The Gilkinsons in Spain
David, Samantha, Maria and Luca Gilkinson are from Northern Ireland but have been living in Spain for the last 2 years.
We spent just over a year in Castellón in the Valencia region, adapting to living in Spain and learning Spanish, before moving in May 2020 to work with Salou Evangelical Church in the Tarragona region. Currently, David serves as the Associate Pastor, with the desire to disciple young people in the church. In light of ECM’s new mission statement, we have seen God working in these ways…
EQUIP: Although the life change and move to Spain was daunting, we can see how God has EQUIPPED us in many ways for our time here, especially
having been involved in short term mission teams for over ten years. In the years prior to moving, God was working within us to see the need for more gospel workers in Spain. God EQUIPPED us with opportunities to develop skills useful for pastoring young people. This was especially true for David’s work in churches and with a youth discipleship organisation in Northern Ireland, being trained and learning from others along the way.
CONNECT: CONNECTING with many people, churches and organisations in Northern Ireland, was a great source of support and encouragement as we moved to Spain. We have now found great encouragement from partnering with other churches and organisations in Spain. Most notably, taking a group of 14 young people to a ‘Word of Life’ camp in central Spain last summer. This CONNECTING and partnering provided a superb experience for the young people, especially during a year of real challenge for them. It also resulted in young people responding to being transformed by God, with six giving their lives to Jesus for the first time. We desire to keep connecting and partnering with others in the gospel, especially in the form of summer mission teams to and from Northern Ireland.
MULTIPLY: Settling into life here, building relationships and beginning ministry, during a global pandemic has been challenging. But, God has been our help and He has continued to work. Much of the youth ministry taking place has been via Zoom, which is not ideal. However, there has still been growth within the group, as they study an overview of the Bible together and find some support within this community. When restrictions have permitted, the group has been able to meet in person and it has had record numbers of more than 30 young people. This is a real celebration point, especially for a church in Spain. The development of young leaders has been happening too, with the creation of a youth worship group and more participation and responsibility from them within meetings. It’s been our joy to see them grow and grow.
Praise God that despite the challenges of this current time, our inadequacies as new missionaries, new Spanish speakers and the busyness of having a young family, God has been working within the church here and within these special young people’s lives. Our prayer is that God will continue to EQUIP us, CONNECT us and that we will see MULTIPLICATION in every way, in this part of Spain.