FROM MADRID WITH LOVE
THE STORY OF A STARTUP CHURCH
It’s almost two years ago that we moved to Spain. So much has happened.
But let’s go back for a moment to when it all started. After we got married we went to live in Holland. Even though we were not sure if this was our place, we wanted to settle in our first years of marriage.
We both did a lot in MCI Utrecht´s church, the church of Esra´s parents Pastors Rob and Maudy De Boer. They were some great years, but after a while we felt that God had something more in stock for us.
We started to pray and seek for God’s direction. He spoke to us trough Isaiah 43:19
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
With this rhema we started to pray Believing that God was about to do something new with us and in our lives.
One year straight we were uniting in prayer and declaring the word that God had spoken to us.
It was January 2016 when we arrived in Colombia for the conference. We were full of excitement because after one year of praying with our rhema we knew that during that week God was going to speak to us.
We had a beautiful conference but we didn’t´t find the direction that we were looking for.
It was our last day in Bogota, Colombia and we were set to go home. That day we received an unexpected phone call from Pr. Cesar Castellanos. He was about to start a new project in Europe and was thinking of us to be part of it.
We had been praying for one year straight and this was the direction we were praying for, God’s direction.
After that moment everything started to flow, it was God’s flow. That same year we moved from Holland to Barcelona, Spain.
It was a time for us were we were getting used to a new country and a new life.
Even though Barcelona was great it was not our place, thanks to a divine advice from Pastora Johanna Castellanos six months after we moved to the capital Madrid. It was not easy but God’s purpose has a price to pay; total obedience to God’s direction.
And this is the place where MCI Madrid got born.
We didn’t know anyone in this beautiful but intimidating city but by God’s grace we got to know a beautiful family that helped us to find a new apartment to rent, they became good friends and our first disciples.
They have their own business and opened up their office for us to do our very first cell group. 22 people attended that very first night. It was unbelievable, God really brought us to the place He wanted us to be!
Some months after we had the privilege to receive pastors Cesar and Claudia Castellanos.
They arrived a Sunday morning and later on that day we had planned a meeting in a hotel with our cell group. After much work and prayer around 60 people attended to the meeting. Everybody was encouraged and so motivated.
Pastor Cesar closed that meeting asking us when the next meeting would be. Honestly we didn’t thought about it yet..
When he said; next Sunday same place, we moved from a Friday night cell group to a Sunday service. Pastor Cesar and Claudia have the ability to push you further in faith!
Exactly that week we got in contact in a miraculous way with the owner of a movie theater in the center of madrid. Despite the fact that we were not registered as a church yet and we didn’t have much guaranties to offer financially once a again Gods grace played in our favor. Even Though we did not have any equipment or worship yet people started to come and to believe in this dream.
We are so thankful with God, seven months later and MCI Madrid is growing and developing. With the first group we went through Life Class and we had an amazing first encounter with 32 people, we have cell groups in different parts of the city and we can’t wait for what’s next!
We wanna thank pastors Cesar and Claudia for believing in us and guiding us to God’s purpose for our lives. We love you very much.
With God everything is possible and YES just as Isaiah 43:19 says; God was doing something new and now we are aware of it.
¡Madrid, the best is yet to come!
Jose Luis and Esra Barrios
Pastors MCI Madrid, Spain