Prayer requests, winter 2006 to 2007
Since April, 2006, we regret to say the new prayer team from the Spanish Evangelists' Conference has been unable to produce a prayer letter. Do pray for the team as they attempt to add this new responsibility to their very busy schedule. We now expect there to be a new start in the New Year.
Meanwhile, we are able to propose a number of events future, as well as past, for which to pray. In particular, we invite you to join us in 40 days of prayer- Click above on New Year, new plans for details!
Autumn events and activities
Pray for the follow-up from a number of significant conferences and congresses, as well as several evangelistic activities of which we have been aware during the past couple of months.
*1200 people attended the opening of the 1st Protestant Congress of Andalusia in early December. this event, under the title 'Now is the time', aimed to bring unity and vision to the evangelicals of Andalusia, Spain's largest region by population and second by area. Commentators have been very favourable to the immediate outcomes.
*During November, the 3rd Comibam congress for missions from Latin America was held in Granada. This city, Islam's last hold in western Europe and lost in 1492, the same year that Columbus 'sailed the ocean blue', is a great place to present Latin Christians with the joint challenges of Islam, pseudo Roman catholic folk religion and militant humanism. Pray that not only Latins, but also Spaniards, many of whom were volunteers at the congress, will respond to the call to missions here and beyond.
*The Continentals were on tour over the Reformation Day/ Halloween/ All Saints weekend. Music is becoming increasingly important as an evangelistic or pre-evangelistic tool and there are a number of evangelical Gospel Choirs which give regular concerts across the peninsula.
The OM ship, Logos2, has been visiting outlying parts of Spain. The ship was making final, farewell visits to Grand Canary, Ceuta and Melilla,, the latter its home port in its earlier life as the Antonio Lazaro, part of the state owned Trasmediterranea fleet of ferries. After 17 years of service, the ship will be replaced next year by the Logos Hope, currently being rebuilt for OM service.
From the Logos 2 web site: Returning To The Roots 6 Dec, 2006: Melilla, Spain In her present role, Logos II has never been to Melilla, Spain. However, during the 1970s and '80s, when the vessel was called Antonio Lazaro, her main role was carrying passengers between Melilla and the Spanish mainland. Those coming on board Logos II today will find the ship has a very different purpose bringing knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world. After opening to the public, the onboard book fair is already welcoming curious visitors and several cultural programmes are also planned over the coming days for the towns citizens to meet and interact with the international crew.
Dates of the visits were: 15th to 27th November: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria;
28th November to 4th December: Ceuta; 5th to 13th December: Melilla; 14th to 28th: Gibraltar (Spanish peninsular territory ruled by Britain) - and a great oppotunity for visits from across the border.
Christmas is a great time for culturally based outreach. Many churches had parties, concerts, special services, children's activities and other events to which outsiders are invited. Pray for follow-up from these events. In addition, the major cities, particularly Madrid and Barcelona saw events which havd a city-wide appeal. For example, the (US) Hosana Choir sang in Barcelona on December 16th and a new local Gospel Choir performed in several locations in and around Granada towards Christmas.
TV and Radio
Finally Buenas Noticias TV, the TV program which goes out on national station TVE, is holding a Christmas Service live on TVE2 for the second year running. It will be held on the 22nd in Madrid and goes live at 19.30 Madrid time. The Madrid Coro Gospel will sing.
On the other hand, Radio Encuentro an evangelical radio station which would have loved to broadcast throughout the Christmas period, has not only been closed down, but has also had its assets frozen pending its appeal against a fine for apparently straying onto another station's wavelength. More information from Protestante Digital.
Media spotlight, blessing and curse
Spanish evangelicals have long felt scorned as second class citizens and only in very recent times were able to attract any positive media attention to the many wonderful things they were doing, not only on a spiritual level, but also in ways universally recognised as socially desirable for society. In 2005 for the first time the government made grants to evangelical NGOs for social activities. Likewise, evangelicals are rarely known as public figures. Most media focus has gradually been turning away from suspicion and opening new doors of encouragement, but not all.
Cesar is one well known public figure, as journalist, novelist and evangelical apologist. Amazingly in 2006 he got the post as host for a popular evening chat show on the Catholic Church owned Cope national radio station. Some bishops found this quite unacceptable and began to lobby for his dismissal, but it appears that he has had the contract renewed for another year. Pray for Cesar in this high profile role.
Nuevo Amanecer (or New Dawn) is an evangelical centre for housing abused women and their children. Recently (c.f. News, Feb 1st)it has also hit the headlines as some of the staff were denounced for verbal mistreatment of the women. TVE's top evening news published an interview with some of the women affected, which does not bode well for the centre. Pray for an honourable and just outcome of investigations into the case.
New Year, new plans
40 Days of prayer and fasting for Spain.
Intercessors for Spain / España Intercede is once again inviting participation in 40 days of prayer and partial fasting for Spain.
Dates: 15th January to 23rd February or as you are able.
2006 saw this initiiative for the first time and many blessings were noticed in the churches and by the believers who took part. But here also are a couple of major facts about 2006 in Spain which will make you reflect:
ETA called a truce one month after the end of the fast and it lasted until 30th December.
New road safety laws introduced heavier punishment for bad driving and the road toll fell dramatically.
After many years of closure and awkwarness, Britain and Spain made access to / from Gibraltar easier, including air routes and phone rate cuts. (Gibraltar had an important role in the evangelisation of Spain in the 19th century.)
But it is clear that the ETA problem remains, major social problems remain or are growing and Spain continues to be one of the countries with under 1% of evangelical believers. Spain, in brief, needs your support in prayer!
The complete communiqués from the 40 days committee will be published in Spanish on this page. Here we resume the emphasis for each week in titles:
Week 1: Sanctification
Week 2: Walking in Holiness
Week 3: My Church
Week 4: prayer for the Church in Spain - Faith, Vision, Unity, Commitment
Week 5: pending!
Sala de Espera
The Spanish Evangelists' Conference has a new project for 2007. Called Sala de Espera (Waiting Room), it is a bimonthly free distribution magazine, which will be placed in waiting rooms of all kinds, as well as handed to interested people by members of numerous churches. At least that is the plan. So far a number of churches has signed up and the go-ahead has been given for printing the first number. Sponsors are welcome! More from the Conference page!
Looking ahead, the next major Missions conference will be over Easter. It is led by the federation of Free Evangelicals, but open to all and it looks like it will be as successful as the previous one in raising awareness of the need for missions, at least among the youth of more conservative churches.
Many thanks again for your commitment to pray for Spain. We would love to hear from you, so please if you are praying regularly for Spain let us know by sending us an email. If you have any queries or contributions, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Old Arise bulletins
There is now an Arise archive with past numbers of the bulletin for your interest.
To access it: click here
If you want to read our newsletters in the original Spanish, you can read this one here. As for previous numbers, they are now available on the sister site
Spanish sister site now in English!
Our Spanish language sister site is now up and running in English! This is the official site of the Spanish Evangelists' Conference and shares the same webmaster and Carrelet web technology.