Here in Madrid

I arrived in Madrid, Spain, on October 14 with a group of six people in what we call a vision trip. This is an opportunity for church leaders and interested members to see a cross-cultural ministry area in person, meet our global workers for Brethren in Christ World Missions, and get a vision of how to pray better for our work and how to speak up more wisely about global outreach when we return home.

Here is one of the frequently photographed sites in Madrid.

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It is the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), one of the central plazas in the city. It is rectangular in shape; here, of course, you are looking at only one side of the rectangle. The Plaza was started in 1617 and finished in its present shape after 1790. Residential apartments fill all fours sides of the building, with stores and restaurants on the ground floor.

Here is our group.

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My regular blog followers will recognize some of those in the group.  If you have any questions, let me know.

We are meeting with our global workers and learning about the network of meaningful friendships that each one has. We attended house groups, which are the foundation of our churches. We have two churches in this part of Spain, one in Madrid, and one in the town of Hoyo de Manzanares, west of Madrid. There is also a BIC church in Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

We are listening to talks about Spanish culture, secularism, postmodernism, the religious situation, the Spanish expression of the Roman  Catholic Church, and the challenges confronting anyone who tries to start an evangelical church in this situation.

We visited the walled city of Toledo to learn about King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who united Spain in the 1400s and established Spain as a Catholic nation. As you know, they also sponsored Christopher Columbus in his voyage of discovery that led to his finding the Americas. We walked through the huge cathedral.

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This is the third largest in the world. Its official name is the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo.

We also saw horrendous instruments of torture in a museum about the Spanish Inquisition. And we visited the Synagogue of El Transito, a historic building famous for it stucco decoration in the Moorish style. Once a functioning Jewish synagogue, it is now a museum.

We are here through October 20 and will fly home on the 21st.

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