Couple headed to Spain for missions work

Published 7:55 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

Frances and Kyle Holmes are looking to raise monthly support for their long-term mission to Spain. They are about halfway to their goal.

Plenty of people in America may not understand why a missionary couple would want to go to Spain.

“People say, ‘Why Spain? Aren’t they Catholic?’” said Kyle Holmes, a recently retired Suffolk police lieutenant. Holmes and his wife, Frances, currently are trying to raise enough monthly support to move to Spain and serve as church planters with SEND International Missions.

Despite the perception, Holmes said, only about 15 percent of Spaniards are actively involved in a place of worship, and only 1 in 200 is a born-again, evangelical Christian. A history of what the public perceives as using religion for oppression has turned most there away from church of any kind, Holmes said.

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The Franklin residents have been considering foreign missions for several years. Their hearts turned to Spain because Frances Holmes has family members who live there, and she already knows the language.

“When I got saved, I realized I didn’t have to strive and work for God,” she said. “Jesus had done all the work to make me acceptable to God.”

She recounted telling one of her Spanish cousins about her beliefs, and he responded by saying, “There’s no churches around here that teach anything like that,” she said.

Since Holmes’ retirement after 29 years with the Suffolk Police Department, the two thought they would move and use their retirement savings to do missions work. However, they got plugged in with SEND International Missions, which focuses on work in Europe and Asia.

“People don’t consider the European theater,” Kyle Holmes said, adding that a “wave” of missions is about to descend upon Europe. “We want to be on the front end of that wave.”

In Spain, the Holmeses will be working with a church planting team heading to a new area. They need to be there by early 2011 to get in on the ground floor of the new church. They are about halfway to their monthly support goal, and therefore are seeking monthly donors and opportunities to speak to groups about their needs.

The biggest question they’ve received in their quest, they said, is why they are going overseas instead of ministering at home. Kyle Holmes has an easy answer.

“I can stand on one corner in Franklin and see four different churches and a Bible school,” he said. On his former 45-minute drive to work at Suffolk Police Department’s Sector II building on Bridge Road, he counted 24 active churches.

“You can stand in the parking lot of one church and see the next church,” he said. “If folks in America want to learn about Christ, they can go to a church, or find a pastor. They can tune in to a Bible station on the radio or watch church on TV.”

When the couple moves to Spain, they will take their two youngest sons, 16 and 14, along with them. They also have two grown sons.

“This is a life change for us,” Frances Holmes said, adding the boys are excited about how God will use them in their new home. “We just have to share with people there is hope in Christ.”

To help the Holmeses’ ministry, contact them by emailing or calling 569-8035.