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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

God's goodness!!!!

Well we went today, for the third time to finish up the paperwork for my residency. Well, Alberto went as planned at 4am, that is when they told us we had to get there to get a number to be attended. So Matt took Alberto at 4, and I was supposed to go later at about 9 when they open. Now we had been praying and, called and sent emails for about a week to see if there was not a way to make an appointment to do the paperwork ...it didnt seem like the best idea for me to wait in line for 5hr. since I am almost 8 months pregnant. The answer was NO! Anyway, apparently they had decided to change the system as of yesterday, when Alberto went this morning they gave him an appointment for this afternoon at 1pm....answered prayer!!! Matt went back and picked Alberto up and they were back here by around 5am. What a blessing!!! So we went this afternoon to the appointment and everything went super smooth, the Lord had it all worked out ahead of time for us. Now all we have left to do is go back in a month and pick up the actual card. but basically all the paperwork is done and everything is approved! The awesome thing is that if we had gone even one day sooner, we would have had to wait in that super long line...for hours. God works things out so perfectly!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I am ssssooooo excited!

What a handsome young man, inviting people to the church:)

Tomorrow we get to have services at the church!!! Hurray! It looks nice, and it will look even better once we get it full of people! What a blessing. God has been so good in providing each and every thing necessary. The first official service - or the one we are promoting alot will be Dec. 7th and there are still some small things needing to be done. We are praying for God's continued blessing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Belly

Ok, so here I am 30 weeks pregnant trying to figure out how in the world we are supposed to make it 10 more weeks. :) And He is supposed to grow alot? ALOT...????where is he going to be growing? I am about out of room here. It is incredible though, every night when I get about ready to go to sleep, he decides to get active, so we end up staying up a little bit to see him moving around a little bit. We are super excited and praying God gives us the wisdom to be good parents.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Mission Field

We have been here in Spain for several months, and God is blessing and providing for us. The Lord allowed us( mostly ME as Alberto is from here:) to adjust to everything with seemingly no culture shock. But I have been quite surprised by things spiritually. We have handed out tracks and talked to people who seem to have never thought about eternity, nor do they care to think about it. It is more pressing on our hearts everyday the great need for the Holy Spirit's working here in the hearts of people. We can do all we can, but God must open their eyes if they are to ever have any hope for eternity. The other thing I have noticed that appears to be a danger is that sometimes we become accustomed to being surrounded by lost souls (not just here this happens in the States and everywhere I am sure) that sometimes we dont think of them as the souls so greatly in need of the Lord that they truly are. How many people a day do we walk by that have never heard the gospel? how long do they have to hear? are we doing what we can? Please pray for us in the work here, that God would fill us and open doors, and increase our burden for the souls, that we would see the lost as God does, and value their souls as he does to have sent His Son not only for our sins, but also for theirs. Do you believe that hell is real? I do, we must do more to warn people and share God's salvation.


Well we went early Monday morning (about 7:30) to finish up the paperwork for my Spanish residency. I had recieved a letter stating it was approved, but we had to bring in the remainder of the paperwork. When we arrived there were approximately 80-100 people there already waiting in a super long line. Alberto went to talk to one of the police officers (all of it is actually done at the police station), apparently a large majority of the people arrive around 4am. Alberto explained to him that it was my paperwork and being 7+months pregnant it is not a good idea for me to be waiting in a line for 5 and 1/2 hrs. The officer told him to come back that afternoon around 3 and they would let us in. We went back, but sadly the officer on duty wanted nothing to do with us or helping us, he said it was too bad they had told us that in the morning, cause we were not getting in. It looks like Alberto is going to have to go one day this week at 4am, and exhaust himself waiting in some crazy line, and I will go closer to 9 when they actually open. Please pray that God would possibly provide a different solution for us. We sent an email to see if there is no possible way to make an appointment or anything, but have not heard anything back yet. If not, pray for my wonderful sweet husband that God will bless Him. The good news is that once we accomplish this, it should all be taken care of:) Praise the Lord!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's Been Happening?

