Barcelona: Derek and Ashley Jenkins

Barcelona: Derek & Ashley Jenkins

Missionary Meet & Greet: Sunday, Feb 3rd:

  –Between Services in the Lobby

Info Session with Q&A: Sunday, Feb 10th:

During 2nd Service: Room: 319

Bringing LIGHT into DARKNESS: Give Now

The Jenkins have been involved with The Crossing since the early days meeting at Rock Bridge High School. They have been missions partners for the last few years while skill-building and strategizing their move to Barcelona, Spain where they will launch, A Light Shines, a new outreach with Avant Ministries. Their goal is to reach Catalan people with the gospel.

This video shares more about the struggles of the people of Catalonia and explains why Catalans need a fresh witness of the gospel:

In general, the people of Barcelona are:

  • very proud to be Catalan
  • a people wounded by and suspicious of organized religion
  • passionate about justice and equality
  • broadly, culturally Catholic
  • just over 0.5% actively evangelical
  • intensely secular

The Catalan people’s biggest obstacle to knowing Jesus comes from past wounding by “the Church.” Catalan people, and Spanish people in general, are incredibly secularized, with very negative opinions of “God” based on their societal experience with “The Church,” (going back as far as the middle ages, but also many misuses of power in the past two centuries.) Consequently, the people are very skeptical of “religion” as a whole. And, are mostly ignorant of who Jesus is, what He said, and what He did. Catalans, for the most part, will not attend any traditional church, even if asked directly. And, because of the overwhelming statistical minority of actual believers among them, most Catalans do not know anyone who genuinely loves Jesus and can share Him in a meaningful way.

Derek & Ashley’s biggest challenge in reaching Catalans will be communicating the love of Jesus in ways that avoid the baggage and wounds of distorted examples of the church in Catalonia & Spain in the past. They are committed full-time, long term to this type of relationship-driven ministry with the hope of eventually seeing a thriving, growing community of churches established in Barcelona. The Jenkins are excited to also be working alongside longtime friends in Barcelona, with CRU and Agape +. These friends, local to Barcelona, will provide wonderful support, wisdom and insight for them.

Derek & Ashley hope to encourage and equip ministries in the US:

“Because our ministry is in a context very similar to our sending context (western/first-world) it is our goal to use our experiences and insights from the field to actively encourage and equip our partners in their own ministry at home.”

Here’s how Derek describes their ministry plan:

“Our goal is to help fuel a movement of God throughout Barcelona, beginning in the Catalan people. We will pursue that through the following:

1) focus on evangelism, disciple making, leading to house/micro church planting, cultivating a movement of interconnected, multiplying house/micro churches throughout the city, each uniquely equipped to reach their neighbors.

 2) Regular worship & prayer gatherings to encourage and build the existing church into deeper more passionate relationship with Jesus that overflows into the world around them.

3) A missional third-space focused on nurturing and uniting community. (Similar to the Cherry Street Artisan, for you long-time Columbians.)”

Pray for God to Prepare the Way:

  • That hearts would be softened and inroads be prepared among the Catalan people.
  • That the Spirit would move in a mighty way to bring unity in local believers and a unified heart for the kingdom to come in their city. 
  • That Derek & Ashley would reach full funding and be able to enter the field in God’s right timing.

History of Serving in Barcelona:

Derek first visited Barcelona on a Summer Project with CRU in 2001. This was his first introduction to the Catalan people. Then in 2005/06, because of his background at The Cherry Street Artisan, a coffee shop, café & performance venue in Columbia, Derek was sent by the Crossing to work on a similar ministry in Barcelona in conjunction with campus ministry with the CRU team. Since 2006, the Lord has taken Derek & Ashley back to Barcelona for intermediate term missions trips to connect with ministry teams & build partnerships. He has been busy growing and shaping Derek & Ashley’s vision, establishing their family, building skills into them, and preparing them for a return to full time missions in Barcelona. 

More about The Jenkins Family & Their Connection to The Crossing:

“We have two beautiful daughters, Ennelin (5yrs.) and Areli (6m.) and we believe the Lord will use all of us in unique ways to be a blessing and share His love. We’re excited to see the role [the girls] play in showing Jesus to people in Barcelona. 

 We’re so happy to be partnering with the Crossing and receiving ongoing support. We’re excited to find more ways to connect and bless the community from abroad.”

Derek began attending and serving on the worship team at The Crossing way back in the Rock Bridge auditorium days around 2001/2002. Ashley began attending in 2005, shortly after coming to know the Lord, in no small part due to the community she saw while working at the Cherry Street Artisan with people from The Crossing.

After serving for a year in Barcelona, Spain in 2005, Derek returned to get married. Theirs was the first wedding held in the new auditorium in 2006! Derek continued leading and playing on the worship team, while Ashley served in children’s ministry and in the cafe until they moved to Kansas City in 2009. Since then, the Jenkins have followed the Lord and served/worked in various capacities which have built in them a wide range of skills. They will use all these in leading ministry and sharing the gospel in Barcelona.

Contacts:

GIVE NOW through www.avantministries.org/giving : Derek & Ashley Jenkins: account #12132.

Sources: Derek Jenkins, www.avantministries.org, www.alightshines.org

To learn more about Crossing Partnerships & Missions click here.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for posting this! We’re so excited to be there the next two weeks.

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