I have been here for exactly two weeks now. The second half of my time here will go by twice as fast as the first I think. One month is not nearly enough time to really build community and learn a language, but I have surprisingly grown a whole lot in the past two weeks and learned more than I ever expected to learn in my time here.
Demonstrations, strikes and marches happen all the time here because the Eurozone crisis. Especially in Puerta del Sol (Door of the Sun). This plaza is not only a tourist attraction, but it's also a popular meeting place, shopping central, and the dead center of Spain. It's called "Kilometer Zero" because all highway kilometer markers count out from that point. So, it's a great place to gather to protest something because not only will a lot of people see you and pay attention, but it sends a message to the whole country, putting these issues at the center of the country.
Last week a huge group of miners from Asturias came to Puerta del Sol to protest job cuts. I was there and got to experience the culture of demonstrations here in Spain. I happened to be at Puerta del Sol not because I knew there would be a huge demonstration, but rather because I was coming to check out a ministry group that does street evangelism there called "On the Red Box." Street evangelism isn't really my thing, but I saw God working here in Madrid through the church that I went to and they directed me to this ministry to see more cool things that are happening. (Ask me sometime about all the cool things I got to see at the church I went to). It is amazing, they are preaching the gospel in the heart of the country, at Kilometer Zero and the Door of the Sun.
The gospel of peace is such a contrast to the somewhat violent protests that have been happening in this same exact spot in Madrid. Jesus wants to throw down the systems just like the people protesting, but he does it with love, rather than with violence. I want to be a part of this Jesus revolution that tears down corruption and injustice in order to bring peace to the nations.