Patience, Consistency, and Intentionality
It’s 10:00 am; I’m going to have a coffee on the central square. Sitting, I’m waiting for someone to engage in conversation, since this is the most important hour in the village’s life. In a few minutes, people will arrive, and conversations will start. Sometimes I initiate spiritual discussions, sometimes not — but it’s always important to be there, to be part of who they are. After this, Ingrid and I have an appointment to organize a Gospel choir with non-Christians in the village. We are happy: there have been 16 enrollments for this project in only two days, and we pray that the Lord would open hearts among the villagers. After that meeting, we will have dinner with a family with whom we have already shared the Gospel. After two dinners, we have gained their trust and they begin to ask us real questions.
Patience, consistency, and intentionality are essential ingredients to gain people’s trust — to hear from them — although in a culture very much based on relationships, those people do not want to be apart from their community. In such a context progress is slow, so the challenge consists of making disciples who then will reproduce themselves in their own network of connections.
By God’s grace, after two years spent in this area we have two small groups, one in Zafra and the other in Llerena. We are putting a lot of energy into discipleship, hoping to sow the DNA of multiplication.
As another means to give this region a boost, I have been involved in the development of a very young Seminary which is still in its infancy stage, where leadership development and church planting are the focus.
Please continue to pray for our discipleship and training efforts in Spain, that God would use us as tools to accomplish His purposes in this region, for His glory!
— Ricardo Castro is a Fellowship International missionary serving in Spain.