Prayer requests, first half 2011
Thank you for your interest in praying for Spain!
International Day of Prayer of the Basque People
Easter Day (24th April) has been declared International Day of Prayer for the Basque Country. In addition to prayer for the political situation and the end of ETA terrorism, the region is less evangelised than other parts of Spain. The Basque language and culture is in part the problem, since most churches have been planted among Spanish speaking migrants (initially those from other parts of Spain). You can download the prayer information here.
Spain, we're praying for you!
Under the title, Spain, we're praying for you, the third national prayer day took place on 2nd April. The preceding week was already a week of taking advantage to pray at every opportunity for the great needs of this country. On the 2nd major rallies are took place in provincial capitals, with a ten minute nationwide video link. Thousands were involved. Many thanks for praying with us. In addition to topics which could also relate to your country, prayer concerns were for a government chasing headlong into deleting all hint of God in the law books, particularly in areas such as marriage, abortion, euthanasia, etc.; the economic crisis, which has left many churches with over half their membership unemployed; the effects of immigration, with many evangelicals now being from very different cultural backgrounds, plus many Muslims from North Africa and elsewhere; the state of the countryside - that while there are many churches in most cities, some people still live over 100km (60 miles) from the nearest evangelical church.
The 2010 Sexual Reproduction and Abortion Law
In the sumer of 2010, after a long process of white paper discussions and due parliamentary process, the new abortion law went into effect. From this date abortions up to 14 weeks are no longer a crime, but the right of any pregnant woman who does not want the baby. Girls may abort from 14 years old and without parental permission from 16. In addition, medical approval, if there is any threat to foetus or the mother may allow abortions up to 5 months and even later in prescribed circumstances. Abortions are now fully covered by the Social Security.
As can be imagined, the vast majority of the evangelical movement is highly concerned at this situation. Several specifically evangelical lobby groups were established, in addition to many who joined the larger Catholic inspired groups.
Evangelicals are also working to establish ministries which will show concern and provide positive help for women faced by pregnancy crises. Among other initiatives, two conference in the spring of 2011 will help.
National conferences with an eye on abortion
In May two conferences will gather people together who, among other similar interests, are concerned to help omen faced with pregnancy crises.
The week starting 2nd May sees the bi-annual Evangelical Alliance seminar on Pastoral Theology. This year the topic is sexual issues. Pastors and counsellors will gather south of Barcelona to learn more and discuss how to help people overwhelmed and affected by our society's excessive infatuation with sex.
The last weekend of the month the third National Bio-Ethics Gathering will meet close to Madrid to look at a wide variety of issues such as abortion, euthanasia, IVF, cloning, climate change and other issues from both scientific and pastoral aspects.
Pray for these events, that the Lord will bring people together and unite them in projects to reach out and help, while at the same time returning to their churches to build local awareness and thence ministries.
Easter - Mission Possible
Easter is a time for major conferences and church retreats. Among those taking place this year is Mission Possible. It will gather young people from across the country in Madrid to take the challenge of missions, local and foreign, seriously.
There is also a major outreach in Grand Canary from the 19th to the 26th. Ken and Alison Barrett have flown out to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to join up with five churches in a week of training and campaign. Alison will teach childrens´ work, Ken is also doing Homiletics with sketch-board classes and for a couple of days they are joined by other leaders of the On the Red Box ministry from Madrid. This is a follow up to contacts and evangelism done when Ken was there in September 2010 to represent the OM Spain board during the visit of the OM ship Logos Hope.
Under the title Mi Esperanza, a major outreach is being prepared for the pre-Christmas period (Advent). My Hope Spain will be three nights of TV shows on a national channel broadcast into homes across Spain where hosts will have invited family, friends and neighbours. After the programme, the host or another believer will share his/her testimony and invite people to respond to Christ. Decision Spain, together with many local organisations is coordinating this event, which is preparing people across the country to take advantage and share Christ in their localities.
Regular Outreach Activities
Meanwhile, there are some on-going regular activities. For example, the KM0 'Red Box' team continues to be out daily at Madrid's Puerta del Sol. KM0 held its first 'European Open Air Preachers' Conference' last September. Now it has opened a fantastic new facility with prayer room, cafe and offices overlooking the plaza.
In Mallorca the Methodist church has a weekly open air on Sunday evenings in the 'Parque del Mar' throughout the summer months, below the famous cathedral, while the Reformed Baptist church continues monthly outreach in Palma's Plaza España and fortnightly book stalls at Sunday markets in Santa María and Sa Pobla.
For a relatively complete list of activities where outsiders are being recruited, take a look at the diary published by Protestante Digital (in Spanish).
For those of you who are regular visitors to PrayforSpain, we appreciate any feedback on the usefulness of the very varies information which is included on the web, together with comments of any improvements which you would like to see.
Last year we hoped to move to a new CMS, xcruciate, but due to the loss of a key member of the development team the project went on hold. It is still hoped that we will move to a new CMS this year, but we do not hold our breath. Should such occur, we would like to add several thigs to the service:
Blogs We hope that over the coming months we will also be able to involve a few more English-speaking people from around Spain who would like to contribute a blog to the site. If you are somewhere around Spain and fancy joining, do let us know.
Coincidentally, a similar change of appearance is also taking place at Protestante Digital, which took place erly 2011. PD has changed from being a weekly, each section coming out on particular days, to being a daily paper. It is also getting more staff. However, at the time of writing the English language section was still not back.