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April-May 2011

The Gospel in
Hard Places


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Heart of Stone

Starting a church in the city with a "Heart of Stone..."

Heart of Stone

by Kristi Johnson


Five years ago, on a crisp February morning in a little pueblo in Spain called Alpedrete, I sat surrounded by a group of people—amazed. This group of believers was meeting in an evangelical church for the first time in the town’s long history.

Alpedrete is a typical Spanish town with cobblestone streets, a place to get coffee and buy a barra de pan (loaf of bread), and a Catholic church sitting in the center of town. Known for its rock quarries, Alpedrete has produced stones for some of the most famous monuments in Spain, like the Royal Palace in Madrid. Because of this rich heritage, the town’s motto is “Alpedrete: Heart of Stone.”



This is the place God called our family to plant a church—in the town with the heart of stone. A place where years of studying the Bible are necessary before someone decides to soften his or her stone heart to its message.

You can imagine how excited I was that February morning when I looked around at the believers gathered in the town’s first-ever evangelical church. Praying. Reading Scripture. Listening to God’s Word being shared. Just a few weeks earlier, one lady, with tears streaming down her face had said, “You don’t know how long I’ve prayed for a church here in my town.” And, on that particular Sunday morning, her prayers were answered in the center of the town with the heart of stone.

About the Writer: Kristi Johnson, her husband Tim, and her children Alejandro and Ana, have lived and worked in Alpedrete for seven years. To learn more about their ministry visit


©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists