We are so thankful for your faithful support and prayers during the two years we lived in Guadalajara, Mexico. We are also so thankful to God for the way He greatly blessed the ministry of church planting. It was amazing to see so many people come to know the Lord and to see the church grow. It was very difficult for our family to leave a country and a people that we loved so much, but we are thankful for the time that God had us in Mexico and that we were able to learn so much more about ministry and to see so many people come to know the Lord.
Our family is currently living at Bonclarken while we prepare to move to Spain. During this time of transition, we are traveling to ARP churches to speak and share about the ministry in Mexico and the future ministry in Spain. While Esther Catherine is attending preschool, I am writing my dissertation so that I can complete my Doctor of Ministry from Erskine Seminary.
Thank you for continuing to financially support our family during our time in the U.S. Thank you also for praying for our family as we transition from one country to another.
God has filled us with a great passion to share the Gospel message in Madrid, Spain. Spain is part of the 10/40 window and a country where less than 0.5% of the population are Evangelical Christians. We look forward to serving in Spain soon and doing church planting in Madrid, a city of over 5 million people. Thank you for continuing to support our family and ministry once we move to Spain! We are currently waiting on our visas so that we can move to Spain. Thank you for praying for the visa process which should take approximately eight months.
Besides sharing our transition from Mexico to Spain, I was also asked to share some of the important lessons that we learned throughout the years doing Church Planting. I would like to summarize some of these lessons in the following four words: Learn, Love, Link, and Launch.
In doing church planting, the first thing church planters have to do is pay close attention to the culture, city, and people and learn from them as much as possible. There are so many things that the church planter has to learn in order to have an impact in the long run.
I can not imagine anyone planting a church in a particular place, and not loving the people he is working with. Or, not loving the city or culture where he is working. This is very important because it reflects God’s love for a particular place and people through the church planter. The people that the church planter is working with, once they see this kind of love, will know that there is real interest in them, their city, and their culture…not only in the project of planting a church.
Taking the time, learning to love the people, culture and city where the church planter is working, will provide the tools that are needed to connect the dots. Back in 2011 when we where doing church planting in Guadalajara, Mexico one of the things that we learned from the people of Guadalajara was that they wanted to learn English. We linked their desire of learning English with our intentional strategy of building new and long lasting relationships. The result of linking their desire with the love we provided, opened a door to meet people and to watch God at work in us and through us preparing for the last stage.
After going through the process of learning, loving, and linking, the church planter already has some contacts to start a Bible study with…those that showed interest in learning about God. This is a natural process in doing church planting:
Learn, Love, Link, Launch
Please continue praying for us as we are in the first stage, learning everything we can about Spain, their culture and beautiful people. We have also created a new ministry website and a Facebook page in order to keep you up-to-date with God’s work through you in Spain.
Editor’s Note: Our church supports the Bonilla’s with a substantial donation from our church budget. In addition, several people have chosen the Bonilla’s to personally support with a regular monthly donation. Please consider selecting a missionary – or mission – to support with a regular check, card and/or prayers.