All posts by boothsinportugal

October Prayer Letter: Challenges and Opportunities

Imagine for a moment that your church’s attendance had doubled over the past two years. That would be great, right? And that is exactly what has happened with us. But now suppose that 90% of the new people that began attending your church had moved to your town from England. While you speak the same language and share many common traits, there are also significant differences. The new people speak with a British accent, and drink tea instead of coffee at fellowship time. Instead of talking about college football, they talk about soccer and Brexit. The list could go on. While you are all brothers and sisters in Christ, there are cultural barriers. Where there are differences, there is the opportunity for Christian love and unity to shine, just as there can also be the potential for misunderstandings and conflict.

As I was thinking about our experience, this was the closest example I could come up with to describe to you what is happening here. Many Brazilians are immigrating to Portugal, and every month brings several new families who have just moved to our town. Brazilians speak the same language, but with a different accent. Culturally, they are as different from the Portuguese as Americans are from the British. Thus, our church is growing in number and in cultural diversity. Most Sundays now, we have more Brazilians than Portuguese. Don’t for a moment think that this is a complaint. On the contrary, we see this as an opportunity, and we are grateful for new members who desire to serve the Lord. At the same time, we are aware of the challenges. We’re doing our best to be a church that maintains its Portuguese identity, and yet is welcoming to all who come. We ask that you pray with us in this way:

  • Just this past Sunday, we had a new members lunch where we had more than 25 people come expressing interest in joining the church. Pray that God would help us receive these new families well, and that all the members of the church would find their place in using their gifts and serving the Lord.
  • Pray that God would unite our hearts and that our church would be a brilliant example of Christian love and unity. Pray that God would guard us against division and cliquishness.
  • Pray that God would keep us focused. With a growing church, there are many needs that can veer us away from the mission God has given us. Pray that we would continue to focus on evangelism and church-planting. In Acts chapter 8, the church in Jerusalem was scattered, and the gospel spread as a result. Pray that God would help us leverage this growth to better reach Portugal with the gospel.
New members lunch

In our work with the deaf, we are facing a different challenge – building the practice of faithfully gathering together as the church. There are many who have attended our deaf church off and on throughout the years, and yet getting them to commit to faithfully gathering is a challenge we have yet to overcome. The good news is that, over the years, many dozens of deaf in Portugal have had the gospel clearly explained to them in their language and have access to a church where they can gather to learn more or to grow in their new faith in Christ. The bad news is that we still have many Sundays where just a few, or even none, will show up. Pray for an awakening in the lives of the deaf, and pray for us that God would give us great perseverance and wisdom to know how to move forward. As always, know how grateful we are to God for you. We feel as the apostle Paul did when he wrote, “We give thanks to God always for you all… Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Church anniversary service

August Prayer Letter – Our Return to Portugal

Summer is usually our busiest season of ministry. Beside all the regular church ministries, we host mission teams, teach kids’ Bible club, and work at camp. This year there was an exception: it was our first summer back in the States for furlough. We prayed for God to raise up people to fill in and lead the various ministries.Here is who God used:

Pastor Eder has been filling in all the preaching services for the hearing church. He has also helped shepherd the congregation with their needs and encourage the new visitors. Though Eder is a native Portuguese speaker, he does not know sign language, and we needed someone to preach at deaf church. God provided John Olson, an American deaf pastor, and his family! They gave two months to live in Portugal, learn as much Portuguese Sign Language (LGP) as possible, and spend their days focusing on just the deaf church. They presented at a deaf association, went on trips with the deaf, and helped our coworker, Amanda. This past Sunday, John had learned enough to preach his message in LGP! We are thrilled that God provided someone so capable and who loves reaching the deaf for Christ!

Singing from a recent church service

Ricardo and Ana Paula are a couple who joined our church last year. Ricardo helps with the maintenance at church, and this summer he stepped up in another role: camp van driver. Over three weeks of camp, we had 22 kids and teenagers who needed to be transported. It can be hard to find people who have a vehicle or the time available, so we are grateful for Ricardo and others who volunteered to help in this way.

Ricardo, Ana Paula, their son, and the five teenagers that served as camp counselors

Speaking of camp, we are thankful that our church took another step forward in camp ministry. In our first years, we had no children to send at all. Then, we grew to have several campers. This year, we saw some of those campers transition into junior counselors! Five of the teenagers gave almost a month of their summer to wash dishes, clean, take care of kids, and dozens of other things required of camp counselors. We love seeing people in whom we have invested now investing in others for the sake of the kingdom!

