Que pasa? Revival in Spain? How is God using our young team in the midst of revival?
Why and how has God given a vision for a region-wide disciplemaking movement, among a small group of young seminarians? How is Entrust fitting into that dream?
Guests Damaris Zafra, Joshua Sanchez, Kelsey Rose and Sheila Bader describe Spanish culture, Spain's spiritual atmosphere and how God is growing a disicplemaking movement. It's called the Iberia Project and it all started in 2016.
Joshua Sanchez [00:00:00] praying in Spanish
Todd Randall [00:00:12]: Habla espanol? Yeah, obviously, I don't. What you're hearing is the voice of Joshua Sanchez, praying for Entrust and for the country of Spain. Today, Laurie Lind visits with Joshua Sanchez, Kelsey Rose, Damaris Zafra and Sheila Bader about Spain's spiritual environment, the beginnings of revival there, and the dream of a disciplemaking movement spreading across the Spanish speaking world.
Joshua Sanchez: [00:00:46] prayer concludes.
Dámaris Zafra [00:00:59] So hi, I am Damaris. I live in Barcelona. And I’m involved with Entrust since 2016, when I took the first training in Switzerland. And I just loved that, and I wished to share that with other peple here in Spain. And I love about Spanish culture that we love to hang out, to be outside of our homes all the time, and going out, and have coffe with friends, or, just being around all the time.
Laurie Lind [00:01:32]: While we're talking with you, you do have an interesting hobby that's also a ministry on the side, involving the water. Can you just tell us a little bit about that too?
Dámaris Zafra [00:01:43]: Yeah. I collaborate with Christian Surfers Ministry. And we just love to surf and share the gospel in the water when we are surfing.
Laurie Lind [00:01:55]: So, how about you, Joshua? Tell us all about yourself.
Joshua Sanchez [00:01:58]: Well, I'm Joshua. I'm 21. And I really was born in Ecuador. but when I was, like, 5 or 6 months, my family and I came here to Spain. So, I grew up here in in Barcelona. I'm studying theology at IBSTE. One of the things that I love about Spanish culture is like Dari said, that here people loves to talk. I mean, you can be in a park or maybe in the supermarket, So good to see how you can have good conversations with people.
Laurie Lind [00:03:01]: Is there such a thing as a shy Spanish person?
Joshua Sanchez [00:03:05]: Maybe. Well, I didn't find a shy person. But surely there is someone.
Laurie Lind [00:03:17]: Mostly pretty outgoing and, maybe more extroverted than introverted. Would that be true?
Joshua Sanchez [00:03:22]: Yes.
Kelsey Rose [00:03:31]: I was actually born in the United States in Michigan, but my parents moved to Spain when I was 9 as intercultural workers. So, I pretty much grown up here. I've lived more than 2 thirds of my life here and I love Spain. I love the Spanish people, Spanish culture. It's it's been a huge blessing for me to be able to live here and develop my ministry here. I recently graduated from university. I studied philosophy at a secular university here in Spain. I'm also an author, a pastor's wife, and started collaborating with Entrust this year.
Laurie Lind [00:04:02]: Wow. An author? So [cough, excuse me]. What have you written?
Kelsey Rose [00:04:06]: I'm getting ready to publish my first book. It talks about that intersection between feminism and Christianity. Because feminism is a really big deal here in Spain. And the church here needs more resources to talk about it.
Laurie Lind [00:04:23]: My goodness. That's fascinating. You all are representing so much, expertise and wisdom and knowledge. This is gonna be such a rich conversation. We'll go to Sheila. Sheila, tell us all about yourself.
Sheila Bader [00:04:39]: I am not Latina, but I feel like at least not by ethnic background, but I have a very deep love for, Spanish speaking people. I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, which is right in the middle of the United States. And I was a Spanish major in College. And so I lived in Spain for, a year when I was in college, and then I went back and did a 2 year short term stint in Madrid. I lived in, Sevilla in college and then went back and lived in Madrid. And now I work with Entrust since 2021. So I get the privilege of working with these guys who live in Spain. And one day, very soon, I get to go have a trip to Espana, Which I'm very much looking forward to.
