This is a reasonable question. First, a caveat or two:
- Spain is not inherently evil, dark, or anything else.
- The USA is not inherently better, pure, and a holy Christian nation.
In other words, should the evangelical churches in Spain send missionaries to the USA, I for one would not feel as if it spoke about the character of my country. It would indicate simply that they, like the faithful churches here, were following Jesus’s command to “go into all the world, teaching them all I have commanded you…”
Okay, now that’s out of the way.
Choosing to pursue Spain was really a two-stage process. The first part of our story begins with my throwing a dart onto a world map with another mission agency. The dart hit the Czech Republic. It was through this that I got to meet the wonderful missionaries serving on the field there. They may not have seen it this way but in a small way, they mentored and ministered to me. Through all of this I prayed and prayed for the missionaries there, the national church, and the country. What I found through that was really an outworking of Christ’s admonition that “where you heart is, there your treasure will be.” It was through praying that I began to see a desire built in my heart for this wonderful country.
Well, not to use too many Christian cliches, but the door to working in the Czech Republic seemed closed (cf., 1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col 4:3). Laura had severe reservations about mission work at that time. It was a huge struggle for me. Of course, there was plenty of good that came out of this – it developed in me a dependence upon God through prayer. It’s hard to watch your dream being shattered like that. It seemed pretty impossible many days that we would ever be missionaries. But, as I said, it helped me see that the important part is first God, second being a missionary.
In the interim time, God opened the door for me to go to seminary affordably. We decided that it would be a good use of my time as far as training goes. And it was. Being trained theologically has made me able to do the work of planting a church, much better than I would have been able to do without it. So now I am in the middle of nowhere South Carolina getting a theological degree, not working with the previous agency, and no longer thinking that we will be working in the Czech Republic. So, how’d we get to Spain again?