SMT Spain/Portugal – Update #5

Hola amigos!

This week we spent our time at the Alicante Corps and the Madrid Central Corps. In Alicante, we helped with music workshops, street evangelism and did manual labor in the morning. By night, we supported the choir and led open airs. At the Madrid Central Corps we were responsible for leading VBS.

Alicante’s Corps Officer leads a congregation that is mostly young in faith, and we could tell that he truly wants his church to have a strong foundation in their faith. During the four days we were at Alicante, the officer there asked us deep and probing questions about our faiths. (E.g. How do you truly know that you’re saved?) These questions weren’t meant to undermine our foundations in God nor was it meant to make us feel shame or judgment; often these questions became reminders of who we were and who we are now. For some of us, these questions allowed us to strenghten our roots within God; to be more strongly justified in our faith.

The corps has a small number of people in the choir, and the earnestness of this Corps’ congregation brought our team back to the heart of worship: to praise God. One of the prayer requests shared from the corps is for their young people to learn music.

We were also given opportunity to lead Open Airs for the corps. Open airs in Alicante are very free form which means the program might have a general list for what can be done, but the order may not be set. For team members who are more comfortable with having full control with program order, they were stretched by this freeform style. By the end of our time in Alicante, we definitely felt the Holy Spirit flow through us in these open airs. The freeform nature of these open airs allowed us to have more spontaneous open interaction with whoever stopped by (mostly children). Even though these children may not interact with the Salvation Army again after those days, we feel that the intentionality behind our interactions with them would hopefully leave an impact.

On Friday, we started work in Madrid Central. Our focus so far was to lead a VBS with the kids here. So far, the children are open to socializing with all of our team members and also receptive to all the songs, lessons, and crafts we are teaching them.

Sunday, Edward had the opportunity to preach and was well received as some of the corps members were both embracing the message, figuratively, and literally embracing the team member. Our translator for Spain also shared her testimony that day.

We have less than a week to go. Pray that we embrace the time we have left and avoid mentally checking out too early. We truly do appreciate all the prayers and all the support you have given to not only us, but, hopefully, to the other mission teams as well this summer. Keep praying and thank you all for your care!

-Sam (Spain/Portugal Rep)