International Ministries

November 30, 2016

November 22, 2016

November 16, 2016

November 8, 2016

November 2, 2016

October 19, 2016

October 14, 2016

October 12, 2016

September 28, 2016

September 21, 2016

September 14, 2016

September 9, 2016

September 6, 2016

August 24, 2016

August 17, 2016

August 10, 2016

August 7, 2016

August 3, 2016

July 29, 2016

July 27, 2016

July 22, 2016

July 19, 2016

June 29, 2016

June 22, 2016

June 15, 2016

June 8, 2016

June 2, 2016

June 1, 2016

May 25, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 11, 2016

May 4, 2016

April 27, 2016

April 20, 2016

April 13, 2016

April 6, 2016

March 28, 2016

March 23, 2016

March 16, 2016

March 10, 2016

March 7, 2016

March 2, 2016

February 24, 2016

February 10, 2016

February 9, 2016

February 3, 2016

February 1, 2016

January 26, 2016

January 20, 2016

January 13, 2016

January 6, 2016

December 30, 2015

December 23, 2015

December 16, 2015

December 9, 2015

Pray for Carlos Bonilla and Mayra Giovanetti, reaching out to those who are bound in chains of oppression in Spain.

December 21, 2011

Carlos and Mayra, with their children, are in Spain alongside the churches of the Baptist Evangelical Union of Spain (UEBE) in their ministries to migrants, preparing curriculum materials, and training lay persons in the local churches. 

They write: Each Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth, born of Mary, a virgin as prophesied in Isaiah 7.14 and restated in Matthew 1.23. Back then and in our days, a virgin birth is difficult to understand and believe in; so Mary suffered the consequences of such a special and unique pregnancy and birth. Mary was questioned, shunned, and looked down upon by many of her own as one without dignity, integrity, or worth. Yet, Mary was chosen to be Jesus’ mom through this virgin pregnancy and birth.

If Mary, a virgin when she conceived Jesus, was questioned, shunned, and looked down upon by many, how much more those who are prostitutes? Are you aware that even those who have come out of prostitution and are within our churches are also looked down upon by many, shunned, and questioned? We wish this were not true, but we often continue to struggle with accepting those Jesus came to save and whom He loves so dearly.

Spain holds a record that is not one to be proud of; the country in all of Europe with the highest rate of men contracting prostitute’s services (39%). These women and girls are despised, used, and enslaved. Those who get freed have a hard time getting a job, a family, and acceptance within society, even within the church. They are the scum we do not wish to have near, the ones we protect our children from, and the ones we wish did not exist.

But the numbers, the stats, and the ideal are one thing; it is something different to meet them face to face, to know their struggles, feel their pain, and share their frustrations. They invite us to take to heart Jesus’ words in John 8.7b: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Also in Mark 2.17, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

We tend to still departmentalize sins by categories and degrees, yet sin is everything and anything we do or do not do that is contrary to God’s commandments. More often than we admit, we are still guilty as charged in Matthew 7.3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

This Christmas Jesus invites you and us, with so many around the world, to get the Good News out to these and all men and women who need God’s loving gift of salvation. Let us love them as He loves them and as He loves us. Let us really walk in their shoes as we listen to their testimonies, their pain, and their struggles to be freed from prostitution, from sin, and from their inner bondage that is often reinforced by our own attitudes.

Blessed is He who says in Isaiah 1.18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” And in John 8.11b He invites us: “Go now and leave your life of sin.

Christmas is time to prepare New Year’s resolutions. Let us be resolute to break the chains and stop the pain. Women and girls depend on our accepting God’s call to restore dignity, integrity, and worth to these who are despised, used, and enslaved. With your prayerful support we are already responding in the true Spirit of the season.

  • Pray for Mayra and Carlos as they serve Christ in Spain by reaching out to those who are bound in chains of oppression.