Warmest greetings in the Savior! May the refreshment of the fall be felt not only physically but spiritually as well. May His mercies in your life, which are new every morning, be self-evident for you and your loved ones. October 1, 2013 Dearest Ministry Prayer Partner, As I write, I am a few hours from leaving for the fields of Ukraine and Spain ... yet my mind is also on the Canary Islands. I’ll tell you why.... • In Ukraine, we hope to bring about a rekindling of passion for reaching the lost. With God’s help, I will preach to the heart of Ukrainian churches, and we’ll train our church-planters to be more effective in their evangelism. • Our mission for Spain is to launch the ministry year. We want to fan the students’ gifts into a full blaze — and boldly proclaim that God holds the answer to Spain’s terrible crisis: 30% unemployment. The nation is reeling from the economic blows — and the blows are still falling. Yet this is a ministry opportunity. Our seminary is being presented with a “wide open door,” as the apostle Paul called it. We need to join the Lord where He is at work — and people in Spain are hurting ... they’re seeking ... they’re ready! And I see your investment in this ministry clearly bearing fruit: In the early days of our work, we leaders led; we opened up ministry extensions around the country, striving to multiply the ministry. But now, our graduates — the young people you have invested in — are taking the lead. They’re the ones pressing to launch ministry extensions in their own regions! • So in a few days, I’ll be helping to launch a new extension center in the southeast — led by graduates Bruno and Lidia. Their ministry is a testament to your generosity • In the north we are being asked to re-open an extension we closed in the global economic meltdown of 2008. Our graduate in the region, Unai Arretxe, is personally overseeing it — coordinating an entire team of church-planters and involving other pastors in the region. This work is the result of your investment in our ministry together • Our graduates are picking up the torch! The training you’ve made possible is now resulting in the deployment of new disciples in region after region. As new areas are saturated with the Gospel, as hundreds of new churches are planted, we will see lasting change. No, it isn’t always easy. There are many obstacles… which is why the Canary Islands are on my mind today.... • I’m thinking back 15 years, when we were involved in an evangelistic campaign in the city of Las Palmas. An American church sponsored the event, making a significant investment by bringing an entire team from their church to connect with people from every walk of life. We rented a large auditorium in downtown Las Palmas on Grand Canary; we assembled a talented group of musicians with the help of the American church. The sponsoring church even gathered their missionaries in the area so they could all minister together as a team. But one of the volunteers, a sound engineer from Germany, had hair down to his shoulders — and the pastor of the biggest local church freaked out. Because of the engineer’s long hair, the Canaries leadership was actually ready to cancel the event on the spot! We had tense conversations. We had emergency elders’ meetings. We had a number of sad moments as the local pastor continued to sputter. The California pastor and I talked late into the night and finally finished with prayer. Afterward, the American admitted his bewilderment. The “archaic mindset” of the church leaders didn’t shock him all that much, he said — but he was baffled by my willingness to work with such a group. My answer to him was straightforward: “I am not here for them. I am here in the name of the Good Shepherd. He was willing to leave 99 in the fold and go after the one that was lost. Here in the Canaries, we don’t have such a luxury. Here, we have one in the fold — and 999 outside of it! I am here for the 999!” “When you put it that way,” my pastor friend replied, “it makes good sense.” God honored our patience and our grace with the brother who was offended. In the end, we were able to stick with the plan. During the follow-up phase of that outreach, we took the Gospel to 3 million people in all 8 of the Canary Islands! But God still wasn’t finished. That same local church began producing a steady stream of couples devoting their lives to ministry. They came to our seminary, they studied, they graduated, and they are now in ministry in strategic places. • The pastor who was so offended by long hair has departed — and one of our graduates now pastors that church! • Another of these couples is planting five churches in Benidorm — and opening up an extension center in the region to train even more church-planters! • And yet another couple from that church has come to study with us this fall, preparing to enter the ministry! It’s not always easy, we don’t always have the luxury of traveling a smooth road. But when God is in it, it bears fruit. And God is in this. This is why I urge you to be involved in this ministry — as involved as you can possibly be. The greatest strategy for Christian service continues to be this: “Discover where God is at work, and join Him!” Look at the opportunities before you in this new ministry year — opportunities to claim victories in the Lord. 1. We continue striving to consolidate and mobilize the only independent Evangelical seminary committed to uncompromised Biblical principles. Others, in pursuit of state accreditation, have done away with evangelism, done away with requiring incoming students to sign a doctrinal statement. We said no to the government restrictions — and now we face an inspiring opportunity to show our true colors in faithfulness and obedience to the Lord. Your generous support today will help us stand as a beacon of principle. 2. We’re pushing to acquire the church building which currently houses our school. The church that is selling their property needs to move to a different location — but this would leave an area of more than 100,000 people without the witness it has had through the church for more than 60 years. Our dream is to buy the building, establish a permanent home for our seminary, and keep a church ministering from this facility at the same time. But time is short. City leaders are requiring the church to start building on their new property. This means they must sell to someone quickly so they’ll have money for construction. We will need to finance a million dollars to pay for the building. We are looking for the Lord’s provision! Your generous support today will help to establish our seminary — and preserve a local church ministry — in this crucial location. 3. Students called to train for the ministry, but unable to afford seminary, need scholarships. We are thrilled beyond words when we look back at so many who have come and been trained and now are serving the Lord as national leaders, strategically directing ministry not only in Spain but in other countries as well. Many of them would never be where they are today if it hadn’t been for a caring friend like you providing scholarship support. You can support a promising young minister of the future for just $200 a month. 4. Our regional extensions multiply our training operation across vast areas. But we still need to open centers in the Basque country, in Malaga, in the Canaries, and elsewhere. You can ensure the intensive training and effective equipping of pastors and leaders across an entire region for $500 a month. Our bottom-line, big-picture BHAG — our Big Holy Audacious Goal — is to firmly establish a quality theological institution with regional extension centers that will train and deploy local leaders to saturate their regions with the Gospel and plant churches. Our dream: to ignite the re-evangelization of Europe! How will it happen? We need to pray together and work together. We need to make a real effort of obedience. We need to “pitch in” and not be “innocent bystanders.” There won’t be any “bystanders” declared “innocent” at the Bema Seat of Christ (Prov. 24:11). The Bible says: Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? (Proverbs 24:11,12 NIV). My friend, please join with us in a sincere effort of faith as this year of opportunity opens up before us. Let us respond as “doers of the word” ... rallying in service of our Savior ... not as people who pick the easy tasks, but as people who truly want to make a difference. We need your prayerful and generous support in giving today. Maybe you have already given generously. I am grateful — yet I invite you to give again. Let each of us do whatever we can to be part of God’s work of reconciling the lost to Himself. The Lord will empower us through His grace. Grace is not merely the undeserved salvation we ourselves have received. The dynamic nature of grace is that God gives us “the desire and the ability” to do His will (Phil. 2:13). Sometimes we want to do the right thing, and we know what the right thing is, but we seem to lack the energy or ability to do it. But this passage literally says God can and does give us the “energy” to do His will. Because God is at work in us, we can do the works He prepared for us to achieve (Eph. 2:10). Tap into His energy. Receive the will and the power to do His work. You will never regret it. And eternity will be the sweeter. Please let me hear from you today! People are waiting for the Good News. How will they know unless someone goes to tell them? Yours for the Harvest, Dr. Manny Fernandez P.S. Your generosity today will touch lives in Spain, in the Canaries, in Ukraine, in Cuba — and beyond. You can give with confidence, knowing that this ministry is a proven one ... and you can give with joy, knowing that you are making a difference for eternity!