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‘At work, discretion has opened doors to the heart of people’

A waiter at Madrid's iconic Windsor hotel shares his experience serving top executives, presidents and even royalty, in a career marked by faith and perseverance.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 16/Daniel_Hofkamp,5/Evangelical_Focus PONTEVEDRA 09 DE ABRIL DE 2024 17:35 h
Marcos Sancio, at one of the events of his catering company.

Marcos Sancio, businessman, communicator, promoter of an NGO, is also the father of three children, a husband, and above all, “a free spirit” who “has placed his life in God's hands”.

Although he lives in Madrid, Spain, his many projects lead him to travel constantly throughout the country, almost always with a video camera in the luggage.

Since 2019, Sancio has been documenting Christian events on his YouTube channel. What makes him most happy is to conduct in-depth interviews with evangelical Christians whom he wants to make known. “Not because of them, but because in their work we see the work of the Lord”, he says.

Spanish news website Protestante Digital talked to Marcos about what he has learned so far in life and business.


Question. How did you start your working life?

Answer. I was in the army from 15 to 19. I thought I wanted to be in the military, but then I realised that I wanted to to be free. That's the way I am, I really like freedom.

My whole family were businessmen and that gene was in my body, which didn't fit with the military world.

At that time I already had a complex family situation. When I was eight my mother died, and a year later my father got married. It was a turbulent time, when I was 16 I left home.

In my first business I was deceived and I lost everything. I started again in Pontevedra, where I worked in a cafeteria. Then I partnered up with a childhood friend, but he wanted to live life and work little. Business went badly, but that's what led me to meet God.

Psalm 90:3 says that God brings you into certain situations to look at Him. I was walking the dog and I used to meet a man who was in great need. I used to tell him to turn to God, with the little light I had at the time, and he told me he had an aunt who was an evangelical. That made me curious, because I didn't know anyone with an evangelical faith.

One day, he invited me to go to his aunt's house and I was able to talk to her. She told me about Jesus, invited me to repent and accept Christ. I discovered what I was looking for.


Q. How did you overcome hardships at such a young age?

A. Like many Galicians (people in the Spanish region of Galicia), I thought about leaving to continue my working life. At that time I had debts to pay off, it was a difficult situation. So, I left Pontevedra and went to Switzerland. I was also deceived there, because when I arrived there wasn't the job I had been promised.

I was almost homeless, but there was an evangelical church and they helped me. For fifteen days I stayed in a hostel, looking for work, but there were complications with the papers. So I understood that I had to return to Spain and I arrived in Madrid, a year after my conversion.


Q. Another step, another door that closes. How do you go on in those circumstances?

A. My life is a book with many chapters. Before I was 30, I didn't have the light of God and his word with me, so I was guided by my own judgement.

At that time I was focused on paying what I owed. At 23 I arrived in Madrid and worked in a hotel business. I went from boss to employee, and it was hard, because it was a very long working day. I cried a lot, to the point that the owners noticed it and paid me the money for that first week of work. That was a great help in looking for another job.

It was a testing period, which also allowed me to see if I was a good soil for the gospel, if my faith was really reaffirmed.

After a short time, I got a job in a new catering place, which was something innovative at the time. I worked up to 16 hours a day and got sick with exhaustion. The business prospered, but the doctors told me I should rest. I told a co-worker about it, and when the boss found out, he fired me.

But at that time I had met a waiter at the Meliá hotel [a well-known hotel chain]. As when Joseph was in prison, I had told him to remember me if the door opened. And so it was, in a few months he called me and I started working in the hotel business. From then on, things only got better.


Q. Did you have any doubts at that time?

A. It was hard, but it was part of the difficulties, part of God's fire. I walked by faith, knowing that the difficulties that had happened to me were part of His plan for me. I felt that God was with me.

For example, when I went to work in a town near Madrid, I told them I wanted Sundays free to go to church. Then, at the interviews for the Alcalá and the Ritz grand luxury hotels, I also asked for this, and they respected me. I have always tried to go with the Lord in front of me.

In the interview for the Windsor, an emblematic hotel in Madrid, I clearly stated that I was a Christian. God kept blessing me.


Q. How did your career continue?

A. I worked for about ten years until I paid off my debts. When I was at the Ritz, someone spotted me and recommended me to Arthur Andersen (of Deloitte). I worked there for almost fourteen years.

The situation now was very different: I had a good salary, bonuses, I was respected, I dealt with high-level people, guests of all kinds. I only worked four or five days a month, when I was required to do so.

That is when the opportunity to set up a catering company came up. It was in my heart to do it and it happened.


Q. In one of your books, The waiter of the Windsor, you recount many experiences with colleagues. Was it difficult for you to share your faith in that context?

A. Jesus teaches that we are light, and that we are to shine where we are. Paul in Ephesians talks about the armour of the soldier, and says that the footwear is the gospel. It is clear to me that we must speak, but first I preach by example. Christians can show something different.

