English Camp: Madrid 2016
I am blessed to be able to learn from three different missionaries’ ministries in three different parts of Spain. I think it is easy to visit one place and assume that is how every missionary does things and that is how all people in Spain live. Through my time here though, I have learned so many different ways to present the Gospel and that each missionary does so in incredibly different ways. With this, I have been able to observe how the different regions have shaped the different ministries to shape the people, culture, and area of the city they live in. The missionaries had to adjust to the culture, the people, and the norms when they moved here to be able to eventually present the gospel. If they came here as Americans, and continued to live and do their day to day lives as Americans then they would never connect with the people in Spain. They would remain outsiders. I was so impressed with how well the Bonilla’s have adapted to Spanish culture not only with the great food, but through their ministry and how they present The Word to the friends they have made. I have learned a lot and the Bonilla’s have been very patient with my plethora of questions about their ministry, the international church we attended, and about Madrid itself. I was surprised to meet so many Asian friends of the Bonilla’s at the pool and at camp, you would have thought we were in China! With 1600 people in their apartment complex, and the kids always at the pool together, take a minute and imagine how God can work through each of those people and what a difference it would make if each of them came to know Christ. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of those kids as eleven of them participated in the English Club that Bonilla’s planned. We spent the week learning a few different typical holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Birthday, and Valentines. Each day, we made crafts according to the holiday and made snacks to go with each holiday. Games like Twister and relay races outside were also great exercises in learning English. I was so impressed with the amount of English the kids learned in just a week. English is such a great way to minister here in Spain since so many want to learn the language. It is amazing seeing their determination and will to learn our ever so difficult language (think about how many idioms you use each day). Please pray for the families of each of these kids and that they might come to know Christ as their relationships with the Bonilla’s grows.
First Presbyterian Church - Lake Wales
Lake Wales, FL
World Witness Intern to Spain (Summer 2016)
Erskine and Missions
By Juan Carlos
God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. Acts 17:26
We live in a world with many different kinds of people. Your neighborhood, school and city probably reflect this. Multi-cultural ministry expresses the church diversity in terms of nations, tribes, and languages. Everyday we see more and more people from different countries moving into our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Tim Keller states that five million new people move into the big cities every month (Center Church). In other words, this world is becoming more and more multi-cultural.
Today, thousands of God's elect from different nationalities may live in your city or town. The key question is how the Church of Christ, those that are called to "proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9b), can share Christ's love in a multi-cultural society? When we flesh out the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 2:22-23), a unique door opens to "make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).
The Apostle Paul states, "God decided exactly where and when they (every person in this world) should live" (Acts 17:26 b). It is not a coincidence that you have someone from Mexico, China, India, or from another country living in your neighborhood. God, in His care and providence, has brought international people close to you, so His mission can continue being accomplished (Revelation 7:9). God's invitation to you and me is to be intentional in proclaiming the good news when building relationships with those that are from nationalities different than our own. Benjamin B. Warfield said, "when the whole course of the gospel shall be complete, and shall be surveyed from beginning to end, it will be found that God's elect, or Church, is 'a great multitude which no man can number, out of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues,' and that their voice is as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" ("Are They Few that Be Saved?").
When was the last time you shared Christ's love with someone different than you? Maybe now is the time to heed God's call.