Tom’s mother came home and announced to her family, “I have heard the gospel, and I’ve learned how to pray in the name of Jesus.”
It surprised Tom. In Spain, Tom and his family were surrounded by Christian tradition. His mother was a sincere Catholic. Weren’t they already Christians?
“I thought it was strange,” Tom remembers. “She had always taught us that there was no salvation outside of the Catholic Church.”
Tom’s mother explained she had attended a meeting in a house church where her heart trouble had been miraculously healed! Eagerly, she showed her family how she had learned to pray.
All at once, everything changed.
Tom (right) baptizes a new believer in 1997.
“I thought something was wrong with my father,” Tom says. “Suddenly, he began speaking in tongues. I thought, ‘well, now we are protestants and crazy people.’ It was a life-changing experience.”
But it was months before Tom believed the gospel for himself.
Tom wrestled with the “crazy” power he had witnessed, wanting to trust but struggling with the impossibility of it all.
“It was painful,” he says. “I knew that the experience my family had gone through was real…I could not deny that…They opened their hearts from the very beginning. I wish I could have been like them. But God had his own way for me… God, in his mercy, helped me to conquer all those doubts. I can say with the apostle Paul, ‘I know whom I have believed.'”
Once the gospel took hold of Tom, he became unstoppable.
A young Tom (right) prays with Bernard Clement in 1977.
“I read in the Bible there is salvation only in Jesus. And I thought, if this is true, everyone has to hear this as soon as possible. I wanted to tell others that God was real in a very tangible way.”
At 14, Tom organized other young people in his church into home-to-home outreach teams.
At 18, he felt a call to full-time ministry.
A woman at a prayer meeting prophesied that Tom would take the gospel to all of Spain and beyond!
The only problem was that a successful fashion company had also seen Tom’s potential and offered him a scholarship and a job. They said he was destined to be a company director! Tom stood on the brink of two destinies.
Tom tried to argue with God’s call. “I told God, ‘I can serve you in any place,’” he said. “But the Lord was not swayed by my arguments. He said ‘no.’”
It was crazy to refuse the fashion company’s offer. Tom’s grandmother told him so.
“You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t know where you are going. You will be sorry,” she said.
“She was wrong in two things,” Tom says. “I did know what I was doing. And I have never repented. She was right that I did not know where I was going.”
Tom became potentially the first traveling evangelist in Spain. He preached on beaches and streets and in bull rings.
One day, a man called the theological seminary where Tom was teaching and invited him to lead an Every Home office in Spain.
Tom was excited to accept. “I have been doing this by myself for years,” he said.
In May of 1976, Tom began an Every Home ministry in Spain. Tom’s approach to sharing the gospel was undeniably crazy. He sped forward in the power of unstoppable courage. Sometimes, that courage was all he had.
Tom (fair right) meets with a Christ Group in Cobeva, Toledo in 1989.
In June 1996, Tom’s ministry encountered financial difficulty.
“I thought the ministry was going to die,” Tom says.
But then Tom received an invitation to come share the gospel in a mining area near Leon, Spain.
“I knew it was going to be expensive,” Tom says. “We didn’t have those funds. But I said, ‘Lord this is what you called me to do, so I’m going to go.’”
It was a crazy plan — take a handful of Christians to a new city to spend money you don’t have on God’s say-so.
But after a week of outreach, 70 people had responded to the gospel and formed a congregation.
“And I realized,” says Tom, “that we had spent three times our budget. But we had no debts; the money had been provided. I still don’t know [where the money came from]… God provides.”
Tom’s faith and commitment to reaching the world with the gospel has transformed many more families and communities. For over four decades, Tom has served as a stalwart leader of Every Home for Christ, and hundreds of millions of people have come to the knowledge of the Lord through his work. Yet, he doesn’t take any credit.
“I have been doing what God called me to do, in his power,” Tom concludes. “I am walking the path that he has marked.”
When Jesus changes everything, the impossible becomes believable. As Tom said, now, we are crazy people.