The Lighthouse Campello with Joel and Magaly

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About the Ministry

Located on the sunny Mediterranean coast, the city of El Campello, Spain has provided a safe harbor for sailors throughout human history. It’s central beacon tower dates back to the Middle Ages, when it would be lit to warn other coastal towns of coming invaders. In the 21st century, the Lighthouse, or “El Faro” in Spanish, shines a different kind of light, and seeks to spread the Good News of a coming Savior up and down the Spanish coast.

While many people associate Spain with staunch Catholicism, the last several decades have actually seen a sharp increase in secularism. Recent polls show that 28% of people identify as either atheist or agnostic, and that atheism is the fastest growing faith conviction in the country. The overall attitude of many Spaniards is either anti-religious, or simply indifferent to matters of faith. This makes Spain one of the most difficult countries to plant churches in, and one of the least Christian countries in Europe.

But in the city of El Campello, the prayers of generations of missionaries and faithful Christians are being answered. What makes The Lighthouse so special is that it is both international, and Spanish-speaking, and God is using this powerful dynamic in exciting ways to bring people to Himself. Most international churches use only English in their services and outreaches, and most Spanish-speaking churches are not international.

But at The Lighthouse, Spanish people get to see something that doesn’t look like their typical ideas of religion. People from over 15 different countries, speaking 9 different mother tongues, gather as one body to display a love that goes deeper than simply having things in common. But, the centrality of the Spanish language leaves the door open for locals as well as immigrants and expats. And thanks be to God, both local Spaniards and people from Ireland, China, England, the Netherlands and many Latin American countries have come to receive the light of Christ through this community!

Meet the Leaders: Joel and Magaly Villarroel

Joel and Magaly Villarroel

Joel was born to a family of church planters in the country of Venezuela, but spent his youth far from God, until at the age of 17 he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He was forced to reckon with the deeper questions of life and wanted to be reconciled with God. He encountered God in a real way for the first time, and found perfect forgiveness for his sins. Added to this miracle, God also gave Joel the complete, supernatural healing of his body.

At the age of 18, Joel was baptized and immediately became involved in ministry in his local church. It wasn’t long before he felt the call on his life to become a church planter. He went to seminary, and after pastoring for two years met his wife Magaly, who had also come to the Lord as a result of witnessing her mother’s healing at the age of 12.

Given such a history, it’s not surprising that Joel and Magaly would end up ministering in the Amazon, where they opened their home to care for sick and dying children from among the Yanomani people.

While in the Amazon, they had one son (Joel Jr., 21 years old) and after several years of laboring faithfully in this trying work, they had a daughter named Raquel (12 years old). While Raquel was still in the womb, they learned that she had Down’s Syndrome. Though it was incredibly difficult to leave a ministry they had loved and invested in for so long, it soon became clear that God was using Raquel to lead them to a new place, since she would need more specialized care than they could get for her in the Amazon.

God eventually led them to the country of Spain, where they are now planting their eighth church, “The Lighthouse,” in the city of El Campello.

Funding Priorities

Provide a translation system - $800
Computer and printer - $1800

Prayer Requests

  • For God to continue to expand His work and open up doors for the gospel in El Campello.
  • That God would provide financially as the church continues to grow and moves into a new building.
  • For Magaly’s new ministries to the poor and vulnerable launching in 2020.

Recent Updates

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)