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Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest (John 4:35)

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Going back a long way, in 1936 in Parkers Prairie, a town of one thousand inhabitants lost in northern Minnesota, John Blake's mother prayed, asking God to accept and send her son Johnny, three years old, as a missionary to Africa.  God told her no, that John would serve in Europe.  She did nothing more than pray, and did not reveal any of this to John, or to anybody else, until the mission The Navigators assigned John and Alicia to Italy.

Juan en la miliIn the year 1955, after finishing his military service in Germany, John visited Spain to see "the work" for which he had been praying during six years as a result of having seen the film, "Banderilla", about the persecution of the Evangelicals in Spain.

During this visit of only eight days, at six o'clock in the morning of the last day, John way looking at the surroundings of Madrid, from the terrace of the hotel, praying, asking God to send workers to evangelize Spain.

Having just started to pray for workers, John sensed an almost audible voice, "Whom shall I send?" and just as quickly, he responded, "Here am I, send me".  Thinking about it later, he continued praying... "But what can I, a truck driver, do as a missionary?"  To which, God answered with another text which John had learned by memory; "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts..." (Isa. 6:8 and Zech. 4:6).

With this calling and the promise of Zechariah... after four years of studies at Northwestern Bible College, two more years of preparation in Colorado and another four years of experience in ministry in Italy and again in Germany with the Navigators; at last, John, Alicia and their three children landed in Barcelona ten years later, in May 1965.  The first three years were for learning the language and the Spanish culture at the University of Barcelona.  At the same time, he served as an English professor in the seminary of the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches of Spain (in Spanish, FIEIDE).

 

Juan y AliciaNow John quit teaching in order to dedicate himself fully to the ministry of evangelization through films, as a worker with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in direct collaboration with the recently created Evangelism in Action (in Spanish, EEA) to serve all of the evangelical churches of Spain.

In the same year in which Franco died, 1975, the Blakes moved to Madrid, in order to facilitate the ministry and the trips throughout all Spanish territory.  We move on to the year of the birth of the Constitution, 1977.  After nine years of close relationship with Juan Gili, the BGEA decided to establish itself in Madrid, independent of the EEA.

In this way, in February, although cold and rainy, in 1977 was born with deep roots what today is known as DECISION (the name taken from the evangelistic magazine of the BGEA), with John Blake as founder and director.

La familia BlakeThis photo shows another goodbye of John.  If we add up all of the days of the trips of John in Spain, the result would be the chilling figure of 17 years away from home.

"…they rehearsed all that God had done with them…" (Acts 14:27)

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