2/02/2009

My testimony

I posted today for first time for the KJV blog. I thought I would share it with you guys too since I never shared about my testimony here. It is not very in depht but still- Enjoy

Hello everyone,
My name is Pilar Stark and I am new on posting for the KJV blog. I believe I am to post for the “Monday Mussing” every first Monday of the month. As I was thinking in what to write, I thought I would use this time to introduce myself so you know who is this person that posts every now and then :). I also thought that by doing so, you may be able to learn a little more about the country my family is serving in. Yes, I am from Spain and a missionary in Spain. God has a way with things :)
As an average Spaniard, I grew up in a non-believer family. By the grace of God, I was saved at age 15. I would love to say that when I got saved my life turned around, my life did, but not my attitude. And I played with the world for quite a while. My excuse back then… there were not Christian friends around. See, Spain is a country 98% catholic. Of course that is by name, and not by practice. Here in Spain, if you believe in God at all, you say you are a catholic. They would not agree with half the things that Catholics believe or do, but still, to people in Spain, Catholicism means Christianity. Spanish people are very proud people and as “good” people, they don’t see themselves as sinners, or at least not the kind that need to be saved from hell. As a result, their churches, catholic churches, are empty, because after all, what is their need to go to church other than weddings and funerals?. The result of that thought for our Baptist churches is, if they don’t go to a church they “believe” in, why would they go to a church they are not even sure about?. So our churches are small and our youth groups even smaller. Still, not a reason to not live for Christ, but I did call it an excuse didn’t I?
At age 18, I went to a Christian camp, where I found another 130 teens from all over Spain, what a great week that was. There I rededicated my life to the Lord and also surrendered to be a pastor or missionary wife. Again, I was not living the way I ought to but definitely my spiritual life was looking up, and slowly but surely God was working in my life and leading me to what His will was. What a merciful God He is. He has given me what I do not deserve: His grace, His love and His forgiveness.
I think what helped me stay there, in the right path, was the many people that invested their lives in me. The missionaries that God used to be an encouragement and a support; even now, I don’t really think they still know how much they meant to me. I praise God for missionaries for I am a result of mission work.
When I was 19, my sister and her husband went to the States so my brother in law could pastor a Spanish ministry, which my now home church was starting in Alabama. A year later I went to visit them. I was at a turning point in my life. I think it was a time where God was going to try me and see if I was to serve Him or go on to live my “worldly Christian life” and be worthless for His service. Praise the Lord, I gave my life completely to Him. A couple of days later I met who was to be the man of my dreams, and we got married a year later. God gave us a beautiful daughter, Kayla, and shortly after, during a “Missions Conference” Matthew surrendered to the mission field and started Bible college. While he was in college, God gave us our second daughter Nicole, and while on deputation our third, Noelia.
When Matthew told me that he felt God was calling us to Spain as missionaries, I had an internal, quiet fit. -To go back to a country where there is not interest?, where churches struggle to grow?, where missionaries work and work and see little result?, NO WAY- Those were my sinful thoughts, still I followed my husband’s lead. But during our survey trip, before we started deputation, God gave me a burden for the people in Spain, my people. If I didn’t want to invest my life for my people, who would? Who else would understand better Spaniards as a Spaniard?
Now we have been in Spain as missionaries close to 2 years. We went to Gijon, in the north of Spain, to help The Contreras Family with the church they were just starting, and to take over while they took their furlough. In September of last year we moved to Granada, in the south of Spain, where we have started a church, having our first service in December.
There are struggles, there are spiritual fights, but we have the great hand of God to hold ours through the way.
When you plant a seed in your garden, in takes a while to see flowers coming out of it. It takes much care, much love, and much patience. It doesn’t happen over night, but it happens. We are planting, caring, loving, and asking God for patience; and by God’s grace, in His timing, we will see beautiful souls being saved.
There is something that my husband has told me before “If you don’t think you can see people in Spain getting saved, go and look at yourself in the mirror”.



5 comments:

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Pilar, this is a great testimony. Your husband's statement at the end is awesome.

Nina in Portugal said...

I learned some things about you Pilar! Thanks for sharing!

I had no idea that in December was your first service...congratulations!!

Deanna said...

Hey girl! Reading your testimony sure brings back a lot of memories! It's true we have to take one person at a time, one day at a time and leave it all in the Lord's hands!

Beka said...

I enjoyed reading your testimony. I'm praying for y'all that the Lord will bless and that you'll see many people come to Christ through y'alls ministry!

Dani Joy said...

Amen! Thanks for sharing. You are fruit of the harvest here in Spain! Such a wonderful encouragement that is when we want to withdraw a little bit from the people. I will remember these things and your beautiful testimony of God´s faithfulness!