Aaron Hicks (our former Associate Pastor), his wife, Holly, and their children, Anna, Daniel, Thomas, and Bethany now live in Spain. Pastor Aaron and Holly work for WORLD HARVEST MISSION, an agency that has over 170 workers in 15 countries proclaiming the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Freedom of religion was instituted in Spain in 1978, yet few Spaniards have any real connection to the church and many have drifted to new age and sects. Millions have no evangelical church in their area. There is also an increasing number of immigrants who need to hear the gospel. This is what Aaron and Holly are about, at least when they're not learning Spanish!
Their mailing address is:
Aaron and Holly Hicks
calle José Tamayo 31A, 2A
For more information click HERE.
HICKS FAMILY UPDATE JULY 27, 2012
So much to report! We are so very thankful for what God has done this past month, and we want to share some of it with you.
ENGLISH CAMPS 2012
The two English camps were fantastic! We were particularly amazed at how the adolescent camp has developed in recent years. There were enthusiastic groups both weeks, and connections were made which will continue into the year, particularly with a neighborhood youth program that our church sponsors.
This year two of Bethany's friends from school came to the English camps, and so our relationships with these families deepened. We were able to talk a little bit more with them about what we “do”. Afterwards Bethany's friends came over to the house for her first-ever girls' sleepover party!
OPEN MOUTHS AND HEARTS
Our favorite part of the camps was the final day when the parents came to see what the kids learned, the “closing show”. We had wonderful conversations with many parents, while snacking on delicious home-made American treats. This year we saw an openness among the parents that has increased from previous years. One Spanish mother even came to a weekly Bible study afterwards!
FINDING FAVOR IN THE COMMUNITY
We also had some great conversations with people who work at the school and have seen us in action for the last 4 years. The janitor of the school even opened up and shared with one of our team-mates his “spiritual journey”--how he had been shown God's grace by a priest when he was a young, troubled street kid. It's clear to us that God is using these English Camps as a bulwark into the community. Respect and curiosity are coming into play as they see us live out our faith in Granada.
AN ATHEIST'S SON
One little boy who came to camp has a father who is a committed atheist. Originally, his father did not want him to come because he did not want him involved in any way with Christians. A teammate of ours lives in the same apartment-building as this family, and I have known the mother for several years from the kids' school. The father finally gave permission for this boy to attend camp because he failed English at school, and now he seems to have a totally different attitude--even says his son will go next year!
Tearing down stereotypes of believers is important here, and enables people to take the next step of exploring the message of the Good News. Thanks to all the volunteers from the U.S. who made these English camps possible!
HELPING THE HUNGRY
In the middle of camps, we received a call from the European food bank saying that the next shipment of food had arrived! So in the middle of everything, we also organized another neighborhood food distribution.
This time was particularly tricky as we changed the way we had done it previously—beginning with a new list and “purging” names from the old list to try to identify the most needy in our neighborhood. This led to some difficult moments as we explained to people that we could not add them to our new list—even some screaming, profanity, and threats of reporting us to the police. However, we hope and pray it is a more just system now!
SAVED BY THE BELL
My favorite moment was when we scheduled a “last chance to sign-up for the food list” session at 6am. One woman arrived and begged for us to bend the rules and let her in without the proper document, but to prevent problems we did not permit it. She left very upset, worried that there was no way she would be able to get the required document in time. At the very last minute, she came running back with the last document in hand. When I ran in with her under the closing door of our storefront, she had tears of relief and we were able to point to God taking care of us. It was a sweet moment, and she knew we were “for” her despite sticking to the rules.
Two teens from our church (close friends of our son Daniel and co-members of his soccer team) went to a Christian youth camp last week, and while there they accepted Jesus as their Savior! We give thanks for these two young men, and pray that their new faith in Christ will grow.
RAMADAN HAS BEGUN
Ramadan is the month of fasting from food and water during daylight hours, observed by practicing muslims. They try to draw close to God, or earn favor with God, by their obedience to this particular pillar of their faith. Today I visited one such family that is fasting, along with three of our kids. Three of the kids in their family attended English camp, so their kids were very warm towards me. The mother was relieved to have a visitor because she is stuck indoors with nothing to do with her children most of the time. We chatted together, with Arabic television in the background, and made plans to get together this coming week.
PRAYER POINTS: Please pray...
1) That those who are trying to draw close to God would truly find Him... through dreams, conversations with believers, or other creative ways God draws us to Himself.
2) Aaron continues to recover from an accident: a car hit him while he was riding his bike. He has a fractured tailbone, and is having a hard time not doing anything physical to allow time for it to heal. We give thanks that it wasn't more serious, and pray for complete healing.
3) Bethany turned 8 this past Monday! We gave her her first complete Bible, and pray that she as well as the other three would know Jesus personally and grow in their love for God and His Word.
4) One of the families who has been involved in our church-plant have had some earth-shattering events occur since we last wrote. The father was kicked out of Spain due to his illegal alien status, and that leaves his wife and their 4 kids here, along with a baby on the way, and no job!
We trust that God is using all of this to answer prayers for them to know God. Believers have been caring for the husband throughout this crisis, and he seems to be turning to God in the midst of this difficulty. Please ask God to give the wife wisdom in making decisions, for the husband to straighten out his identity papers and find a job, and for this precious family to be reunited.
Thank you for your love and support. We miss you all and are especially thankful for your prayers, communications and love!
Serving Him with you,
Holly, for the Hicks family in Spain