DURING the last quarter of 1969, Evangelist Salim Japas held a gospel crusade in the capital city of Spain. The goal of baptisms was fifty, and during the campaign twenty-two were baptized. We hope that during the first quarter of 1970, in the follow-up work, the other twenty-eight will join the church.
Though the effort has been a success in itself taking into account that it was held in our two Adventist church buildings in Madrid and that not one of the newspapers would accept an advertisement, even paying 5,000 pesetas for it the most important result of it has been to help train other workers for more fruitful evangelism. Two young evangelistic workers (and the two local pastors) who assisted Pastor Japas during the effort have returned to their respective fields Bilbao and Campo de Gibraltar full of enthusiasm, and they are already holding successful efforts. Practically all the other workers of the field were present during two weeks or more.
There has been a deep appreciation for Brother Japas (Arab by race and Argentine by education) and his method of approaching people, gaining their confidence and regular assistance, their hearts and love.
The unfolding of the eighteen lessons (three days a week in the Alenza church and three days in the second church of Madrid) has been psychological and gradual, and has appealed to all kinds of persons, especially to Roman Catholics. A distinguished personality of the Spanish Protestant world, who has come regularly with his family to the meetings, wrote me the following letter:
"The SDA Church has demonstrated through the Japas campaign that it has something to say to the world and to the Christian church. I believe that the law and the gospel must be preached together. The omission of any one of them mutilates the message. Signed: CONSTANTINO RUIZ-GARRIDO."
The Lord has accomplished real miracles through His servants. One day each week an appeal was made in each church and during the other two nights the Investigation Biblica was held. The lessons present the truth in a very practical, spiritual, and simple way, with great respect for the Roman Catholic Church, which was never mentioned by name.
Some 70,000 pesetas were received in the envelopes distributed for that purpose. Other gifts made the total receipts mount up to one million pesetas, while the expenses of the campaign were about 400,000 pesetas.
The lessons were given freely to every one after the meetings. A Bible was also presented to those, attending at least six teen times. Some four hundred Bibles were held up at the beginning of each lesson in Alenza Street as the evangelist began the studies, a very encouraging sight. Early every Monday morning the workers met for a special meeting. On Wednesdays, at different hours for each church, the persons directly involved in giving Bible studies and visiting met also.
The title for the effort was Al Encuentro de la Felicidad ("On the Way to Happiness"). The approach was unique, based on the text "Thou art Peter." This approach, with emphasis on the church of God, opened up a new vision of evangelism in Roman Catholic countries.
We would like to repeat the series with the meetings held in a theater or a cinema. Many people stayed away because of their fears of entering a Protestant church. The word Protestant in Spain has a very bad meaning, since Philippe II said, "I would kindle the fire [for the auto-da-fe] to burn my son if he became a Protestant." We were obliged by the government to print the word Adventist on all our invitations and in all our publications.
We hope to become better known in Spain through the new monthly Adelante (The Spanish Advent Review). We look forward also to holding big meetings in the great cities of Spain, such as Madrid, Barcelona (three million each), Zaragoza, Bilbao, Seville, Valencia, and Salamanca. Please pray for the work here that has now been released from prison to be put in the spotlight, that a people will be prepared for the coming of Jesus.