I am starting to understand and speak a little more Spanish, which is of course very nice. My new favourite thing is walking back and forth from Hector and Lilli’s flat to Aslan Performing Arts Centre — the school where we will perform and teach workshops. It’s especially fun when we are carrying groceries — there’s so much fresh food here. Every day we get fresh fruit, bread, and meat from the stores.
The coffee here is also amazing. I found a wonderful little coffee shop yesterday while wandering the streets of Madrid. I don’t remember the shop’s name, but I did succeed in ordering myself a mocha cappuccino (in Spanish)!
// una taza de café con el chocolate
On a more serious note, Hector has been educating us on the culture and worldview of Spain. It is a complete post modern society (which could be summarized in one word as “irrationality”). He explained that usually people support their beliefs with outside sources or an experience, but in Spain, one defends what they believe by simply stating “it is true because I said so!” .. This is the mindset that Christians in Spain have to work with — it’s quite the challenge, no?
Hector also lectured about Pride and Conceit (or as he put it, haughtiness). He clarified that pride would be something like “my car is better than yours” where as haughtiness has no base .. it is irrational (are you sensing a trend?)
Hector emphasized that our job as Christians is to prepare the way.
It is not our job to convert people, or shove our beliefs in their faces. In fact, any mention of Christianity in Spain immediately shuts most people down. In addition, it does not help to be proud or haughty about being a Christian. Hector said that their ministry is not blatantly Christian in name or even in daily conversation. They simply try to reflect Christ’s love through every action and interaction. Hector happily remarked that people have noticed that they are different and that they have mentioned that there seems to be a different “spirit” at the Aslan Performing Arts Centre.
Something that Hector said that really stood out to me was: the Gospel preached without Love and Truth hardens people’s hearts. As I’ve been reflecting on that statement throughout the day, it occurred to me that perhaps quite a few Christians deal with our western version of persecution in the wrong way. The early Church did not get defensive or try to “fight back” — they accepted any persecution with love, and grace, and prayer. Hector ended the meeting by challenging us to let God work through us so that we may do what we wouldn’t ever do ourselves.
Please pray that all of the people whom Hector and Lilli have been interacting with will eventually not only see Christ’s but also come to accept who He is and what He has done for them.