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Lowell Brueckner

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Christmas 2015

Cartagena, Alicante and Barcelona

I’m back from Barcelona since Tuesday night, December 29.  With Margaret helping Sarah in Cass Lake Minnesota, USA, it was really nice to be able to spend the Christmas season with friends. I drove so that I would have freedom to move about from place to place, without being restricted by an airplane ticket.

Logo for Spanish radio station
I left home on Sunday, December 20, and arrived in Cartagena at about 10:30 P.M. I stayed with my friend, Paco, and his son.  On the 21 and 22, I was kept busy at the radio station with a lot of live programs, including Light in the Morning, from 10 to 12 A.M, a 4 P.M. program Amazing Grace, and a program with another friend Rodolfo. They also asked me to do a spot with Christmas greetings to the listeners and redo the opening for my program, Building upon the Rock, which covers essential Christian doctrines. The introductory music is now supplied by a beautiful Spanish rendition of Ancient Words.

Heriberto Ledesma
Norma, husband and mother
On Wednesday, the 23, I arrived in Alicante about noon and I was with the entire family of Heriberto Ledesma. Please pray for Heriberto’s daughter, Norma, and her husband and son. Norma is very ill with cancer and asked her dad to cancel the ticket for his return to Mexico on December 28, along with her mother, sister, brother, sister-in-law, and their son. Heriberto worked with us in Mexico and his wife worked with the Pollnows before they were married. Margaret used to visit Heriberto’s mother, still alive at 91, when he was only 13. It was good the whole family could be together for Christmas. Another sister and her husband and two daughters were also there from Lisbon, Portugal. We prayed together and I sang a verse of one of my favorite songs, Sheltered in the Arms of God, which has been translated into Spanish. Then I was asked to sing, The God of the Mountain.

Ripollet prize-winning Bethlehem scene
I arrived in Ripollet, Barcelona quite late on December 23. There was a big meal of pork and one red and one yellow filled pepper on Christmas Eve for all the people in RETO with entrees of giant prawns and mussels. Dessert included a creamy, non-sugar cake. After the meal, a small choir put on a concert with a video demonstration, which I thought was touching and well done. It all pointed to the cross. I was asked to share a short Christmas message.

Christmas morning was very nice for me, because Jose asked me to share a little with the family, Jose, Ana, David, Sofia, and twin Latvian boys, Fransua and Nicolas, who are in Sofia’s custody, since their mother died giving birth… a story in itself with a wonderful outcome. Every morning at breakfast, we always read a scripture each from a scripture box. I am considered the grandpa of the family, so when we opened presents, there were plenty for me. After that, the entrees
Fransua and Nicolas
were served again down in the RETO dining room with a repeat of the tasty entrees and delicious desserts. After the meal, 10 people came up on the platform one by one, dressed in costumes to represent Bible characters and gave their stories of the encounters with Jesus. Again, I was asked to share afterwards.

On Saturday, the 26th, we had lunch with five young couples, some of which (all the girls) used to come to YP camp in Terrassa near Barcelona. They all have kids now. After that, someone had the idea to drive to a small village, where a live Christmas pageant is held on a hill outside of town. Very nice! The townspeople acted out their parts and loudspeakers told the Christmas story. A crowd of hundreds of people gather every hour and go to a few different points, before they arrive at the main scene. We got in at eight in the evening.
Meal for young couples

At one point the narrator said that Jesus came to destroy sin. I thought about how good it is that we have a Christmas season, when the story of the incarnation is shared around the world. “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” The weather was just barely chilly, so it was nice to walk around and stand to watch the presentation. There were other scenes as we walked over the trail, with the annunciation, Jesus in the carpenter shop with Joseph, etc. There were live cows, donkeys and sheep.

The regular weekly meeting was held on Sunday and I was asked to speak. I talked about the shepherds. We went to the usual lunch about 25 miles away in Terrassa. There was another big meal... the fourth day in a row! Then we had coffee with a bunch of the people in a home connected to the meeting place, where a Greek family live. We spent all afternoon there and in the evening, one group broke away to go out for street evangelization. There were about 20 people singing when we arrived in a town square in the middle of Terrassa. A number mingled through the listeners, handing out tracts and talking to whoever would listen. There is a wonderful story to tell about a couple, who were reached by one of these evangelistic efforts about a week before Christmas. They wrote a letter to RETO and also the young man, who talked with them on the street.
Vicente, Carmen & family... Hector, tall boy on right

On Monday, we ate at the home of the mechanic, Vicente, his wife Carmen, and their two daughters. Their oldest daughter has a family of her own, including twins. Their oldest son, Hector, fell off a ladder, was in a coma and finally died in July of 2012. The ordeal turned into a wonderful testimony of the overcoming joy of the gospel and heaven for all who attended his funeral. That testimony is on this blog:

We had another meeting on Monday night, before I returned home on Tuesday. I’ll never forget Christmas, 2015.


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