As for us, we are deeply grateful for our time in the United States.We arrived in March worn out physically, mentally, etc. Our wells were dry. Many of you have taken time to pray with us, talk with us, love our kids, and show us friendship or support in myriad ways. You know who you are and what you’ve done. You’ve poured into our wells. May God bless you and strengthen you as you keep fighting the battle for His glory here.

We’re back off to Portugal on the 30th of this month. Please pray that in our first two weeks, we can adjust back to the languages and time change, move back into our home, figure out schooling for our kids, and use our time wisely. There are more people and ministries than we can possibly do; we need God’s wisdom to discern which are the people and avenues that God has for us in this next year.

Watch this short thank you video about our furlough

June Prayer Letter

On a recent Wednesday evening, we drove for a couple hours to a country church in the east Tennessee hills. We hadn’t seen these folks in four years, and as we pulled into the parking lot, we wondered how our meeting would go. We needn’t have worried as we were welcomed like family. For the next hour, we shared with them about Portugal, a place none of them had ever visited. Even so, they care deeply for the work of the gospel there and for us, their missionaries. They asked lots of questions, prayed for us, gave us a generous offering, and encouraged us with handshakes, hugs, and kind words of affirmation. Then, we drove off into the night. We don’t know when we will see these precious brothers and sisters again, but we know that they are with us and for us. While the distance between us is great, and the time we share with them is short, our bond is strong.

There are many other experiences like this one that have strengthened us:

  • On Sunday, an entire church gathered around, laid their hands on us, and prayed for God’s blessing.
  • Today, after we shared about missions at a Bible camp, a young boy came up to us and gave us a wrinkled envelope with five $1 bills.
  • A couple weeks ago, we gathered with sixteen people who have visited us on mission trips to Portugal. It was a night filled with funny stories and sweet memories.
  • Last month, a group of women prepared crafts for us to take back to use at our Bible club in Portugal.
  • We’ve lost count of how many meals we’ve shared with sweet brothers and sisters who have shown us true Christian hospitality.

Watch our video about furlough!

This is one of the great joys and mysteries of being a missionary. From the hills of Tennessee to the plains of Iowa to the great lakes of Michigan, there are people all over this country who pray for us, give, care, and even come visit us. By the time we are done with our furlough, we will have visited almost 50 different churches. Some of these are large congregations with many staff members and beautiful facilities. Many others are small churches in towns most people have never heard of. The immensity and diversity of all that God is doing is breathtaking. We still can’t get over how amazing this is. To each of you who have made our furlough so encouraging and refreshing, thank you.

Before we know it, we’ll be heading back to Portugal. (We leave August 30th.) In the meantime, keep praying for the ministry there.

  • In July and August, more than 20 kids and teenagers will be going to Bible camps. Three of the teenagers in our church will be serving as counselors. Pray for open hearts and abundant spiritual fruit.
  • Pray for missionaries John and Tricia Olson and for our co-worker, Amanda. They are doing a tremendous work with the deaf in our absence.
  • Pray that God would continue to work in our hearts and prepare us to return to Portugal. We want to go back with stronger faith and a greater vision for what He would have us do. God is good!

In Christ,

David and Sarah Booth

Important News! We now have a Facebook page. Follow our journey at facebook.com/boothsinportugal

Good moments along the way: visiting churches and seeing friends

April Prayer Letter

An elderly man approached me after church with a small photo album in hand. At first I thought he was going to show me pictures of his grandchildren, but when he opened it up, I saw our prayer card along with many other missionary cards filling the pages. “This is what I use to pray for the missionaries every day,” he said. What a powerful encouragement this was!

We began our furlough at the beginning of March, and since then we have had many similar encounters that have amazed and strengthened us. We go to churches where we have not been for years, and we are received as family. We meet people who barely know us, and they show us amazing kindness. Over and over again, we see the beauty of Christian love.

