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Spain Trip Report by Grandpa (Charles Mingonet) 

17 Jan - 1 Feb, 2023


This letter is from my perspective as Ian’s Grandfather as well as Addaline and Mina and of course father-in-law and father of Jonathan and Hannah Romaine.  It was a great honor and privilege to be able to go and provide whatever support and encouragement along the way to all and to more importantly pray for the Romaine’s mission of spreading the Gospel of Christ in Spain.


Deciding to go:

It is hard to read the subtitle above and not think about the answer and commissioning of the Romaine’s in response to God’s call to go to Spain.  You can’t look at the decision to go back at this time without that context. Ian’s health is certainly in the forefront in seeking wisdom on how best to balance that against the purposes and will of God, His command to go, and the calling on the Romaine’s for Spain.

Health and desire: 

It became evident to the Romaine’s and doctors caring for Ian in late November 2022 that Ian was experiencing a positive health plateau as far as reduced area inflammation, stagnation of further growth or perhaps even a small decrease in tumor size. Certainly, his health had rebounded from the summer and early fall and post radiation effects.  Praise God. Ian’s desire to go back to Spain for the purpose of seeing his buddies and sharing Christ remained strong and perhaps grew. That same desire was strong from everyone in the family. The connection with a sizable group of Spanish families through the multiple avenues that God had provided continued to remain strong if not grow. Intentional efforts from the Romaine’s side and from the Spanish families as well as what seemed like a miraculous kind of growth and spread of an awareness of Ian’s situation.


Counsel, Prayer, Trust:

Jonathan and Hannah sought counsel from the medical side and from Christian counsel and made the decision to move ahead with planning the trip. Ultimately it seemed like the deciding factor was that God was providing an amazing opportunity that no one could have ever predicted for a young boy with a terminal diagnosis of DIPG. God, as well, had placed a strong desire in the hearts of everyone to see their Spanish family, so many of whom have been presented the truth of the gospel, but not yet received Christ as their Savior. The only thing that seemed to be stopping the trip was an anxiety or even fear of what might occur with Ian’s health and the support available overseas.  It seemed to the team that it was a decision that would be guided by trust in God and His purposes or focus on fears.  So… covered in prayer and with as much preparation as possible for the health risks accomplished by the medical team, the Romaine’s made the decision to go.


God’s will:  How much of my Christian life have I spent searching scripture, praying and reading books on the will of God?  Searching for that sweet spot of seeking God and a relationship that is close so we can know we are in the middle of God’s will for our lives and our families and not seeking our own fleshly agendas. I can’t overstate the challenge of making this decision. The faith and trust in God to make these kinds of decisions and the need for wisdom, trust, faith, willingness to do spiritual battle I believe is born out of years of seeking His face and walking in surrender while experiencing His grace.  Watching Hannah and Jonathan walk so graciously through this time, I marvel at God’s handiwork being accomplished.


The travel:

The rigors of travel were a prime concern for Ian’s health and anyone who has done overseas travel with young kids can appreciate that fact.  God’s hand was certainly evident in so many ways throughout to try and mitigate the impact on long hours of travel on Ian and all.  The support of the body of Christ from the state side, Salem Baptist church, friends, and family has been a testimony to what church family should look like. Both on the sending and receiving side in North Carolina, the Christian brothers and sisters in Christ thought of and provided any and every support need both spoken and unspoken. The ministry of the saints was a testimony to all.  The support of the team in Spain was similarly so with transportation, food, and support throughout. This trip could not have happened without their support.    


Spain ministry state of the work:

Several things were abundantly evident about the work in Logrono on this my second trip there with a 4.5-year gap due to Covid and family crisis. I will try to list them out below with brief comments.

  • There is much fruit in the hearts and minds of many families in Logrono for God’s kingdom and God is accomplishing much. The personal contact points were well over 100 in a short two weeks. These were people whose lives had been invested in by the Romaines. Most of them are not Christian in any way.

  • The ministry of the Romaine’s has been and remains relational and intentional. 

    • Spanish culture is not closed to genuine Christian friendship – it is wide open (or in other words “Jn 4:35b ..the fields are white for the harvest”).

    • The consistent and intentional living out of the gospel in everyday family life and loving on families/people/children of all ages, no matter what the setting - opens doors.

      • Café/bar owners

      • Security guards

      • Soccer/Ballet/Gymnastics friends/coaches/parents

      • Paddle ball coaches/players

      • Conversational English students

      • Moms

      • Dads

      • Barbers

      • Vegetable stand workers

      • Professional soccer players

  • This trip was a team and faith building trip in Logrono. Seeds have been planted in the name of Jesus in every type of soil in Logrono. Some have taken root. In the words of Tim Darling There is much work to do continuing to plant seeds and watering. The Romaine’s sudden departure left a real gap. However, God is still at work, certainly He is bringing growth.  The team is witnessing the work of the Spirit. Connections have deepened rather than wane.

  • Ian’s presence in Spain with his family was used by God to open eyes, ears, and hopefully hearts to Christ. Please notice that I did not say Ian’s sickness.  This trip would not have been the same without Ian and the kids. There is a power in personal showing up in the flesh but filled with the purpose and Spirit of God that can’t be understated. Cards, letters and videos are tremendous tools but do not replace a warm embrace or a high five from a teammate and the personal testimony of a parent of God’s goodness with your child right there leaning on you for support.

  • A short window of opportunity was provided miraculously by God – the Romaine’s and the church stepped through it in obedience to a calling. God was/is/shall be faithful. He remains on the throne!



I can’t answer all the questions that float around in my head. 


  • What is God’s purpose in all this?

  • How many more days does Ian have or for that matter any of us?

  • Will God heal him physically from this? I know he can, but will he?

  • What now God? For the Romaines?

  • What do you require of me God?


Oh, trust me, I have answers for all of them. My answers. Well-crafted and thought-out answers that any apologetics teacher would be happy with or maybe even proud of.  They would even preach well. But they still bounce around in my head. The tears and the pain still run deeper than I could have imagined. And I am just the Grandfather.


My faith is not shaken. Because it is not standing on anything I have provided. I am standing on the only unshakable thing – Jesus Christ.  And the fact that I am in the standing position is only because he daily and sometimes moment by moment lifts my head up and says to me go on my son, my grace is sufficient for you.


What am I convinced of about this trip?


  • The name of God the Father, Jesus Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit were glorified repeatedly, daily, in word, deed and spirit.

  • The word of God was spoken and there was no timidity or shame in sharing it no matter who the hearer was. More seeds were planted.

  • Relationships born of the love of Christ were watered at every opportunity.

  • The disciples and body of Christ was strengthened.

  • God who started a good work is able to finish it – the author and finisher of any good work

  • God is already at work on the next step.

  • The Romaines will answer,  Yes Lord – (what about me?)

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