Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Tomorrow one of our leaders leaves the country on a mission to introduce Celebrate Recovery to pastors and lay leaders in Spain. How did this come about?
In March 2014, Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau (at Pine Lake Covenant Church in Sammamish, WA) hosted a Spanish theme night including an authentic paella dinner prepared by Josh Fajardo, a visiting pastor and missionary from Spain. Ardis Nelson, a CR leader here, shared her testimony that night and her connection to Spain.
Pastor Josh was visibly moved by the testimony and the life change that CR participants experience as they work through the biblical 12-steps. He saw the need for this type of healing ministry in Spain and invited Ardis and other leaders to come to Spain to teach about Celebrate Recovery.
Six months later, Ardis is answering the call and heading for Spain. She will also share her testimony at a church in Grenoble, France, where her missionary partner, Marvin Klein, serves as the CR Ministry Leader.
Even before the mission was officially approved, Ardis was busy researching and preparing for this trip. Since then she has logged hours of Skype calls with Marvin and Pastor Josh. Fund raising appeals were sent out during the summer, resulting in the $3,000 goal being met.
In early August, Ardis attended valuable CR training at Saddleback Church where she met other international CR leaders. CR is currently in 69 countries; either established and active, started, but not yet fully active, or just being introduced. The CR materials have been translated into 28 different languages. Each of the different country leaders reported that they had to overcome the cultural obstacle to the reservation of sharing. It takes persistence, perseverance, and courage to start a ministry like CR in another country.
Ardis also gave a powerful presentation last month at a CR meeting to share more about her call to Spain and to cast the vision. All in preparation for the mission.
Last night was one of the final pieces of preparation, and one of the most important to date—the commissioning of the mission. Everyone in attendance at the CR meeting formed a circle around the room to pray for Ardis and God’s work in France and Spain. She shared the scripture that has served as her calling (Ezekiel 37:15-23) as she explained the significance of the sticks that represent spiritual renewal for Catholics and Protestants in Europe.
Now it is time to step out in faith—Ardis, our CR leader team, and everyone who has given to the mission through financial and prayer support. It is an act of obedience for us all.
We are excited about this opportunity to be part of a larger Kingdom call. It is in response to the transformation that Jesus has done in us through the ministry of Celebrate Recovery that we give back in this way. Principle 8 says: “Yield myself to God to be used to bring the Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.”
It’s time to go and live out that example in a broader context. Please join us on the journey in spirit by praying for safe travels for Ardis and the team from France, and for this ministry to take root in Spain and bear new fruit in France.
- Sept. 24-25, travel to Grenoble, France.
- Sept. 26-Oct 1, in Grenoble, France: finalizing CR teaching materials for Spanish seminar, short pulpit announcement at Sunday service, full testimony shared at CR meeting.
- Oct. 2, travel from Grenoble, France to Madrid, Spain (Rivas).
- Oct. 3-10, in Rivas, Spain: teaching at CR seminar, sharing testimony (all 3 team members), church meetings, intercessory prayer, time spent with pastors and lay leaders.
- Oct. 11-15, in Madrid, Spain: intercessory prayer, personal time with Spanish family.
- Oct. 16, travel home to Seattle, Washington.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.