Wednesday, December 5, 2012

US trip

Please pray for us as we travel. We will be in the states from November 21-January 10th, and are looking forward to spending time with many of you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Portugal debates future of welfare state
By Peter Wise in Lisbon
Armando Costa, 73, is waiting for an outpatient’s appointment in one of the seemingly endless corridors of Hospital Santa Maria, a huge 1950s building on the edge of Lisbon, teeming with medical staff, orderlies, the sick and their families.
The retired business manager could afford private care, but prefers crowded, noisy Santa Maria because of the quality of treatment on the national health service. As well as social security contributions, patients typically pay a small amount. “I’ll be charged a few euros today, but I’d be happy to pay more,” he said.
How much the Portuguese are prepared to pay for public health, education and welfare services has become the focus of national debate after warnings from Pedro Passos Coelho, the prime minister, that the country’s economic future depends on root-and-branch reform of what the state provides.
But redefining the state’s responsibilities is highly contentious for many Portuguese, who see universal health care and education, free or subsidised at the point of delivery, as fundamental achievements of the 1974 revolution that overthrew 48 years of dictatorship. The government’s opponents fear it wants to destroy the welfare state.
The country has to choose between higher taxes or fewer state services, Vítor Gaspar, finance minister, said. “There appears to be an enormous divergence between what the Portuguese believe the state should deliver and the amount of taxes they are prepared to pay,” he told parliament recently.

Taxes have already risen substantially. The 2013 budget, the toughest in living memory, includes income tax increases of about 30 per cent. Mr Gaspar described the tax rises as “enormous” . Designed to keep Lisbon on track with its €78bn bailout programme, they are the latest in a series of austerity measures that have pushed Portugal into its deepest recession in 40 years, with record unemployment reaching close to 16 per cent.
A sweeping review of the state’s role is due to be completed by March and is required by Portugal’s international lenders – the so-called “troika” of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank - to generate an additional €4bn in spending cuts over the next two years. “About two-thirds of public expenditure goes on social transfers and employment,” said Abebe Selassie, the head of IMF’s mission to Portugal. “But benchmark indicators show a lot of inefficiencies in the way social spending is targeted.”
In this environment, means-testing charges for state health care and university tuition has moved to the top of the political agenda as the centre-right government struggles to discipline public finances.
Attempts to increase charges come as many complain existing rates are already too high.
At Lisbon University, a short walk from Santa Maria, students said many families could no longer afford annual tuition fees of about €1,000. They also argued that the economic crisis meant state spending on education was going to waste. “I have just spent six years studying to be a lawyer,” said Fabiana Silvestre, 26, “but there are simply no jobs in Portugal.” She and two fellow students plan to emigrate to Macau. “We won’t be putting back what the state has invested in us,” said Catarina Lopes, 24.
Medical fees more than doubled in January. The cost for using emergency services, for example, rose from €9.60 to €20, partly to discourage people with minor ailments from going to hospital. The number of people seeking emergency treatment has since fallen by 10 per cent.
“Paying more for better services would make sense, but not just to keep things as they are,” said Cidália Juste, 52, an unemployed clerk who was accompanying a sick relative at Santa Maria. Another outpatient, an 82-year retired shop worker with a monthly pension of just under €400 who did not want to be named, said state medical fees were already too high.
Mr Selassie said the stage was set for “an open debate in which political parties and social partners can reach a consensus on what levels of spending and taxation the country wants”. But the prospect of political agreement looks remote.
The prime minister, said António Arnaut, a member of the opposition Socialists and a founder of the national health service, is bent on a “neoliberal project to destroy the welfare state”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bible Institute Students

I know many of you have been praying for Tiago & Sara,  Jairo & Lina and now also Lara. They are the students our Church here in Miratejo sent last year to the Word of Life Bible Institute in Argentina. They are committed to serving the Lord in full time ministry once they finish their studies. Please continue to pray for them and for our church to be able to support them. This has been a hard time financially here in Portugal and in Argentina.  They have been doing well and are always sharing how much they are enjoying studying and growing in the Lord.

We have an other young lady from our youth group leadership team, who also feels the Lord is calling her into full time ministry, I will share more about her later.
Click on the pictures to see larger view, or to print.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Camp is Coming Up!

