Zavala, Pedro

Country: Spain
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Serving At: United Evangelical Theological Seminary
Home Country: Mexico

Pedro Zavala is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries. He is an academic officer associate and professor at the United Evangelical Theological Seminary in Madrid, Spain.

A lay member of La Santísima Trinidad, Gante Church in Mexico City, he earned doctoral and master’s degrees in Latin American philosophy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He served as a professor and an academic dean at Seminario Metodista “Dr. Gonzalo Báez Camargo” as former GBGM National in Mission (NIM), and private educational institutions (ITESM, UCSJ, CTM). He and his spouse, Cecilia López Bátiz, are the parents of a young son, Xavier.

Growing up in the Methodist Church of Gante, Mexico City, Pedro treasures memories of times with his parents and sister, “I remember Sundays with my whole family, before, during and after the service. I remember laughing with them, chatting, being together – great times! They have always supported me in my plans and projects; they have always been generous with me.”

He continued: “Time goes by. As boys, we ate pizza and played soccer and video games. As adolescents, we visited people in jail (you think you are going to share, and in the end, you come out blessed). We went to homes on the margins of the city and brought medical campaigns there. My parents were serving as physicians. We went to children and youth living on the streets and [in] sewers (some struggling with addictions) in Tepito, a hard zone near downtown).” Pedro saw the church’s work as “valuable and necessary in a selfish society and world of injustice.”

Involved in social work with laity and clergy, Pedro taught children’s Sunday school, led a Wednesday prayer circle, worked with youth and edited a church newspaper. “Then I engaged with district and conference levels,” he said, “until becoming the representative of Mexico to the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI).”

Motivated by what was happening in his country and the region, Pedro decided to study theology and philosophy from a Latin American liberation perspective. “I had great professors and classmates who helped me deepen my doubts,” he remembers. “I found my ministry in education and seminarians formation seeking for justice and peace.”

Every day, he asked himself: How can I serve better?

“I knew God’s calling for me through a gradual listening and discernment process,” Pedro said. “From my childhood and youth involvement in the Methodist Church, where I learned hymns and stories and engaged in social work, to holding various positions within the church as I grew older, the question of what I could do to support the work of God in my community was always in my mind. Over time, I began recognizing signs and experiences that pointed me toward a deeper commitment to serving through a ministry related to education.”

The calling was always there, Pedro realized, “dancing between play and doubt, between the smiles and the fears. Sometimes I heard it. Other times, I was afraid to repeat it in my mind. So, as time went on, the question changed from “What do you want from me, God?” to “What can I do to make better all this work?” to “I don’t know what will happen, and God is with me.”