Today through Thursday I am in Gandía, on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, for the Spanish Baptist Union’s annual Home Mission workers’ retreat. It is a special privilege this year to have as guest speakers recently retired IMB workers Wade & Barbara Akins, as well as Pastor Aloizio Penido from Minas Gerais, Brazil, to present their Pioneer Evangelism training seminar to a group of about 50 Spanish home mission workers.
Out of Spain’s 8,022 cities and towns, approximately 7,450 have no on-going evangelical witness. It has been calculated that at the current rate of church planting, it will take 200 years to reach all 7,450 towns with the Gospel. I believe a big key to reaching the unreached towns of Spain will be not only more new missionaries and seminary-trained pastors, but especially teams of "lay pioneer evangelists," trained and sent out by local pastors to share Christ in a culturally relevant way in the communities where they live, and begin evangelistic Bible Study groups with neighbors, friends, and workmates.
In Brazil, as well as many other countries around the world, this method, called "Pioneer Evangelism" has had great success, and thousands of churches have been planted in response to the training offered by Wade & Barbara, as well as national pastors such as Pastor Aloizio. I would appreciate your prayers for me during these days, as I will be translating for Wade & Barbara, as well as for the group of workers gathered here, that God would speak to them in a mighty way, and help them to catch a fresh vision of what God wants to do through them in this spiritually dry and thirsty land that is Spain.