We were able to spend the month of July visiting family in PA and several of our supporting churches in KY, IN and RI. We were also welcomed at a new church in York, PA and we presented there our ministry in Portugal.
After we got back to Portugal, in the beginning of August, I had the opportunity to go to São Miguel island in the Azores, to preach an evangelistic meeting promoted by a supporting church in Canada. Their assistant pastor is from the Azores, just like me. They took 30 people to the Azores and evangelized the whole island. At the special service, two made professions of faith.
By the grace of God, also in August we had a great summer camp. We had a good group of kids attend and several made professions of faith. Please pray that we would see those decisions confirmed in these kids’ lives. There were kids from all over Portugal, but we saw an increase of kids from Castelo Branco and the towns around it including Fundão where the new church plant is. We are thankful for the camp property and we were able to use the newly renovated bathhouse facilities. We appreciate all that have donated and prayed for this project. Another blessing of this year’s camp was the fact that nearly all the voluntary workers came from our church in Castelo Branco. This church, which is located closest to the camp property has really taken ownership of that ministry as it provides them an avenue for continued evangelistic outreach.
At the end of August, we help an open-air Bible study in Castelo Branco. It was very well attended and gave us a chance to increase our outreach to the church’s neighborhood. Definitely something to do again.
In September we had the joy of having a new believer join the church in Castelo Branco as he followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. We also resumed our teen activities with a barbecue dinner at our house. There were 12 teens in attendance, and we are praying to see them grow in their faith and to get involved in the church ministry. One of those teens is from our very own village and we will tell you more about him in our next letter. Please continue to pray! We can tell you are praying for these requests just by the way the Lord is working.
When we first raised our support, starting in 2013, we had no idea all that the Lord would do in the following years. This includes Aura’s mom’s cancer diagnosis and their departure from the mission field after 30 years of faithful service. Because of this we have absorbed their former ministry, including the camp ministry which fits into our calling, ministry philosophy, and, most importantly, what we understand to be God’s will for our lives. However, these unforeseen circumstances have added ongoing ministry expenses we had not budgeted for. We have made the decision of going back to the US, starting in the Fall of 2020, for a period of 4 to 6 months to raise new supporters. If you would like us to come and report, or if you can recommend some churches for us to visit, please contact us.
Thank you for your love and support for the ministry in Portugal.
In His Service, Mark and Aura Pereira