Since we have started this project, some people have asked us, “so…, what exactly is Reach Portugal?” I realized that, even though we explain some of this is the general information and ministry goals sections of this website, that we had never done a post attempting to outline in a clear way what exactly is Reach Portugal.
I always thought I would be staying in Albufeira, Southern Portugal, as a typical local church pastor, for ever. That church voted me to be their first pastor (after the missionary that started it) and I honestly thought that it was the will of God for my life that I would be the senior pastor of that church for a long time. Nevertheless, driving along the roads in Portugal and going through the many towns and communities that have never had a Gospel preaching witness was heart breaking. I will be repeating this number until people realize what it means: Portugal has 11 million people and less that 1% are born again believers. Portugal is an open unreached country in the 10/40 window. Reach Portugal is an opportunity to do something great for the Lord in this nation!
It is a Local Church Ministry
We are now sent out of Narragansett Bay Baptist Church of Warwick, Rhode Island. This church has been involved for many years in supporting missions in Portugal and through that support they have developed a heart for this nation. Since the beginning of this year, NBBC and its members have been helping us with planning and the different logistics involved in starting a church planting ministry in Portugal. NBBC processes all support coming in for Reach Portugal. If you which to support us regularly or with a one time offer, please contact NBBC using the contacts below.
It is an Evangelistic Ministry
We have had the opportunity of organizing city wide evangelistic campaigns in Portugal with the goal of saturating communities with the good news of salvation thorough Jesus Christ. Usually these campaigns end up with a gospel preaching, Christ honoring service, for which the whole town is invited and we have seen souls saved through this. We are praying about doing more of these campaigns in more Portuguese cities and towns, always in connection with a local independent Baptist church, or church plant. Through this ministry we believe we will be able to continue to produce high quality materials for the evangelization of Portugal.
It is a Training Ministry
Last month we had Bro. Lenildo Monteiro graduate from our Bible Institute, get ordained and involved in full time Christian ministry. Classes continue and we are praying to see more people take the courses and get the needed tools to use for the glory of the Lord in Portugal. These will be the people that the Lord will use to be the leaders of the churches we will see planted in the years to come. The Bible Institute is a program that we are continuously developing. It is always done at a local church level. Each local church will be able to take the program and teach it, to its own people, at its own pace. Churches can also work together and organize seminars for their students. We also have several courses that can be done on video through the internet. This is a tool that we will be developing more and more in the years to come. The two books we have already published in Portugal were well received and we will continue to publish high quality teaching resources in the Portuguese language.
It is a Church Planting Ministry
By the grace of God we were able to organize a church in Northern Portugal in 2011 and have just started a church plant in Northern Lisbon. As people get saved and baptized, we want to see these groups of immersed believers organized into New Testament churches. We want to be strategic about this, but also follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. There are many good size cities in Portugal in need of a good church. That will continue to be our focus.
Because we now have turned the church in Albufeira to Bro. Lenildo, we have more time to give towards this project. That church is fully indigenous and is fully supporting this brother’s salary. That is always the goal. To continue this missionary endeavor is why we are now partnering with churches and raising support.
There is a great need in Portugal, and we all get to do something about it!