This past Sunday morning, we had our third monthly Deaf church service. Despite our weaknesses, people keep coming. 11 Deaf showed up this time and learned about the Jesus multiplying bread and fish – Jesus is the Bread of Life. Also, a Deaf church in America sent money to buy “Action Bibles” to give out. “Action Bibles” contain all the stories of the Bible in comic book form. The Deaf here in Portugal love them because many of them don’t read very well. It was exciting to give these out, and we are praying that God will use these to spark a desire to know Him.
In the afternoon, we had our hearing service. Most Sundays, at the end of church I ask if anybody would like to give a brief testimony or praise. Usually nobody takes me up on the offer, but this past Sunday was different.
Mario got up first to give a testimony about the New Year’s Eve activity at church. He said, “I’ve spent most New Year’s eves at bars and night clubs. I’ve come home drunk afterwards, and have tried all the things most people do to celebrate. But, I wouldn’t trade any of my previous New Year’s Eves for this past one that I spent at church.” He meant what he said, and there were tears in his eyes. From my perspective, the activity had been kind of a flop, but evidently it was better than my own experience.
Simone followed by praising God for the salvation of her young daughter. We thanked God with her for this exciting news.
Catarina, a young lady that has been coming to church for the past month, stood before the church and gave a testimony about how she had been disobedient and far from God. Recently, however, she repented and asked God to change her life. She thanked God for His mercy in her life, and stated how glad she was to be on the right track again and coming to church.
Not every Sunday is as gratifying and exciting as this past one, but it’s days like this that make me thankful to be serving God here. It also makes me pray for perseverance during the many weeks when there are no wonderful testimonies or tears of joy shed in church. Faithfulness and perseverance when there seems to be no progress is essential.