I’ve mentioned ABWE’s 40 Days of Prayer before. Day 25 featured Spain. It was among the longer emails we’ve received. If you’re so inclined please join me in praying for the country Chris and I hope to call home very soon. If your space is limited, skip down to Alcalá de Henares and know that you are praying specifically for people we consider friends and pray for regularly.
Day 25 | Spain
Population: 45.8 million
Official languages: Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque
Religions: Catholicism (73%), Muslim (2.3% and growing), Judaism (0.1%), Evangelical Protestants about 250,000 (less than 1% of the population).
Major ABWE ministries: Church planting, MK education.
ABWE missionaries have been laboring in Spain since 1970, seeking to make spiritual inroads into the culture and lives of the Spanish people. The main areas of ministry are located in the autonomous region of Madrid (population: 6.5 million) and Toledo province (population: 750,000). After more than 30 years of democracy and having joined the European Common Market, the Spanish people have become more European and open in their thinking. The arrival of many immigrants from Eastern Europe, South America and Northern Africa has also brought changes in the overall ethnic structure of this country. Among the greatest spiritual enemies are the darkness of religious confusion, moral indifference, and apathy.
Toledo, the capital of the province, is one of the greatest strongholds of Roman Catholicism. It is ultra-conservative in its cultural, political, and religious focus. Yet even the face of Toledo is changing with the present wave of immigration. The Lord has blessed with the starting of the church within the capitol, and now Larry and Jane Parks are working with the national leadership to expand the church’s outreach by moving into areas of their province where there are presently no gospel works.
There were record crowds in the central park of Toledo the last weekend of our open-air evangelism. The media had been pouring an unfavorable light on evangelicals highlighting reports of the evangelical pastor confronting Islam with plans to burn the Koran. Some of our youth feared what kind of response we would get. What they didn’t expect was an inebriated bartender shouting obscenities against God from behind the crowd gathered to take in the presentation. What should we do? It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with young adults and even children about not entering the “gutter” of life to respond in the ways of the world. The program continued with record numbers… pressing on…to the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Please pray for the church as we seek to follow up the contacts made during these intense evangelistic efforts.
Please pray for two young men desiring to prepare to serve the Lord in the pastorate, and one teen girl called to missions, that God might do great things in and through them.
Madrid, population 3.3 million, is the nation’s capital. In Alameda de Osuna, in the northeast part of the city of Madrid, a church was started in 1978. The church owns their present facility but has completely outgrown the building.
For the first time in history, the city of Madrid has given a land grant to an evangelical church—the ABWE work in Alameda de Osuna—now an indigenous work that God has been pleased to bless. We have been praying for this need for years. We are in great need of a larger building and in the process of moving forward in a building project in spite of poor economic conditions. In the middle of this the church has lost its pastor (to divorce) and is in the process of finding a new man.
- Please pray that our present facility will sell in spite of the financial crisis and the real estate market being what it is.
- Pray for financing for the new building. The church family is giving to support the pastor as well as the regular monthly expenses. In order to build there would have to be additional income of approximately $9,000 a month just for the building project. At present the church is giving about half that amount and are sacrificing to do so.
- The last weekend of October, the church called a new pastor. Pray for David as God works to bring him to Alameda to serve.
- Pray that God would preserve the unity of the church family.
- Pray for the unsaved who are in the services each week.
- We are thankful for the ministry our website is having in attracting visitors almost every Sunday (www.ibao.es– created by some of our brethren).
Coslada is a suburb of Madrid with a population of about 100,000. The church in Coslada was begun in 1983 by Roy and Nancy Jones. Glenn and Tammy Clodgo are currently leading this ministry.
- Men and women’s Bible studies.
- The church recently started an AWANA club. We are praying that God will use the club to help us reach more families.
- The possibility of using the church to open an activity center for youth. We would like to purchase an air hockey table and video game equipment.
- Upcoming Bible study for moms. We are praying for 10 mothers to attend.
Alcalá de Henares, a city of approximately 250,000 people in the province of Madrid, is the site of an ongoing church-planting effort by ABWE missionaries. ABWE Team members include Rich and Cindy Brown, Cami McGraw, and John and Wendy Patton. In 2003, a neighborhood outreach center was opened in a new area of the city. The Evangelical Center is currently being used for a variety of weekly activities: Church services, ESL classes, Children’s Bible Club, Teenage Youth Group, as well as other occasional outreach events.
- We praise the Lord for the recent baptisms of our daughter, Elizabeth Brown, and Pedro Abad. Pray that both of these believers would continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- We praise the Lord for good attendance at the weekly Children’s Bible Club. Pray for the salvation of Alba, Maite, Raul, Sergio, Lidia, Roxana, and Ruth.
- We praise the Lord for the start of a youth group for teenagers. Pray for the salvation (or spiritual growth) of Raul, Andres, Pedro, Petru, Alvaro, Aaron, Adrian y Juan.
- We thank God for the desire that Jesus and Rocio have to strengthen their marriage. Rich and Cindy meet weekly with them for a FIREPROOF Bible Study. Pray that God would convince Jesus and Rocio of their personal need to get saved, to turn from trusting in their religion and begin to trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.
- Pray for Gladys, a sweet Colombian lady who is currently battling cancer. Pray that God’s grace might sustain Gladys through the pain and uncertainty. Pray that the Lord would use this illness for HIS greater glory, bringing the other members of Gladys’ family to saving faith in Jesus.
- Pray for strength, wisdom and unity in our missionary team and among the Spanish believers. Ask God to work in our hearts, making us effective servants for the advancement of HIS kingdom.
- Pray for John & Wendy Patton who recently married and are now visiting their churches together with plans to go to Language School in Costa Rica in January.
Villalbilla is one of many suburbs of Madrid without a gospel witness. It is located about 20 minutes east of Madrid. It is ABWE’s most recent target area for the establishment of a church. Keith and Jody Hudak, Roy and Nancy Jones and Merry Davey are working together to begin this new work.
- Pray for opportunities and receptive hearts of our unsaved friends and contacts that we have made in our neighborhood.
- Pray for our new youth outreach events that we are getting started.
- Pray for wisdom for the Hudaks’ daughter, Candace, as she chooses a college.
- Pray for contacts in Campo Real where the Joneses live and for the possibility of starting a Bible study next year.
The Evangelical Christian Academy (ECA) is a ministry that ABWE has participated in since its beginning over 35 years ago. Merry Davey and Cami McGraw are full-time career teachers at ECA. The Academy has a spacious, beautiful building on the outskirts of Madrid for which we give thanks. Currently five of our children attend ECA.
- The school is in need of an Academic Principal, Business Manager, and teachers for elementary, middle school and high school in areas such as Social Studies, Science, Math, Language Arts, English and History. For more information, please visit: www.ecaspain.com