentation. I'll write more about that soon.

For now...

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Emergency Prayer For Mike Petty

Hello All,

Mike Petty is going in for surgery tommorow (Sunday October 1st) at around 7 AM to remove a tumor from his brain. This came up very suddenly, and I was just informed of the details this afternoon. The Petty's have been friends of ours for years. Mike is one of the most gentle men I have ever encountered. Please pray for a miraculous, full recovery. Pray also for his wife Michele, daughter Marlene and husband James, and son, Matthew.

Frank Sanchez

UPDATE: Sunday Night, 9:17PM. Mike pulled through surgery shortly after noon today. The doctors extracted a tumor the size of an egg from the back side of the brain. The next step is to see whether the tumor is cancerous, and that will be known in the next 3 days. In the meantime, Praise The Lord for Mike's successful surgery and we pray now, whatever might come of this, that he would be restored to complete health.