Transforming lives on four continents

Mind your Language!

Posted by Dave and Michele Mahon at 11:59 on 24th January 2017

I had the opportunity of attending my first Spanish Speaking church service last Sunday. Iglesia Misionera Evangélica meets at St. James, an Anglican Church located at Muswell Hill, London.

The church is situated in a very busy location in the town, amongst numerous shops, pubs and restaurants. The building dates back to the early 20th century, a very big and grand place, both inside and out.

Pastor Samuel leading worship

Arriving a little early, I had an opportunity to meet with their minster, Pastor Samuel Cueva. Pastor Samuel, himself a Peruvian, felt a call to plant a Spanish speaking church in London. One Sunday back in the late 1990s he arrived at St. James, to ask for details with regard to Spanish speaking churches in London. Whilst attending the Sunday service, the family received such a warm welcome, which prompted him to enquire about the use of the building for his own Spanish-speaking fellowship. After further discussions, the minister was gracious enough to allow them use of the building.

In my experience as a Baptist Minister, I have had many opportunities to discuss such matters with numerous pastors. The need for mainly indigenous churches from Africa, Latin America and Asia to find buildings to worship in is increasing, especially in London.

On this particular afternoon, as the church was brought to order by Pastor Samuel, he began by welcoming the the congregation in Spanish. He continued to lead the church in prayer and sung worship, while playing the guitar. For me this was a new experience, not knowing any Spanish. Feeling a little uncomfortable I held the song sheet very tightly. Trying to say the words, while aiming for the right tune wasn’t as easy as I thought! There was one song that was familiar, ‘How Great Thou Art’, which I sang a little louder, since knowing the tune made it a little easier to connect with.

Fortunately I didn’t have to preach the sermon in Spanish! With the help of Pastor Samuel as my interpreter, I was able to share God’s word from Mark 2:1-12; the story of the four friends who brought a paralysed man through the roof to Jesus for healing. In response, folk were given the opportunity to receive prayer for healing and words of encouragement. The service concluded with tea and coffee and fellowship afterwards.


Although I was a stranger who didn’t understand the language, the warmth and love of the people was so encouraging to me. I am looking forward to building a closer relationship with Pastor Samuel, and his congregation in the weeks ahead. As a family we will visit again in April, hopefully with a little more to say this time in Spanish!

Dave Mahon


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