News from America: Six weeks ago, we started our first furlough. With visits to Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa, we’ve adjusted back for these six months as English-speaking, minivan owning Americans. It has been great seeing family and nine supporting churches so far. It’s also fun to introduce our kids to ordinary parts of American life. For example, Laura (who turned 3 this week), chirps, “There’s a starfish!” every time we pass a Hardee’s sign with the star on it. She also likes “the bell” (Taco Bell) and “the restaurant with the girl” (Wendy’s). Samuel appreciates carpeted floors for crawling, and we are all enjoying time with family we haven’t seen in years.
While tax laws require us to return to the USA every so often, our main goals are to report to our supporters what God is doing in Portugal, encourage others to get involved in missions, and rest and recharge for our next few years on the field.
So far, we have been blessed by:
- Wonderful families that have opened their homes to us for a meal or to stay the night.
- People that ask terrific questions about Portugal and the ministry going on there.
- Pastors that have spoken encouraging words and given wise counsel to us.
- Generous gifts to our family.
- Churches that read our updates and pray faithfully for us.
- Safe travels through the thousands of miles of driving we have done.
God is good to us! We are grateful for this time in our lives.
Meanwhile, back in Portugal, the people in the church are doing a terrific job of carrying on the work in our absence. Here are some reasons to praise God:
- Mário Duarte was baptized last November. Tonight he will lead the Bible study and teach from the Bible for the first time. This is an exciting step.
- Do you remember reading in our last letter about Horácio taking the responsibility to visit an elderly man in the church who was a shut-in? Well, Horácio went far above the call of duty and ministered in such a sweet way. Sadly, this elderly man passed away recently. The entire family is unsaved, but at the funeral, Horácio was able to read the 23rd Psalm and say a prayer.
- Nuno, who was saved just last month, is faithfully attending church. He even brought his family one Sunday.
- Many people in the church are quietly and faithfully working for the Lord by cleaning the building, bringing cake for the fellowship time, picking up kids for church, paying the bills, visiting the shut-ins, leading the music, taking care of the nursery, and many other things that are tremendously important, but that don’t get much attention.
- Last Sunday, three girls, that were saved during the past year, sang in church. How wonderful it is to see Patricia, Tatiana, and Andrea singing praises to God. Click here to see a video of this sweet moment.
Please pray that God would continue to protect and strengthen the work in Montijo, Portugal.
What about the Deaf ministry? We have some exciting news to share! God has sent another missionary to Portugal to work with the deaf! Today (October 22nd), Amanda Bloom landed in Portugal and will soon begin her language learning. We are excited about working with Amanda, because she is hard of hearing and has such a heart for the Deaf. Since Amanda is hard of hearing, she will be able to reach out to the Deaf even more effectively. We believe we have only begun to scratch the surface of what God will do among the Deaf in Portugal. Praise God for Amanda, and pray that God would use her to reach many Deaf with the gospel.
Well, time to go pack for Chicago. We look forward to seeing many of you as our minivan comes your way. May God bless you!