Perhaps you may be wondering, “What is ‘furlough’ and what is its purpose?” For us, this time in America is an opportunity to:

  1. Share what God is doing in Portugal. Over the years, churches and individuals have prayed for us and given generously to the ministry. Now it’s our time to see them face to face, rejoice in the progress, and share about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We want our partnership to grow stronger.
  2. Encourage our supporting churches and friends. As missionaries, we are given so much, but we want to give back as well. We want to encourage, and strengthen every church and individual we visit. We also pray that God would use us to call others to be missionaries.
  3. Grow and be edified. Our goal is to return to Portugal with stronger faith and a greater vision for what God would have us do. Whether it’s attending a counseling workshop, swapping ideas with other missionaries, or listening to wise and encouraging words from an experienced pastor, these are all moments that help us become better missionaries as well as followers of Christ.
  4. Spend time with friends and family. Of course, seeing family and friends is an important part of furlough. For our kids especially, this has been a wonderful chance to connect with cousins, aunts and uncles, and spend lots of time with grandparents. These are moments that we cherish.
  5. Rest and recharge. To be honest, when we arrived in America, we were pretty drained. God is blessing the ministry in Portugal, but we have also felt overwhelmed at times. Furlough is a chance for us to withdraw for a while, rest, and gain perspective. We hope that by the time we return to the field at the end of August, we will be recharged and ready to go.
Furlough adventures

Meanwhile, back in Portugal, the ministry continues on full-steam ahead. Pastor Eder is doing a terrific job leading the church in our absence. Instead of treading water, the church is growing and reaching out. More people are using their gifts and serving the Lord. For example, four of the teens in our church served as counselors at a children’s camp over spring break. One of these teens shared her testimony and there was a great response from the kids. Stories like this are encouraging because they show the multiplying effect the gospel has.

Our co-workers, Amanda, Cal and Joyce, are continuing the work with the deaf. This past month of Easter has seen new opportunities to answer deaf people’s questions about why Jesus died on the cross and what His resurrection means for us all.

It has been wonderful seeing some of you recently, and we look forward to visiting with many more of you face-to-face. Thank you for your prayer and love!

In Christ, David and Sarah

February Prayer Letter

I’m sitting at our dining room table taking everything in: the colorful Portuguese plates hanging on our dining room wall; our porch soaked in rain; the school bell ringing two blocks away; the sound of our son playing with his toys in his room; the basket of school books, airplane snacks, and important documents waiting to go in a suitcase. Then, I stare at the picture on my computer screen. It’s of our church people, and tears come to my eyes. In two weeks, we will begin our 6-month furlough, and we will be an ocean apart from all these things and people. These people are where the past 8 years of our lives have gone, and, honestly, it’s hard to leave. At the same time, if I’m honest, some of the tears in my eyes are from exhaustion. We have been “on call” to witness to, pray with, encourage, confront, comfort, celebrate with, teach, and work alongside the sheep God has entrusted to us here in Portugal. We love them, we worry about them, we pray for them, and we rejoice over them. We know they are God’s sheep. He is their Good Shepherd. We ask you to pray with us that God will continue to protect, grow, and use each of them for His glory. We also pray the next 6 months will let us rest, refill, and come back recharged for our next term.

Practically speaking, we are working furiously to pack our house for the people who will live in it while we are gone, to cover all of our responsibilities here, and to prepare for our time in the States. While it is never easy to leave the work or our home for such a long time, we are eager to see family and friends and to return to our supporting churches. You have prayed, given, and encouraged us so faithfully over the years. Now, we will get to see many of you again and share stories of God’s grace and mighty work here in Portugal. Since we need to get back to packing, we will get right down to business.

1. We praise God for providing people to cover the church. Rather than calling in different pastors to preach each week of our absence, we were thrilled to see God provide a pastor and his family who can stay the entire 6 months. Please pray for Pastor Eder to have wisdom for the preaching as well as weekly care for the church.

2. Speaking of church, our town is growing, and so is our church, mostly from newly-arrived families from Brazil. With the influx of more help, the church has been able to create more departments, such as the Events Committee and the Building and Grounds Committee. As each person takes ownership and responsibility for a part of the church, the church becomes a little more “weaned off” of us and a little more ready for national leadership someday.

3. This past month, between the two locations, we had 12 deaf attend church services. That is a good number for our group. In our absence, Amanda, our coworker, will open her home to a Bible study for her deaf friends who want to learn more. God has also provided a deaf pastor from America to lead the Sunday services and various activities for a few months. Please pray that Pastor John will quickly pick up Portuguese Sign Language and that God will use him to reach and care for the deaf of Portugal.

A recent deaf church service

Our schedule is quickly filling up, but we want to visit as many of our supporting churches as possible. If you are a pastor and would like us to come and visit your church, please let us know by giving us a call or sending an e-mail. As we say in Portuguese, “Até breve!” (“See you soon!”)

Merry Christmas! December Prayer Letter

This time of year is full of “Top Ten” and “Best of…” lists. So in that spirit, here are the “Eight Best Moments” since our last update.