Please pray for us, as we invite kids and teens to camp. It is a great opportunity to spend a whole week with unbelievers, explain to them God´s plan for Salvation, and invite them to come to church. 
We also have a group of about 15 that will be working at camp, we pray that this will be an impact in their lives as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grandma Kull

Please keep the Kull family in your prayers. Elise Kull, my grandmother went to heaven this morning, after a long struggle with cancer. We will miss her.

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15

"and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kids Show

During the last couple of months Mário and a few other missionaries have been working on a evangelistic kids show. Saturday was there first presentation, and it went very well. We hope to be able to present it about once a month during the rest of the year.
Both Mário and I were part of this ministry in Argentina and we are praying the it will reach many families and children here as it did there.

June Update

Here is our June Update, please let us know if you have any questions we can answer, and how we can pray for you!  Click on the picture to see larger view.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Please pray with us, we have been seeing the need to have a van, and this week one of our fellow missionaries who is transferring to Spain, offered to sell us his for 5000 euros, but he needs an answer this week.
We would like to buy the van, but need to raise the funds and sell our car to be able to buy it.
We appreciate your prayers!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Update- Trip to Braga

April 13th we headed up with 14 others from our youth group. We arrived in Braga about 1 in the morning and slept on the floor of the church, no one complained, they were so excited to be there! The next morning we woke up at 7 for breakfast and at 8 we headed out for the sports complex. In the pictures you will see a young man with a painting, this is sketch board evangelism. Rafael the young man preaching the gospel is 19. He started coming to our youth group two and a half years ago and was saved. Now he is preaching the gospel and reaching others! After preaching the gospel six young men lifted their hands wanting to accept Christ as their Savior! Praise God! We came home with trophies for wining the soccer tournament, but by Gods grace young men won for Him!

Friday, March 16, 2012

March Update

March 13, 2012
Spring is here and with it has brought new blessings and challenges; we would like to share  a few of them with you.

During the months of January and February we spent long hours with the youth from church preparing them for “Youth Involved” a Word of Life activity where youth from the different churches prepare evangelistic presentation, skits, puppets, Bible stories for kids, music, and the guys actually prepare ten minute sermons as well. This is a great opportunity for us to spend time with the youth and train them to teach and serve others. On the day of “Youth Involved” everyone presented what they had prepared. I think Mário and I were more nervous then the kids. :D  

These few weeks have been difficult, we know that the teen years are difficult, and we have had to confront several of the youth because of the bad decisions they have been making. Running from their problems instead of resolving them, and starting relationships without God’s guidance are a couple of issues we have had to deal with. Please pray that God would give our youth and heart for the Lord and for following Him.

We are planning to take part of the youth group to a soccer tournament next month. It will take place up north in Braga. In this area of the country evangelism is very scarce and in consequence few have been saved.  Please pray that God would use the tournament to be able to reach teens in northern Portugal for Christ.

The ministry to children has been growing.  Every Saturday this year we have had more kids attending.  In December we were thinking of changing from having a program for them every week, to have one only once a month because we only had about 5 or 6 kids coming. The first Saturday in January we had 9 kids, then 11, then 12, and have had around that many coming faithfully.

Mário has been the local kids soccer team´s coach since September, so that has been wearing him out a bit.  He would like to be able to take his team to the children´s Easter camp, where they will have a soccer tournament and most importantly hear the Gospel all week long. Please pray and consider giving a donation to sponsor the children so that they may an opportunity to know the Savior.

We both have been active in our church:  Mário with the men´s ministry and Lancy with the women´s, but we also help organize the ABWE ministry events, such as the ladies tea last month, and  planning a men´s conference in June.

Mário will be teaching Church History at the Bible Institute in May, and please also pray for him as he prepares for his ordination ceremony in October, apparently it includes  in three hours of questions before a large group of pastors.

Thank you for your friendship, love and support. May God bless you for your heart for Him.

Mário & Lancy Pina

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Teens Involved.

These last couple of months we have been very busy working with the ttens

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Portugal Economic Crisis

In this new year people working for the government will loose 40% of their wages.
Taxes have gone up, as well as prices of gas and groceries.
Many men and women at church have lost their jobs, and those looking for jobs have not found them.
Mário´s sister Carla graduated from nursing school 20 months ago and after sending out hundreds of applications to hospitals and clinics, she still has not found a nursing job here in Portugal.
Please pray for her, in February she will be moving to Ireland where she has been offered a job.

Pray for the people of Portugal, that this present economic crises will turn their hearts to God and not away from Him.

Carla & Mário