Some months we have a lot of news to share with you, and then there are months like this one. In August, Portugal goes on vacation. Some businesses close for the entire month, and most regular activities stop. Likewise, we schedule our big summer ministries early in the summer and use August as a month to catch up. This August, we spent individual time with families in our congregation, had discipleship with teens, and took a few days of family vacation.
One of this summer’s highlights has been our kids’ Bible club at a park in our town. When we started in June, we didn’t know if kids would come or what the outcome would be. This neighborhood is full of broken homes, drugs, and a multitude of distractions that range from comical to tragic. One week, a water main burst in the middle of club. Another week, a girl fell out of an apartment window and was in a coma. Several kids have head lice, which they passed on to us. But, as we joke, “One soul is worth many lice.” This year, one girl (Paula) was saved at club. Two sisters (Felismina and Maria) now come to church with us. Over 40 kids came to club this summer and heard about the hope they can have in Jesus. As the parents come to the finale this Saturday and hear a Bible story, songs, and verses, please pray that the seeds in this neighborhood will continue to grow and that families will be saved.
We have been having Sunday services in Montijo for almost five months now. This, in itself, is a big victory, and we praise God for this significant step. Some weeks many people show up; other weeks there are just a handful. Regardless, it seems like each month there are things that happen that move us from being just a group of people who meet together each week to being a church. For example, Quica wrote out the conversion story of Marcelino and Lourdes, the couple in our church who was murdered. We formatted it into a brochure that we are giving to the couple’s family, friends, and neighbors.
Another example is José Balegas, a man in the church, who recently approached me with an idea. He asked if he could teach free music classes to the community each Saturday in our church building. He felt that it would be a good way to build relationships and encourage people to come to our church who ordinarily never come to our services or want anything to do with us. Since José is the director of the town choir, he is very well known and respected in the community. He can reach people we could never reach by ourselves. As we were talking, he stated, “God has done so much for me. I want to use my talents for God.” This is exactly what we hope to see among the church that is growing here. Little by little, God’s people are growing in faith and reaching others with the gospel. Pray for José Balegas that God would use these music classes to reach many people.
God is building his church in this town. We are just glad to have a little part in what he is doing.