People are very disappointed, so when they see a person who doesn't speak ugly words, who stands firm, calm, they find someone they can trust.

My discretion has made my colleagues share things with me that they wouldn't even talk about with their family. That is where I found opportunities to share about God, His Word and the principles that guide my life.


Q. After all these years working, you are in contact with people at a very high level.

A. When you are working, they look at you and recommend you. That requires training and experience in places of a certain level. I learnt so much from great professionals, from high-level restaurants.

Also at the Ritz hotel, where I had to serve nobility, royalty... I have served the Royal Family several times. In the midst of that, I have never been ashamed of the gospel.

I remember that one day King Juan Carlos I (now emeritus) was passing by me, and a colleague at the Ritz said out loud: “This is the King you have to serve”; and I said to him: “For the last three years, I have been serving the King of kings and Lord of lords”.

The King looked at me with curiosity, and there was also Queen Sofia with a friend, who went to the colleague who had said that and asked him if he knew what the second commandment was. It is just an anecdote, but it shows how God was helping me every moment.


Q. What is the current situation of your business? Has the hospitality industry changed a lot?

A. It is very different. Now there are hotel management schools, before you had to be trained through hotel experience. But some of the charm of customer service is lost, now it is a more mechanical and operative job.

But the school of taking care of every detail seems to be less appreciated, it is difficult to find places with that level of professionalism, when it comes to preparing a table, serving, and showing discretion.


Q. For many businesses, the pandemic was a big test. How did you experience it?

A. Covid was a tough time. In the Word, we see that Jesus encourages us to build on the rock. That is solid, but we know that we can experience difficulties.

Shortly before the pandemic, in 2019, I left a company because I didn't want to participate in someone else's sin. Then came 2020 and like so many others, I had to close for months, and I lost important clients.

My savings were gone, I had to ask for loans... It was a difficult time, but I clung to the Word and I knew that God was present.

The life of a businessman is in silence, you have to carry a burden. But I trusted that God makes us go through deserts, but not to leave us there.


Q. How did you overcome this latest crisis?

A. It has been four years of complications, because just when we thought we were starting to recover clients, another important contract was cancelled.

Furthermore, in July 2023 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. And with all that, I felt God's peace. In some of the interviews I kept doing with Christians (because I didn't want to let the difficulties stop my calling), God spoke to me.

In one of them, with pastor Julio Díaz, a very wise man, he pointed me to Psalm 34:9 and 17, which led me to cry out to God.

A few months later I saw how God answered and opened doors again. First with my health, as the tumours were benign, so after an intervention, I was able to experience healing. And in the company, we have also recently returned to a more stable path.


Q. What lesson did you learn from that?

A. That God invites us to leave our burdens on Him. In Ephesians we read that God tells us to be strengthened in the power of His might.

Perhaps the hardest thing is to rest, but I have seen in my life that He helps us. Even though this has been a long storm, I have seen his hand all the time.


Q. We know you are passionate about communication.

A. Since my conversion at 22, I asked God “what do you want me to do?” I wanted to prepare myself to serve him, but I never knew in what. I was in a seminary for several years, preparing myself in the Word. And I have been serving at different stages, supporting the planting of local churches and writing books.

In 2019, talking to God and seeing that there were many brothers who were leaving, and not much was known about them, I began to pray to see if I could do something.

That's how the phrase “come out of the cave”, which God said to Elijah, came to my heart. I understood that what God had given me, I had to use it.

I had always liked audiovisuals, and I made some videos and photos. First I made nature videos, of birds, and I realised that I could record that content. But then the idea of doing interviews came to me. I started to think of different names of people to interview.

Little by little I started to invest, buying equipment, editing materials... So I have been doing those interviews ever since.

It is clear to me that our life belongs to God and we have to take advantage of our time. I always focus my time on the kingdom, it's not a hobby: it's a calling that God has put in my heart.

What I have not done is to look at my limitations. The Bible shows us and gives us examples. We can be like Moses and say, "I have no voice, I can't..." But that's not what God wants us to do.

Another thing I do is serve without fear, it is the voice of God that calls me to do it. I trust that God will confirm his work.


Q. Do you also express that passion as an author?

A. I am now writing my fifth book. My wife says to me, “rest a little!”. But I think I will die working, writing, because I have a fire inside me that drives me to do it. The Lord spoke to me also with Psalm 105, that all this is to make His glory and power known.

Now I am involved in other ministries: the Iberian Alliance for a revival in Spain and Portugal, the team of pastors of the conference Fire in your bones, the Spanish Christian Business Leaders group, the NGO Star of Hope, the local church, and my YouTube channels.

As it says in Ecclesiastes: “Cast your bread upon the waters...”. This is how I live. I try to never compromise. I want to give my best in every project that God shows me. I consider myself a quiet person, but if God calls me, I go for it. God looks at the heart and I think that is why He gives me such opportunities.

This article was produced for the Líderes Empresariales section of Protestante Digital, an initiative of the Gospel, Economy and Business (Tres-E) group in Spain.


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