itself into nearly every holiday, festival and activity on the islands. This influence is
mainly cultural since the majority of Canarians no longer attend mass regularly.
The spiritual need on these islands becomes obvious once one leaves the
tourist areas and sees the people as they live their day-to-day lives totally unaware
or unconcerned of their spiritual condition. Most have become disillusioned with
the Catholic Church. Instead of searching for spiritual truth, many have abandoned
religion as a whole, becoming very
secular in their worldview. Missionaries
from the European mainland and the
Americas have come and gone. Few
have stayed, giving many Canarians
a sense that these people are cultural
invaders and their teachings are robbing
them of their cultural heritage.
Superficial relationships are easy to
create, but it is only through long-term
caring and the displaying of a consistent,
positive testimony that their cultural barriers and personal inhibitions to religion
begin to crumble. Their spiritual hearts are tender and hurting but well-guarded.
It is into these circumstances that missionaries Terry Sharp and the Shannon
Whitaker family are endeavoring to minister. Both are concentrating their efforts
on the island of Gran Canaria where they have the opportunity to reach nearly
850,000 Canarians with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Brother Sharp is concentrating
in the capital of Las Palmas, and the Whitaker family is starting their ministry in
the nearby town of Santa Brigida. Through the careful planting of the Gospel seed
and patient, consistent watering, these missionaries will reap a harvest of souls!
There are now only two missionary units with BIMI laboring in the Canaries,
but as the disciples questioned Christ about the five loaves and two fishes, we
can likewise ask, “What are they among so many?” What of the larger island of
Instead of searching for
spiritual truth, many have
abandoned religion as a
whole, becoming very secular
in their worldview.