The Basque people share a rich cultural history and a unique language. Their beloved homeland, known as the Basque region, covers an area stretching from northern Spain to southern France. FEC has been praying for the Basque people and sending workers there for over 15 years; however, church planting in this region looks much different than church planting in the U.S. In April, 7 pastors visited the FEC families living in Spain’s Basque region to encourage them and pray for the Basque people.
For 10 days, the visiting pastors traveled Spain’s Basque region, learning about their history and culture. They visited sites like Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque region, and Pamplona, known for the running of the bulls. While they traveled, the visitors learned about the religious history of the Basques and prayed. In earlier centuries, Catholicism permeated the region, but today, most Basques have turned away from religion en masse. Additionally, evangelical churches that reach out to ethnic Basques in their own language do not exist.
During their visit, the pastors also spent time encouraging the FEC families who live there. Building relationships as an outsider takes time and yields few spiritual outcomes, although one couple leads a Bible study with a Basque couple who has believed in Jesus. Levi Stuckey, pastor of Crossroads Church, Napoleon, Ohio, traveled to Spain and intends to share what he learned with his church since they support the workers. After visiting the FEC team, he knows how to pray for them. Levi says, “In the Basque mission, there is a huge emphasis on prayer. It’s the main work that we need to do.”
Through another program, FEC churches have hosted Basque high school students who want to learn about American culture and practice English. Levi Stuckey and Crossroads members have hosted students and see the opportunity as a way to reach out to more Basque people.