1. Last month, we baptized six people. All told, we added 21 new members to the church this past year. The church is maturing and taking important steps. Pray for wisdom to know how to continue moving forward.

The six who were baptized

2. Also last month, we had our first church service led by the youth. It was exciting to see their eagerness to serve, sing, read Scripture, and share their testimonies. Pray for the youth in our church. While we see many encouraging signs of spiritual life, we also see their fragility and how strong the world’s influence is in their lives.

3. The women’s Bible study that Sarah is leading is greatly strengthening and encouraging all who participate. Many of the women are hurting and facing personal challenges, yet it is heartening to see them praying with each other and challenging each other to grow in obedience to God’s Word.

4. Remember Luis, the 12 year old boy in our church, who passed in away in September? Since then, his older step brother, younger brother, aunt, and cousin have all believed on Jesus to be their Savior. How good God is to use such sorrow to bring forth glory and spiritual life.

5. Yesterday, we had our deaf Christmas service and party. Despite the fact that we were a small group, God was glorified, and Jesus’ name was praised in Portuguese Sign Language. In our work with the deaf, this year had highs and lows. The mission team from Harvest Baptist Church of the Deaf was certainly one of the high points. They encouraged us and were very effective making new contacts and evangelizing. Also, throughout the year, we saw a good number of deaf make professions of faith. The low points are that we have had fewer deaf come to our church services, and some of those who have made professions of faith have shown very little desire to grow. Good things happened this year, but pray fervently for a greater spiritual awakening among the deaf. Pray also that God would show us how to best use our time and resources in ministering to the deaf. Every week, there are far more needs and opportunities than we are capable of addressing.

6. In our last letter, we asked you to pray for Sarah’s wrist to heal from a surgery she had in August. Praise God that after many weeks of therapy, she has regained most of the movement in her wrist. Sign language (and most of life in general) is much easier when your wrist works well. Thank you for praying!

7. The Wears family, our missionary friends and colleagues, finished deputation and arrived in Portugal. Praise God for more missionaries serving the Lord here!

8. Once again, we are at the end of a year and God has met every one of our needs and has blessed us with such tremendous ministry partners. We thank God for you, and we are greatly humbled and overjoyed at getting to serve King Jesus another year here in Portugal. That leads us to this important news: We are returning to America for furlough for six months in 2019, from March until September. It will be exciting to see many of you again, and if you would like us to come and share an update at your church, please contact us right away! May God bless, strengthen, guard, and prosper you in the year to come! This Christmas season, may all praise be to Christ!

October Prayer Letter

Whether you’ve experienced 90º temperatures or snow the past two weeks, we hope you’re having a good Fall. Here in Portugal, we’ve had the 90ºversion, but there is a cold nip in the air this morning, and cooler temperatures are on their way.

Fall activities are back in full swing. I am once again teaching a seminary class. My students are a sharp group this semester, and it is a privilege to help prepare them for ministry.

God has sent many women to our church, and they are hungry to learn more about the Bible and to be mentored. Sarah is leading a Bible study with them based on Titus 2. So far, the women have been doing their homework and sharing how they have been convicted and encouraged. Sarah is also doing physical therapy 5 days a week to regain mobility in her wrist after her surgery. The doctors expect it to take 6 months or more, but, one millimeter of movement at a time, she is getting there.

Ladies’ Bible study

Our kids are attending Portuguese schools for 2ndgrade and kindergarten, (and we’re supplementing with English at home). Even at their young ages, Laura and Samuel tell their classmates and teachers about God when the chance arises. When I picked Samuel up from school last week, his teacher told about Samuel’s response to a kid who was pestering him on the playground: “He said at your church you teach to treat others the way you want to be treated.” We’re grateful for the children God has given us, and we pray God will use them for God’s glory as they let their little lights shine.

God has certainly used a young person in our church this past year. We told you about Luis, the 12-year-old boy who died of cancer last month. His faith, his funeral, and his family have all been examples of God’s sustaining grace in the worst of times. In August, his aunt came from overseas to spend a few months helping the family. She was with them through the end of Luis’ life, and she is still here for a few more weeks. She has had a front-row seat to the difference God has made in Luis’ family. Yesterday, she asked to talk with Luis’ mom and with us, because she was “ready to willingly accept Jesus with all of her heart”. We praise God for using Luis to help reach his aunt for Christ, and we pray for her as she plans to grow in a Bible-preaching church in her home country.

