News and Articles
2 March 2017
We are back at Above Bar Church for the whole of March. This is the second part of our home assignment, having been to see supporters in other parts of England last summer. This is an opportunity for us to get to know what God is doing in Above Bar Church.
Small and scattered congregations
Our usual congregation in Peñarroya is much smaller than Above Bar Church – it could almost fit on a large dinner plate. Kate takes the Sunday school: he is called Richard! But there is growth in sight: Caleb is one year old, and Salomé is two months and just out of quarantine.
The closest evangelical church to ours is about 40 km away in Hinojosa and the next is in Pozoblanco, so we form a triangle of small congregations. People come to church in Peñarroya from Espiel at one end of the valley and, having moved to Azuaga last year, we travel 44 km to church and to work from the other end. So we have a parish about 60km long. We have an Australian co-worker, Chloë, who has made the move to Azuaga possible by moving into our house and paying the rent for our flat.
Connecting with people
Last Summer, a group from Above Bar Church came out to work with us in Peñarroya and in Azuaga, where we want to plant a new church. English conversation and teaching children were the two main thrusts, alongside a Spanish group from various FIEC churches. It was a very positive time for all involved. You can see the video about it here.
Kate manages to be a source of new contacts with ladies in the town. She has met with a handicraft group, and has been taken into their hearts and their WhatsApp group. This last is providing some very interesting insights into the Roman Catholic mindset. She contributes with small comments which are like pearls! When Kate asked if there was anybody studying the Bible, she was invited to their Monday night and has been recognised by the teacher as the ‘token Evangelical’. It was fascinating for her to find that their second week of teaching centred on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! Martin Luther is being accepted once again into the fold.
In the autumn term each year, Peter teaches ‘How to Preach’ in the Faculty of the Assemblies of God. He reckons that this is a life-saving activity for a missionary: being with young men and women who are preparing themselves for God’s service.
The greatest needs
What do we want to see in the near future? The greatest need is for participation at all levels in the life of the church, especially in terms of the leadership. This is not straightforward at all.
After that, the need is for the evangelisation of the vast group of people who know the church, who come to some events and show themselves to be willing to consider Christ, but do not take the step of faith in Him. We would love to see many more praying for this, and many more taking the initiative to help others.
Please pray for us!
Look out for Peter and Kate in the services this month or talk to David and Pippa Trollope for more information.