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Like A Clam

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on June 13, 2021

Spain Cancel

Never Ending Surprises

We were sure that the Lord had completed giving us all the surprises necessary for this year, but we were mistaken! By way of introduction, let us begin by recalling a short list of missionaries who planned to go to Spain but did not made it:

  • Jonah
  • The Apostle Paul
  • Rich and Jo Ann

No doubt, many other missionaries have attempted to go to Spain but did not make it. However, like Jonah and Paul, we did make it part of the way. Does that count?

You are wondering what happened and we offer the short version in reply. Our flight to Spain included a layover in Istanbul. In the hours between our departure from Moldova and the second leg of our trip to Madrid, the Spanish government issued a new declaration that it was now necessary for us to have the full Covid vaccines to enter Spain. When we left Moldova 10 hours earlier, the only requirement was to have a negative Covid test upon arrival in Spain, which we had - but no vaccines. Spain was closed like a clam to us! We did not learn of this policy change until attempting to board the flight to Madrid at 6 AM Sunday morning, June 6. Many other passengers bound for Spain that day found themselves in the same situation all over Europe.

It turns out that other EU countries have adopted the same or similar policy and we were now stranded in Turkey to try and figure out what the Lord wanted us to do. Then we recalled Paul’s experience when he was preaching in the country that we now call Turkey.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.  And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them” (Acts 16:6-7).

Reading further in Acts 16, we discover that Paul and his team were finally called to Macedonia which is, of course, located in what we now know as Europe. The Lord did not call us to Macedonia, but he did lead us to return to Moldova which is north of Macedonia.

 

IMG_0618 Pastor Mihai announcing Summer English Classes

Always Available Ministries

It took us a few days to make the arrangements to return to Moldova. By Wednesday evening we flew from Turkey back to Moldova arriving at our apartment in the early morning hours on Thursday, June 10. We took Thursday to recuperate and on Friday, Jo Ann was teaching for several hours in the Vacation Bible School (VBS) which was being held at the Imago Dei church plant where we are serving. The average attendance for the VBS was 90 children straining the space available in our storefront location. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and many of the activities could be held outdoors. There was an overflow crowd for the closing ceremonies on Saturday afternoon with many parents in attendance. Please click here to see some of the pictures of the VBS.

This might surprise many of you, but when Pastor Mihai announced that Jo Ann was going to teach English throughout the summer, the children were ecstatic! Jo Ann is a gifted teacher, and the children love her dearly. The parents were also quite happy as we are offering this training as a ministry and an outreach at no cost. Please pray for all who heard the Gospel during the VBS and for the summer outreach ministries here at the Imago Dei Baptist Church.

 

IMG_0657 Dima translating for Rich last Sunday

Because of the many details required to prepare and then run the VBS, Rich was able to relieve Pastor Mihai by helping with the Sunday morning message. It will be a very busy summer and by God’s grace, Rich will be able to share the privilege of preaching on other occasions. In fact, he is scheduled to preach again next Sunday!

Our hearts were set to serve in Spain and our friends in Spain were all ready to receive us. While there is a certain sense of disappointment because of this turn of events, all of us recognize that God is in control and there were reasons that only He knows for why we could not enter. Jo Ann and I are simply praising the Lord that He has us where He wants us and that we are still able to be a part of the Great Commission.

You may have been praying for our ministry in Spain only to discover that we were not there at all. The Lord understands that, and we want to thank all of you who were praying and for your faithfulness. The Lord was watching over us every step of the way. Thank you for praying and for giving that we might be able to preach the Gospel, make disciples, and plant churches here in Europe.