By Riane Konc
“The needs around the world are so significant that you should go unless you are called to stay”—that’s the message Giles and Debbie Davis always gave their youth ministry students about international mission work. Then, after 15 years of being called to stay, Giles and Debbie heard the clear call: Go. Where they would go was just as clear: Madrid, Spain.
A Culture Rejecting God
Spain has a history rife with religious abuses—think the Spanish Inquisition—and centuries of Spaniards being forced to declare themselves Christians under threat of death or torture. The Spanish culture of today has all but rejected anything remotely related to the name Christ. In the United States, 1 out of 3 people would consider themselves “evangelical believers.” In Spain, it’s 1 out of 200.
Giles and Debbie—along with their four children, Micah, Nate, Bekah, and Jacob—have now lived and served in Spain for eight years. The Davises are working to develop youth ministry in the Spanish church at large.
Their first step was starting a youth group in their San Fernando church—a group that has served youth from 15 surrounding churches—and after several years they were able to hand off leadership to Spaniards. They now oversee the leadership for three youth groups, plan and organize numerous evangelistic events and campaigns, speak at youth conferences and retreats, publish discipleship materials for youth, and train youth leaders from all over Spain.
A Resounding Yes
The Davises are currently in the United States reconnecting with ministry partners and raising support so that they can return to Spain. As of today, they still need to raise nearly $1,000 in monthly support before they are able to return. It’s a potentially overwhelming sum, but they feel confident that God will work to send them back to Spain in his perfect timing.
“We feel more convinced than ever that God is calling us back to continue our ministry,” Debbie explained. After a summer of praying fervently to hear if God would have them back in Spain (and soon), Giles and Debbie have both sensed a resounding yes. What has convinced and encouraged them even more, though, is this: their children are hearing the same thing.
Recently the three oldest Davis kids (ages 18, 16, and 12) have journaled about God telling them why he specifically wanted the children to be back in Spain: to finish their studies, to bring “light and a way out of sadness,” and to speak truth to neighbors and classmates.
The youngest—Jacob, age 10—is hearing from God too. At a recent SEND conference in Michigan, he met an 11-year-old missionary kid named Joshua, whose parents were considering going to Spain. Jacob shared with his mom afterward, “God is telling me that they are going to come to Spain and that Joshua is going to be one of those people that God has told you to open your home to.” When Debbie shared this story with Joshua’s mom the next day, she broke into tears, saying, “This is the confirmation I needed. I have been praying for our son, who has been without a good friend for so long.”
If you would like to read more about the Davis’s ministry or learn how you can become a financial or prayer partner, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their SEND International Page.
Riane Konc is a freelance writer in Covington, Kentucky.