Hello from Portugal! We usually share about what has been happening. Today we want to tell you about some things we hope will happen soon.
BUILDING OPPORTUNITY: Over the past few years, the church has been growing, and most Sundays, we are at maximum capacity. For a long time, we have been looking for either a building or a property that we could buy and develop for a larger facility. Recently, we discovered a building that seems to be a terrific opportunity. This Saturday, the church will be meeting to hear about it and to affirm our desire to move forward. Please pray for us to know God’s will. If He wants us to have this building, He will make it possible. If not, He will guide us to the right place at the right time. We will absolutely keep you updated on this!
THE BIBLE IN PORTUGUESE SIGN LANGUAGE: We mentioned in our last update how God is moving in amazing ways to provide a video Bible translation for the deaf in Portuguese Sign Language. For example, we didn’t know that the Portuguese Bible Society had also been thinking and praying about a project with the deaf. A college student, who is studying to become a sign language interpreter, did a class project with them. A while back, this student visited deaf church and let us know about the Bible translation idea. At the same time, in America, the Deaf Bible Society contacted Amanda to see if they could help start a Portuguese Sign Language Bible translation. It is clear to us that God is bringing people and organizations together like pieces of a puzzle. All of us are moving forward together by faith, and we have been meeting through Zoom to make plans and prepare the project. Our meetings are a mixture of American Sign Language, Portuguese Sign Language, English, and Portuguese, but the message and the goal is the same – to provide a video Bible translation for the deaf of Portugal. We are excited, but also a little overwhelmed. This is a bigger project than we expected! Pray especially that God will raise up Portuguese deaf to participate in this project.
LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING SOMEONE SPECIAL: Since we started livestreaming church 2 years ago, we never know who might be watching. In a city 4 hours away from us lives a 9-year-old girl named Beatriz. Her parents are hearing, but she is deaf, and the whole family is trying to learn sign language at the deaf school. The parents know Jesus, and want their daughter to know Him, but there isn’t a church near them that uses sign language. So, they found us online, and every week their daughter’s main source of church is watching our service on the screen. At the end of this month, their family plans to visit our town and come to church. How we are looking forward to meeting Beatriz and talking with her in her heart language!
LEAVING A LEGACY: Last month, I flew back to the States for a few days to see my Mamaw who was in her final days of life. Thankfully, I arrived in time to see her just a few hours before she went to be with Jesus. While all of us miss her, it was sweet to celebrate her life and look forward to the day when we will be together forever with the Lord. It also made me reflect on how she blessed my life. She lived simply, was unknown to most of the word, and rarely traveled outside of her native Tennessee. But she loved and served the Lord, and her life left a great legacy. She was a godly example and encouraged me to serve the Lord. She didn’t know much about Portugal or the people here, but she prayed for us, and her life was instrumental in making it possible for me to be a missionary.
A good number of you reading this letter have visited us here in Portugal, but most of you have never been here and have never met the people we tell you about. Despite the distance, you care, pray, and give so that we can serve the Lord here and proclaim the gospel. I am grateful for my Mamaw’s life, and we are grateful for each of you, who faithfully serve God where He has placed you, and also care, pray, and have a great part in what He is doing here.