Category Archives: Videos

December Prayer Letter

God keeps amazing us with what He is doing in Montijo, Portugal. Since opening the doors of our church in April, God is consistently bringing 30 or more people from our town every week. We have had five people make a profession of faith. Two weeks ago, we had a very special moment: our first baptismal service. We held it jointly with another church that is helping us. Four people were baptized from their church, and one man was baptized from ours. Mário and his family moved to our town several months ago and have been attending church faithfully since then. He had been saved shortly before moving here, and so he very soon expressed to me his desire to be baptized.

The baptismal service was a powerful testimony to many people who have been attending our church lately who either have been recently saved or who are still considering what it means to follow Christ. For many, it was the first time they had ever seen an adult, or anyone for that matter, baptized by immersion. Please pray that in the new year more of these people would be baptized.

This past Sunday, we had our second Deaf church service. Our first service had 7 people, and we didn’t know what to expect this time. However, God did far more than we could have imagined. Here are just a few things that stand out about the 13 deaf people that came this month:

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1. Our neighbors, Carlos and Maria, invited another couple, Manuel and Manuela, who came for the first time.

2. You may remember us mentioning, Patrícia, the lady who was our sign language tutor. She had told us emphatically that she would never go to a church, even if it had a Deaf pastor. Nevertheless, she came at the request of Fernanda, who later told me that she had to “twist her ear” to get her to come. Despite this, Patrícia seemed to enjoy her time.

3. Speaking of Fernanda, she won the award for bringing the most visitors. Besides prodding Patrícia to come, she also brought three other people. Afterward she asked me, “Next time, can we put out a jar where we can give money to help buy things for our church?” Amazing! While she is not yet saved, Fernanda is showing a real sensitivity and openness to the gospel. Pray for her.

4. After the message, we had a discussion time where people could ask questions. It was heartening to see so many people with deep spiritual questions in a setting where they could freely ask them in their own language. Pray that God’s Word would shine in their hearts so that they would find in Jesus the answer to their deepest needs.

WATCH THE VIDEO OF OUR BAPTISM AND DEAF SERVICE:

http://vimeo.com/81491492

As we come to the end of this year, we stand amazed as we look back and see all that God has done. When we opened the church 8 months ago, we had no kids there other than our daughter, Laura. Now we have anywhere from ten to fifteen kids and teenagers. People have been saved, and new families are coming. We are thrilled to have Deaf services, which God is blessing tremendously. Truly, this has been a year of great growth.

Reflecting upon this, we have two responses. First, we recognize that all of this is fragile. God is the one who has brought us this far, and He will have to be the one to sustain and protect the work that He has begun. Second, we once again want to express our gratitude to all who have prayed for us, supported us, and served with us during this past year. We are only a very small part of the very big work God is doing here. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us faithfully. Thank you to all of you who have given so generously to support us. Thank you to all of you who deeply care about what is happening here. May you know God’s grace and peace during this special time of the year.

Rejoicing with you,

Christmas pic

What a start! Update on first Deaf service

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During this past weekend, we heard from so many of you assuring us of your prayer for the deaf service. Some of you even woke up at 6 AM just to pray for us at the start of our service. Your prayer encouraged and strengthened us greatly.

Six deaf people had promised to come. Sunday morning arrived, and instead of sending six people God sent seven! Some of them are friends you have prayed for during the past several years:

Carlos, our best deaf friend, has been our tutor for religious signs. He is very intelligent and a leader in the Portuguese deaf community. He gave the welcome and introduction at the service.

Carlos and Maria, our elderly deaf neighbors, came. It was the first time they had been to church.

Fernanda, an older deaf lady that lives a few blocks away from us, also came. Afterward, she enthusiastically encouraged everybody to bring their friends next time.

Eugénio is the deaf teenager we interpret for in another town on Sunday mornings. He enjoyed going to a deaf service where he could communicate directly with everyone.

Inês is a hard of hearing young woman who has already been saved. She has been explaining the Bible to Vítor, a deaf young man who recently moved to the Lisbon area. Both of them came to our first service.

It was such a blessing to share the story of the prodigal son and of God’s love to our deaf friends. We long for all of them to one day know personally the amazing grace and love that God has for them. Thank you for praying for us and for each person who came. We hope you enjoy the video summary of the service.

Preaching in ASL at HBCD

This past Sunday, Sarah and I were able to be at our sending church, Harvest Baptist Church of the Deaf. It was wonderful to spend time with friends there and tell about our ministry in Portugal. Below is the video of the message I preached. At times it was a little challenging because I would confuse ASL with Portuguese Sign Language. Despite my weakness, God’s message of salvation is still powerful.