My friend Ally at Sweet Like Honey featured us during her blog series on love this week. Ally loves love, and she had a guest writer sharing her heart each day on a different element of love. She asked me to share about our love for Spain. Visit her blog to read honest thoughts on marriage, motherhood, friendship and the most adorable little gal I know, Maggie Pearl.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s what I wrote when I was asked to describe my love for Spain.
It is almost trendy within the church to be a missionary where you live, to be missions-minded, to build missional communities. If this means that Christians are seeking opportunities to share the Gospel with people in our world, then I celebrate this movement in the church. I too try to share Jesus fearlessly with moms I meet at the park, my barista at the coffee shop, and the family members I live near who don’t have a relationship with Him. I carry Jesus with me wherever I go.
But my heart beats fervently for another group of people, a place I believe Jesus has called me to go. I love Spain. I cannot get it out of my heart, out of my head, how desperate they are for salvation; I love the Spanish people, and I long to see them come to Jesus. People I barely know, with whose culture I am unfamiliar, who will consider me out of place at best when I finally arrive on the field. It’s supernatural, and difficult to explain, like true love usually is. Although I pray for the needs of others around the world, I feel uniquely compelled and even designed to meet the needs in Spain. The Spanish have a fire and passion that I know God can use to change the world. They speak their mind (especially the very young and the very old), often without a filter. I too struggle to filter my words! If they would speak the truth and share the greatest story of all time, unfiltered, Spain could be the launch pad for the Gospel around the world because more than a quarter of its residents are foreigners. I want to see young Spaniards leading such a revolution.
Spain was once a voice for the world, much like the United States today, and its people had the message of Christ to share. Whether it burned brightly with the truth of Jesus’ love then or not, the fire has all but gone out today. As we share our passion for Spain with people, we throw around a statistic that seems like it would impact people. “Less than one percent of Spaniards profess faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.” As a missionary, this small number of believers is reason enough to go. We want to make more disciples who can make more disciples who will make more disciples as part of a global movement to God’s glory, and no place is too dark for the light of Jesus to penetrate, fill, and radiate, even Spain.
But it seems like it. Because this is what “less than 1 percent” means: maybe 1600 believers in a bustling, influential city of 205,000 (Alcalá de Henares, just outside of Madrid). Fewer than 30 evangelical churches averaging less than 60 attendees per week.
When I evaluate those numbers, my heart breaks. All my friends attend churches with 1600 attendees in just one service!
I want Spain to thrive, to fulfill the purposes God might have planned. To that end, I’ll go there and I’ll share a message that I have been told will fall on hard hearts, deaf ears, blind eyes. I will do it for just one person in Spain to become a child of God. That’s how much I love it.