Dear friends, supporters of this ministry.
[You can download here a PDF version of this letter]
I have communicated to our sending church and to the church in Castelo Branco, Portugal, my intention to step down from the ministry due to health reasons. As you probably know I had a hemorrhagic stroke in February and I’m still under some of its effects. I am being followed by a neurologist. There are no reasons for great concern, but I do feel that I cannot give myself physically to the many pressures related to the leadership of a church, several missionary projects and the management of a Christian camp facility. I will continue to teach English as my profession, and we will no longer be missionaries.
It is the end, for now, of a path that began with my ordination in December of 2002. I praise the Lord for all these years, for everything that He has done and will continue to do. Over the years we have seen people saved, churches started and the great news of the gospel of Christ shared throughout the country.
We would like to thank you for your prayer and financial support of our ministry. This country needs the Gospel badly and we would ask you to consider supporting one of the other missionaries to Portugal.
The church in Castelo Branco has elected four of its men to serve as an interim pastoral board and all the ministries will continue as they have been. The church has been able, for the last few years to take care of all their bills. The church is also praying for wisdom regarding the process of installing a new pastor.
The church in Castelo Branco will continue to help the group of believers meeting in Fundão, with the hope of eventually organizing it as a church.
The camp ministry will come under the authority of the church in Castelo Branco and the church will run it as one of its ministries. Please pray for the ongoing maintenance of the camp. It costs about 1500 dollars per month to have someone maintain the property. We would ask any churches or individuals to prayerfully consider, in part or in full, taking that on as a missionary project. The funds can then be sent directly to the church in Castelo Branco. If you would like to help with this and would like some more information, please reach out to us, or contact our sending church.
This Friday, May 21st, Aura and I will be traveling to the States, to spend some time with family and do deal with the issues surrounding this decision. I will not be considering any invitations to preach during this time.
Thank you for your love and support for the ministry in Portugal.
Mark and Aura Pereira