Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What are some mind-blowing facts about Portugal?

Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe - Having the same defined borders since 1139, almost 900 years ago. The name Portugal first appears in 868, during the Reconquista over the Muslims.

Lisbon is older than Rome - Around four centuries older to be precise. It is in fact the second oldest   European capital after Athens. Many historians believe that it was settled by the Phoenicians around 1200 BC, who used the excellent   transport possibilities offered by the River Tagus.

Portugal once had a dead Queen - When Pedro I was crowned King of Portugal in 1357, he proclaimed his lover, Ines de Castro, Queen despite the fact that she had died in 1355

Portugal is one of the world's top surf spots. In October 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara caught the biggest wave (30 m / 90 ft) ever surfed to date at Praia do Norte, near the  town  of Nazaré, in central Portugal.

Paris is the second-largest "Portuguese city", based on the number of Portuguese residents, with nearly 700,000 Portuguese. But Paris is not the only place in Europe with lots of Portuguese people: around 12 per cent of the   population of Luxembourg is actually Portuguese.

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance between England/UK and Portugal is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force. It was signed in 1373 and is in force until this day. Both countries   entered wars to defend the other, including the United Kingdom entering the Iberian Peninsular War and Portugal entering World War I.

Half of the "New World" once belonged to Portugal - In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed which essentially gave   Portugal the eastern half of the "New Word", including Brazil, Africa, and Asia. The Portuguese Empire was actually the first global empire in   history and one of the longest-lived colonial powers, lasting for  almost  six centuries from when Ceuta was captured in 1415, until Macau (now  China) was handed-over in 1999.

Portugal was the first colonial power to abolish slavery. It abolished slavery all the way back in 1761 - that's half a century before Britain, France, Spain, or the United States.However, Portugal was also the first country in Europe to open a 'Slave Market' in Lagos, Algarve.

Portuguese is the eighth most spoken language in the world. With approximately 200 million native speakers and 240 million total speakers,
is usually listed as the eighth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, English, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic, Russian and Bengali

Portugal has the world's largest Solar Energy plant. Based in Alentejo. Portugal also boasts the world's fire wave energy plant, which became producing energy in October of the 2006

Portugal introduced the habit of drinking tea in Britain. The   world-famous tea ceremony in England has emerged thanks to Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, who married the King Charles II of England and brought this mode to the court. Japanese tempura, a set of buttered  dishes, has specifically Portuguese origin because of Portuguese navigators.

Portugal is the third country in the world by fish consumption indicator,   following Japan and Iceland. The Azores citizens eat nearly 76 kg of fish annually, while in the world the average amount is16 kg.

Portugal does not have an official religion, though some 84% of the population are Catholic.

The world-famous "Port" wine comes from Porto. It became very popular in England after the Methuen Treaty of 1703, when merchants were permitted to import it at a low duty, while war with France deprived English wine drinkers of French wine. The long trip to England often resulted in spoiled wine; the   fortification of the wine was introduced to improve the shipping and   shelf-life of the wine for its journey. In the UK, the military (British Army, RAF and Royal Navy) at formal dinners use port as a wine with which to toast the Queen. It has been imitated in several  countries - notably Australia, South Africa, India and the United  States.

Lisbon runs the largest Casino one in Europe - Casino do Estoril.

Lisbon was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in  history, which led to the birth of seismology. On  the 1st of November in 1755, Lisbon was  struck by about a 9.0  magnitude earthquake. Furthermore, the  earthquake struck on All Saints  Day, a major holiday when the churches  were filled with burning  candles. The earthquake struck, toppling the  candles, causing major  fires. 275,000 residents were killed and 85% of  the buildings were  destroyed, including famous palaces and churches. Lisbon being the  capital of a devout Catholic  country with a long history of evangelism  in the colonies, the  catastrophe caused much embarassment to the  Catholic Church, which could  not explain this manifestation of the  anger of God - striking moreover  on a Catholic holiday.

