It’s one of those days outside: one minute it´s raining and blowing, the next it’s calm and sunny, then back to overcast again. It’s as though the weather can´t decide if it is winter, spring, or summer. The weather reflects our current work situation. We are doing all our regular school-year activities, and in spare half-hours between events, we are planning and prepping spring and summer outreach. The grunt work now will hopefully pave the way for harvest in a few months. So, what is the current and future ministry forecast?
Every week, the hearing church is receiving Brazilian immigrants. The current financial and security situation of Brazil is causing many to move to Portugal, and several are coming to church just days after arriving in the country. We are thankful for these families, and need wisdom for how to help with their physical and spiritual needs, plus how to integrate them into the church body, so they can grow and serve. With the many new families (both Portuguese and Brazilian) who have come over the past year, there are also possibilities for misunderstandings and conflict.
However, there is nothing like God’s Word to bring people together and build a church. I’ve preached a series on prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and on ministering to one another. We are praying for unity within the body, so that we can grow together and effectively reach our community.
Speaking of reaching out, we are grateful for the people in our church who are already seeing their co-workers, friends, and family members as their mission field. Thursday night’s prayer meeting was full of testimonies of people witnessing and burdened for the lost. We have a special outreach planned around Easter. Would you please pray for the people of our church 1) to be unified, and 2) to be used by God to individually reach the people He has put in our lives?
Please also pray for the deaf church. One month we see a dozen come to church, the next only a couple. They are so easily kept away by things of the world. Please pray for the few deaf who are saved to grow and be a light among their deaf friends. Please also pray that God will give interest and determination to the unsaved deaf for them to come to deaf church, watch the videos of the Bible translated into Portuguese Sign Language, and seek God who created them. Please pray especially for Manuela. She meets weekly with Sarah to study the Bible. This month, they will complete the panorama of the Old Testament, all of which Manuela is “hearing” for the first time through Sarah’s hands.
As we minister each day and plan for the future, we want our plans to be God´s plans. Please pray for us to know and do His will with current events (church services, prayer breakfasts, teaching Bible in the public schools, teaching seminary, Bible studies, etc.) and with upcoming plans (Easter week outreach, deaf and hearing mission teams, missions week, etc.).
Finally, our co-workers, Dave and Michelle Wears and their family, are getting ever closer to finishing their deputation and beginning their ministry here. Pray that they will be able to begin their ministry here in Portugal within the next few months. Lots of things are happening, and we believe this could be a breakthrough year. Thank you for your encouragement and partnership with us.
–David and Sarah
Here’s a message I preached while back in America over Christmas.