Writing a prayer letter is always a time of reflection for us. It forces us to ask, “What have we been doing the past month or so?” Many times the answer is “We’re doing the same things we were doing the last time we wrote a prayer letter.” But the truth is that God works in the everyday routine of life. Miracles often happen over the span of several years or decades rather than instantaneously. So, what do we do? We keep planting and watering in the lives of those God has put around us. Here is what some our spring “gardening” has looked like.
“What does the Bible say about homosexuality?” “Will we be able to eat in Heaven?” “What happens if you sin after you are saved?” For over an hour, we discussed these and other questions at our most recent teen Bible study. Often I come away from these times feeling frustrated – those that are saved seem to grow so slowly, and those that are not saved seem to be more hard-hearted. However, this time gave me a glimpse of hope. More is going on in the hearts of these teens than I can see.
Our couples’ banquet had delicious food and a good message. The best part was that four unsaved husbands came, some of whom do not visit church. Since the banquet, I have started Bible studies with two of those husbands. Please pray for these men, that they will be saved, and for their wives as they live out their testimonies in front of them.
One of the couples at the banquet has since joined the church. We are thankful for Alessandro, Rute, and their children. This family has a heart to serve and is already reaching out to the youth group.
Over spring break, we brought 11 children to Bible camp about an hour away. Some were from our church, but others were friends or family of our church members. Two of those, Iara and Miguel, accepted Jesus as their Savior! Please pray that they will be allowed to come to church to learn and grow in their new faith.
Another area of growth that encourages us greatly is in the area of missions. The church recently gave a generous offering to a missionary family in North Africa. We hope to take our first church mission trip this Fall to visit this family.
Our deaf colleague, Amanda, has been doing one-on-one Bible studies with two deaf ladies for months. At our last deaf service, one of the ladies, Denise, said she had accepted Christ as her Savior! Praise God!!! Since we came to the mission field in Portugal, this is the first deaf person we have known come to Christ! We have yearned and prayed and toiled for deaf souls for seven years, and we are finally seeing the first fruit. Please pray for Denise to be a bold testimony to her unsaved husband and friends, and please pray for us as we nurture her.
God is working in Portuguese people. For some, it happens quickly; for others it takes years. We are grateful to be here planting and harvesting in the field.