Laurie Lind [00:05:40]: Because where do you live now, Sheila?
Sheila Bader [00:05:43] Eastern … Southeastern Washington State.
Laurie Lind [00:05:45]: I'd like to know more about each of you, like, a little bit, how did you come to know Jesus personally, and what are some ways that you were discipled In growing deeper in your walk with Christ.
Kelsey Rose [00:05:58]: I grew up in a Christian home, so my parents were very devoted Christians. We actually lived across the street from the church from the time that I was born. And then, when we came to Spain, my parents were still very devoted Christians and very enthusiastic I was most discipled by my parents and, also my other families, other, yeah, close friends that loved the lord and really want took an interest in me and what god and believe what God would do in my life.
Dámaris Zafra [00:06:37]: So, I started going to church when I was 5. And when I was around 7 or 8 years old, I Just understood what the Lord did for me, that he died for me in the cross and that he had a place for me in heaven. So, I completely understood that and started to believe in that. But I didn't have a real change. I thought Being a believer was to go to church on Sunday. So my youth and my Having kind of problems or things that I asked the Lord directly, okay, if you will, can you please show up on here? And he always brought me closer. So, if I'm here today, it's because he's good all the time.
Joshua Sanchez [00:08:08]: Well, I met Jesus thanks to my grandmother. And, well, we, as Latinos, we grow up in a kind of Christian culture or a subculture. And the idea of God wasn't too, far away from me Because, well, we know things, stories. But in my family, there wasn't any Christian instead of my grandmother. And one day, thanks to, Skype … thanks to Skype ... we did a meeting, and I was asking her some things about the aliens that I well, I was watching a TV program in in history channel, so there was, like, I don't remember so good. Like, the angel who spoke to Abraham wasn't an angel, but an alien. So, well, the only person who could answer me was my grandmother.
Joshua Sanchez [00:09:09]: So, I asked her if it if that was true or not. And she, answered me and started to share to me the gospel. And that night, I came to Jesus. And I never had, like, this, a serious discipleship. Maybe the pastor or a leader helped me to do some things to know Jesus better, So in the 1st 2 years was my grandmother, thanks to Internet. But then, I Grow up in the middle of the community of the church. So I think that now in this,
Sheila Bader [00:10:38]: Well, Sheila, how about your story? I grew up in a family that attended church, but It was mostly just a Sunday thing, but I did have a lot of curiosity about Jesus from going to Sunday school. And the 1st time I ever really heard a clear presentation of the gospel, I was in middle school, And I was very attracted to the idea of Jesus, but I also was very Just caught in, you know, doing whatever I had to do to be in the correct group, like, peer pressure. So, I kind of you know, I would dabble kind of like Dawn Marie said. I would go to a summer camp, and I would, you know, God would draw me closer. And then, but just kind of 1 foot in 1 world, 1 foot in the other world, all the way through high School, college. But when I went to Spain, as a 3rd year university student, I met a girl named who we would get together every week and practice English and Spanish. And 1 week, when I met with and she looked like Dámaris. I mean, it was a long time ago, but when I met Dámaris, I thought, she looks like.
Sheila Bader [00:12:00]: She asked me, do you believe in God? And I said, sure. Doesn't everybody? And she said, no. I don't, and I wanna know why you do. And that made me realize that I didn't know the God that I said I believed in. So I went back to my last year of university, and a friend invited me to a Christian group on campus. And I was living in a big house with a lot of other girls, so I snuck the back door and went to this meeting, and, Jesus met me at that meeting. And, you know, that was the moment of of, turning. And so then I got involved in that group, which was very, discipleship oriented and just kind of stayed under the umbrella of those people who poured into my life for years.
