Staying home for Christ
by Laurie Lind, Entrust staff writer
As a young person growing up in Valencia, the eastern region of Spain, Dámaris Zafra was fascinated with Africa. She loved meeting people from that continent, and, as a new Christian, full of zeal for Christ and the gospel, decided she wanted to go to Africa to serve God. But God had a different plan.
It was some time after coming to faith in Christ that Dámaris learned some statistics about Christianity in the world. She discovered that Spain was far less reached with the gospel than many African nations. Instantly, she realized, and came to find joy in, the fact that it was important for her to stay in the place where he had placed her. And she did.
Now on staff with Entrust in Spain, Dámaris invests her time in varied ministries: Entrust trainings, a seminary in Barcelona, Christian Surfers and a local international church.
Dámaris co-facilitates Entrust modules with women’s and co-ed groups, so far in Barcelona, and soon, for the first time in Madrid … an event Dámaris says is the fulfillment of a dream.
She and some fellow seminary friends took Entrust’s core training module, Facilitating Relational Learning together at an Entrust training hub in Switzerland. The last lesson in FRL encourages participants to prayerfully dream, envision and plan a strategy by which they might pass along the ministry skills they’ve learned. She and her friends dreamed of translating the modules into Spanish and creating a Spanish-speaking training hub. To date, two modules and two companion workbooks are translated and available in Spanish. Trainings have taken place in Barcelona. Now, with the co-ed Facilitating Relational Learning module in Madrid in late 2021, the vision is becoming reality.
Dámaris’ work in pastoral care at the Facultad Internacional de Teología IBSTE in Barcelona dovetails with her Entrust work. With her God-given passion for discipling people, she mentors women students, encouraging them in their spiritual growth and in seeking God’s leading on where to serve after seminary. She assists in organizing chapel services for the spiritual growth of all the students, tutors students in “external practices,” and serves on the teachers’ council.
The students all speak Spanish, but even so, represent varied cultures. They come from across Spain, including Catalan where Dámaris grew up, as well as from Latin America, with a few from Holland and Germany. “It’s a diverse group,” Dámaris says, pointing out that Spanish culture is vastly different from Latin American culture.
“Even though we speak the same language, it’s very different the way you have to work with them. Culture, understanding of the Bible, the way they see themselves, is all different. But the gospel is the same.”
That same gospel applies to people who spend their lives at the beach, surfing. Dámaris too loves surfing and has combined that passion with her passion for Christ, serving with the international ministry Christian Surfers. It was through Christian Surfers that she met her husband, David.
She and David plan to start a home group with people from their international church soon. And she plans to add to her ministry toolbox during the winter of 2021, taking biblical counseling training in Barcelona. She sees that skill as one that will be “really helpful” for her work with the ladies at the seminary.
She loves discipling, often finding that her disciples become dear friends. And her ultimate vision is to see revival come to Spain. “Revival comes from discipleship, investing in others and living the gospel together,” Dámaris says.
One woman whom Dámaris discipled is preparing to go to Africa to work in ministry, the place where Dámaris originally wanted to serve. Dámaris is at peace with staying home, investing in women and men, in surfers and students and the international community. And now, she wouldn’t have it any other way.