I (Julie) love going to church in Spain. LOVE IT. This has been an unexpected blessing for me as I’d heard that it’s often difficult to attend church when you’re learning a language and that you often feel like you are missing out on what you received from church in the States. That simply hasn’t been the story for me. Sure, I have my Sundays as anyone does, but overall I am very encouraged each week by worshiping the Lord and hearing the preaching of God’s Word in the presence of other Christ-followers.
Last week we visited our friends’ church in Barcelona. Surprisingly, it was only the fourth church I’ve visited in Spain. I confess that I grew tired of visiting different churches in the States and that has carried over to Spain for me, i.e. I wasn’t that excited to visit a new church. Another potential roadblock for me was that the service was going to be a mix of Castellano (Spanish) and Catalan (local language in Barcelona). As if I don’t have enough trouble understanding everything and everyone in Spanish!
Almost as soon as the service began, my hesitations and reservations melted away. Through the excitement of those around me who lifted their voices with enthusiasm in praise to God, through the words that I didn’t understand but were an obvious comment on the greatness of our God. through the sincere prayers and words of testimony, my heart was drawn again to think on the beauty and the greatness of the God we serve, the God that I am here in Spain to serve.
Maybe it’s the amount of challenges we face on a daily basis. Maybe it’s living in such a secular culture. Maybe it’s the lack of community and encouragement we previously had in the States. Regardless of the reason, it is amazing to me how thirsty I am on Sunday mornings to meet with the Lord and His people, to proclaim the Truth in song, to hear the Word, to focus my mind and heart, and to find motivation and encouragement for the week ahead.
I am so hungry and thirsty each week, and each week I am overwhelmed as I walk away satisfied. God fills and satisfies my heart. With Himself. Especially through his tiny Church in Spain. Thank you, Father.