A little late, but better than never...
We finally arrived in Madrid yesterday evening after a nearly two day journey! Looking like zombies, we greeted the missionaries who directed us from the airport through the metro. What an experience! It’s a good thing we had a guide, because I could not have directed my way through the metro myself. When we finally got to Puerta del Sol, what would be our home for the next four days, I was in awe. Madrid is beautiful! We enjoyed dinner provided by the missionaries and then promptly went to bed due to extreme exhaustion.
This morning we started our day with tostada and café con leche at a small restaurant across the street from our hostel called Café & Te’. Fact: Café con leche in Spain is a million times better than American coffee. Starbucks will never compare! It was a great way to begin the morning. We then made our way to the Kilometer Zero center overlooking Puerta del Sol to begin our orientation for the day.
During our sessions, we heard from missionaries Scott Smith and Ellen Cannon. Scott informed us that 99.8% of Spain is unsaved. The statistics of high suicide rates, high unemployment among even college graduates, and general disgust with the church across Europe were shocking. I never understood what a desperate mission field Europe was until he shared with us. Ellen Cannon and her family are new missionaries to the community Lavapies, an area of the city that is predominantly Muslim, Asian, and African immigrants. We walked to their mission center where she spoke about her ministry and served us bisop, tea made from a hibiscus plant. It was delicious!
Finally, this evening we joined the Kilometer Zero team for their street evangelism ministry, On The Red Box. After an hour of gathering for prayer, our combined group walked out to the center of Puerta del Sol with a red box, handfuls of tracks, a few gospel books, and open hearts. Five members of our team from the United States shared their testimonies on top of the red box for all of the passersby. As I handed out tracks, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated that I could not communicate in Spanish. I attempted to speak with one woman unsuccessfully, but thankfully a member of the Kilometer Zero team came to my rescue. Later, a translator informed me that the woman claimed she believed in God, but she did not need Jesus Christ because she had no sin in her life. Sinless? Not in need of God’s grace? It’s hard for me to imagine, but I am thankful that she got to share a conversation with my teammate.
As I walked closer to the entrance to the metro, I prayed and expressed my frustration to the Lord. I wanted to be able to speak to someone in English, but knew it was not even a fair request because our ministry was in Spain. Just then, I noticed a young woman eying me and the tracks in my hand. I greeted her, and she pointed to the tracks with curiosity, though she would not take one. I asked with hope if she spoke English, and an answer to prayer, she spoke almost better English than I did! She was a student at the University in Madrid and was waiting by the metro to meet friends. I learned more about her, her life, her major in college, and we shared a friendly conversation. She was brilliant and so sweet. When she asked again about my trip to Spain and the flyers in my hand, the Lord gave me the opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ with her and His ability alone to fill an empty life and give it purpose. She listened intently and I could tell she really cared about what I had to say. Her friends arrived about ten minutes later and she had to leave, but she accepted a flyer which she was not willing to do previously before we said goodbye.
Though we did not say a prayer together, I honestly believe that a seed was planted. I feel so blessed that the Lord allowed me to meet this awesome young woman and enjoy a conversation with her. I am thankful that she was willing to listen and be open to my story. Most of all, I feel privileged that the Lord answered my prayer and used me when I felt worthless. He is so Good!
To learn more about Kilometer Zero and On the Red Box visit: http://www.ontheredbox.com/english/index.htm