A man flips through a Spanish Bible. Photo by RJ Rempel.

Partners to reach Seville

Volunteers from local churches are distributing Gospels of John in partnership with OM in Spain with the plan to reach every home in the province!

A little blue booklet came inching under Raul’s* front door. The title read: Agua Viva (Living Water) — a Gospel of John. On the back were hand-stamped contact details for an evangelical church. With trembling fingers, he opened the little book, and what he read made Raul cancel his plans — plans to kill himself. The next day, Sunday, he turned up at the church and poured out his heart to the pastor….

Raul’s booklet was just one of 5,000 Gospels of John hand-delivered throughout his town near Seville that Saturday. Anyone out early might have seen a group of forty people in the park, fetching boxes out of cars, then transferring the contents — little blue booklets — into bags of every description. Then, gathered under the orange trees, chatter ceased and earnest prayer began for God to bless this distribution of His Word to every home, to people with open hearts — people like Raul.

Dreaming big for a whole province

Since autumn 2022, more than 100,000 Gospels of John have been distributed to households throughout Seville — villages, suburbs and the city itself, the provincial capital of Andalusia in south west Spain. Local believers have a Godly ambition — to deliver gospels to the whole province of nearly two million people!

Thanks to the generosity of their donors, OM has obtained these Gospel booklets through its literature wing, but the project is owned by the evangelical churches of Seville through their pastors’ association. Rebeca Lampaya, leader of OM in Spain, provides liaison. “OM could never have done this without the pastors’ help and vision,” she says. “The beauty lies in the coming together of an organisation like ours, with its resources and eager local people who have the vision.”

An unusual city

Seville is one of the cultural gems of Andalusia. Tourists flock to its historic old town and greatly outnumber worshippers at the many Catholic churches. For many Spaniards, Catholicism is tied to national identity but spiritual reality lies in New Age or eastern practices. But unusually for Spain, Seville also has over 30 evangelical churches, memberships swelled in recent years by migrants fleeing Latin America. Furthermore, their pastors have a level of unity Rebeca has never seen in Spain before. “They have such an obvious ‘Kingdom first’ mindset,” she comments. “They truly don’t care about doctrinal or denominational differences.”  

Re-igniting a passion for outreach

Logos Hope visited Seville for a month in the summer of 2022. The pastors' association had been very active beforehand in promoting the visit, for example, through an advertising campaign on local public transport, and many members from their various churches served as volunteers at outreach events during the ship's stay. Amongst the pastors, a fresh sense of urgency emerged to reach their city for the Kingdom, their churches serving in unity alongside each other.

The first expression of this started in autumn 2022 when a group of about ten young people (all enthusiastic volunteers during the ship's visit) came forward. They were passionate about taking their gifts and training further in street-based outreach and disciple-making. With backing and resourcing from their pastors, this team has been reaching out twice a week. On Wednesday afternoons, they chat one-to-one with people visiting the city park and on Saturday mornings, head to the city centre and issue powerful challenges with a megaphone, leaflets and banners. Questions like: “¿A donde iras cuando mueras?” (where will you go when you die?) draw a mixed reaction but the young people remain inspired by Gabriela,* who responded to their challenge, gave her life to Jesus and has been baptised.

Meanwhile, the pastors' association, encouraged by how God uses the Gospel of John to change people’s lives — just as it changed George Verwer’s life years ago — approached OM in Spain for help in further outreach to their city. The partnership to supply and distribute the Gospel booklets to every home had begun.

Blessed in giving and receiving

The monthly distribution days have required tremendous levels of inter-church organisation and cooperation to get the boxes of booklets from the warehouse and into the homes of nearly 287,000 residents in 18 localities. There’s a role for everyone, from the older people stamping each booklet with contact details or loaning cars to transport boxes, to families with kids’ rucksacks crammed full of booklets.

Priority in distributions is given to local churches that are planting new fellowships in communities without an evangelical congregation. If a pastor can provide a core team of volunteer distributors, the pastors’ association will arrange the rest. Inspired by the beauty of the outreach itself and the fellowship they experience, volunteer numbers increase for every distribution — and some haven’t missed a single session.

As the churches pray for God’s Word to work in many hearts, up to 30 people so far, such as Raul, have made serious contact with a local church, with several choosing to follow Jesus. Some results have been unexpected; after delivering 15,000 Gospels in one large town, a church group now regularly shares testimonies and songs with a squatters’ community who got in touch!

Future plans

With 15 per cent of homes already reached, another 11 churches are awaiting their distribution day. Pastors from neighbouring provinces have caught the vision too, and want OM’s help to resource their own distribution. Please pray:

  • for many people to meet the Lord throughout the province of Seville and beyond
  • for continued unity as churches work together in the distributions and follow up with contacts
  • for OM’s role in the partnership. Praise God for donors who resource the project

*names changed

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