Spain is one of the countries in the world most severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. According to official figures of April 9, more than 150,000 people had been infected, and over 15,000 had died.
Among those infected with Covid-19, was the evangelical pastor and President of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE), Marcos Zapata. He recently shared his experience in a facebook conservation with pastor Danilo Montero and his wife Gloriana Díaz.
Zapata explained that he got infected in Madrid, returned to his city in the north of Spain, and without knowing that he was a carrier of the virus, he infected his wife and his mother-in-law.
After being diagnosed, he went through “a strict confinement”.
“The process was longer than I expected, with ups and downs, not in my faith, but doubts regarding the purpose of all this and the future that would come, but God was with us and now we are better, although still recovering”, Zapata explained.
The pastor emphasised the importance of using this time to increase our intimacy with God. He expressed his gratitude for all the people who have been praying for him and his family, and pointed out that there is an “awakening of prayer like we have never seen before worldwide, and also at a local and personal level”.
CHURCHES: FAITH AND PRUDENCE
Zapata warned that many people in Spain at the begining of the crisis, and now in Latin America, thought that the crisis was not that dangerous. Therefore, he recommended the churches to “take this situation seriously and be cautious”.
“When we do not know what to do, when it is not clear what step to take, the question is not what is the ‘correct thing’ between the options on the table, but what is most prudent for the church, for your family, for the nation. Prudence is the ethical principle, the virtue that should move us”, he emphasised.
“WE CAN BE A LIGHT AND BLESS OUR COMMUNITIES”
The pastor, who is writing a pastoral guide about dealing with mourning and grief, pointed out that “as pastors we can accompany, give support, but avoid vain words. Families cannot go to the hospital, but they can receive our support. Call them, pray for them, cry with those who cry”.
Furthermore, “if there is a chance that there are evangelical chaplain in hospitals, that would be great because their work is essential”, he said.
But not only pastors can do something for those who suffer. “Although we are confined and cannot share space, we can share time, and find small initiatives to touch our community”, Zapata underlined.
“A church may be small in number, but it is not weak in its action, and it must always be alive and active. In the midst of this crisis, we can be light and bless our community”, he concluded.
Watch the testimony of Marcos Zapata (Spanish):