Although Portugal was always a very small nation state, the Portuguese Empire was huge. Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th   centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the   destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the   Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of its wealthiest colony of  Brazil  in 1822.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Missionary and Pastors Conference

 This November we were invited by ABWE to take a wonderful trip stopping a day in Rome and a week in Greece. It was amazing to see a few of the places where the apostle Paul and other Christians preached the Gospel and were killed for their faith. We had a uplifting conference with other missionaries and pastors from all over western Europe.

Study of Romans

In October we had a professor Moises Moura from Dallas seminary teaching a week long study of Romans each night. To our surprise almost half of the adults from our church showed up to learn. It is wonderful to see in our people the desire to learn God´s Word.

Trip to the US

We are traveling to the US and would like to meet up with you. Please pray for us as we travel and let us know if we can stop in and see you.
WY Dec.20-Jan.7
OR Jan.7-21
CA Jan.21- Feb.6
TX Feb.6-9
MO Feb.9-13
IO Feb.13-20
WY Feb.21-28

Ministry Van Update Needed

Please pray with us about a new van. Our old one has been giving us lots of problems. It seems lately that there is always something that needs to be fixed or replaced. It is used to take people back and forth from church and school. So it is pretty important. We are looking for a nine seater that will carry more people, but all vans are quite expensive. Please consider donating towards this need in your end of year giving.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Church Anniversary

This last Sunday the church had it´s 29th Anniversary. This is the video I made of the last years main events. I am sorry I have not posted recently, I hope to get back into the habit soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seven young men who need the Lord

Aldair, Tiago, Sergio, Otávio, Kiki, Nelson,Wilson and Gustavo(from church).
We have a group of nine teens at camp this week this is the group of guys along with Tiago our youth leader. Seven of them are not yet believers and part of our soccer outreach. Several of them have shown interest in knowing Christ. Please pray that God would continue to work in their lives and that God would use Tiago to speak the truth of the gospel. They will be at camp till the end of the week. Mário will be preaching tonight at camp.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer Soccer

Here are a few pictures of the Soccer tournament that Mário organized with the men from church.
Please pray that several of them will be able to go to camp July 8-13th.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Attacks in Europe

Thursday night we went to bed after seeing the news of the attack in Nice.  This has caused uneasy emotions in the Portuguese people. France and Portugal have a long friendship and is considered a sister country. Over a million Portuguese citizens live in France. When we watch the videos of the attack, it looked just like a neighborhood gathering here in Portugal. Through all of our minds was the thought this could easily happen here. As you can see in my last post, Portuguese people love to get together for parties, holidays and festivities. We do so often, as a church and when engaging with the community.  We also have a large number of Muslims living in our area. In fact, from where we last lived, the local Mosque was just 100 yard´s away. Several Muslim families lived in our apartment building. 
This has brought insecurity into the hearts of our people, Catholics, Muslims, and others. Please pray that this would turn their hearts to the true and only Prince of Peace and that we might be bold soldiers of the King.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Euro Cup Champions!

This past Sunday the whole country stopped and watched the final game of the Euro Cup held in Paris, France vs. Portugal.  We had gotten back from the church´s yearly pic-nic and outing and a group of 30 came over to our house to see the game. Lancy made pancakes for the group and everyone sat down nervously to see the game. Shortly into the game Cristiano Ronaldo was injured and had to leave the field. The normal time of play ended and they went into overtime. With 10 minutes remaining Portugal scored and everyone jumped to there feet and started chanting for joy. For the next 10 minutes all fingers were crossed and finally the whistle blew. Portugal was the Euro champion!

We watched the trophy be given to the team, more friends came over and we made our way to downtown Lisbon where thousands gathered to celebrate.

Here is a video of the next day when the team returned and bused around the city to the presidential palace for a ceremony and more festivities.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sports Evangelism

While Portugal is still fighting its way to the top of the Euro Cup, Mário and the men from Church have been organizing  a soccer match for July 9th to reach more young people in our community. They have been doing games and witnessing weekly, but would like to do a special event to reach out more. We would like to take the winning team to a week of camp to be able to spend more time witnessing and planting seed in their hearts. Please pray for God to bring more people to Him. We have seen time and again that we are not able to save or convince any. Only God can touch and transform a life.
The young people in our community, mostly come from broken, poor and completely lost families. We know what a difference Jesus can do in a life. Mário himself came from a neighborhood like this one and God save him out of darkness. 

Please pray we would have the funds to be able to take them to camp.

Homeschool Together

As you heard in our last newsletter, we have been asked by several parents to help start a Christian School. At this moment here in Portugal there are no Christian schools taught in Portuguese. Several things factor into this reality. One being so many rules and regulations imposed by the government, a very small Christian community in Portugal, and low income families.

We have been working with Christian Education Europe and are wanting to translate and create school curriculum that will bless and train our children for the world they are living in.

In September we will be starting off with a group of about 10-12 kids from preschool to third grade.

Please pray with us, we believe God will use this to reach children and families in our communities.
If you would like to be a part of this ministry we do need supplies, volunteers and wisdom to serve Him with excellence.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bible Study for Unbelivers

These last few months we have had several unbelivers coming to our church. Because of this, Mário started a Sunday school class for them teaching them who Jesus is and what we belive. Every Sunday has been an opportunity to share the gospel. Pedro, who has come to church for several years now called Mário this week saying that he wanted to acept Christ. Later they got together and talked about it and Pedro said he wanted to belive, but that he just can´t do it. Please pray that he would come to true repentance and trust in Jesus. The spiritual battle is waging, pray that each one of these dear friends would surender to the King of Kings.

"And when they had appointed him a day, they came to him into his lodging in great number; to whom he expounded the matter, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning till evening." Acts 28:23

Friday, June 24, 2016

UK out of the European Union

The Briefing from yesterday is very interesting in regards to the UK leaving the EU.

Especially since today we have seen the Euro, our currency, go down today and our bank here in Portugal lost 20% of its worth. It has been the only thing talked about on the news channels. This last week as we listened to the news, no one was really expecting that they would leave. Now we are starting to see how this effects all of us that live in Europe.

If you have a few minutes to listen I thought this was very interesting.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Kids Day

Here in Portugal, June first is Kids Day. Mostly a day for stores to sell more toys and candy, but for us an opportunity to reach the children and families in our neighborhood.
We put together an afternoon with games and activities for children. Each game had a color from the wordless book. Gold, Black, Red, White and Green. When all the games were finished we gathered everyone for a Gospel drama that explained each one of the colors. We spoke to many children and many mothers that were there with their kids. Please pray that God would open their eyes and hearts to Him.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

2016 Women´s Retreat

I Lancy, have been involved each year in organizing the ABWE´s women´s retreat. It is special to get away and be together with other women and encourage each other to seek after the Lord and fulfill what He ask of us.
This year we have a record number of 70 women.  Our church was in charge of the kitchen and all the meals. Eliza and Carolina did a wonderful job.
I also organized the mission project, where we raised funds for a home for children an ABWE´s ministry in Thailand with the children of the women who are in prison.

Eliza and Carolina

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Pastor for Portugal

This past Saturday we were able to be a part of Miguel´s testing to be a pastor. The last two years he has been pastoring our sister/daughter church in the Santa Marta neighborhood. Now he was able to be questioned in his Theology, Salvation and call to ministry, and positions on christian ethics. The questioning took about two hours and then the group of about ten  pastors, from different baptist groups, unanimously recognized and recommended him to the ministry. Miguel and his family are good friends  and it is good to see them growing in their ministry to the Lord. Next Saturday will be his ordination. Thank you for keeping them in their prayers.
Miguel being questioned

Mario, Miguel, Samuel, Tiago, pastors and friends

Saturday Miguel was ordained to the ministry. our prayer is that God will continue to use him and his wife Loida for His glory.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

God has done more than we have asked for

Mário called me just after finishing up at the school where Fernando Soriano, the Argentine missionary, who was saved out of drugs and is living with HIV, just gave his presentation and testimony.

"God has done more than we have asked for" where his words to me. The government officials really enjoyed Fernando´s presentation they all had tears in their eyes as they were listening to his testimony.  They want to meet with Mário and Miguel to discuss with them Fernando´s coming back and speaking in all the schools in our county They want all the kids in each school to hear. They want him to give workshops to the parents about drug prevention and to speak at other community groups.

Please pray for this meeting, and pray for Fernando, his health and his trip back to Portugal in November. Pray for these open doors to stay open. Fernando openly preaches the gospel while giving his testimony and we have enemies that do not want the gospel to be heard.

Thank you for your prayers, God has heard them!
Fernando in red and his translator, Rui on the right.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scoccer Tournament Results

Diogo with Denzel and Gabriel.

Mário with one young man who went forward expressing his desire to know Christ.
Mário and Diogo, a young man in our church who works with the soccer ministry, took the group of Jr. High kids to the Word of Life tournament. They had a great time playing, for most of the kids this was their first time out to a tournament. Mário gave his testimony and then the gospel was preached. None of the kids from the team made a profession for Christ, but seeds are planted. Please pray that God would touch and transform the neighborhood kids from Miratejo.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sports Evangelism

Pray for us as we would like to take 20 young teens from the neighborhood to a soccer match April 30th at the Word of Life camp. Mário and several men from the church have been working with them. They have shared their testimonies and the gospel several times. We are asking the Lord to save and transform their lives. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Big News!

We have been planning on having Fernando Soriano an Argentine missionary speak and preach the gospel for one class at a local school. Since we have been organizing this we have been invited to speak to all the students at the school and all staff. If the authorities like Fernando´s presentation they will have him in all the schools in our county!

Fernando was saved by Christ out of drug addiction, he later found out the he is HIV positive. God has been using him to speak to teenagers about drugs, AIDS and other issues, but his message is the God can, and wants to save. Please be praying that May 6th God would be glorified and doors would be open so that more young people can hear about Jesus and His wonderful salvation.
Fernando at a school in Spain

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Adoption Interviews

We have turned in all our papers and had the last of all the interviews last week, in order to be approved by the Portuguese government to adopt. We are now waiting for their decision to come in the mail.

After that it is still a long road, adoption in Portugal is slow. We have also asked them to send our papers to adopt from Guinea Bissau. Thank you for keeping this in your prayers.

Easter Sunday Service

We had a wonderful Easter service. The men did a great job with their drama presentation. Sunday morning it was performed at our sister church in the Santa Marta Neighborhood. They are a new church just seven years old and we try to support and help them whenever we can.  Sunday evening they performed at the Miratejo church and we had a full house. Several people were standing, others sat on the stairs to be able to watch. We were especially thankful for the unbelievers that came and heard the gospel and seeds were planted. Our prayer is that those seeds would grow and develop.
The men rehearsing.

It was especial good to have the men involved doing this together. They spent several weeks practicing together and this of course means they spend time together. Most, if not all of them spend most of their time at work with unbelievers, so this was a time a refreshment being together with their brothers and serving Christ. Please pray for the spiritual growth of the men of the church.
At our sister church.
Diogo as Jesus´disciple Nathaniel.

Djara, Loida and Lancy singing.
A few women were involved in the musical part of the drama singing in between scenes.
Pastor Miguel preaching the gospel.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Kids Easter Program

We praise the Lord we are able to share the gospel. We rented the local soccer field and held a kids program. We had a good turn out, about 40 kids came, and most of them not from church. Because of the weather conditions our VBS turned into a one day kids activity.  It is always hard to do outside events during the spring. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers as we try to reach our community.
What a difference it would be if these kids would come to know the Lord and live for Jesus.

Bible Gospel Story

We rented a bouncy house, the kids love them.

Here is a small clip of the games from the kids activity: