Having the opening service at your new church building is like preparing for a wedding. There are hundreds of details to take care of, but some things can only be done the day before. Such was the case for our building here in Montijo. For weeks, we had made invitations, planned the order of service, made decorations, and bought small items for the church. The contractors promised to have the walls, ceiling, and windows finished on Friday. That meant we had ONE DAY to get in the building and do everything else before our Sunday service.
At 9:30 Saturday morning, the people from our Bible study showed up ready to work, and work they did! Marcelino pulled weeds out of the sidewalk cracks in front of the church. Fernando hung toilet paper dispensers and mirrors in the bathrooms. Eduarda mopped floors until she had callouses on her hands. Others cleaned windows, peeled plastic wrap off of new chairs, mounted the cross on the wall, hung wallpaper, decorated the children’s classroom, assembled new tables, and folded bulletins. By that evening, the plain, white building looked like a shiny, new church!
On Sunday afternoon, people started pouring in. We had invited other churches from the Lisbon area as well as people from Montijo. We had borrowed extra chairs from another church, and, after all the chairs were full, people still kept coming! In all, 130 people attended the service! It was a sweet time of hearing testimonies of how God began the work in our town, watching a video of churches across America and Portugal praying for the work in Montijo, singing songs about God’s greatness, and hearing a message from God’s Word.
At the opening service, we had 7 new people from Montijo. We are excited about what God has done and are looking forward to next week. We are having an evangelistic service and hope that more new people from the community will come and understand what Jesus has done for them and how they can have a relationship with Him.
As we reflect on the wonderful weekend here in Montijo, we ask you to do two things: 1. Pray! Ask God to protect and strengthen this fledgling work. 2. Praise God! He is doing great things.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping make this day possible. Whether you prayed, sent money, visited us, or wrote us an encouraging note, you all had a part in starting Montijo’s Baptist Church.
Rejoicing with you, David and Sarah
In our last prayer letter, we asked for some of our churches to send us a video of them praying for us. Watching this brings tears to our eyes because it makes us realize how vast God’s work is. Your prayer matters! For our inaugural service, we captioned this into Portuguese so that everybody could understand the prayers. It was a deeply moving moment because the people began to see how many people care about what is going on here. To all of you who had a part in this, thank you!