Alcalá de Henares is a bustling city in the Madrid suburbs, with a population of over 200,000. It’s about the size (and feel too) of Tacoma, WA. It’s also a college town, with the University of Alcalá near the center of town. The culture there is rich: it’s the birthplace of Don Quixote! That’s right, Miguel de Cervantes was raised in Alcalá, and there are statues of his characters, the author himself, and his famous windmills, all over town.
Recently we’ve begun learning more about the neighborhoods that make up Alcalá. Our small team cannot reach a city the size of Alcalá without multiplying, so at this point we’ve outlined an area with 40,000 people and pray that God would multiply believers and plant churches throughout Alcalá through discipleship.
How beautiful it would be if those churches were planted by Spaniards!
One neighborhood within our church’s area is called Espartales. In 2015, Espartales Norte will be completed, adding 15,000 more people to the area. There are no churches or believers that we know of in Espartales Norte.
That’s why we want to go there. In Espartales Norte, our family will fit right in (except for the blond hair): the majority of new residents are young families. In addition to the formal outreach our church plant does, we will meet people at parks, shopping areas, and through activities with our children. We’ll build friendships and talk about the economy, our families, and, most importantly, our beliefs. It is likely that we will have lots of opportunity for conversations about what makes us different from Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
We’ll also be able to show Christ’s love to people in a variety of ways. We’ll meet needs as God reveals; one we already know of is English. Many people in Spain want to learn English. By starting English lessons and having regular meetings with Spaniards who want to work on their English, we can show Christ’s love.
God has called us to move to Espartales so we can influence for Christ the community being built there. How is God asking you to influence Espartales for Christ? Will you join our partnership team?
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Photo credit: Adam and Emily Byerly