Spanish Presbyterian Minister's Visit To Scotland
A Spanish Presbyterian Minister, who holds to exclusive unaccompanied Psalm Singing, the Westminster Confession of Faith, AND the Establishment Principle. Such are few and far between, but such is the Rev. Jorge Ruiz Ortiz who paid a brief visit to our Church the past week (3rd to 7th February)
Arriving at Edinburgh airport he was taken for a brief lunch with the Rev. James Gracie before a tour of Edinburgh. That evening while on Skype with his family at home, he was listening to his children tell excitedly of an educational DVD of Spaniards living and working in Edinburgh which they had just been watching. “Daddy, there is a big castle on a rock.” “Yes, I saw it.” “Daddy there is a Royal Mile” “Yes, I drove along it.” And so on!
Tuesday meant an early drive to Inverness and to Westhill, (our Church/Seminary) to meet with Lecturers and students. This was profitable as Mr. Ruiz is a one man seminary himself, preparing lectures in Hebrew, Greek, Church History, Apologetics and Systematic Theology for the ten internet students he has (three in Spain, with the rest spread from Mexico to Chile). Amazingly he tells of an appeal from Cuba to train 100 men for the ministry! Their Church wants to become Presbyterian.
This visit to our seminary was very helpful as he was able to sit in on one class and attend a Psalmody workshop. (Over a period of seven years with God’s help he has prepared a Spanish metrical version of the Psalms which they sing to the old Genevan melodies. Our lecturers assured him of their unstinted help, including copies of their lectures and course work.
In the car prayerful discussion ranged over the ways in which these 100 Cuban students might be taught. It was suggested that a conference be held in Spain every two years. The Brethren in Cuba have already divided their island into ten areas and will appoint leaders in each area to oversee the students in their studies. We were reminded of John Knox’s “Superintendents”.
Visits were made to the congregations of Portmahomack, Snizort, and Edinburgh to the great appreciation of the folks there.
Then it was home to loved ones and his congregation of just over thirty, which is in three parts, one part in Bilbao, one in Miranda de Ebro where he lives, and one part in Barcelona. A rough equivalent would be if one of our ministers was living in Inverness, having part of his congregation there, with another part in Tain, and the third part in Dumfries!!
Our thanks are due to our lecturers, and the ministers and congregations of Tarbat, Snizort and Edinburgh.
Brethren may we plead with you to pray for our Brother, his family, his spread out congregation, and his seminary and students spread over Spain and Latin America.