Dear Prayer Partners, March 2015
The Lord is still working in Portugal! (Despite us) This country is, according to all the numbers available to us, an unreached nation. Your prayers and support are so important for we believe it is the Lord’s will to reach Portugal in our generation. What a privilege it is to be a small part in all that is going on.
Camp: We had a fantastic winter camp! The Lord gave us the largest number of campers to date and He was certainly moving throughout the 2 days of camp. The theme of the camp was “Reach your World” and we encouraged all saved teens to make a simple public commitment to follow the Lord wherever he would lead them. Seven campers signed the pledge and sought counseling on serving the Lord with their lives. Also, two unsaved campers got saved after camp! We believe this camp ministry can be greatly used to call a whole generation in Portugal into Christian service.
Bible Institute: I was able to return to the church in Albufeira to teach a weeklong course on Bibliology. We had a good number of students in attendance and we were able to record the class on video. We have long distance students already benefiting from these videos. We want to continue to develop these courses and materials to train effectively the ones the Lord will be calling in Portugal.
New Bible Study: About one hour North of Castelo Branco is the city of Covilhã. It has over 50 thousand people and a University. We have been praying for this city and recently we started having a few students from there come to Castelo Branco on the train to be in our Sunday services. We have been able to start a Wednesday night Bible study in Covilhã with 4 students. All of them have testimonies of salvation and now we are looking for a place where we can meet and invite others to come. Right now we are meeting in small living room and we can’t fit any more people there. We have made some contacts and we are waiting for some answers. Please pray that we can find a suitable meeting place that doesn’t cost too much (we’re ok with free!). We feel this could be a start of a new church in this needy city. There is no church in the whole county teaching assurance of salvation in Christ.
Castanheira church plant (Northern Lisbon): Preparations are going well for the big evangelistic push that will precede the organization of the church in Castanheira. It is exciting to see the work the Lord is doing there. It was just a little over 2 years ago that the church in Albufeira started this work and now we will see it organized. Recently they had two more baptisms there. We got 50 thousand John/Romans delivered (a donation from Baptist Church Planting Ministry) and we will be distributing those during April and May. We will need to get inserts printed for the J/R. Please pray we find the right place to print them and that we will have the needed funds for this.
Alcântara church (downtown Lisbon): We wrote a letter to the church in downtown Lisbon with the necessary changes (in our view) to the church’s constitution. This is a needed step that will decide whether we can continue or not to reorganize this church and then start reaching that area. There will be a business meting soon where the church is going to decide. Please pray for this. This church is in a very good location in an area where a lot of people live. We trust the outcome in the Lord’s hands.
Castelo Branco Newsletter: Just last week the postal service started the distribution of our Newsletter to every home in the city. We have had some feedback already. Domingos has an insurance office next to the church and he said that the postman told him he had enjoyed reading the newsletter. Domingos went on to encourage the postman to come to church (Domingos has attended but does not come anymore, pray for him). We have had someone call on the phone asking for information after getting the newsletter and we’ve seen different people around town reading it. It contains a Gospel presentation and information about the church. The next step is to personally visit every home and follow up on the Newsletter. Please pray the Lord will use this and that our church people will catch the vision and get involved.
Miscellaneous: We had a great response to our last Prayer Letter (specific needs edition). As you know, we had to cut our time in the US short and our support is not at 100%. This means that our work fund is not what it should be. The Lord provided through different people all the needed funds for our basic furniture needs and for the newsletter project (still needed 1000$ for a piano). Aura’s health is doing well and all her results came in fine. The doctor is going to keep an eye on the cyst and gallstone, but it is not a concern right now. Thanks for praying!
In His Service, Mark and Aura Pereira