“Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.” Proclaiming the gospel is always urgent and needful, but I especially felt that on Sunday as I preached and Sarah interpreted the message from Psalm 33 to a live audience of three (Laura, Samuel, and Genilson, who is one of the church’s deacons). Perhaps like you are doing this Sunday, we livestreamed our service because we were not able to gather as we normally do. While the setting was different, the message was as critically important as ever. In the end, over a hundred people watched the message live, and many hundreds have watched at least part of the message later in the week. While we long to gather again soon, we trust that many people will hear the gospel and be saved as a result of this pandemic. We are also praying that, as a church, God will spur us on to show the hope and love only Christ can offer.
This month has been filled with many other good things as well:
- Our mission trip to North Africa was tremendous. It was a joy to give more than 100 New Testaments, books, and tracts to the believers there. Beyond that, the experience moved our hearts and helped each of us see that God is moving in the lives of many Muslims calling them to faith in Jesus. We are praying that here in Portugal we can be a base, sending supplies and teams to help the workers there.
- Baptism Sundays are always special. On March 1st, four teenagers named Patricia, Laura, Alexandre, and Filipe, gave their testimonies of salvation before their friends, family, and a packed church. It was moving to see how God is working in their lives, and seeing people baptized is absolutely one of the best moments ever. Praise God!
- While we are homebound for at least the next couple of weeks, our work continues on. I continue to teach my seminary class online. Sarah is recording videos of Bible stories for kids in the church to watch at home. Our services and Bible studies are continuing on as scheduled, albeit online. We are making countless phone calls and sending messages to encourage people and seeking to help where we can. God is sovereign and good, and we are hopeful that, in the end, we will be able to say with the apostle Paul that, “the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.”
We know that each of you are living challenging days as well, and we pray for you. In times like these, we gain a greater perspective of how precious all of our friends and partners are. We love you! May God be with you!