Community Center Builds Bridges, Changes Women’s Lives 


July 6, 2017

“It seems that many Muslims we're meeting are unusually open to hearing from Christians. I think recent world events have caused a major upset in many Muslims' minds and hearts.”

Katie (name changed for security purposes) is a volunteer serving in Barcelona, Spain, with Puente, a ministry to North African and Middle Eastern immigrants. The multicultural Puente team works to help immigrants adjust to life in Spain, meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. 

Puente is the Spanish word for bridge, and the tools and classes offered at the center are meant to help immigrants make the transition from their old lives to what lies ahead. This has included English and Spanish classes, computer training, children’s outreach, women’s ministry, and much more. 

Art Therapy for Women

Through other classes and interaction, the team became aware that a number of the women who are involved at the center are suffering from a variety of emotional and mental traumas. The idea was floated to start art therapy classes, and they have been very well received.   

“It has turned out to be an amazing tool God's using to give these women a space to share freely, and it opens all kinds of doors to talk about the character of God, His love for us, and other biblical truths,” shared Katie. “To hear women say how much they love coming for art therapy and how they feel they've found acceptance and a place to be themselves is so encouraging.” 

Dina’s Story

Puente staff met Dina on the street when they were passing out invitations for an evangelistic event in the Arabic church the following day. The invitation had the theme on the front: “Watch the story of your life and change the ending.”

Dina is a highly educated, practicing Muslim living with her husband in northern Europe. She told the staff that she had come to Barcelona for a few days of holiday, hoping to find rest and sleep as she'd been struggling with insomnia for months. She said, "Maybe God sent you to me to help me understand what I'm going through." 

She came to church the next day and loved the presentation that was given. Afterward, she asked Puente’s director if she could speak with him. They talked about her conflicts with her new husband and his interfering family, the guilt she feels not living up to the highest standards her faith requires, and her wondering if her troubles in life were God's punishment. 

Puente’s director told Dina that when a little child is upset, he/she just needs to rest in his/her mother's or father's arms, suggesting that's what she needed to do. He asked if they could pray together, and they spent a lot of time in prayer as she poured out her heart to God and asked Him to grant her sleep. 

“[The director] gave her some additional resources afterward,” said Katie. “She left much lighter and with a smile on her face. We pray that God will continue His work in her.” 

Partner with Puente

GoGO: Short-term teams and volunteers are welcome at Puente! There are opportunities for soccer outreach, art therapy, teaching English and Spanish, working with children, and any unique skill or talent. Contact mobilization@wgm.org for more information. 

PrayPRAY: Pray for God to supply long-term workers. The Puente team is excited to have at least five new people in the fall, so pray for smooth transitions and continued team unity. The team will consist of people from Egypt, the United States, Norway, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina!