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Since the Newtons left Portugal for medical reasons, we have been praying for a viable and sustainable solution for the general daily maintenance of the camp property in Castelo Branco. The Newtons started the camp ministry and did a tremendous job taking care of the property. They even started the process of recovering the olive trees and optimizing them for olive oil production, which will help us soon with the maintenance costs of the property. Over the last 10 years this camp property has allowed us to have summer camps, youth activities, nationwide church retreats and seminars. Last year we used it also as accommodation for our first Reach Portugal Conference. This month we have taken a step of faith and hired one of our church members to be the caretaker for the camp. We have set aside ministry funds so that we have several months of his salary as a reserve and we are trusting the Lord that we will be able to keep him on staff. You can already see the difference now that he has started working. A couple of the churches in Portugal have committed a small amount towards the monthly support of the camp. We are praying that in about 3 years the combination of agricultural proceeds and the Portuguese churches’ support, will be sufficient to provide for the caretaker’s salary. Until then, we will try our best to cover it with Reach Portugal ministry funds. Please pray with us that the funds will continue to be there as we firmly believe this is a ministry tool that will help us reach Portugal with the gospel of Christ.
João Pousinho is a faithful Christian man. He and his family attend the church faithfully. We are currently reading a ministry book together and we meet weekly to study. He is a tremendous blessing to the church in Castelo Branco and helps with the music and teaching ministries. João has also preached several times in my absence. We were praying together about the camp ministry when it became obvious to both of us that he would be a good fit for this ministry. Pray for João as he adjusts to this big responsibility.
Thank you for praying for Aura’s ear surgery. The procedure went well, and we are now waiting to see if there are any results in terms of hearing gain. The ear needs to heal from the surgery and the body needs to absorb the protective foam before we can know for sure. We have another appointment on October 17th, so please keep praying.
This month we are restarting the youth ministry classes, literacy project classes, ladies’ meetings and English classes. Please pray that these ministries would allow us to meet new people in Castelo Branco and would open opportunities to share the gospel of Christ. I am also continuing my studies at the local university and hoping to use that as an outreach as well. We have already resumed our Bible Institute classes. I am finishing two courses with two of our students and we have already made several contacts with people that want to start studying with us when we start new courses.
Thank you for your love and support for the ministry in Portugal.
In His Service,
Mark and Aura Pereira