Here is the more to come that I promised about Fabio and the Esparcidos project.
The "Esparcidos Project" is an intentional effort by the Covenant in Spain to respond to the huge demographic reality of the Latin American immigrants who are literally flooding into this country. We read about the influx before we came but to experience it is another thing. Locals sometimes complain about the influx but it is a reality that will not change in the near future. Within our first month most of our connections were, in fact, with Latinos. The majority are from Ecuador, next Colombia, then Brazil. Many of these people are here for work and have fled desperate situations back home. They have come for opportunity and they speak Spanish, but not the Castilian spoken in Spain. The two languages are essentially the same, but different enough to identify where people are from. So our mission community is responding to this demographic reality. Our primary focus in ministry is the Mosaics project and what we call "focus" people, from other places in the world and very different kind of outreach as you can imagine. None-the-less, we love Latinos, are drawn to them and them to us. I think they find in us a friendly face and someone who speaks a little more like them.
Now who is Fabio? Well, Fabio is from Brazil and is fast becoming a friend. He has lived in Canada, the US, Brazil and now Spain. He works for an insurance company and uses his Spanish, Portuguese, and English on his job everyday. About a month ago he asked if he could drop in each week to speak English with me for about an hour. He wants to practice and become more comfortable with our mother tongue. Oh I forgot to mention. Fabio is also studying Italian and is planning to be in Italy next fall for about a month to immerse in the language and culture. That would be his 4th language. I've got 2 down and intend to have some ability in Arabic in the next year. What an inspiration Fabio is to me. Fabio is a gatherer. He invites people all the time into his life. So, he is the principle guy behind this emerging Latino cell group. There are hopes this group will become a Covenant church down the road. I believe it will. I pray with Fabio each week, help him with his English, attend some of their small groups, and generally have become a friend and mentor. Let it be known however. Fabio does the heavy lifting. Pray for Fabio.
The photo of this guapo boy is Aral´s son. He keeps his parents busy. Notice the dirty fingernails and marker on his nose. He is a busy little guy. Aral (dad) is from Colombia and has his family of 5 live here in Barcelona.