Miss Joy Gillespie
Hi’ my name is Joy Gillespie and I was brought up in the city of Armagh Northern Ireland, Armagh is known as the Ecclesiastical capital of Ireland
I came to know Christ as my Saviour as a child of 7yrs old. I realised that I was a sinner and therefore on the road to a lost eternity but God in his mercy showed me the way to pass from death unto life. Just at the side of my bed with my mum beside me I knelt and asked Christ to forgive me of my sins and to come into my life as Lord and King. Act 2:21 "that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." God is faithful and that night he saved me and made me a child of the King. In church we were always encouraged to read missionary books but never did I think the Lord would call me to serve on the mission field. He called me to his service thorough the words of Nah 1:15 "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!" And then confirmed it using the same verse in Isa 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" I could not run away from his voice, I loved my work but knew that God wanted something more from me.
I have been serving the Lord in the land of Spain since January 1998. My first term was spent learning the language and culture of Spain. I moved down to work in southern Spain in June 2000. I am working in a mountainous region, with olive groves covering the area and villages scattered on the mountain tops.The people are country folk, mostly working on their olive farms with little other work available. It is a beautiful scenic area with castles and towers dating back to the Moorish invasion of Spain in April 711, this Muslim occupation lasted nearly eight hundred years, until 1492, however it has left a lasting heritage.
I work mainly in colportage work with book tables in three local towns, door to door outreach and distribution of tracts at processions. It is hard to gain acceptance with the people but through tract work I have gained friends and opportunities to share the gospel.
I also hold bible studies when contacts and friends show interest in learning more of the gospel. Normally these are held in the contact’s home and this gives me greater freedom to speak and share the good news. It also gives me contact with other members of the family and bit by bit helps to break down some of the barriers.
I have had the privilege to hold some children's meetings both open air clubs and in private homes. This is a very difficult work as the parents are very wary of us. So many lies and half truths are told that the children are scared to come over and hear the word proclaimed. In past years I have also help in children’s camp work. This can be very rewarding as they are usually church children and understand more of God’s word. It is a wonderful experience when you see their eyes light up as they understand something new about God.
In the last few years I started a ladies meeting with a two fold purpose. Firstly to encourage our own ladies in their faith who are so isolated from other Christian fellowship,Secondly, as the meetings are held in different homes we invite friends and family members to join us. This has given us many opportunities to reach unsaved ladies in the different areas who would not otherwise have come to the church.
It is a difficult work that God has called me to, as Spanish people are closed to the gospel and are trusting in their idolatry, good works and church membership to gain entrance to heaven. They have long forgotten the words of scripture where Jesus Christ says "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6. The vast majority of people are still unreached with the gospel, pray unto God for this needy land that he will have mercy upon it.