The Spencer Family

Calvary Chapel Missionaries in Athens, Greece

Exciting Changes

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

Dear Faithful Friends,

We are coming close to our furlough, and have been working hard to finish well with what we are involved in here before we leave for the summer. In our last update, we shared that we have been praying about several transitions, and we are elated to share one of them with you.

We are excited to announce that we have joined Commission To Every Nation, a servant organization that helps missionaries fulfill the unique vision that God has given them. They currently partner with over 686 missionaries in 58 countries. Commission To Every Nation has been given 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service and will issue tax-deductible receipts for all donations processed. It will be so helpful to have their wisdom and comprehensive care as we continue to minister in Athens, Greece.

One of the standout features of CTEN is their Pastoral Care. CTEN will also be helping us with hardcopy newsletters and other mailings. They know the importance of good communication and will help us stay in touch with our home team. We were drawn to CTEN because of their passion for missions, their financial integrity, and their philosophy of ministry which is encapsulated in CTEN’s mission statement: “Helping ordinary people partner with God to accomplish the extraordinary”. You can learn more about CTEN by visiting their web site at www.cten.org .

We would like to take this opportunity before we get into the details of this change to thank Saving Grace World Missions for all of the hard work they have put into facilitating our return to the mission field. We have been blessed by their excellent guidance and expertise over these last 7 years and pray as they move forward that many more will be blessed by their heart to serve.

EFFECTIVE JUNE, 2017

…all financial support for our ministry in Athens, Greece should be directed to and will beprocessed through Commission To Every Nation – both online, and checks in the mail. Recurring donations for May have been processed as schedule by Saving Grace World Missions and as of July 31st Saving Grace World Missions will deactivate any automatic recurring electronic donations.

Beginning May 8th, you can continue your financial partnership with us in one of the following ways:

Check by Regular Mail

Make your check payable to CTEN, and mail it to:

Commission To Every Nation

P.O. Box 291307

Kerrville, TX 78029-1307

VERY IMPORTANT:

Include a note along with your check stating that you are supporting Travis Spencer. When your donation is received you will be sent a receipt with a tear-off portion that you can simply include with your future donation.

Secure Online Giving:

If you do not have a computer or need help call 1-800-872-5404 during normal business hours (Central Standard Time) and they will gladly assist you.

Or just follow these steps:

•Go to www.cten.org/travisspencer This directs you to our CTEN information page where you then click the DONATE button.

•You can make a special gift or schedule recurring contributions by credit card or EFT, electronic bank transfer. 

Giving your contact information enables CTEN to send you receipts and allows you to track your giving, select receipt preferences and update your contact information as needed. Follow the instructions until your transaction is complete.

We are so blessed to have you on our team. Again if you have any problems, questions or concerns please email us at spencers.abroad@gmail.com . We can call you – Just let us know when. Or you can call CTEN for assistance.

With our furlough approaching quickly, we wanted to let you know when we will be in the different places we are visiting throughout the Western States. Please feel free to contact us if you want to see us when we are in your area. We are also interested in sharing about what the Lord is doing in Athens, and would love to speak at your church or home fellowship.

Our furlough schedule is as follows:

June 9th-10th Orange County (Southern California)

June 11th-24th Texas, New Mexico, & Arizona

July 1st-3rd Torrance Area (Southern California)

July 4th-14th Orange County (Southern California)

July 14th-17th Murrieta (Southern California)

July 18th-21st Orange County (Southern California)

July 22nd-25th San Francisco Area (Northern California)

July 25th-27th Portland Area (Oregon)

July 27-30 British Columbia CANADA/ Seattle Area (Washington)

August 2nd-6th Monument (Colorado)

August 6th-8th Albuquerque (New Mexico)

August 9th-7th Arizona

August 11th-24th Orange County (Southern California)

August 25th-28th Torrance Area (Southern California)

September 2nd-8th Orange County (Southern California)

We are still looking for places to stay in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle if you know anyone that might want to house our family overnight.

Thank you for co-laboring with us through prayer and finances. We are so thankful for you.

