Tag Archives: Juan Antonio Monroy

Conferences in Madrid

IMG_5292As part of my work with Hope For Life (Herald of Truth), I was privileged to travel with Steve Ridgell to Madrid, Spain, last week. Juan Antonio Monroy, our representative in Spain, organized the trip and made the arrangements for me to give a 3-day seminar on the book of Revelation. IMG_5270The first two evenings were at a hotel in downtown Madrid. The final lesson was given Sunday morning at the Teruel St. Church of Christ in Madrid.

In addition, we spent Thursday afternoon doing some radio interviews. IMG_0815The first was for a website, ProtestanteDigital.com; the interview went out on several radio stations, in addition to the website. The second interview was for Dynamis Radio, an evangelical station in Madrid.

The sessions on Friday and Saturday evening were well attended, with between 175 and 200 people coming each night. Several congregations in Madrid had worked hard to invite their members and friends. They had also passed out invitations on the street.

IMG_5301The church service was packed on Sunday, with an overflow crowd. That’s not unusual for that congregation; they are trying to find ways to move to a place with more space.

I was reminded that traveling east-west is much more taxing than traveling north-south. The crossing of multiple time zones really confuses our bodies. IMG_0825I’m amazed again at the stamina of Juan Antonio Monroy, who makes several trips like that each year, even now when he’s in his 80s.

Great trip, but as always, I’m glad to be home.

California trip

(Photo by Erik Tryggestad, Christian Chronicle)

Oh, that’s right. I have a blog. Sorry, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. I used to have a “post or die” mentality, making sure that I had something out five times a week. Now I accept the fact that the world somehow goes on turning, even when I can’t put anything up here.

I was at the Pepperdine Lectures last week, representing Herald of Truth. Before that, I got to speak at the Long Beach Church of Christ; it had been ten years since I’d visited that wonderful congregation. 30 years ago (wow!), I spent two summers out there. I also went on two Spring Break campaigns there, and they helped support us while we were in Argentina.

I visited the Inland Valley Church of Christ in Ontario, California, on that Sunday evening. My friend Carlos Gonzales is the worship leader there. They have a strong bilingual church, with Tom Allen, a Bolivian native, as their preacher.

Before going to the lectures, I had joked that I was going there as Juan Monroy’s handler. Turned out to be more true than I realized. Juan spoke twice, had a book signing and received an award from the university. I spent most of my time with him, driving him back and forth from the campus and making sure that he had what he needed. Ammiel Perez from Cuba was also there and needed similar attention. I’ve had brothers serve me in the same way when I’ve traveled to other countries, so it was a pleasure to get to minister to these men.

Saw a few people, but mainly in passing. To all those I missed, or barely spoke to, I offer an apology. I would have loved to have had more time to visit, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

I’m grateful for workshops and conferences that allow us to gather and be fed. After hearing one of the main lectures, Juan said to me: “This has been so good for me. I’m all the time teaching others… once in a while, I need to be fed as well.” Amen to that.

Juan Antonio Monroy: An Autobiography

Several months ago, I wrote a bit about Juan Antonio Monroy. I mentioned at that time that his autobiography hadn’t officially been released. There still hasn’t been much fanfare, but it is out publicly. You can order it from the Herald of Truth website or pick it up anywhere ACU Press books are sold.

Having traveled with Juan, I hear his voice as I read the book. It’s quintessential Juan: amazing stories, almost unbelievable ones, as well as a story or two that will offend some sensitivities. Juan even says a time or two: “Christians in America won’t understand this.” He’s not writing a story to convince anyone of anything. It’s not a researched history book. These are Juan’s memoirs.

I’d never heard a lot of these stories: the time Juan spent in prison because of his faith, his address to the first meeting of Amnesty International, his expulsion from Morocco, the details of his meeting with the king of Spain. I can’t imagine anyone not being fascinated by the stories Juan has to tell.

Juan is a strong-willed man and comes across as arrogant to some. I know, however, that a man of lesser will wouldn’t have been able to do much that Juan has done.

In addition to the text, there are some great photos in the book as well. (Too bad we didn’t get any pictures of the translator… she’s quite good looking!)

Cuba trip 5

The last thing I want to comment on from our trip was our time with Juan Antonio Monroy. Juan has been a well-known speaker for many years, especially in Latin America. He has written many books; he has been doing radio for over 40 years; he preaches numerous evangelistic campaigns every year. Like most popular figures, Monroy has his detractors. But nobody can take away from what he has done in Cuba.

Since Monroy got permission to visit Cuba from Fidel Castro himself, he has been visiting the island several times a year. When he began going to the island in the mid-1980s, there were scattered groups of Christians across the island that met as the Church of Christ, numbering possibly 150 active members. There are now thousands of members, and the church is growing steadily.

Two years ago, Juan published a book in Spain about Frank País, who was a leader in Castro’s revolution. País was a faithful Baptist, and Monroy writes about País’ faith in his book.. The book was republished this year by a publishing house owned by the Cuban government, the first time since the revolution that a book by a religious author has been legally published in Cuba.

Juan Monroy was in Cuba at the time we were. He gave two main addresses at the IX Annual National Preachers Meeting in Havana. As always, it was a pleasure to get to see Juan again.