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.
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.
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.
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.