Drops in the Desert
Spain is a beautiful landscape of majestic mountains and picturesque towns; however, Spain is also a dry land experiencing a severe drought. The lack of rain causes the soil to become hard and cracked with little hope for plants to grow. The physical dryness of the soil in Spain is representative of the spiritual dryness found in the people of Spain.
Shortly after arriving in Spain, a missionary shared an analogy of the spiritual condition in Spain that I reflected on all summer: When it rains in Spain, the cracked ground can only absorb a little bit of water at a time before the rest of the water runs off. The dryness of the desert-like soil does not respond well to a flood of water because the ground is not prepared for an abundance of rain. But if the water is introduced slowly and consistently, sometimes a few drops at a time, the soil will eventually soften as it learns to accept the water. I witnessed this physical change at L’Arcada Camp this summer when it rained during English Camp, and a dirt walkway slowly transformed from dry, cracked ground to a smooth surface of packed soil. Over the next few days as camp ended, the ground began to dry back up and return to its former state of dryness since the rain lasted only a little while. The physical picture of rain falling on the hardened ground of Spain reflects the spiritual drought in the hearts of the Spanish people, because most lack the hope and peace found in salvation through Jesus Christ. The hardened hearts of the people saddened me, but what truly broke my heart was the lack of the gospel’s presence in the lives of the children who attended L’Arcada Camp.
English Camp week was a highlight of my summer because the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life was evident throughout the events of the week. Seeing my girls during English Camp soften their hearts a bit toward Jesus opened my heart to the need for believers to minister to non-believers with the truth of the gospel. My campers experienced Christ’s love at camp and allowed some drops of water in to soften their hearts. Watching my girls leave at the end of camp, knowing once they left that the hardships of this world would come back in and start to dry them out again spiritually, was difficult. I have prayed for my girls ever since they left camp for more believers to enter their lives and continue the process of opening their hearts to Christ’s love and salvation. Would you pray for them with me?
For my campers, and all the people of Spain, spiritual dryness is evident, but catching a glimpse of hope in the eyes of my girls encouraged my heart. I could see their hunger for the gospel even if they did not yet understand what their hearts were hungry for. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “‘As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’” Spiritual dryness is something humans have long struggled with, but these verses serve as a reminder that God’s message goes out to seek after those who need His salvation. Jesus’ grace is greater than the darkness of this world.
Cracked and dry dirt can become smooth and soft soil ready for new life to grow, but this transformation is a process. The change happens little-by-little as gentle rain falls on the dirt and replenishes the nutrients in the soil. Eventually, with patience and gentle watering, the ground will start to respond well and soft dirt will emerge that will be ready for planting and growth. Whenever I hear rain it will remind me of God’s call to bring restoration and hope to spiritually dry people. Drops of water falling in the desert will eventually turn into waterfalls and streams of flowing water of life and love found in Christ.
– Dani Rhodes
Ten2 Participant, L'Arcada Camp, Spain