Thursday, March 20, 2008

Last night in Sevilla, now in Guadix

The team is currently, right now, with Nathan and Mary Saxe and their 4 kids in their three story house directly overlooking a street where Holy Week processions are happening outside. Pretty amazing...pretty sad too. Our time here has been absolutely amazing...Mayra and I have been learning SO MUCH. Yesterday we toured a monastery where the Reina Valera Bible has translated way back in the late 1500s. This was a time a intense persecution against the protestant evangelical church. Several catholic monks and church leaders became convinced of the truthfulness of "Lutherism," of the doctrines of salvation by grace through faith coming out of Germany and Switzerland. One monk smuggled "prohibited" books in from Europe using false bottoms on wooden barrels. The monks when out into the surrounding Spanish countryside, and over 3000 trusted Christ.

As the persecution intensified, 12 monks left the monastery to seek a less dangerous country to complete their task, eventually ending up in London (after Bloody Mary left power). They completed the first Spanish translation of the Bible in the late 1500's, with a revision in 1602. The RV Bible is a sort of parallel to the King James Version of the Bible.

The Inquisition eventually got wind of the faith of the monastery and tortured and killed both the religious leaders following the "heresy" of salvation by grace through faith, as well as mass-killed the townspeople converted as well.

Last night we headed a bit east of Sevilla and stayed near a town called Paradas. We stopped and visited a family that Brad met and has kept in contact with for the last several years. David is 27, and lives with two aunts and an uncle, all around 85 years old. David speaks English very well. We began to ask him about the processions that happen here during Holy Week. He said..."but, they really aren't right, are they, people worshiping images. Isn't that idolatry?!" David has had contact with Campus Crusade and a friendship with Brad for a while. We got out a "Bible and shared with him from John 3. He was amazingly open and receptive, and ended up putting his faith in Christ, a classic example of some sowing and some watering and others having the wonderful privilege of harvesting. We told David the most important thing he could do is to emulate the life of Jesus. Follow Him. That's what it's all about.

There is SO much more I could write about. I'll stop for now. Thanks for your prayers.

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