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News – EMF Iberian conference

January 2008 | by Martin Leech

EMF Iberian conference

The European Missionary Fellowship organises an annual conference on its work in evangelism and church planting in Europe. This year’s took place, as usual, in Welwyn Evangelical Church, Hertfordshire, and focused on the gospel in the Iberian Peninsula – well known to British holidaymakers, yet a needy mission field.

Many towns and villages in Spain and Portugal have little if any gospel witness, with Protestants of any description forming a very tiny minority and evangelical Christians regarded as belonging to some sort of sect. Both of these countries are predominantly Roman Catholic, especially Spain.

In Spain, the EMF supports eight couples. It had been nine, but one of the longest serving workers, José Rodriguez, was called into the presence of the Lord in September.

There are workers in the north east, near Barcelona; in Madrid; in the central region; on the southern coast and on the island of Mallorca. There are six EMF couples in Portugal, mainly in the Lisbon area and further south.

Wider ministry

José de Segovia is the pastor of the Reformed Evangelical Church in Madrid. He is involved in a widespread ministry of teaching and preaching within Spain, including outreach to university students.

He recently visited Mexico to speak at conferences. The Spanish-speaking world is large and through radio, the internet and published books, José has an important ministry.

The second Spanish speaker was Manuel Lopez Franco, pastor of a church-plant in Almuñecar, an hour’s drive east of Malaga. This began four years ago in a town whose population swells from 30,000 in winter to 100,000 in the summer.

José Rodrigues has been a pastor in Alto do Moinho, near Lisbon, for more than 20 years. The work has steadily grown from three couples meeting in a flat to nearly 50 members. While this is encouraging, it also demonstrates how needy Portugal is.

The conference closed with Daniel Grimwade, a member of EMF’s executive committee, preaching on: ‘for the battle is the Lord’s’ (1 Samuel 17:47). (Further information from [email protected] or 01438 716398.)

Martin Leech

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