29 February 2016

15 YEARS!

Yes, it was February 14, 2001 when we arrived in the city of Pamplona, Spain. That day we rented an apartment, opened a bank account and renewed our driver’s license. The Centro Cristiano Cristo el Camino had begun. But it wasn’t til the Fall that folk began to meet in our apartment for a Saturday night Bible Study and then a Sunday morning service. When 30 were gathering there with us – the children met in the kitchen, the vestibule was the nursery, we rented a small ‘local’ with space for 70 chairs plus two small rooms for Sunday School.  During the four years we were there we saw the congregation grow, actually double each year until we could count 160 who considered the Christian Center their church. Yes, we had to hold two services on Sundays. It was the time of the wave of immigrants arriving from South America. Some came as dedicated believers and were a great asset to that beginning church plant. Others came to faith in Pamplona, or rededicate their lives to the Lord. They all grew in the Word and in prayer. The baptismal services were held in a pond outside the city.

At the conclusion of our time in Pamplona, a larger storefront had been purchased. The young pastor who followed us took charge of the renovations. He and his wife have done amazing work in training of leaders, building up the body of Christ and reaching out into other towns. Four churches have been planted, each with their own meeting place and pastor and they continue with their ‘Visión y Misión’! The store front next door became available to purchase and the church did. Then one across the street and now they’re looking at a larger place.


Now, 15 years later we were invited to the 15th year celebration and what a celebration it was. We met in a beautiful downtown hotel. The church building holds 350 people. It is two small, even with 2 services on Sunday morning and one in the evening. 705 chairs were set up. 139 children met in another auditorium. What a wonderful time of singing and giving praise and thanksgiving to God for His great salvation. A group of youth presented an excellent mime telling what God has done, showing where churches have been planted.  A shadow play was excellent giving glory to God and exalting Christ. You should’ve hear the group of gyspy believers sing. No one sings like the gypsies! And they looked so good dressed in black with red accents.

We were made to feel so special – even though we has left Pamplona over 10 years ago. It was good to meet many from the ‘early days’. For me it was a thrill to talk to the children that used to meet in the kitchen and see them all there – except one. I stood on the platform facing the congregation of over 700. My eyes filled with tear. “I just have to look for a moment. I have to see this – take it all in.” Hubby preached. 20 plus came forward at the end expressing their desire to surrender to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Do I need to say there were many, many hugs and kisses this day, many photos taken, many “Do you remember?” moments, many words of “Gracias a Dios”. Yes, “To God be the glory for the things He has done.”  Andshould we gain any praise, let it go to Calvary.”


“To God be the glory
To God be the glory

To God be the glory

For the things He has done
With His blood, He has saved me
And with His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory
For the things he has done



Just let me live my life

And let it be pleasing, Lord to Thee
And should I gain any praise,
Let it go to Calvary.



………..To God be the glory for the things he has done.”
(by Andrae Crouch)


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