Pastor Todd Stricklin
Narragansett Bay Baptist Church
It is a singular honor for me to have this opportunity to recommend Mark and Aura Pereira as church-planting missionaries in the country of Portugal. For Narragansett Bay Baptist Church this is an incredible privilege to team together with a seasoned missionary couple for such a time as this. Our God has uniquely gifted and prepared the Pereiras to launch an intensive effort to establish churches, possibly unlike anything witnessed in Portugal’s long history.
For such a time as this. There is perhaps no expression that better describes Brother Mark. From his years growing up on St. George Island, Azore Islands, Portugal, the path of the Lord’s leading him has been undeniable. For those that have heard the story of how Mark came to the Lord, you are aware of the startling display of God’s sovereignty and the extent to which He will go to reach just one. The intricate interweaving of lives that allowed Mark to be the fruit of missionary investment and labor is an encouragement to us all and a ready reminder to the Pereiras.
While visiting the country of Portugal in Spring 2007, I had the opportunity to meet Bro. Mark while addressing a group of American missionaries there. What was immediately apparent was the obvious and profound respect that these men had for this younger, national pastor. What has become more evident since is the fresh perspective and unique manner in which he has been used by the Lord. What others were assuming could not be done, the Pereiras, depending on the Holy Spirit to guide them, have accomplished. Pastoring the country’s strongest independent, Baptist church has given them an uncommon opportunity for personal growth and development and now a ministry center from which to labor.
Returning to Portugal, in April 2012 I had the distinct pleasure of preaching a missions conference where the Pereiras serve, Igreja Baptista Esperança Viva (Living Hope Baptist Church), Albufeira, Portugal. Witnessing what the Lord has accomplished through the faithful ministry of the Pereiras, we had numerous opportunities to continue a conversation, carried on over the course of several years, regarding what God was leading them to initiate in the way of church planting. Since then we have prayerfully agreed with the Lord for NBBC to partner with Mark and Aura as they minister with the team God has given them in Albufeira to plant churches across Portugal.
It is my sincerest prayer and encouragement to you that you would receive the Pereiras with joy, observe the character and testimony they demonstrate, and bless them on their journey by partnering with them for such a time as this. Please do not hesitate to let me know how we can assist you in joining with us in this unmatched opportunity to labor under the Great Commission with the Pereiras in Portugal.
Missionary to Portugal
I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about Mark and Aura Pereira. Aura is my daughter, and Mark is my son in the faith. I met Mark during our second term as missionaries in the Azore Islands of Portugal. He was twelve years old, and I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord a year later.
A few years later, we moved to mainland Portugal to start a church. Mark was in university at the time, but believed that God would have him in full-time ministry. He served and studied faithfully under me as we planted a church in southern Portugal. In 2004, he both married Aura and became the pastor of the church, freeing my wife and I up to move to a new location and start planting another church.
They have served there faithfully ever since. Their faithfulness has been tried by having to keep a church going through many ups and downs. They have seen many church members leave for economic reasons, yet the church remains and is strong under their leadership.
Portugal is in great need spiritually. There are very few faithful churches, and many large areas have never had a consistent Gospel witness. Mark and Aura believe the Lord would have them spearhead a new wave of church planting here. We are excited to see this new generation of laborers moving forward with the great commission, and I believe this young couple is going to be used of God greatly to see Portugal covered with Bible-believing, New Testament churches, to the glory of God.
Please consider supporting them in this effort. God will accomplish His work, but what a wonderful opportunity we have to be in the yoke with Christ!