In Him,

Travis & Kristin Spencer

 

Please Pray For:

-Favor with the Greek Consulate in Los Angeles when we go to apply for visas

-Grace and Traveling Mercies

-Provision for Travis’s upcoming colonoscopy and medication needs

-Provision in general as we travel

-Continued visions and faithfulness to seek God’s will for our lives as we serve in Athens

-Health for everyone in the family

Slow-Growing Fruit

“And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!'” – 2 Chronicles 14:11

Dear friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. A lot has happened over the last few months. We see steady progress in our lives and ministry here in Athens, but we also observe forces that work against what we’re doing.

Furlough!

In our last update we asked for prayer for provision for plane tickets to visit California over the summer. A few days after that, we found really affordable tickets, and felt that God wanted us to purchase them. Two days later, the exact amount we needed appeared in our bank account from a church that supports us, letting us know that someone donated a large amount that they distributed evenly amongst all their missionaries. God is so good, and He anticipates our every need. Thank you for praying. We are almost finished with our travel schedule for our time in the States, and will post in our website soon, for those who want to see us when we come to their area.

Down But Not Out

The last few weeks both Kristin and I have been in a deep depression. Though we have seen God’s provision each and every time, we are still struggling to find a way to stay in the country. After meeting with our immigration lawyer, we learned that the best chance for us to get the only type of visa available to our family is to have €45,000 to put into a Greek bank account. Before meeting, we realized God had already provided €16,000 which was put into our account in December and January through one-time donations. That encouraged us that God already knew what our need would be before we did. That means we still have to raise €29,000, which still seems like a lot, but we know that our Heavenly Father is able to provide all that we need. If you are interested in how you can help, please check out this page for ready-made letters you can take to your pastor or friends.

Slow-Growing Fruit

After a time of prayer and consideration, seeking the Lord to know what He wanted us to do about our visas and our desire to move to a new neighborhood here in Athens, God showed us that He wants us here, and we need to keep working hard. The next day we were telling our neighbor (who is now a believer) that we will be moving in the fall to Kerameikos. She then told us about a dream she had. She told us that in the dream we were moving to another neighborhood and she was very sad, but happy for us. She told us that she believes that God gave her that dream for us. In a second dream that we feel accurately describes our ministry here in Athens, she was picking peaches off a tree with her brother, and the tree was overloaded with fruit. The branches were so heavy from all the peaches, that they were bowed and leaning toward the ground. But one branch had little tiny peaches that were growing very slowly. She felt that she was supposed to take care of it and to help it somehow. I immediately thought of our ministry, because God has called us to reach out and minister to those that no one else pays attention to. In missions it is easy to get caught up in numbers and results, and to ignore the slow-growing fruit, but that is our calling. Then yesterday, a brother sent me a link to this article, which encouraged me that this is what God wants. Here are two quotes that stirred my heart:

 

“The gospel is eternally serious business, inextricably tied to the glory of God and the destinies of real people. Given the stakes, there has been a good and right recovery of the urgent task to see the gospel go to the world’s hardest places and least-reached peoples. And yet if we’re not careful, I fear we will wrongly identify urgency with speed, failing to remember that a task can be urgent and yet demand a slow, methodical approach that thinks in years and decades instead of days and months.”

 

“We have a great gospel to proclaim to a needy world. But if we’re not careful, we will undermine its spread. If we don’t trust that God knows best how to protect and display his gospel—through sound churches pastored by men who, in appropriate ways in their contexts and settings, aren’t novices (1 Tim. 3:6)—then we will stunt true growth.”

 

Please continue to pray for our family and for the ministry here. We know that God has a plan, and we’re waiting to see what it is, trusting that He will work everything out according to His will.

In Him,

Travis and family

 

Prayer Requests

1. For God’s provision and favor for our family.

2. For grace and compassion in the ministries where we work.

3. Health for all of us.

4. Encouragement through this time of trial.

5. Faithfulness.

6. Wisdom in planning our furlough.

Merry Christmas

Hey everyone,

We just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for all your prayers and support over the last year and to say, “Merry Christmas!”

We want to wish you the best season of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. From our family to yours, may you have the most amazing holiday season, and spiritual growth during this time. Please keep us in prayer. We really cherish those prayers.

In Him,

Travis Spencer