Hey everyone. It has been another month of living and growing in Portugal. I say the word growing with a humble grin. It’s amazing to me how the Lord teaches. I move across an ocean, confident of my ability to teach wonderful things about the Lord. And now, I am only beginning to realize that Jesus has still labeled me… Student. How can this be? Well, I am finding in Portugal wonderful people. They are generous, loving, and genuine. I find myself learning to love a people I am just beginning to know. I dearly long to teach them God’s word. At the same time, God is showing me that I still have much to learn about investing in their lives. Much to learn. So this trained man still has short-comings and faults, even as a teacher. That is a humbling thought when I view myself as a teacher. It’s not so daunting or troublesome when I think of myself as a student of Jesus. Always learning. Always.
Pray that my colleagues and I have hearts that are always willing to learn. We want to stand confident in God’s Word first, and then grow and expand our visions and love of the Portuguese based on God’s teaching, the Bible.
What is life like in Portugal this month? I would say that is a good question, but that would be a little self-praising for the author . The rain has discovered this nation again. Apparently, I need to invest in a manly umbrella. My wife has a rainbow colored one, and a pink one. Carrying these two around a bunch of football players seems to draw chuckles and quips. So, I have learned, acceptable social norms in America translate accordingly in Portugal… yeah for me. Language is still difficult. We had test of grammar that simulated where we should progress by May. IT WAS TOUGH! I was suppose to hear a story in Portuguese and answer questions by filling in the blank sections. Ghhh, here is to hoping the next test is multiple-choice.
- Pray for energy and focus for Brandon and Tiffany Hodge, and Danielle and I as we strive to learn this language.
How is the football ministry? Awesome. The Celtics are now 3-2. One more win and we make the playoffs. The team has great chemistry. There was a volunteer team that came during their spring break, from Alabama. They had many struggles getting here and returning. However, they were able to coach different teams in a camp in Northern Portugal. The first ever for Northern Portugal. It is something special to see the sport evolving from its infancy 8 years ago. For those who are coaches, we ran 7-on-7 in the camp. This was the first time many of them have seen such intricate combination routes. Wow! That was fun to watch. The Alabama guys brought gifts: jerseys, pads, shirts, etc., but the best gifts were their testimonies and New Testaments. They even lead a Bible study with some of the Portuguese! Hopefully, a first of many. My hope is that the love of football expands across the entire nation and its people. More importantly, as football spreads, the love of Jesus Christ does as well.
(Can you spot the Americans?)
- Pray for another team we have coming in this week to teach football. Pray for the Portuguese guys to have free schedules and lots of energy so teaching and learning can take place… about football and Jesus.
Here is a challenge for you, the reader. Where in your life are you normally a teacher, where you could you say ‘I will try and be a student this month?’ It seems to me that Jesus still has a bunch He is teaching me.