Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nothing but the Good Times


Hey everybody. I hope all is well with you…  This is my first blog, ever.  Danielle and I decided to write 2 blogs a month.  She will write one while I write the other.  We have decided to make one blog compelling and exciting, a real page turner.  And the blog I write, who knows. 

I thought it might be helpful to give information about life in Portugal.  That way you can know how to direct your prayers… Life here is different and very interesting.  Although, sometimes I feel like I am back in Oklahoma.  One day is windy, rainy, and requires a big coat.  The next day is sunny and feels wonderful.  It is like a roller coaster. The architecture is amazing.  Each building is built unique.  They are beautiful as they sit on the sloping hills near the river.  Most of the city roads are made of bricks, and the roads are so slim.  I use to wonder why they drove such tiny cars, now I know why.  And almost all parking is parallel parking. Wow! I actually like riding the bus and metro to places.  

porto (415x332)

                                      Porto city

They economy is pretty bad here.  The unemployment is over 15%.  Minimum wage is just a little over 2 euros per hour, which translates into a monthly salary of about 470 euros a month.  Most apartments cost that much.  Now imagine that you have to get around the city, pay utilities, eat, live life, etc.  I bring up this point because I am associated with several people who are looking for jobs.  Life is not too bad yet for the unemployed, but it could be heading that direction.

- Pray for jobs for my friends.

Danielle and I are learning the Portuguese language.  I think Gideon has already surpassed us in this endeavor, that overachiever.  The difficult part of this challenge is that English is easily accessible in Portugal.  Many of my friends speak English, the television actually has more channels in English than Portuguese, and the malls even play American music!

- Please pray for our learning of the Portuguese language.  Who knows, maybe the Lord will bless us with minds like he blessed Daniel’s in a foreign land.

So, how is my life going with the Portuguese? How is the ministry growing by God’s work?  I truly think I am in the most blessed situation of all new missionaries.  I came to a field that is white for the harvest.  The football team that I play for and help coach, futebol americano that is, – NOT SOCCER, is perfect for ministry.  Instead of having to invest months building one relationship, the Lord set up multiple relationships for me.  Andy Milam, my colleague and supervisor, is the head coach.  Together, we have been able to tell biblical stories, have multiple spiritual conversations, and share the good news about Jesus. The guys on the team know what we believe and how this belief affects our lives.  If you have a chance, look for the team on Facebook. Our team name is the Canidelo Celtics. 

- Pray for our ministry with the team.  We are thankful to know these guys.  They are amazing.

Football Team pic of Celtics

I love this country and the people that live here.  They are wonderful people and worth investing your prayer so that they can know how much Jesus loves them.  As Paul wrote… the one who plants and the one who waters the seed of the gospel should not be the focus, what matters is that the Spirit gives growth.  Pray that the Spirit works beyond our limitations and hopes in Portugal.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The First Month

The first month here in Portugal has been a whirlwind!

We’ve been to the doctor twice with Gideon. I (Danielle) have been sick for about three weeks; this last episode with an ear infection.
Pray for renewed health and energy so we may focus on building relationships and sharing Jesus!Photo1Photo4(Gideon at daycare during carnival!)

We’ve been in language school for a long, long, long time, now! There are many frustrations associated with language. We have 16 hours of school per week, and we are required to get another 24 hours homework and being out in the community using our language. And the added pressure of passing a test in May! Pray that we will not stress out over language, and that we will be like sponges and learn how to speak effectively. The main goal is to be able to share Jesus with others…not pass a test.
265535(Our language teacher, Clovis)

We finally feel like we know our way around the city, and can effectively communicate if we need something (directions, food, etc.) I have even ventured going to the butcher shop! Love it! It is finally feeling a little more like home. Pray that we will meet people with whom we can build relationships and share Jesus.
(Some of the city where we do language)

David’s third game is tomorrow! We’ve hung out with several of the football players, already! Pray that we will continue to build relationships and show the team that we are about more than just football.


This month has been great! We are slowly becoming acclimated to the culture and the city. I know I may seem a little negative in this post, but we really do love it here. And we can definitely see that God is moving in mighty ways in Portugal!

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.                         Isaiah 43:18-19

Esqueçam o que se foi;
não vivam no passado.
Vejam, estou fazendo uma coisa nova!
Ela já está surgindo! Vocês não a reconhecem?
Até no deserto vou abrir um caminho
e riachos no ermo.                                    Isaías 43:18-19