Laurie Lind [00:12:51]: Well, I love how, you know, God has worked in each of your lives somewhat similar in some similar ways, some different ways. And some of you have mentioned about Spanish culture or Latin culture in general is very infused with the church, but then there's a difference between just church and just really knowing Jesus personally. So can you tell us more just like the cultural the spiritual environment that you are serving in in Spain.
Kelsey Rose [00:13:33]: A lot of curiosity. A lot of interest in the faith that their parents really didn't care about. So now we have a generation of young people, that know little or nothing of the Bible. And what they do know, they found out on TikTok. So there's a lot of myth breaking that has to happen, a lot of prejudice that young people might have, but they don't even know why. But just they kinda got infused through their parents. But, yes, there is a lot of a lot of openness among the younger generations.
Kelsey Rose [00:14:09]: And people who worked in Spain for many years talk about how years ago, Spain was like, was a graveyard for intercultural, Christian workers that would come to this country. And now, And now it's really different. Now there's a there's a hunger. There's an interest. There's an openness that there haven't been in in past years. And it's something that we're really grateful for, but we also realized that it's a big responsibility, because, right, the church needs workers to rise up and disciple others, the way that Jesus wants us to.
Laurie Lind [00:14:44]: What is the reason for the hunger? What's the longing that that's there that's making them interested?
Kelsey Rose [00:14:51]: Actually, I would think that a lot of this hunger has to do with the prayers of the Spanish people. Because for many, many years, at least in my context, we have, maybe older people in the church who've been praying for revival for many, many years. Like, ever since they got saved years ago, they started praying for revival. And they've been praying that God would break down the spiritual barriers in this country, and they've been praying a very long time. And a lot of them, Like, even tell us. Like, we see that God is doing something different. There might be other, of course, social factors as well. Things like, Internet access to Internet and access to different ideas that maybe weren't is available 20, 30 years ago.
Kelsey Rose [00:15:41]: Of course, that contributes. Or the globalization, the fact that, like, the global youth culture, for example, has a lot of the same ideas, a lot of the same interests. So, when the gospel starts reaching, young people in that culture, it kind of expands in a little easier way. But I think that mainly, it's because of the prayers of the Spanish people.
Dámaris Zafra [00:16:00]: True that it's an that we're seeing something different in the new culture that's arising on the new generation that's arising. And I think it's because, Spain and the culture has changed a lot in the last years That, I think we forgot about I don't know how to explain that in in English, but They had in mind what the church did in the past very fresh, but the new generation, they don't. So, they look at it with new perspectives and new, ideas on what it might be. And I think also Having an openness to other kind of religions. Like, I've seen in new generations very openness to, like, I think this might also help, to talk about spiritual things more openly.
Joshua Sanchez [00:17:29]: Well, I work with our Evangelism team in our church. And I can see that as Dámaris said, there is generation who reject everything that is related to Christian faith. There was, like, a generation who was, who thought that the church was hurting them, things related to Christian faith. So that generation who are from thirties to fifties, flesh or a body who are here and who are without purpose. But At least people from 20 to thirties, they're still going away from Christianity and everything that can sound like Bible or Jesus or gospel or those words.
Kelsey Rose [00:19:21]: Right. I would also add that I believe that this younger generation is also more aware of their brokenness. There is a lot of mental health issue. There mental health issues. There's a lot of, building houses, getting a stable career. And even though this generation is concerned about that, they see at least That that issue between 2020 and 35, maybe even 40, have lived several economic crisis. They've What the world offers them doesn't really satisfy.
Kelsey Rose [00:20:46]: So that could contribute to why a lot of them are realizing, like what Joshua said, that we're more than flesh and bone. Like, there is a spiritual aspect to us that that we need to cultivate. So I think that's what's leading a lot of them as well too, like, oriental spirituality. They realize that there there's a need for something else that this world can't offer them. But at the same time, they still have, Those prejudices that it prejudices against Christianity, that we, as disciples of Jesus, need to help break down.
