[You can download the PDF version of this Prayer Letter by clicking here]
Happy New Year from Portugal! It has been a while since our last letter. So much is going on that we feel that this year we will go back to communicating with you through a monthly Prayer Letter. We might also add some more weekly updates. Your prayers are very important to us. We thank you for continuing to support us in 2015.
Church plant in Castelo Branco
Just in the last 4 months we have added close to 100 people to our contact list. These are all people that we have close contact with. Recently we held a Thanksgiving event at the camp property and what a joy it was to see some of these people attend and hear a presentation of the Gospel. Soon we want to have an event like an Open House, or a Friend Day. Please pray that a good number of these people will come to church on that day.
Because the Lord is obviously working here allowing us to meet all these people, we have decided to stay in Castelo Branco until the church is established here with its own pastor (we are praying this will happen within 2 to 4 years). Castelo Branco is only 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Lisbon, so we are able to work that field at the same time. The plan is still to go to Lisbon on a more permanent basis after Castelo Branco is established.
Church plant in Northern Lisbon
This is the church plant that we started, out of the church in Albufeira, a little over a year ago. This church plant is being led by our most recent national pastor, Bro. Tito Pereira. Things are going well in this front and we are working to see this church organized in June of 2015. Recently I had the privilege to preach there for their first baptismal service! A lady that had been attending came forward professing Christ as her Savior!
Church in downtown Lisbon
This is our most recent endeavor. We were contacted by an old church in downtown Lisbon (the area we have been praying about starting a church in). This church was started 85 years ago by a Baptist preacher. It has a good size building and a core group of about 10 people. For the last 2 years they have been without a pastor and they are struggling. They heard about our church planting plans and contacted us through another Independent Baptist church in Portugal. Even though the church’s founder was of Baptist persuasion and this is reflected in their Statement of Faith, they were very much influenced over the years by the Brethren movement. They are down to one service a week on Sunday evenings. The plan is for us to go there for a few weeks and assess if this church can be revitalized as an independent Baptist church. There are even some children attending, so Aura will be teaching a children’s class there as well. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom and direction in all of this.
There are other things going on regarding the camp ministry and the Bible Institute ministry, but we will tell you about these in our next Prayer Letters. With this we wanted to assure you that, even though we are led to stay in Castelo Branco longer than we thought we would, our church planting vision for Portugal remains very much the same. We were able to find a house for rent in Castelo Branco and we should start moving some time in January, with the lease beginning in February 1st. This apartment is very well located, near the University’s dorms and we plan to have students over all the time. We already have two students coming for Bible studies and they have mentioned that they want to bring their friends over. Please pray for a smooth move.
November-December Prayer Letter http://t.co/bdLuWOLMKM
Dear Brother Mark and Aura,
It is good to see your post, and even better to see that God is directing you so well In your hard work for the Churches.
Again, this year I would like to help you with Aura’s taxes, just as last year. I will stay in touch with you on this.
Meanwhile, may God bless you both, and, hopefully, we can meet soon.