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Restaurant in Spain is scene for salvation

MADRID (BP) – In a small town near Spain’s capital city, Walker and Becca Welch walked around a university hoping to meet Chinese students and share the Gospel. The university normally hosts more than 300 Chinese exchange students each year, but due to COVID 19, the Welches have had few opportunities so far this year to get to know them.

While the missionary couple walked, they noticed a small Chinese restaurant. Menu photos were taped to the windows, and the sign out front said, “Momma’s Kitchen” – a fitting name for a place trying to attract homesick exchange students.

The Welches stepped inside, hoping to find out if students gathered there. Instead, they met the restaurant’s two owners, a man and a woman. The man showed them a menu, eager for them to order something. The woman, Ms. Zhao*, sat at a table near the entrance, staring at her phone and scarcely acknowledging the new customers.

After the man left to prepare the food, Becca looked around the small business.

Chinese-themed decorations covered the walls, traditional sauces and chopsticks adorned the tables. An L-shaped bar stood near the front along with the kitchen, where the man was cooking their food. Numerous tables and chairs extended from the entrance all the way to the back, but the Welches didn’t spot any other customers. This didn’t perplex them, though, as Spaniards typically eat lunch much later in the day.

After preparing their order, the man returned with steaming food in to-go boxes and engaged them in friendly conversation.

When Walker and Becca asked how business had been with no Chinese students around, the man said that though Momma’s Kitchen had been open for less than a year, the restaurant was scheduled to close for good the following Sunday due to a lack of customers. In fact, the Welches were the only customers that week — and it was already Tuesday.

Recognizing an opportunity to share their faith, the missionaries pulled out their last Chinese Bible and offered it to the waiter. On seeing the book, Ms. Zhao’s attitude changed. She stood up and asked, “Can I go to church with you?”

Her sudden enthusiasm took the couple by surprise. They had never seen such a positive response to the Gospel in Spain before.

“Of course!” they answered her. As the four began to talk, Walker and Becca started asking questions and sharing the Gospel in more detail, encouraged by the change in Ms. Zhao’s demeanor, which continued to brighten throughout the conversation.

The Welches learned that Ms. Zhao had been visited before by Jehovah’s Witnesses and other faith groups, but none of them had persuaded her. However, when she understood the true Gospel, she wanted to dedicate her life to Christ. Becca led her in a prayer of faith.

After parting with their new sister in Christ, the Welches visited Momma’s Kitchen the following Friday, before it was to close, and brought another Chinese Bible for Ms. Zhao. Since then, Becca has remained in contact with her.

Please pray that her new faith in Jesus will take root in Ms. Zhao’s heart and that she will find a Chinese church to join and grow in. Ask that she be protected from false teaching. Please also lift up Ms. Zhao’s business partner and pray that the Lord will lead him to accept Christ as well.

*Name changed for security

    About the Author

  • Jasmine Greenbay*