Recently I answered some questions for my brother-in-law, Scott Newton, who is a missionary in Barcelona. He was kind enough to publish it his blog www.pswe.net.
The following is a short interview with my brother in law, Mark Pereira. He has done a tremendous job pastoring Living Hope Baptist Church in Albufeira Portugal since2004, and is launching a new church-planting campaign in Portugal. I hope you’ll pray for him, and pray about helping in this ministry. Today is also his birthday, so feel free to send him a note of encouragement at email@example.com!
1. How much Gospel presence is there in Portugal?
Portugal has 11 million people and from the most recent general census (2011) we get an idea of how much it needs the Gospel. There are probably less than 1% evangelical Christian. Most likely there are more Jehova’s Witnesses than Baptists. There are whole regions of Portugal without a faithful Gospel witness and 2000 year old cities that have never had a Gospel preaching church. There are 7 independent Baptist churches and a few other church plants going.
2. What is your strategy to saturate Portugal with the Gospel?
We believe that the best way to get the Gospel out in Portugal is through church planting and leadership training. We have been holding youth camps and this has proved to be a great way to challenge a new generation to give their lives to full time service for Christ. Through our Bible Institute, we have been training different people. We have seen two men ordained and there are more people in the different stages of their training process. Also, we have recently launched, with a graduate from our Bible institute, a church plant in Northern Lisbon in an area with 170 000 people and no Gospel witness. There is a number of methods that have been used in Portugal like city wide evangelistic campaigns and full saturation with printed materials. These have proven also to be effective and the Lord has produced good results through these. We are always interested in new ways to develop a contact list towards the spreading of the Gospel message.
3. How can we help you do it?
First, you can help us by praying that the Lord would help us in partnering with some new supporters. My wife and I will be spending the next year visiting churches in the US and in Canada and we are praying for more meetings on our schedule and that the Lord blesses with a good number of new supporting churches. Secondly, you can help us by spreading the word about our website, www.reachportugal.com. Here people will be able to find information about Portugal and the need for the Gospel there. Also, people can find out more about how to get involved in the work in Portugal.