Church anniversary

In September, we had our church anniversary which is always an important occasion. It was a sweet time of fellowship as several other churches also came to celebrate with us. We looked back with gratefulness for the good things God has done, and we looked forward with hope. It also reminded us how quickly the years we have been in Portugal are going by. Eight years ago, we arrived here. Five years ago, we began having church services. Two years ago, we formally organized as a church. Thank God with us for the good things he has done, and pray for us that we will be faithful to the Lord. Thank you for sticking with us and keeping up with us!

Watch our video from our church anniversary

Enjoying a sunset together

Joy and tears: September prayer letter

This summer has been a whirlwind! When we left off 8 weeks ago, we’d just had a fantastic deaf mission team and a good week of teen Bible camp. July brought us another mission team. This church from Tennessee sent the first team we ever hosted back in 2012, and this year was their fifth year coming. The beautiful thing was the difference in Montijo from their first visit until now. The first time they came, there were just a few families meeting in our home for a Bible study; now we average more than 50 people at church. On their first trip, this mission team helped us start our summer Bible club; some of the children that came that first day are now teenagers who are saved and teaching the club themselves! The first year, the team helped us pass out flyers to inform people of our small mission; now, Montijo Baptist Mission has become Montijo Baptist CHURCH, and the team helped us pass out flyers about a small mission in another town. Our church is now helping another church plant! What a blessing to look back on what God has done in our church and town over 8 years!

Thankful for a great mission team

After the busyness of July came Portugal’s vacation month: August.  Since there was no school and more time flexibility, many more families could come to our evening mid-week service. So, we extended the services to include a supper fellowship beforehand. This gave a wonderful opportunity to know our church family better, especially the families who have recently arrived from Brazil. I preached a series on having a God-centered family. For many in our church who are far from their biological family, these services with their spiritual family were a highlight of their week.

Family Dinner at Church

Our church family grew closer through these good times, and, we’ve grown closer through grief as well. Many of you have prayed for Luis, the 12-year-old boy who was baptized last year, and who has been fighting a brain tumor. God gave him strength to attend Bible camp with us and have summer vacation with his family. Then, his health declined very rapidly. On Sept. 1, God graciously took him home to heaven. Luis and his parents, Mario and Carla, have shown God’s peace and grace through the entire process. Luis had left instructions for his viewing, funeral and burial. He asked people to come dressed, not in black, but in white. He chose the song we sang and the verses we read. Though terribly sad, the funeral was also a most beautiful scene. Mario and Carla were hugging and comforting others, saying over and over, “God is faithful. God is faithful.” Through tears, we sang of how we’ll praise God in heaven, as Luis is now. As we looked at the group gathered at the cemetery, we marveled at how most of us would never know each other if it had not been through church. The one thing that united us was Jesus, and He is the one Person who made us grieve, not as the unsaved, but as those who have hope. Pray for the salvation of the many unsaved family members and friends who heard the gospel at Luis’ funeral and saw through Mario and Carla the hopes Jesus Christ gives.

Luis brought much glory to God in both his life and death

On a personal note, Sarah had wrist surgery in August to fix a torn ligament. The recovery is going well, and she’d appreciate prayers that, Lord willing, she will regain strength and mobility to do sign language again in a few months. We never know what a week will bring in the ministry here, but we are ever thankful for the work God lets us participate in here, and how He uses you to keep us here. Thank you for your part in what He is doing!

Laura and Samuel had a great summer

 

 

Good news from a far country

We have some beautiful stories to share with you today.

During the summer of 2012, we began a weekly summer Bible club that met in a park. The first Saturday, seven kids showed up. Paula and Patricia, the two girls in the middle of the picture, came and heard the gospel for the first time that day. The next summer, Paula raised her hand while Sarah was telling the Bible story and proclaimed to all that she had received Jesus as her Savior. The following summer (2014) Patricia believed the gospel and was saved as well.

Summer 2012

It’s summer 2018 now, and things have changed. Instead of Sarah or me telling the story, Patricia and Paula now rotate telling the Bible story every week. Now, they are salt and light in their neighborhood and are telling their friends about Christ.

Summer 2018

This month, we had the pleasure of bringing 16 youth to Bible camp. The theme was “More Than” as we studied being “more than” conquerors; existing by “more than” chance; etc. We took sixteen young people from our church, three of whom made professions of faith. We are once again thankful for God’s protection and how He worked in the campers’ hearts.

