"And there shall be no more sea"
There is nothing to separate one child of God from another, nothing to separate believers from other nations and tongues; not now that we are "all one in Christ Jesus". Our own nation has voted to leave the European Union, and so we ought to be the more determined to do all we can to assure our brethren in mainland Europe and beyond that we love them, pray for them and seek to strengthen the ties that bind us as we strive together with them to further the cause of Christ in our Reformed heritage.
It was a privilege to share at the beginning of our last trip with a group of Dutch Christians, one of whom is leaving soon to spend a year in a remote part of China. They had visited Edinburgh the previous year, while on a trip to the home of the Scottish Puritans.
A few days later we visited a young French family in Pau, who faithfully maintain the "church in their home". They are so far from other believers, yet striving to follow in the steps of their own John Calvin.
Soon after, we sat at the Lord's table in Bilbao. The cup we shared was brought from Hungary some years ago and the plate, gifted by our Edinburgh congregation, had belonged to the Kennoway Free Church in Fife and was first used anything up to two hundred years ago!
Sandy and Mercedes from Aberdeen and Jenifer Lin from our Edinburgh congregation were able to join us. Jenifer returns home to Singapore soon. Precious moments indeed!
Getting together is a must! Each Lord's Day the folks in Bilbao, and also in Barcelona, have a meal between the morning and afternoon services, as some of them travel quite a distance. Recently a "Whatsapp" group has been set up, so that they have an easy way of keeping in touch. They use it to encourage each other in the Lord, sending verses from the Word, along with requests for prayer and thanksgiving.
They are always encouraged to get news from Scotland. Visits are a very special blessing to them – they know that they are not alone but that there are others in distant and not-so-distant parts with whom they can have fellowship in the Gospel. Their love for a Reformed grasp of the Word, Doctrine and Practice is infectious.
Prayer for the near future: Rev. Jorge Ruiz and his family are, DV, set to join us in Scotland, spending a short time in Blackburn before a week in Aultbea. Their middle children, Anna and Thomas, hope to attend our Church camp. Ivan is also travelling with them for the camp. The Ruiz family hope to visit as many congregations in two weeks as they can. They arrive on Tuesday 26th July and leave on Tuesday 9th August. The Annual Retreat for the congregation, gathering from the east to west of Northern Spain, from Pau in France, and from Scotland, will be held over the weekend of 12th to 15th August. Rev. and Mrs Gracie from Edinburgh hope to be there.
The revised New Testament in Spanish has been printed. It was presented to the Lord's people in Madrid recently and it is hoped that there will be a similar meeting in South America. Pastor Ruiz continues, along with others, on the Old Testament in Spanish. We continue to ask for prayer for this work, which is under the Trinitarian Bible Society, and for the French Committee (the French New Testament is already in print). Mr Ruiz works with Rev. Tim Ross from Albi in France on this project.
Prayer for some days ahead: Please remember our brethren in South America. It is our desire that we may visit South America or have one of the brethren visit Spain and Scotland.
We close with a recent picture of a Bible Study and Prayer group.