We are rather late in writing this prayer letter as we had the privilege of visiting our families in the UK over August. After two years, we were finally able to see them face-to-face and spend some quality time with them.
We travelled for a couple of days by car through Spain and France (we had our dog, Koda, with us, as she is largely a support dog for Jemima) and then quarantined in the UK for the allotted amount of time (which was a challenge!). We are very grateful to our parents, other family members and some close friends who squeezed us in or even moved out so we could use their house for our stay. The decision to come back to the UK was last minute, prompted by illness in Nicky’s family. Please do pray for peace and wisdom in that situation.
Julian was able to prepare for the Sundays we were away from church and Mike Snowdon, Jim French and Toni Cordero agreed to preach some of the weeks. We are very grateful that Isabel Nuñez Ruiz held the fort while we were away. Both Toni and Isabel are members of our church family and you may recall from previous letters that Mike and Jim are fellow missionaries with us.
We haven’t yet begun sharing the Lord’s Supper again at church as we are only permitted to use one shared cup and our church family are uncomfortable doing this still, as you may imagine. Please pray that we remain united in the knowledge and comfort that Jesus died to save us, even though we are unable to remember this in the act of sharing bread and wine together.
Theo (age 13 ½) is now in year nine and really enjoys attending the British School of Valencia (not just because it takes him two minutes to walk from the door of our building to the entrance of the school!). He is gaining confidence in his Spanish speaking and is more able than he gives himself credit for. However, after a break in the UK he may be a bit rusty (as we all are!). Please pray that he will continue to be a good friend to his classmates and a great witness to God in the way he conducts himself. He had some tentative but significant conversations with a couple of friends last year regarding his faith so we hope and pray that these relationships will mature. Theo is also now substantially taller than Nicky, which pleases him greatly!
Jemima (almost 16) continues with home school, where she is learning practical and life skills and how to cope in social situations. She enjoys Spanish lessons and activities as well as things like maths and spelling. Jemima tries to read her bible daily, which we are delighted by. She absolutely loves our church family, especially the younger children, and she was asked to start helping in the Sunday school in the summer term, which she enjoyed doing. She continues to charm all the dogs at the dog park.
Both children were busy in July (schools finish here in June) as they were involved in a four-day youth event run by Mike and the GBE team here in Spain. They also went out around the city with their Spanish tutor, Neus, together with Evie and Silas for some Spanish culture lessons.
We are SO thankful that Jemima and Theo were able to collect their Spanish residency cards the day before we left for the UK in July! One or two people have asked whether this means that they are now citizens: it doesn’t, but it does mean we can all stay living in the country for the next few years at least. We are still hoping that the children will receive healthcare cover, but this is not a given. Please continue to pray that this will happen.
We are sadly about to say goodbye to the Snowdon family, who are moving back to Australia at the end of September to help care for Tania’s family (her Dad has been diagnosed with terminal cancer). Tania and Mike have been in Spain for eight years and we will all miss them so much. They have demonstrated great care and support for us as a family and they are fully committed to the church family. They will leave huge gaps in the life and ministry here in Valencia and their four boys (Will, Sam, Tom and Lucas) make up a substantial chunk of our Sunday school. Please pray for them as they move and resettle in Australia and for us as a family as we mourn the loss of them. Also pray for us as a church family – that we will wisely rely on God’s help to fill the gaps they leave.
We are, however, excited to begin this new academic year and we will hopefully begin to slowly see things opening up properly. Some of you may have heard that we will have new Crosslinks mission partners (Chris and Rosie Redfearn) join us in the ministry here at some point next year. Jim and Tanja French (with Evie and Silas) from CMSA also remain with us and we hope to maintain a biblical and godly witness in this city and develop the ministry, together with our church family. Please pray for strength, energy, good health and endurance as we seek to do this.
Two members of our church family, Guillermo and Keyla, are struggling very much at the moment and they have given us permission to ask for you to pray for them. Keyla is 40 years old and has just started chemotherapy for an aggressive type of breast cancer. Both Keyla and Guillermo’s families live in Peru and they were both meant to be here studying. She is now unable keep her part time job and Guillermo is giving round the clock care as the chemo is particularly tough due to the type of cancer. Please pray for the doctors who are treating Keyla, that she will continue to trust in God’s love for her, for Guillermo as he supports and cares for her practically and for her family so far away. Please pray for healing for her.
We thank God for the many blessings we have received over the last few months, there really is so much more we could write about. Please get in touch if you would like to hear more from us or would appreciate clarification on any of the above topics. We are always so thankful to God that you partner with us in praying for us and in your financial giving to this ministry. Please continue to pray that we will remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus in all things.
‘I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13
With our love, Julian, Nicky, Jemima and Theo
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We wanted to know what mission looks like for some of the younger members of the Crosslinks family, so we asked Theo to tell us about life for him.
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