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3/11 bombings open doors to grieving Spaniards

MADRID, Spain (BP)–Following the horrific train bombings on March 11 in Madrid, Spain, Southern Baptist workers searched to find ways to comfort those impacted by the tragedy.

With more than 200 people killed in the blasts and more than 1,300 left wounded, the path of pain and anguish touched thousands.

“Even though none of the missionaries serving in Madrid were directly affected by the blasts, the ‘trickle-down effect’ has touched us all,” said Jym Gregory, one of the workers in the area.

Prayerwalking along the site of the bombing, lengthy phone conversations with friends who had lost loved ones and potted flowers with notes of encouragement were a few of the ways the workers shared God’s love.


“It really opened some great doors for conversation,” said Larry McCrary, a worker in Madrid who helped distribute potted flowers to those in his building who had lost a loved one.

“We wanted them to know that we also were praying for them and if they needed anything then we were here.

“They were so surprised by our plants and notes and were so very appreciative,” he added.

McCrary said he hopes the act of kindness will provide future opportunities to share Christ’s love. “We are praying that God will open their eyes and their hearts to the Gospel,” he said. “We were able to be their friends during a tough moment in their lives.”

Two other workers comforted a young woman near the tracks where one of the train cars exploded. Her boyfriend happened to be on one of the trains carrying a bomb and was killed in the blast.


While the woman cried out, “Where is my God?” the workers prayed with her in Spanish and shared their faith with her.

“In that very moment of time … I realized this is what being a missionary is all about,” Mike Simms*, one of the workers, said.

“Was her life changed that night on the platform not far from the death place of her boyfriend? I know that I cannot answer for her, but somehow in the pain of her tragedy, God has changed my life for letting me bear some of that pain with her those few minutes.”

Ruth Jones* also felt God’s presence while talking on the phone with a friend who had lost a loved one during the bombings. Her friend asked why something so horrible happened.

“I honestly don’t know why this terrible tragedy has occurred, but I do know that what Satan has intended for evil, the Lord is weaving together for the good,” she responded. “The love of Christ is the only thing that is going to see us through this.”
*Names have been changed for security reasons.

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  • Shawn Hendricks