We actually wrote this prayer letter three weeks ago, but forgot to post it our site until now. Sorry!
For years, you have prayed for the deaf in Portugal. You have followed our slow progress in building relationships, sharing the gospel, and longing for people to be saved. We have great news to share! Recently, we invited the deaf to a special evangelistic event held here in Lisbon. For weeks, we prayed and persistently reminded them. Amazingly, on the day of the event, 18 deaf came. This was the most deaf we have ever had for any activity or service.
As I sat there, watching Sarah interpret the sermon, I wondered how they would respond. Most of them had heard the gospel before many times. Would this be the moment when it all “clicked”? For 25 minutes, the preacher gave a clear Bible message. Then the moment came for the invitation, “Would you repent of your sin and turn to Jesus Christ and trust Him as your Lord and Savior?”Our hearts leapt with joy and excitement when several rose from their seats and made their way forward. Rui and his wife, Fátima, Sérgio, Margarida, and Isabel all publicly professed their faith in Christ.Rejoice with us! Praise God for this historic moment! Pray fervently that this would be fruit that remains and that each of these professions of faith would be genuine.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. We had over fifty hearing people also come to this same event. Two teenage girls, Paula and Patricia, invited four of their friends to come.The two girls had been praying and hoping their friends would be saved and, sure enough, during the invitation, Paula and Patricia had the opportunity to lead their friends to the Lord.What made this an especially sweet moment was seeing people we have led to the Lord in the past now bringing others. Multiplication is a beautiful thing, and it reminds us of the chorus, “If you tell two people, and they tell two people, then four more people will know.”
In our last update, we mentioned how many new people have begun attending church, especially families from Brazil. Receiving so many new people at once is a good challenge to have, and we have been praying that God would guide us to grow in a healthy way. This past Sunday we had a new members meeting and lunch where we shared the church’s vision with those who want to join or be baptized. It was an encouraging afternoon, and it is heartening to see people want to commit to a local church and use their gifts for God’s glory.
With so many answers to prayer, it leaves us with new prayer requests and opportunities. 1.Pray for us as we disciple and follow-up with those who recently made professions of faith. 2.Pray that these good things would spark even more to come. 3.Pray that God would give us wisdom as we transition the hearing church from being a church-plant to being a self-sufficient, autonomous, multiplying church. Finally, thank you for sticking with us and for praying for us faithfully over so many years. Getting to share moments like these with you causes our hearts to overflow with joy. May God bless!