One of the things people might think when they see the pictures I publish on Facebook is that we are having a wonderful time. And the answer to that is yes. We are having a great time because we feel called to served in Spain. We have embraced this nation, and love its people. We feel already in many ways as Spaniards. As a way to stay connected with our prayer and financial partners as well as family members and people that want to stay in touch with us, I post pictures about our daily activities. Wether we are preaching, teaching, visiting and encouraging pastors and leaders or eating paella or riding a camel, you always get the information about our activities. However, because we are having the time of our lives that does not mean we are challenged at a daily basis. The mission field have unescapable realities that cannot being seeing at times in pictures or explain in a small newsletter. These are our daily battles that it gets amplified because we are walking by faith one step at the time.
While in the United States ministry moves at a fas pace, in Spain it moves at an ant speed. Everything here is extremely slow. Which from time to time brings frustration to someone that has been doing fast pace ministry for most of his and her lives. Also, when we have a powerful Latin American Church, we have a anemic Spaniard Church. Let’s put it on this way; As an educator, I can tell you that the Church in Latin America is at least 100 years ahead of the Church in Spain in terms of equipped leaders, and church planting efforts. Every morning, when I wake up, what I have in front of me is a nation in which at this moment 7,200 cities and towns does not have any Evangelical presence. After I have my breakfast I get into the reality of a Evangelical Christian culture that lives in constant fear of failing. Hence, when an American have the opportunity to do something, she or he will move forward. If there is success there will be celebrations. If there is failings, it is take it as a lesson learned and begin the whole process again. The attitude for the most part in the North American context is positive. There is planning and everything is done for the most part taking into considerations the pros and the cons. However, the Spanish context is quite different. People here lives in a culture fearful to fail; thus, most people do not venture into anything new. Here, the fear to fail paralyzes the hearts of most people to the point that the typical answer you get here is “No” or “it cannot be done.” This is the reason why most missionaries that come here from the United States will not survive more than three years. The biggest example is our own mission here. Out of all the missionaries that have come into Spain in the last 13 years, only Rev. Josue and Susy Fajardo has been able to survive. Everyone else has returned back to the United States.
Yes, life here is wonderful and beautiful. Spanish food is awesome! But beyond that surface, there is a thing called money. Here the Euro is the master and lord of this society. In our case we are in disadvantage since the U.S. Dollar has less power than the Euro, even the fact that when you touch the Euro currency you feel that you have in your hands “monopoly money.” Ada and I have to measure every single step. We plan every single purchase. We go out to restaurants once a month unless somebody else is paying. We visit the little towns around here that are no more than twenty minutes away. If Ada gets a Camel ride it was because it cost only 3.00€. A coffee for two will cost 3.00€ (we don’t go to Starbucks), or a week of groceries is based on spending 50.00€ a week. The local mission has been able to pay for half of our trips because our budget is small and that is the reason you have been able to see me in Germany, the United Kingdom, and many other places.
The reason I am writing about this is because I want you to understand that beyond the pictures we have serious realities that we deal at a daily basis. Thank G-d because we have been embraced by the churches here and the leadership we are working under is wonderful. Hence, we do not deal with loneliness issues as most missionaries have to deal with. At the same token, not everything is wonderful. Especially if you come with a desire to see things moving quickly like you have been doing ministry for most of your life. With all of that in mind we are going to be on the month of July in Florida and North Carolina. We want to share with all of you our stories and the desperate need of ministry here in Europe as we declare G-d’s glory among all the people of Spain. Once again, THANK YOU for all your support.