In my (Ardis Nelson, member of the CR leader team at PLCC) last post about the Celebrate Recovery (CR) mission to Spain, we had just completed the seminar portion of our time at the host church in Rivas, Comunidad Cristiana Luz y Vida (Light and Life Christian Community). The following day was Sunday, October 5. We were given the Sunday school time slot to present more CR information to the overall church.
We decided to expose church members to CR by teaching the first lesson in the program, Denial (Negación). Many of the participants from the seminar were still in town and attended the pre-service Sunday school program. Marvin made some introductory comments, and included a short humorous video like the ones he shares at CR meetings in Grenoble. Then he turned the teaching time over to Suzie Fajardo, Pastor Josh’s wife, who read the lesson in Spanish.
There were no fill-in forms like we are used to in the States or fancy PowerPoint slides. None of that exists in the Spanish CR resources. We included the lesson in the handouts so people could follow along and take notes, which they did. It modeled to them that it doesn’t take an ‘expert’ or trained professional to teach the lessons. It is all in the book. The lesson was followed by more opportunities for Q & A.
After a short break, the regularly scheduled church service was held starting at 12:30 PM. On this particular week, the church was anointing a new worship team, which we were able to participate in. Worship was so lovely. Many of the songs were common American contemporary worship songs sung in Spanish, like “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong. It was wonderful to be able to sing these familiar songs in their native language.
During the announcement part of the service, Pastor Josh invited me to the stage. That was my chance to share a special gift with the church. Prior to my arrival in Spain, I was working with Saddleback Resources (where Celebrate Recovery was developed) to have my story, “Walking My Mother Home,” published in Journeys to Mother Love, translated into Spanish.
On top of my preparations for the mission, I was working on getting the E-Book ready for publishing, including updates to the story, and a Foreword by Pedro, a member of my Spanish family who has been instrumental in my healing. I was thrilled to be able to direct the church members and seminar attendees to this free E-Book. Additionally, Saddleback Church is going to use the E-Book as a resource for Spanish testimony requests. I also announced a love offering from the mission to the host church in the amount of 250 Euros.
The message was taught by a guest speaker, Carmelo Palmés Guedes, a pastor from a Free Methodist Church (FMC) in the Canary Islands. Anna Henry, a missionary from Wenatchee, Washington translated his sermon for us into English. He was a very dynamic speaker and shared a part of his story on how he came to Christ. His church is small, but they are involved in doing many big works in their community, including leading youth camps and retreats in Fuerteventura, Islas Canarias.
After the service, it was hard to say goodbye to many of our new friends. We took lots of photos, exchanged some contact information and prayed for each other. Facebook makes it much easier to connect with people, despite our language barriers.
Over a leisurely lunch, our 4-member mission team, the Fajardo’s, Anna, and Pastor Carmelo talked shop and made plans for our remaining time in Spain. Conversation was a mixture of languages—French, Spanish and English depending on whom was talking with whom. What was for lunch? American style hamburgers, made from ox meat (buey). That evening our team ventured onto the subway and into downtown Madrid for some sightseeing.
The next day we met Anna at the Logos Learning Center, where CR meetings will be held. Anna is the administrator of the Center and gave us a quick tour. The Center serves primarily as an after-school program, offering tutoring for elementary and middle school students whose parents can’t afford to pay for an Academy. Logos is sponsored by New Light and Life Ministries, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) registered in Spain. For more information or to donate, click here.
The afternoon was spent at the Fajardo’s home. We were treated to some traditional Spanish fare, pan (bread), olives, cheese, paella and pulpo a la gallega (octopus with potatoes, Galician style). The Spanish people normally follow this mid-day feast with the traditional siesta. While that sounded all too good to my tired body and full stomach, we didn’t have that luxury with our limited time in Rivas. We debriefed the weekend events more and talked about options for starting CR at the church in Rivas.
I left Rivas feeling comfortable that they had a good introduction to the Celebrate Recovery program. They have expressed a strong interest in launching CR in Rivas. The how’s and when’s are prayerfully being considered by the attendees. We did our part. The hard work of recovery is ahead for the churches and groups that desire the life transformation that Jesus gives through the biblical 12-steps.
Please pray that they step into healing with this program. I am praying for them and have much hope that they will.
Here’s a slideshow of some of our time in Rivas and Madrid.
Did you miss an update about the CR mission to Spain? Click here to start reading about our serving in France and then Spain.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.