Introducing Jose De Segovia

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Last weekend it was our privilege to have Jose De Segovia  with us. Jose preached for our Presbytery, spoke at our adult Sunday School and preached for us on Sunday evening. It did our church family the world of good to have him with us. He is the minister of  the Reformed Chruch in Madrid and does a whole variety of other things. I want to commend Jose and his church to your prayers but also encourage you to read his material

One of the great encouragements was that one of our church members from Holland recognised Jose's name from when she was a child. The church in which she grew up had supported and prayed for Jose's father who was a pastor. The Dutch churches are still supporting the work in Spain and now 30 years on she is in London seeing the answer to their prayers. It is an amazing thing to be part of a church which is International.

Before Jose came I sent him some questions so our church family could get to know him


Jose, Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?

 

My name is José de Segovia. I was born in Madrid in Madrid in 1964. I spent my first years in London, where my parents were preparing to start the work of Christian Literature Crusade in Spain. In that time there was no religious freedom in Spain, but my father had been involved with Operation Mobilisation in evangelism since his conversion from the occult. Because of his evangelistic witness, he was put into prison several times. A couple of years before Franco died, my father started a Presbyterian Church in the old city centre of Madrid, where I lived with my parents (who are now with the Lord) until I went to study abroad.

 

I was in the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity with John Stott in the early 80´s, before I studied Communication in the University of Madrid and Theology in the University of Kampen. I met my wife, Anna, in The Netherlands, where we had our eldest daughter, Lluvia (her name means Rain in Spanish). Then we went to the European Missionary Fellowship School in Welwyn, Herts. We have been living in Madrid since 1991, where we had three sons, Natán (the Spanish name for the prophet Nathan), Noé (Noah) and Eden (like Paradise).

 

How did you come to faith in Christ?

 

My parents were converted just before I was born. It was through them I came to know the Gospel. When I was in the University of Madrid we started a Christian Union, which helped me to grow in the faith, as well as the books of Dr. Francis Schaeffer. In a way, I am still thinking in the same questions most unbelievers have. It is the Gospel which has changed my life and this is what I want to share with others, the transforming power of the Grace in God in our lives.

 

How long have you been the Pastor of your church and tell us a bit about your what your church life is like in Spain?

 

I became an elder in the Presbyterian Church of my father, when I was a student in the 80´s. After his retirement, I was called to minister this congregation in 1991. There was not much growth in numbers during those years, but immigration changed that situation in the beginning of this century, when many Latin Americans came to work in Spain. Most of them had been recently converted in their countries, but they have helped a lot the Church in Spain. Now half of my congregation comes from South America.

 

Your church is part of a small denomination like us? How many churches are in your presbytery and what are some of the challenges you face?

 

Our church is part of a small denomination, outside the old historical Protestant group, the Spanish Evangelical Church, which includes Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and Congregationalists. It is one of the founding members of the World Council of Churches. This is the denomination where I grew up, but it become liberal in the 60´s, when our pastors got scholarship grants to study in the universities of central Europe. My father had a great burden for evangelism, but because there was not much interest in our denomination, we joined churches with more Evangelical character, until we became involved with a church-planting work in the centre of Madrid. We were first an independent Reformed congregation, but now we are part of a Presbyterian Church with an evangelistic focus, together with two other Spanish congregations and eight missionary works from the Presbyterian Church in Brazil.  

 

Spain is somewhere that some of us might have been on holiday but maybe we're not aware of what the culture is like there? How do you seek to engage people with the gospel? For many of us when we think of Spain we think of Catholicism, is it still as prevalent? Ealing where we are has a huge Catholic population how can we best seek to reach our catholic neighbours and friends with the gospel?

 

Spain was a very strong Roman-Catholic country until the beginning of democracy in 1980. According to a study of the official Institute of Sociological Studies in 2014, 67.8% of the Spanish people still consider themselves Catholics, but 61% do not attend to Mass anymore. Only 1, 0 % of the Spanish population is Protestant.

 

We present the Gospel as God´s answer to the human problem of sin. Religious and secular people have one thing in common. They do not think of themselves as sinful people. The problem is always someone else. We speak to others about our need of salvation and point them to Jesus Christ, our only hope now and in the future.

 

As you look at Spain and mainland Europe from your perspective what are some of the crying needs that they have? How can we be praying for you and your family?

 

Please, pray for Gospel centered-churches and the integration between Spanish people and immigrants. Pray for the work I am involved with theological education in Madrid and Barcelona, where I teach in two colleges which can offer now a university degree. Pray for the books and articles I write to relate the Gospel with our culture. The new one is about God as the answer of the human search for a Father, using illustrations of novels, films and pop music, related to this need in our present society.  


If you'd like to support Jose and his work please contact European Missionary Fellowship

Posted March 13, 2015 @ 5:27 AM by Paul Levy
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