Luis - an example of God's sustaining grace
Whether you’ve experienced 90º temperatures or snow the past two weeks, we hope you’re having a good Fall. Here in Portugal, we’ve had the 90º version, but there is a cold nip in the air this morning, and cooler temperatures are on their way.
Fall activities are back in full swing. I am once again teaching a seminary class. My students are a sharp group this semester, and it is a privilege to help prepare them for ministry.
God has sent many women to our church, and they are hungry to learn more about the Bible and to be mentored. Sarah is leading a Bible study with them based on Titus 2. So far, the women have been doing their homework and sharing how they have been convicted and encouraged. Sarah is also doing physical therapy 5 days a week to regain mobility in her wrist after her surgery. The doctors expect it to take 6 months or more, but, one millimeter of movement at a time, she is getting there.
Our kids are attending Portuguese schools for 2ndgrade and kindergarten, (and we’re supplementing with English at home). Even at their young ages, Laura and Samuel tell their classmates and teachers about God when the chance arises. When I picked Samuel up from school last week, his teacher told about Samuel’s response to a kid who was pestering him on the playground: “He said at your church you teach to treat others the way you want to be treated.” We’re grateful for the children God has given us, and we pray God will use them for God’s glory as they let their little lights shine.
God has certainly used a young person in our church this past year. We told you about Luis, the 12-year-old boy who died of cancer last month. His faith, his funeral, and his family have all been examples of God’s sustaining grace in the worst of times. In August, his aunt came from overseas to spend a few months helping the family. She was with them through the end of Luis’ life, and she is still here for a few more weeks. She has had a front-row seat to the difference God has made in Luis’ family. Yesterday, she asked to talk with Luis’ mom and with us, because she was “ready to willingly accept Jesus with all of her heart”. We praise God for using Luis to help reach his aunt for Christ, and we pray for her as she plans to grow in a Bible-preaching church in her home country.
In September, we had our church anniversary which is always an important occasion. It was a sweet time of fellowship as several other churches also came to celebrate with us. We looked back with gratefulness for the good things God has done, and we looked forward with hope. It also reminded us how quickly the years we have been in Portugal are going by. Eight years ago, we arrived here. Five years ago, we began having church services. Two years ago, we formally organized as a church. Thank God with us for the good things he has done, and pray for us that we will be faithful to the Lord. Thank you for sticking with us and keeping up with us!
Church Anniversary Video