Well it has been a busy couple of days. The car is officially fixed, praise the Lord!!! We went the other day and made an appointment for my last ultrasound which will be the 13th of November. And the stomach virus has officially left the Stark house, we think!!! Praise the Lord we didn't all have it at the same time. We are planning to go on Monday to do the final things for my residency, pray all goes well there. More work has been done at the church, oh and it rained on my clean clothes:) Not much else going on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Answered Prayer

I also wanted to post up some of the blessings we have seen recently through answered prayer. I had my glucose test several weeks ago, and went yesterday to find out the results. This Dr. visit was slightly easier as my name was semi-correct (the paperwork was fine, the Dr. decide that out of Ashley Renee Shipley Puente...she would call me Rene, it's fine just pick one of the names and go with it:) Any way the good news is that the glucose test was negative, meaning all is fine and I dont have to go through the four hour version of the test.The rest of the blood and lab work was also fine. Also when we returned from Madrid I had recieved info on my residency, I have been approved and we just have to go back early in the morning and finish up paperwork, and I believe pay a small fee. So we will be rising with the birds tomorrow:) I have to make an appointment for the first week of November to get another ultrasound, please pray the Lord works in that it can be hard to get the apt. for when you need it. I can not praise God enough for His goodness; He is always faithful.

Just Ducky

So here is the story of our return trip from Madrid. We were planning to travel back to Granada on Saturday afternoon at about 3pm so we could arrive around 8pm. We picked up a stroller and some stuff for the baby from Alberto's Uncle, and got everything loaded and ready to go, it was already 5pm. Leaving at that time we would arrive about 10pm, which would put most of our trip in the dark, and it was supposed to rain and storm. We decided to leave early Sunday morning to make it to Granada for the church sevices, but...Alberto ended up sick and vomiting Saturday night. We went to church in Madrid, God blessed and Alberto got feeling better, so we decided to leave Monday.... and we did! We headed out from Madrid around 10am. The trip was going well, everything fine except we were both a little tired. We were about 80km from Granada, headed uphill and rapidly loosing speed...the car stopped. Now it would start up, but not go any where hardly at all. As we are trying to decide whether to try to make it to the next exit, we prayed God would help us make it to the next exit and help us. So we try...not working! And guess who pulls up behind us??? the police. They get out and ask what we are doing and why we don't have our triangle out, (orange safety traingle you put behind the car to warn other drivers) the police offered to call us a tow truck and told Alberto to get out and find the triangle and set it up, he apologized for not having it out, and told them he hadnt been here very long and had a US drivers license. Somehow from that they assumed he was a tourist and were very helpful, even though they could have written us a ticket. We got everything taken care of and waited about 30 min. for the tow truck. Now I know this is a long story but it continues....the tow truck driver got the car up, we got in the tow truck, and he called the insurance (as we have roadside assistance) he was driving his big truck, talking on the phone and rubbing his eyes, was a little nerve wracking:) He took us to his shop in the middle of nowhere, and told us the insurance was getting us a taxi and would call Alberto. We sat on a bench outside until the taxi arrived. I had never ridden in a taxi, I am a country Alabama girl:) But this was not a normal taxi...it was a nice black Mercedes with two young guys, yet it was our taxi. The young guy drove us what is usually a fourty-five minute distance in about 25 min. He was going approximately 100km over the speed limit:) Another nail-biting ride. God protected us in everything, praise His name. One of the first things I thought was Praise the Lord He did not allow for us to leave on Saturday night and break down in the middle of the cold dark rain! Also as we have roadside assistance with the insurance, they are supposed to pay for all the transportation, for the car and us. "Ducky" (I named the car shortly after Alberto's Gpa gave it to us) arrived the following day on the tow truck, we are looking into how much it will cost us to get it fixed. Another blessing from the Lord is that Alberto can at least drive it to the mechanic to get it fixed (as long as it's not uphill:) It seems like it is the clutch, I will post about it once we figure out what we're going to do. Thank you for those who keep us in your prayers, we felt God's working that day. Here is a picture of the garage in the middle of nowhere...(reminded me of good old AL:)


Monday, October 13, 2008

Wedding Trip

We just arrived back from Alberto's cousin's wedding today. He got married in Madrid on Friday and I got to experience my first Spanish wedding. There was a ton of delicious food. (Jamon, Manchego chesee, Cabrales Cheese, Chorizo, Croquetas, Langostinos, Salmon, Steak, etc...) We got to spend sometime with Alberto's family and had a wonderful time. We were also able to attend the Missions Conference at the church in Azuqueca. We met missionaries from Greece, Spain, and Argentina. It was a blessing to hear bro. David Bell from Alicante, Spain. He had a really difficult trial last year. He had to have heart surgery due to degenerative heart disease and he is only in his 30s. It was a great encouragment to hear his testimony and his preaching. Also please pray for their son that may also have heart surgery because of the same problem. While in Madrid we attended a practice for the Spanish national soccer team (2008 European Champions) and were able to meet some of the players. Alberto was more excited than a little kid at a candy store. We took some a picture with Iker Casillas. He is indisputably the best goalkeeper in the world. It was awesome!


