I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:11-13
Name(s): Rebecca and Dave Bumpus
Host Country: Spain
Rebecca grew up in a Christian home and at the age of five gave her heart to Jesus, after her parents explained salvation to her. After a move to Illinois, her family began attending a Bible church. This is where Rebecca began to grow in her faith and knowledge of the Lord. It was here at a missions conference where she committed her life to God’s service. She then began looking for opportunities to prepare for missionary work. She took Spanish in high school, went on a field trip to Mexico, and taught vacation Bible school for inner-city children in Chicago.
Around the age of 13, Rebecca heard a missionary speaker challenging her to be available to God for whatever He asked of her. That night God changed Rebecca's outlook on the future. Her life was no longer hers to be used for her pleasure and benefit. It was for God to use as He saw fit for His glory. Rebecca also began to burn inwardly with a burden for those who have never heard and understood God’s plan of reconciliation. From then on her goal was to go to a place where the need was greater than in her own country and share God’s provision of salvation.
After moving to Phoenix, Arizona, Rebecca returned to Mexico as a short-term missionary, helping with orphanages, witnessing, and building churches. She also went to Costa Rica for four months where she studied the culture, language, economics, history, and politics of Central America. During her high school and college years at Northwest Community Church in Phoenix, AZ, she experienced personal discipleship and learned to disciple and teach youth. Rebecca is a graduate of Grand Canyon College with a B.S. in Elementary Education.
In October 1989 Rebecca was approved by World Partners to serve as a missionary. She began serving in Spain in September 1992.
Rebecca serves in Burjasot and Moncada, towns just north of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Spain is a postmodern, Catholic country. Most Spaniards will say they are Catholic, but they will quickly add they are not practicing Catholics. They were baptized as babies, celebrated their first communions, and were married in Catholic churches. They may still pray for the dead, light candles to the saints or the Virgin Mary, carry a picture of the Virgin Mary or a saint, and wear a charm blessed by the church for protection. At the same time, many Spaniards depend on fortunetellers and healers to deal with more immediate problems. Anyone religious who is not a part of the Catholic Church is looked upon with suspicion as a cult member. Spaniards are fun loving, hard working people who live in a beautiful, modern nation. Beneath the beauty and charm is a darkness that needs to be lit by the light of Christ.
The goal in Burjasot and Moncada is to make disciples who in turn make disciples. At this point, Rebecca is focusing on friendship evangelism with neighbors and friends. The study used is a thirteen-week course developed as a result of seeing people pray a pre-packaged salvation prayer and quickly fall away. The longer study is designed to communicate what it means to follow Christ. Frequently, Rebecca meets at a coffee shop or have a meal with unbelieving friends to build relationships and trust, but really contact with unbelievers takes many forms. Whether walking a dog, going to the gym, taking a walk, or seeing a need and trying to meet it, anything becomes an opportunity to share Christ. She is able to salt the conversation with references to her relationship with Christ. Rebecca continues to meet with four believers who live in Moncada to disciple them and train them to share the Gospel. Prayer is the basic ingredient to everything we attempt. Nothing spiritual endures in Spain, or anywhere, without prayer.
In addition to the things Rebecca does each week to meet her neighbors and establish relationships for evangelism, she leads a cell group once a week. She also disciples and evangelizes with the women in her town. Whether it is through formal ministry tasks or the more casual afternoon coffees, evening parties, and social events with neighbors, She has learned the best opportunities for witness come through prayer and making good friends and gaining their trust.