|Local restaurant outside Madrid. Source: Baptist Press|
Walking around a university town in a suburb of Madrid, missionary couple Walker and Becca Welch were hoping to find Chinese students to share the Gospel with. In non-pandemic years, the university normally hosts an estimated 300 Chinese exchange students, however, due to COVID-19, the Welches had experienced fewer opportunities to interact with the university’s student body.
Noticing a Chinese restaurant while out walking, the couple stopped. Momma’s Kitchen – a fitting name to attract homesick exchange students – seemed like it might not only be the perfect place to grab a bite but also connect with students.
Stepping inside, the Welches hoped to find crowds of students but instead were greeted by the owners, handed menus, and escorted to a table.
After preparing the couple’s food, the male restaurant owner returned to the table with their food steaming in to-go boxes and began casual conversation.
When asked how business was going with fewer exchange students the owner confessed; it was not good. Momma’s Kitchen had been open for less than a year and at its current rate was going to close for good next Sunday due to a lack of customers. Surprising the Welches, the owner informed them that they were the only customers all week. (It was Tuesday at the time of the Welches visit.)
Seizing the opportunity to share their faith, the missionaries pulled out their last Chinese Bible and offered it to the waiter. From across the room, the restaurant’s co-owner immediately stood up and asked, “Can I go to church with you?”
Taken by surprise, they said, “Of course!”
During the course of their conversation, the Welches learned the restaurant’s co-owner had been visited by missionaries from a number of faith traditions but had not been convinced. Open to learning more about their spirituality, she asked the Welches more about their faith.
Upon hearing the gospel message, Becca Welch noticed how the co-owner’s demeanor had been transformed as she became encouragingly more inquisitive.
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. During a break in the conversation, Becca asked would you like to dedicate your life to Christ.
The restaurant co-owner said, “Yes;” and Becca proceeded to lead her in a prayer of faith.
After parting, the Welches have remained in contact with the restaurant co-owner and continue to pray with her as she discerns what is next for life since the close of the restaurant. The co-owner hopes that her business partner will one day come to understand the joys of salvation that come from being in relationship with Jesus.
Source: Baptist Press