Dámaris Zafra [00:21:25]: Relative, like, relativism. I'm I don't know if it's the right word in English. Mhmm. But there's not only 1 truth. So If you share about the gospel, oh, yeah. That might be truth, but as well is the truth of that other religion. So there's not only 1 truth. It changes everything, you know, also the way of you sharing the gospel to others or sharing about the bible because we really believe that it's only 1 truth.
Dámaris Zafra [00:21:53]: That is Jesus Christ. So, and it has changed a lot. Before they would say, no. I don't want to know anything about it, and it was white or black, but now it's okay. Everything is allowed. And I want to know about everything, and I want to experience about everything.
Laurie Lind [00:22:08]: So some people do come to really recognize there's one truth. It's Jesus. And like you have, what is it like to be, you know a real follower of Jesus Christ in Spanish culture today? That's a good question.
Dámaris Zafra [00:22:48]: Didn't know that word, new one. So, yeah, they thought that I was in a cold, so they didn't want to know anything about it.
Kelsey Rose [00:23:34]: And I was the only bible believing Christian in my class. And, really, what I noticed in my class is not well, I guess they were philosophy students. They were quite open to talk about deep topics. But there was a genuine interest in Asking questions about Christianity, kind of wanting to understand my point of view. So that maybe past generations have experienced.
Joshua Sanchez [00:24:10]: Maybe. I think that there are 2 kind of people who are open to us. I mean, like, as we are, another kind of spiritual expression to live and those people who think that we're as something strange In the middle of Christianity, we are not part of the Christian culture. We do some things different, so I found people who asked me, okay. You're a Christian, but you don't do those things, but you don't do those things. Of people. We're open and if you think that we're, like, something strange in in Christianity.
Dámaris Zafra [00:26:13]: So this is my experience, but I think Kelsey that is a wife pastor can answer that question really
Sheila Bader [00:26:20]: good. Yeah.
Kelsey Rose [00:26:21]: Yes. Right. I can't I answer for all of Spain and all of evangelical Christianity in Spain, but I can, We share the experience of our church. What we are experiencing at our church is a genuine desire of the people to connect with the culture, to connect with the people. Sins in the world, but separated from the world itself in the sense that it kind of separated a lot from culture. And maybe we're known more as, Like, more legalistic as in do this, don't do this. A lot of rules. But what we're noticing now of people not wanting to just hand out flyers, but actually wanting to share their faith in in real ways, sharing their testimonies, testifying.
Kelsey Rose [00:27:31]: Normally, in our prayer meetings on Tuesday nights, we have the opportunity for people to share testimonies, and we hear a lot of testimonies of how God is using the people in the church to bring light in their workplaces. Mhmm. We have, people at our church that work as businesswomen or businessmen, we have, nurses. We have doctors, teachers. And no matter which area of society that they're in, they're trying to be light and they're trying to be salt, and they're having conversations. They're having opportunities to pray for other people. So we are seeing, at least in our in our circle, we're seeing Christians wanting to break down the barriers and actually reach people where they are.
Laurie Lind [00:28:14]: I think we're beginning to hear that revival is beginning in Spain as the result of years of prayer by Spanish believers. And it's great to hear that Christians are finding natural ways to share their faith with others. And yet we know that sharing our faith and leading people to Christ is part of our calling, and then we need to disciple them and take them deeper.
Dámaris Zafra [00:28:38]: There's a real need there that's not only about sharing the gospel. It's about discipling others, and this is where Iberia Project comes.
Laurie Lind [00:28:46]: Come back for the next episode of Entrust Equipping Leaders to hear Dámaris and Sheila and Kelsey and Joshua tell us what they are doing with the Iberia Project through Entrust in Spain. Thanks for listening again today to Entrust Equipping Leaders.