Hey people I thought it would be good to tell of some of the things happening in Portugal.
Danielle and I finally got into Vila D’este! At the same time, we finally had someone accept our offer of helping with English lessons (sort of, ehhh). I have went around to several places trying to either start English groups or help with existing establishments, but every place has been a no for some reason or another. But a woman in the church, a past application, and the local pastor have provided an opportunity to tutor some high school kids in Vila D’este. It is not the big group that I had envisioned, but I guess that sometimes the Lord only gives a person a little bit to manage (Matthew 25:13-30). I am hoping that this volunteering role can lead to other opportunities within the community. As Gargamel said in the first Smurfs movie: “Cautiously excited!”
Danielle and I are starting to build a good relationship with the only Baptist church in Vila Nova de Gaia (A city on the south side of the Rio Douro of Porto). We are trying to start of couple of projects in the church. This is the only Baptist church in Vila Nova de Gaia, and the city has a population of almost 200,000 people in the inner city. Think about that fact! There is not much of an evangelical presence in this area. We are hoping that we can help train others in the local church in some evangelism and discipleship techniques. That way, instead of just Danielle and I working alone, there would be several of us working together on spreading the gospel in this populous place. A little army of believers fighting, hehe like a bunch of spiritual ninjas.
The ministry with the football team is a work in progress. There are around 30 or so guys that go every practice. It has been more difficult this season to get connected with guys off the football field. Sometimes spiritual conversations happen at practice, but a lot of the time they happen outside of practice. I keep trying and hoping to do things with the guys, and hopefully the Lord will bless in this area and bless these guys with the knowledge of His love.
The café mission is hit and miss. Sometimes I am able to start up random conversations with people that lead to discussions of spiritual things. This past month has not been one of those times. I am going to chalk it up as a dry season in the field, and hopefully good things will start to happen. I still keep visiting and reading my Bible in certain cafés near my house. The owners and some of the normal workers of these places have not had any spiritual discussions with me in a while, but who knows when the Lord will start a good work.
Just simple prayers this month for us… Anything. We will take them. And, if any of you have time to drop an encouraging word on Facebook, that would be awesome Some simple words can fuel our tank and keep us going… Read an article this week that had a quote that I appreciate more now, than ever: “Keep sawing wood.” Makes sense to me.