Saturday night I drove the 4 hours up to Pamplona, near France in the Pyrenees.  
Along with a dozen Zairians, all speaking Lingala to each other,  and French to me,  
we stood around the Palestinian culture center where the small congregation of
Africans meet to worship the Lord.    The cultural center is full of anti-Israel, and
anti-USA posters and propaganda.  I always feel a little funny walking in there, a big
fat American,  with my big French Bible, and a bunch of Africans, who then sing very
loud and enthusiastic praises of Jesus !

Out in the narrow, medieval-looking streets after our meeting, a parade of several
thousand Basques marched by a few feet from us,  chanting independance/defiance
slogans in Euskera, their strange, consonant-filled language, and were eyed warily by
dozens of Spanish policemen armed with riot guns.

 As we (the Africans) walked down the hill past the ancient 70 foot high stone walls
built in the 9th century to protect against invading Moors ( walls that were ultimately
ineffective), I was reminded of how long forces have been struggling to control this
part of the world.    Spiritual, as well as social/ political, forces.

Today as well, the struggle continue
s.
The Spanish church is presently made up of predominantly Colombian immigrants, while the Chinese church will be made up of
those who are evangelized and brought to the Lord over the next few months  by the newly arriving Chinese missionaries,  Rev.
John Tsang, a veteran of 25 years of ministry, and Frank Fong, former IBM executive and recent graduate of Gordon-Conwell
seminary, and by teams of short term workers sent to Spain on a regular basis from American Chinese Alliance churches
More Cultural Hodge-Podge
FIESTA TIME IN OUR LITTLE
PUEBLO OF CAMARMA
Within 30 hours during the first week of January,  we:
* Concluded our mission's relationship with the African congregation in Madrid    
into which Susan, particularly, and to a lesser degree Gene, had poured lots of time and energy  
and where our family had made its church home for the first 15 months we've been here
(long sad story, you wouldn't want to hear it, but basically we as a Mission recognized that the commitment
to make this church-plant work was one-sided, & our African colleague was uncooperative)

*Agreed to teach 20 or so leaders of the new Colombian church  2 hours/week       
(see pictures of that church's inauguration below)

*Organized a weekly training session for about 15 leaders of the Ecuadorian church

*Accepted oversight responsibility for the ordination of a NorthAmerican missionary

*Agreed to help set up our new CMA field website                                                  
                                       
Whew !  Lot of new stuff comin' down the pike . . . and most of it using Spanish.
Other parts of the Spanish scene
our ministry

quickly

changed.
Running of the Bulls,
 "the big one"  in Pamplona:
"Never in my life seen so many drunks in one place . . . "