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2024 June Newsletter



On the ship, Noè and Mimi read the Bible freely in open spaces. They were not ashamed of the gospel. That blessed Bible attracted the attention of many people—some to attack it and others to inquire about the Word of God. Interactions led to profound conversations about the Scriptures which often lasted several hours. Many who had never read the Bible were inspired to explore it for themselves and their families.


Encouraged by these encounters, Noè requested a venue for a Sunday service on the ship. To God’s glory, over 70 people attended. 


Mimi met a lady who had tried many religions—Buddhism, Hinduism, and transcendental meditation—and had just discovered the Bible but did not understand it. She was astonished when Noè clarified it and she began to understand scriptural truth. The lady introduced her husband, a scientist, who had many objections to the Bible. The Acostas listened to his objections and concerns and shared the history and preservation of the Bible, including a brief survey of each of the 66 books. After meeting with the Acostas on different occasions totaling over 8 hours, the couple agreed to read the entire Bible. The lady’s husband even began to teach his wife about theological concepts from a scientific viewpoint regarding election and the universe that cannot be explained without a Creator. He also tried to discern the concept of the Trinity: One God in three Persons. Listen to her testimony: https://bit.ly/TACInterview


IN ROME, the Acostas interviewed with Pastor Dario de Crescenzo, who conveyed the strong need for a Reformed seminary there—not only for Italians, but also for Spanish-speakers who are relocating to Europe for work. Interview with Pastor Dario: https://bit.ly/DDCRome


A BULLET TRAIN (300km/h) took them from Rome to Milan. After that, they glided through the Swiss Alps via the Bernina and Glacier Express to reach the Matterhorn. They were in awe of the splendor of the majestic mountains, crystal rivers, lakes, and cascades—all of which point to God’s magnificent creation, reflecting on Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Watch the train ascend into the Alps: https://bit.ly/AlpsBT)


ON RETURNING TO MILAN, ITALY, they met a Reformed pastor named Ricardo Hernandez, an SRL student who invited Noè to teach on the Book of Romans. This was a delightful opportunity to thank God for how He uses SRL in distant places, like Milan, where thousands of Hispanics of all nationalities reside. 

While there, they visited DaVinci’s Last Supper, which required a much-advanced reservation, La Galeria (https://bit.ly/MimiLG), and they enjoyed the lovely historic La Scala Opera House, and Il Duomo (https://bit.ly/NoeDuomo), which is the third-largest cathedral in the world. However, this amazing structure has become just another monument that took 500

years to build and requires a paid ticket to enter. It is awash in marble, and on the roof, there are thousands of gigantic statues and gargoyles. Inside the church, they were horrified when the guide pointed to a sculpture and said it represented God the Father with the face of Count Visconti, who was the largest patron of the Duomo at the time. Besides this blasphemy, the floors were tiled with pagan Zodiac signs aligned specifically to be illuminated by the sun throughout the day.


DURING THEIR JOURNEY through Italy, France, and Spain—while struggling to make the language switchover from Italian to French—they were surprised at the number of gospel opportunities that came their way. At the end of the day, it was a joy to remember the smiling faces of those who received and understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelism seemed welcome in Europe.



In Barcelona, the Acostas met Pastor Juan Manuel Vaz who shepherds a church of 500. Dr. Acosta was asked to teach on "Who is Jesus According to Jesus?” The building was full, including some who were SRL students. This sermon was uploaded online and received more than 8000 views within three weeks. This church is moving to a new venue with a capacity for 650 people. Pastor Vaz and Dr. Acosta discussed the possibility of bringing the seminary to Barcelona, where he already has a theological institute with over 60 students. (https://bit.ly/JVazInterview)


A scheduled meeting with Dr. David Barcelo was canceled in Barcelona due to illness. Dr. Barcelo participated via video at a previous SRL conference in Latin America.

 

Another bullet train took the Acostas from Barcelona to Madrid. It is a vacation after all, so they visited Del Prado Museum, the King’s Palace, the stadium Real Madrid, La Plaza Mayor, and other attractions around that beautiful city.

 

In Madrid, they met with an MTW missionary in Spain, Jamie Burkemper. He affirmed the need to train nationals to participate in missionary work there. You could see his excitement at having SRL support their work, knowing that the Reformation in Spain will require well-trained pastors; they are eager for SRL to provide this education. Listen to an interview: https://bit.ly/JBurkemperInterview


THIS TRIP WAS A TESTIMONY of God’s providence and the need for a new Reformation in Europe. The pastors and missionaries whom the Acostas encountered possessed a common desire—that the Reformation will return to Europe. They feel that the fields are ripe for harvest and that God may use SRL as a mighty instrument in His hands for this purpose!


“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth.” -Romans 1:16a (NKJV)




VIEW THE ENTIRE PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE TRIP AT https://bit.ly/EuropeTrip2024






 


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