In August, the Portuguese Social Security office called me. “There’s a new family in town that doesn’t have any money or food. We usually call the Catholic church first, but they’re closed for their summer vacation. Would your church be able to help?” Later that day, we delivered food to this family of four. Ironically, the husband and wife have the same name: he is Michel (French for Michael), and she is Michelle. Ever since, Michel, Michelle, and their two daughters have come to our church. The husband now has a job, but he uses his free time to help our church with the same food distribution that helped his family. Not only that, they are reaching out to their unsaved neighbor lady, who lets them bring her daughter, Beatriz, to church as well. The ripple effect of meeting people’s needs while sharing the hope of the Gospel continues.
Do you remember Susana, the woman who started seeking God during COVID, found the church through the livestream, and then got saved and baptized? She is letting God use her to minister to the Ukrainians in our church. Yuri, his wife, Kristina, and some of their friends come faithfully every Sunday, but we cannot communicate with each other at all. I use Google translate to put my sermon outline into Ukrainian, so they know the basics of what I am preaching, but they sit through sermon after sermon worshipping God while understanding hardly a word. Susana is a translator, and although she doesn’t speak Ukrainian, she is using her linguistic talents to teach Yuri and Kristina Portuguese. Besides this, Susana’s company was recently bought out, so she lost her job as a translator. She is now using her time to translate discipleship courses from English to Portuguese. Not only will these materials help others in our church, they are helping her understand the Bible better as she translates the concepts. Plus, Susana is taking her first Bible institute course. What a blessing to see her own growth and her investment in other believers.
A blessing for Sarah has been the moms of students at Samuel’s school. One of the moms, Jenny, is also American, and has become a sweet friend. She and Sarah often go running or biking together while they share prayer requests, talk about the Bible, and encourage each other. Jenny has introduced Sarah to other moms in the school, and they have been able to plant Gospel seeds in their lives. Please pray for God to use Jenny and Sarah to share His hope with others in the school.
Our Fall weather has arrived which means much-needed rain. It has rained nearly every day this week, which is a blessing to the parched ground. It is a little less of a blessing to our giant hole in the church roof as we frequently have had to bail buckets of rainwater out of the building. Until it is repaired, we can use the sanctuary, but we cannot use the Sunday School/kitchen/fellowship side. The good news is that we are due to receive a tax refund of almost $25,000 from the property tax we paid when we bought the building. This will go a long way toward the cost of a roof and other renovations that are needed. All the paperwork has been completed on our end; now we are waiting for the government to send us the check. We ask for your continued prayer for this situation that God would move the process forward and also for wisdom as we work with architects and contractors to know the best long-term plan for the building He has provided.
As we press on here in Portugal, we pray that God would give you great strength and joy this day. Thank you for praying and caring.
Our love be with you all in Christ Jesus,
David and Sarah