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“When you speak personally with the military, you see the need in their hearts”

The evangelical military chaplaincy of Córdoba (Spain) celebrated its 4th anniversary. “Doors are opening, we are sowing the seed”, Pastor Antonio Baena says.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Daniel Hofkamp, Evangelical Focus CORDOBA 07 OCTOBER 2019 11:00 h GMT+1
Soldiers with the Bibles delivered by the evangelical chaplaincy. / A.Baena

One of the most recent advances in the fulfillment of the Spanish cooperation agreements signed by evangelicals, Muslims and Jews with the state, was the creation of evangelical chaplaincies in the military.



The evangelical military chaplaincy of Córdoba, which is led by Pastor Antonio Baena, celebrated its fourth anniversary this September.



They carried out several events to commemorate the beginning of this chaplaincy work at the military base, including a delivery of Bibles, commemorative meetings and a meeting with military commanders, activities that have helped to enhance its work.



 



WELL RECEIVED BY THE MILITARY



“These 4 years we have carried out different initiatives in an environment that did not have anything like this in the past”, Antonio Baena told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.



 



Photo: A. Baena.



He explained that “there are other bases, such as Badajoz, Almería, El Goloso, where doors are also opening. Thanks to the Lord, we are working there, sowing the seed in the hearts of many soldiers”.



The chaplaincy has been very well received in the Cordoba base. There is a chapel where anyone who requests it can be assisted, and it has been easy for evangelicals to hold meetings and deliver Bibles and other materials.



 



“THERE IS A LOT OF NEED AMONG THE MILITARY”



“There is a lot of need among the military, more than I had imagined. It is a very closed circle, and this is a very delicate ministry because there is a hierarchy to respect. But when you speak personally with the military, you see the need in their hearts”, Baena pointed out.



 



Photo: A. Baena.



The chaplain has the support of the Spanish Federation of evangelical entities (FEREDE) and of the regional and local evangelical councils, as well as the support of local churches.



Antonio Baena recognized that his ministry is still a little known, but, little by little, more evangelicals “are aware of this mission field”.



He said  that we live in a time of freedom, in which it is possible to reach “many areas of society, and this was one of them, but God continues to open doors”.



 



OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE



Although in Spain the figure of the military chaplain is not too widespread, Baena thinks that it is a matter of time for more people to know the work they are doing, and he dreams of reaching normalization in countries such as Germany, the United States or the United Kingdom.



 



Photo: A. Baena.

In the Base where he works there are about 5,000 troops, many go to missions in places of risk. Baena believes that the work of chaplains can also be done on those trips.



“I like being with the military, praying with them, telling them that the Lord is with them in such difficult situations... That marks a change in their way of seeing and understanding the faith”, explains the chaplain.



Antonio Baena stresses that it is important “that believers prayso that the military “will be more open to the gospel and many people can know the grace of God”.


 

 


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