Camp

In our last update, we shared the good things that happened while the deaf mission team was here. The good news continues: Manuela is a deaf lady we have known since 2013. Last fall, she started doing a one-on-one Bible study with Sarah. Little by little, she has gained “head knowledge” of the Bible and Jesus, and started reading her Bible on her own, but has hesitated to trust Jesus for salvation. The week after the team came, Sarah and Manuela went over John 3:16 together, and this time Manuela was ready to receive Jesus! After 4 ½ years of watching the seed of God’s (signed) Word take root in Manuela, it was beautiful to see it blossom in salvation.Sarah cried for joy! Manuela and Sarah planned a surprise lunch to announce her salvation to our coworkers. Manuela has boldly shared her decision with many friends in person and  on social media. Please pray she will continue to grow and that God will use her to reach more deaf people for Him.

Click here to watch Sarah’s video about Manuela

Do you notice a common thread in these two stories? In both cases, years went by between when the seed was planted and when it brought forth fruit.We rejoice that Paula and Patricia are leading the Bible club this summer, but that work in their lives began six years ago. Our hearts soar with gratitude in seeing Manuela publicly profess her faith in Christ, but it took more than four years of learning the Bible and growing in her understanding of the gospel before she was saved. Furthermore, for every Patricia, Paula, and Manuela, there are many dozens of people who have rejected the gospel or have fallen away. Please pray for more Portuguese hearts to be tender to God’s truth that has been spoken or signed to them over the years.

On a personal note, we have moved . . . not far, just to a different neighborhood. Many of you are so kind to send us birthday cards and personal letters. If so, please note our new mailing address below, and we look forward to continuing to hear from you.

Grace and peace!

David and Sarah

 

What a week!

What a week! We just had the joy of hosting a team of ten people from our sending church, Harvest Baptist Church of the Deaf. In the seven days they were here, God did great things through them. Here it goes!

They encouraged and loved our family. Sometimes, the people we are trying to reach aren’t concerned about their own spiritual destiny. We warn them and encourage them to be saved, but it seems like the only people who care about them are our coworkers and ourselves. When the team came this week, they showed such a desire to see the deaf saved, that it touched our hearts to remember how much others care for them as well. It was a blessing to swap stories and fellowship with people from the same culture with the same mission heart.

The team from Harvest Baptist Church of the Deaf

They helped us build relationships. We are hearing. No matter how well we learn Portuguese Sign Language or how much time we spend with the deaf, our hearing status is always a roadblock. If we approach deaf clubs or deaf schools asking to do a presentation, they tell us no. However, when we have a group of deaf people from another country wanting to speak in their club or school, they are more willing to say yes. Two deaf associations let the group share, which led to some first-time visitors at deaf church. We have tried for 3 years to do a presentation in the deaf school that our son attends. God used this group to let us in for the first time. Though it is a public school, and explaining the gospel is not allowed, Pastor Rempel briefly told the students, “Jesus loves you”. Most of the students have hearing parents who don’t sign. When they go home each evening, they have almost no one who communicates with them. When Pastor told them of Jesus’ love, it was, for many, the first time they’d seen that message in their language.

At a deaf school

They shared the gospel. Our pastor, Reggie Rempel, preached and shared his testimony throughout the week. His preaching was clear and powerful: it conveyed the urgency of salvation and the depth of God’s love. But it wasn’t just Pastor Rempel preaching. Every team member shared the gospel personally with the deaf that they met at activities and at church.

They learned about Portuguese culture and ministry. The team members came with no personal agenda. We showed them a castle, fed them pastries, and told them about some Portuguese traditions. In each situation, rather than complaining about how different things were or demanding their own preferences, they happily tried new things. When plans changed, they adapted and worked well together. Most of all, whenever they entered a ministry setting, they went right up to people and tried communicating to reach them. They were all about others rather than self.

The deaf retreat

They rejoiced when people were saved. On Saturday, we hosted a special retreat where we had games, food, signed music, and preaching. In the days leading up to this event, we invited everyone we could. On the day of the retreat, we had 13 people come. After preaching, Pastor Rempel spoke with two men, Eugenio and Carlos, about the gospel and their need to be saved. Carlos is Denise’s husband. You may remember she was baptized just this past year. Eugenio is a young man we have known for a long time. Though he has come to church frequently over the years, he has seemed somewhat ambivalent to spiritual matters. At the retreat, they asked to receive Jesus as Savior. Though they both still have much to learn, we rejoice that God is working in their hearts, and we look forward to seeing how He continues to do so.

Pastor Rempel with Eugenio and Carlos
Grateful for Pastor and Mrs. Rempel