Last summer I spent six glorious weeks in Spain living with a family who I’ve come to consider my Spanish family. Their son was an exchange student in our home a few years ago, and so this trip was in part my turn to be the exchange student.
My Spanish family is Catholic so I attended mass and toured several Catholic cathedrals. It was like being on sacred ground to worship in these massive, centuries-old buildings with intricate stone carved exterior figures and laden with golden altars and statues inside. I prayed for unity of God’s people, Protestant and Catholic, and for revival in the Church of Spain.
One Sunday I attended a Protestant church service outside of Madrid. My family graciously chauffeured me via subway to my appointed stop where I met my next chauffeur, a Spanish man and member of the Protestant church, who spoke no English. He in turn drove me to the church in the suburbs. I had a wonderful day in what felt like a more familiar worship environment for me. The entire service was in Spanish; and I was grateful for the benefit of a church member who translated for me.
After the service, we all went to an American type buffet lunch in an American type mall. (They naturally assumed I missed some of my American settings; and they were right.) That afternoon was the first time in three weeks that I had been around English speaking Americans. It was also the first time I was around any Protestants or got to share my faith.
As a Celebrate Recovery leader who is passionate about my faith, I was expecting opportunities to connect or pray with Spanish believers, Catholic or Protestant. However, that didn’t happen, and so in a spiritual sense, I felt at times like my Light had been snuffed out.
Why did these opportunities never happen? It is tied to the fact the Protestant Reformation movement (historical split of the Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther in 1517), never reached Spain. Like the former Soviet Union and China today, people who practiced other religions not recognized by the State, were persecuted. Spain has religious freedom now, but is amongst the least evangelized countries in the world. Regardless, or because of that, I continued to pray while I was in Spain and back home in the States.
Then a few months ago, God started to make movement with those prayers in unexpected ways. What were those unexpected ways and what happened next? Come to Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau at Pine Lake Covenant Church, on Monday, March 24, to hear my testimony of how and why churches in Spain are now exploring the launch of Celebrate Recovery in their country.
The evening will start with a special meal of authentic paella prepared by Josh Fajardo, missionary/pastor from Madrid, Spain, who will be visiting our CR meeting that evening. Dinner starts at 6PM with a suggested donation of $5 per person, followed by the meeting at 7PM.
We hope you will join us in attendance and/or prayer as we explore this new relationship with our Spanish friends from across the world. Bring a friend, and see how faith as small as a mustard seed can bear fruit in such unexpected ways (Matthew 17:20).
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.