Visiting Alcora

24 02 2011

Rachel and BJ, who were here in Córdoba when I arrived, are now living in Alcora with their beautiful daughter Miriam. There is one other family of Christians in the town. Previously, there has been a church but it has closed.

To find out more about what they are dong, check out their blog… www.whitakerwire.blogspot.com

Rach and BJ are attending the church in Onda who have called them to plant in Alcora, and they are holding a study in their home each week while they get to know the town and pray about how to move forward. They need prayer for openings in the town, for friendships and for ways to break into the community.

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Visiting Montilla

28 01 2011

This week I went to Montilla to stay with the Millers. Terry and Christine have been in Montilla 3 or 4 years. They were working with another missionary couple who returned to the UK and have been there alone with the church until this year, when a Brazilian couple have come for the short-term but it looks like they will stay on. There is also a Romanian couple who minister within the Romanian congregation. They work during the harvest of olives, but like many, have lots of trouble finding work for the rest of the year. It’s  tough place to live and the unemployment is very high. The local school gives out breakfast to the kids who want and everyone gets a meal at lunch (in most schools this is not covered by the school but costs).

The church has been going for a lunch time but has been through some tough times over the last few years. While trying to have a ‘meting’ or expression or church in each of the 4 smaller towns as well as the combine whole, they’re doing a lot of thinking about what church is and how it functions from day-to-day as a community of light and salt.

Within that community I think barely 2 people have regular employment, there are many experiencing difficulties from mental health, depression and anxiety to drug usage.People are coming to know Christ and growing, but many have fallen or left as well. It’s a complex context in which to serve and the team could really use prayer for wisdom, strength and encouragement to keep at it.

There’s lots to be done – and I’m sure I could be useful. But there’s a team of 3 couples, few Spaniards at the helm and a lot of questions in my head about how it could work out.

 





(Not) Visiting Peñarroya

26 11 2010

This feels like my home away from home, so I haven’t gone on any particular trip to visit the church but I’m there fairly often and I have gotten to know the people there and love the group and the town. There is only one other missio in the team and a bunch of people from the church. Amongst them are Johnny and Malit from Peru. Johnny is a great relationship builder. He plays soccer with an army of boys with whom he shares the gospel. He doesn’t have work n his profession and at some stage work might make a move necessary which would be a real loss to the church. You can pray he’s get something in the town and be able to keep at it here in Peñarroya..

Peter and Kate have been there for nearly 2 decades working away, raising 4 boys, and being faithful. The church is a great group who lives are being changed, with people of different skills. I have to get up there to ask Peter and Kate their thoughts but I imagine they have a strategy to exit over the next few years and an image of what needs to be in place beforehand.

That’s the grand question – when does a missionary pull out. A pastor is always trying to work themselves out of a job, but they do it without the plans to remove the need for the job – I guess to send other leaders out? To strengthen the leadership and grow the church, but unless we turn into non-missionaries, our plan here is to leave Spanish churches without missionaries.

So I’m keen to see what that looks like in Peñarroya.





Visiting Cabra

12 11 2010

This is one of the first points of mission I’ve visited now that I’ve been given the orders to go-look-see… It’s not really a likely option for further ministry for me – for very good reasons, but it’s part of the IEMA family and it was great to get to know them. It was great to hang out with Rafi and Abel too – they’re awesome!

Rafi and Abel are working in Cabra. For those of you who know Brett and Ruth from Wollongong – this was their church. The church is going really well with people taking the strain of leaderships, being trained up, and its really at the point where the missionaries are not needed. Abel and Rafi have plans to ell the house and move to Alacala Real where Rafi’s Mum lives and where there are a few Christians, but no ‘church’ as such. To do that, they need to sell their house. In this climate, that would take a miracle – so go ahead and ask for one, and at the same time, praise God for a Spanish church standing strong with heart for mission.





Visiting Pozoblanco

19 10 2010

I headed up to Pozoblnco this weekend by arrangement to visit with Francis, the director of ECM Spain. Francis all energy, vision and direction. So the weekend began with a lovely relaxed tea with Nathalie before Francis arrived for an intense seminar style forray into the world of ECM and the future as Francis sees it. A great overview, and lots of plans later, Francis had somewhere to be on the Saturday so I spent the morning with some of the youth putting together a massive snakes andladders game to run for fun night at the Prayer Days. Then the saturday night I spent with Delyth, from the UK. She’s passionate about evangelism and has some great friendships within the town.

On the sunday at church, the guys from the centre, the families from the town and the missionaries make a fairly lively group 🙂

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