Past and Present Meet:
When we first came to Spain, 32 years ago, Bill Cornelius, then Director of Missions for PAOC, had developed a strong working relationship with Manuel Vidal, Lead Pastor of the Madrid church and president of the national Salem churches throughout Spain. Our 6 ½ years pastoring and developing the church in Alicante was under the leadership of both Bill and Manuel. To now see Bill’s son Murray, present Director of PAOC Missions and Manuel’s son Marcos, present Lead Pastor and President of the Salem churches, sitting side-by-side and discussing the ongoing future of PAOC missions with the Salem churches of Spain, was exceptionally notable.
To see how God passes along a similar calling within two distinct families is evidence of His blessing through the generations. Add to this, our daughter, Kim, and son-in-law, Mark, moving to Madrid after 13 years in Armenia to now work alongside the Salem churches.
Psalm 119:90 “Your faithfulness continues through all generations.”
October Salem Congress, Madrid
A highlight of the bi-annual Salem Congress was seeing the outlying pastors and many from their churches gathered in one place. We remember how significant it was when pastoring in Alicante to come together in the large, central church and feel part of a larger family with a broader scope.
As we now visit and encourage the pastors of these works outside of Madrid, we appreciated the theme ‘En Esperanza Contra Esperanza’ or ‘In Hope Against Hope’. (Rom 4:18). We understand the many obstacles and discouragements, at times the seeming impossibility of the task they face in this country that still has 7000 cities and towns without a single evangelical church.
In the accompanying video clips, Pastor Jesus speaks of the dynamic of the Latins and South Americans immigrating to Spain, filling and changing the panorama of the churches while the Spanish remain outside and distant. The breakthrough, says Jesus, is that, in his area, churches of different evangelical backgrounds are coming together in unity for outreach. New doors are being opened as the Bilbao Basque government gives permission for summer events and musical presentations in public centers.
Bilbao Young Adults Grapple with their own Calling
In the North Central Basque area of Spain, Pastor Jesus and his congregation celebrated their 44th year anniversary expounding a mission’s theme throughout the weekend. The Friday evening young adult gathering was particularly significant. Following the 90-minute, interactive interview with well prepared questions regarding our calling, our challenges, our victories, our cultural adaptations through the years, four of the young people talked with us personally about the call they have sensed in their own lives. In the last 3 weeks ‘C’ has had detailed dreams and circumstances that have affirmed the calling she has sensed for some time to work with children in a Muslim nation.
By listening to these young adult leaders, suggesting practical ways forward, praying with them, we are able to help them build up their faith and prepare their next steps forward.
Thankful: “I want to express the thankfulness I have felt in these last 5 weeks of ministry in Spain. It has been especially meaningful to work with people with whom we have been in relationship for over 32 years. I’m thankful to see God’s plan unfolding over time, to see the fruit blossoming so many years later. Matthew 13:32 compares the kingdom of heaven to the smallest seed being planted, but it grows into a large tree with spreading branches that the birds are able to rest in. We are grateful that God has given us a small part in growing this part of His kingdom, working alongside and being blessed by so many other wonderful gardeners and shepherds. We pray that these relationships and this spiritual work continues to flourish.” Dan
Please Pray for:
1) New, committed Spanish workers to plant churches
2) Creative, relevant ways to reach the Spaniard