Sabbatical year

Madrid, Paul & Sylvia Cummings, and What We’ll Be Doing

We’ll be spending the year serving with Paul & Sylvia Cummings (at top left in the picture above) in Algete, Spain, a town just northeast of Madrid. Think Nicholasville to Lexington.

Many people have described the mission in Spain as a “hard-soil” ministry. The spiritual climate in Spain is tough. Less than half of one percent of Spaniards are evangelical. The attitude is generally secular and post-modern, uninterested in religion. The majority of the population is baptized Roman Catholic, but very few of these have an active faith. We’ve already been cautioned not to expect the same, explosive growth that’s occurring in other parts of the world.

And yet on that “hard soil,” Paul & Sylvia are seeing growth and fruit. The Cummings have been in Spain since 1984 and in Madrid since 1990. They just recently moved to Algete for a new outreach effort. Algete has only a small Baptist church of about 40 (with mostly immigrants – unfortunately a situation most middle-class Spaniards are not interested in), a Pentecostal outreach, and the Cummings house. For perspective, an equal-sized town in Kentucky would likely have 25-35 churches.

The Cummings’s work is heavily focused on relationship development. “Usually one must win a Spaniard’s heart to gain a listening ear for the gospel,” they say. The picture above is from their “Algete Thanksgiving.” Out of the 55 people in attendance, 44 were unchurched neighbors. Through various classes, camps and events, along with ongoing relationship development, the Cummings are taking opportunities to share the gospel with the people of Algete. They’re seeing some of that “hard soil” softened and seeing previously nominal Christians or atheists come to receive Christ as Lord. Though their setting is quite different, they are still following the same basic ECC principles that focus on abundant gospel sowing, house churches, and rapidly incorporating new converts into the life and leadership of the church.

Our early, potential job description:

  1. Participate and help to lead weekly prayer meetings for HOPE (House of Prayer España). These are usually in English right now.
  2. Participate in OMS prayer meetings on Fridays
  3. Lead a bi-monthly ALPHA group in English
  4. Help to lead bi-weekly ministry for adolescents and children.
  5. Help with YA, a monthly English outreach to young adults university age up to 30 years old more or less
  6. Organize and recruit help from the USA and do English Week in seven schools in Algete in the spring
  7. Help with any short termers who might come for the school year.
  8. Relationship-building/discipleship with young couples, men and/ or women
  9. English weekend for families at camp in the fall
  10. English classes that we all feel are valid
  11. Included in patchwork, boat-building, and anything else the Cummings are doing
  12. VBS in early summer 2014 – work with short termers who come
  13. Use our experiences of leading a worship community to bring new ideas and leadership to the group of believers in Algete
  14. Provide ongoing discipleship for new(er) believers
  15. Emily might be able to use her skills as a physical therapist and also use her scrapbooking skills with the ladies’ groups.

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