Last night around 9:00, Sarah and I went for a walk in our town, Montijo. As we wandered around, we caught three vivid glimpses into the lives of people here. First, we walked past a large restaurant/conference room. Looking through the large windows, we could see inside where there were about 50 people having a party. It was a rather enthusiastic gathering. Even from outside, we could hear them laughing, cheering, telling jokes, and making toasts to one another.
As we walked a little further, we came to the town square. Surprisingly, the doors of the Catholic church were open and inside it was filled with people. In fact, there were so many people that many were standing outside on the steps leading into the building. Out of curiosity, Sarah and I walked up the stairs and stood and watched for several minutes. Here it was 9:30 at night and the church was packed. Though the influence of the Catholic church has diminished, this was evidence that it still remains strong.
Finally, as we were heading home, we passed by a cafe. Inside there were about 15 men drinking beer while sitting watching a soccer game. Benfica, the most popular soccer team in Portugal, was playing. Since many of the games are on cable TV, people gather at cafes and bars to cheer their team on.As we finished our walk, it occurred to me that we had just seen three different portraits of typical Portuguese living: spending time with friends and family, religion, and soccer. What a reminder to pray that God would do His work in this city. How we pray that people would be saved and that God would be glorified here.