We also had a very interesting trip back here to Granada, but I will post some info about that later:)

Monday, October 6, 2008

God's Blessings

We returned from an encouraging week in Madrid to find things busy and encouraging here in Granada. Everything is so close to being ready for us to have services in the building!!!! Alberto and Matt have been painting the ceiling tiles, since they were gray from smoke stains of the people who were renting there before us. Once they dry and go back up, it will be back to cleaning once again, as much dust has come from taking them down. Hopefully the chairs will be in, and once we get them set up, we will be good to go. Of course it would be nice if the pulpit and all the decorations were set up, but we will accomplish what time allows:) This weekend a man from Bolivia came to the morning service, which we are currently holding at the Starks house, he recieved Christ as his Saviour!!! God is so great. This gentleman lives very close to where the church is, and says he plans to continue coming and invite his son, and his sister with her family. We are praying for God to open doors for them to all come, or for us to be able to meet and visit with them. What a mighty God we serve. Also we would ask for continued prayers regarding Alberto's job situation... we were not thinking it would take this long for him to get a job, the best part of it is the way we have been able to see God provide for our needs, and strengthen our faith. It is a good reminder that we must not place our trust in man, but in God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Wow! Things have been exciting lately, the baby is constantly moving...and YES growing. What a blessing. I go in a week or so to get the results on my glucose test so hopefully there are no problems there. Also just to let everyone know, we are sending out a monthly prayer letter by email if you would like to recieve it, let us know:)

"What If"

What if...
-God didnt take time to bless us today, because we didnt take time to thank Him for His blessings yesterday?
-God decided not to lead and guide us tomorrow, because we decided not to follow Him today?
-We never saw another flower bloom, because we complain when God sends the rain?
-God took the Bible away from us tomorrow because we neglected to read it today?
-God left us without His message, because we didnt want to listen to His messenger?
Author Unknown

A couple thoughts that were on the front of the Bulletin last weekend at church in Alcala. Worth thinking about....the decisions we make today affect tomorrow, in our lives and the lives of those around us. We have so much we ought to thank God for, one of the biggest being that He has mercy on us and doesnt give us what we truly deserve. And for His blessings and grace in giving us things we definitely DO NOT deserve.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Days In Madrid

We are back here in Granada, after almost a week in Madrid. We had a wonderful and very busy time. It is always a challenge when we go to be able to spend as much time with friends and family as what we would like to. God had some wonderful blessings waiting for us there. Carol (Alberto's cousin) passed two boxes of newborn clothes to us-and they are soooo cute (she has good taste:);as well as a bag of my favorite ......BABY SHOES! A friend of Alberto's family also gave us a bag of cute baby clothes, they are actually for about 6-9month old. Alberto's Uncle had a stroller/car seat that is very nice which we are also going to be able to use; so we came back with a trunk full of things for the little one. Praise the Lord when our son geets here, he will already have a very full closet, for practically the first year:) We kept a busy schedule, spending time with Alberto's family -they are all very hospitable and we stay well fed! , also spending time with several Christian families there in Madrid:) We went to several services at El Faro, the church that Alberto's family was reached out of, God is blessing and the church continues strong in God's Word. Alberto played the piano for the services, which everyone really enjoyed as they have been without a pianist. Pastor Alejandro and his wife Fina invited us to Sunday lunch, and were a great blessing to us. We also spent several evenings in Marco and Veronica's house enjoying the fellowship (and food:). Please continue to pray for the church here in Granada, Matt and Pilar got alot of things done while we were gone, and we are all looking forward to being able to have our first official service in the building. Also please continue to keep Alberto's job situation in your prayers. Sadly we took almost no pictures, but I will see if there are one or two I can post from our time there in Madrid.