Tim and Marilyn Westergren
Annual Ministry Narrative
“I played my best for him, pa ra-pa-pa pom.”
Again this year, our local church gathered at Christmas to offer Gifts of Love to Christ in honor of his Incarnation: Songs, poems, dance, mime, arts and crafts, and homemade food. The simple proposal allows beautiful acts of worship by brothers and sisters who have been transformed by Christ. No amount of technical difficulties nor bad organization can steal the beauty of a former Muslim sharing his transformation in verse “Whispers from the Lord.” Nor the love to Christ sung by a man saved this year. Nor the joy of Spanish carol sung by a family who awaited the birth of their second child—a miraculous pregnancy in a cancer-healed body. Many of us spilled many tears of joy that evening. And I believe that the Holy Spirit wooed the seven visitors that night with this heartfelt love.
The essence of Christian life is just that: giving God our heart—and bodies—in worship as a response to his act of love. And though we get to live this out full-time, the nature of it is the same as any other.
We continued to play steadily the rhythms from 2014 out of love for the Lord Jesus this year: Marilyn with Lifetree Café, GEMS Girls Club, three women´s interest groups and the Trio Cuerda Floja; Tim with AFD responsibilities, EJE, seminary teaching, Lifetree and Discanto Choir.
Marilyn has been steadily working on her masters in counseling, which has been rewarding as well. Toward the end of the year she has already had ample opportunities to use her sharpened listening skills to use in the lives of women in our sphere of influence.
We renewed an old rhythm this summer with the re-inauguration of Global Ventures English Camp. After two year´s hiatus we were able to reboot camp in a new facility with the help of the Klassens and a missionary couple with RCI, Scot and Carol Musser. While it was a huge undertaking, the engagement of Alliance churches and short-termer and the credibility that English Camp affords makes it well worth it.
English Camp families also serve as a good sounding board and potential student pool for the Christian school that is in the works in Tres Cantos. Marilyn is on the planning board and is a vital member of this potential ministry in our city for long-term transformation.
The other investment for long-term transformation also paid dividends this year. Jaime Carrasco finally finished his seminary thesis, defended it and passed. Tim was an unofficial reader for the thesis and a reader for another Alliance student´s thesis. After six years he is now the full-time teaching pastor of the Comunidad Cristiana de Tres Cantos. Tim has stepped back even further, though he and Marilyn still are a part of the pastoral team since our church has a plurality paradigm for leadership. We are leading Alpha Marriage with a few of the couples from the church.
It´s a good thing, too, because serving as acting Field Director during Raymond´s HMA filled Tim´s plate this fall. Implementing Strategic Review directives was one commission beyond the day-to-day care. Facilitating the College of Prayer encounters in Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas with Fred Hartley was another. The latter involved organizing travel, hosting the Fred as well at Bill Hyer and Joel Martinez, and translating most of the sessions for the three workshops.
Tim also taught two different INFORMA modules this year: Hermeneutics in Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester in March and May; Theology of Worship in Madrid and Barcelona in December. I was privileged to teach the last subject for the first graduating class of INFORMA! Entrusting the Gospel to another generation of leaders is a deeply satisfying act of worship for me.
On a family note, we welcomed Sarah back home in May after finishing at Calvin College. She is pursuing a one-year masters in social work at the Universidad Complutense. Both she and Katey are engaged and so we are privileged that they have invited us to counsel and mentor them this last year. We also gave refuge for eight months (April 20 to December 14) to Brett Wright, an American college grad who was racially profiled while visiting Spain. A bad two-second decision could have cost him two years of jail. Mercifully, God allowed only nine months of legal limbo until his plea bargain was approved. God brought him unmistakably into our home and international church to introduce him to the world and to disciple him in Christ.
No doubt: In 2015 we played our best for Him, pa ra-pa-pa pom!
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Tim & Marilyn Westergren
December 22, 2015
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
CLOSE-UP PRAYER REQUESTS January 2015
1. Our Field Director fractured his knee cap while on home assignment so his planned return this week has been delayed two months. I will continue to serve as acting Field Director for the next two months. I will represent the mission at our national church assembly in February as well as serve as the board representative. Pray for wisdom, good administration and time management for two more months.
2. Marilyn is in the semester of her masters in counseling. It is fulfilling and challenging. She needs to choose her final project soon and finish by October.
3. Continue to pray for the employment of several church members and the improvement of our church´s giving. Our pastor´s wife, Raquel, needs a better job, and the church needs to raise the bar of our support for Jaime.
4. We are scheduled to have our 11th English Camp this summer July 18-30. The planning and preparation begins now!
5. Pray for the LIFE International School project. Fundraising is going well but the board on which Marilyn serves have some legal hurdles to get over and major moves to make to open our doors for pre-school in the fall. It is daunting! Pray for the board and for Marilyn´s key part of wisdom, decision making and common sense.
6. Lifetree begins again on Wednesday. One of our English partners has come alive in Christ this year and formed a strong friendship with Rafael. He is an MBB who grew up in Nigeria. Pray for another attendee´s conversion. He has come to worship and to small group a few times.
7. Marilyn continues to teach and disciple at GEMS Girls Club on Fridays with two other women. She desires that one of the, Natalie, become even more involved, and that she might one day takeover.
Finally, we long to see the Kingdom come in power. That God would renew the intercession of our congregation, that we would marvel again at what God desires to do, and that we would resist the Enemy, firm in the faith.
Building Bridges of Trust to Stand the Weight of the Truth,
Tim and Marilyn
At the King´s service in Spain:
Sector Pueblos 32, 1-D
28760 Tres Cantos (Madrid)
Updated: January 23, 2016
- Children's Names
- Field Assignment
- Country of Service
- Pueblos, 32, 1-D
- 28760 Tres Cantos
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