Last week the world was shaken yet again by a senseless act of hate and terror. While the names and faces were different, this act is not new. Further, as Americans, we have become somewhat numb to the effects of these acts because fortunately for us, they are not often occurring on our own soil. And yet for us here at Existence Church, this terror attack was different. This terror attack hit home. For us, Barcelona, Spain is near and dear to our hearts and this attack reminded us of who we are as the church and how weighty our call to share the Gospel and to share God’s love with others really is. Almost 2 years ago, our church sent someone out to do just that in this very region. This person works day in and day out, alongside the rest of a long-term team that we have a long-standing partnership with. The vision they carry is to reach a population of immigrants who have not had the opportunity to know the love of Christ and the salvation our Savior provides. These immigrant people, who live in darkness, are given an opportunity to feel the freedom of living in the light, that grace so brightly shines. Without people like our long term team, who see every person as a unique and beautiful creation of God, this work would not take place. We as a church family want to take a moment, and a stand, to commit to praying for this ministry that is literally the heartbeat of God.
Below is a post from our Existence Church family member who is currently serving this area… We believe these words are worth sharing.
“I spend a lot of time every day on a train traveling into Barcelona to go to school. I sit next, interact and see hundreds of people everyday. This summer I have had my friends and families travel out to Barcelona to see me, to see where I live, how I live, what I do everyday. I have walked the streets of Barcelona with them, showing off its beauty and it’s culture. People love Barcelona. I love Barcelona. I spend my time in small ways trying to connect to people. Smiling, being friendly when I can or trying to practice Spanish. I change trains in Placa Cataluña twice a day and with the summer heat I have been walking above ground to catch the metro. I walked through Plaza Cataluña a couple hours before the tragic events unfolded. I walked shoulder to shoulder with the tourists and locals all walking towards Las Ramblas. I dipped into a couple of stores with them. But honestly I was thinking “it’s hot, I am tired. There are a lot of people”. So I left. You can’t ever know what will unfold tomorrow, in the next hour or even in seconds. I looked past hundreds of people yesterday without so much as a smile. I don’t know if any of the people I walked with where injured. But today as I reflect I think about what kindness to strangers means in the big picture. Kindness in the midst of routine. Kindness in the midst of tragedy. I wasn’t unkind to anyone but I certainly wasn’t unselfish or intentionally kind to anyone either. A lot of hearts broke this week all over the world because of the events that unfolded. Love should be spent. Always. Especially on those around us, even when we don’t know them or will never see them again. We never know what is going on in the lives of those around us or how our worlds might change in an instant.”