Gibsons: Portugal

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March 2020

February News: February was a very exciting month for us as a church. We had been teaching through what the Bible teaches about the local church and our role in that. After teaching about baptism we started getting a lot of questions and many wanted to be baptized! On February 16th we had 7 baptisms! It was a wonderful time for us as a church to get together and see people take this step in their faith. I had the privilege of baptizing our two oldest daughters, Natalia and Annaelise, as well as two other adults. As parents we were thrilled that our daughters came to us and asked lots of questions about what it meant and why we do it. We were thrilled as leaders in the church but more so as parents! One of the guys is Nepalese and had come out of Hinduism and the other had been in a very non-biblical church and was baptized before, but was not a Christian at the time. We are very thankful for these two men and continue to pray for them as Adam continues to meet with them for Bible studies and discipleship. Our colleague Beau was able to baptize three other adults as well!

March Brings…Unexpected Changes?? Well…this is not something specific to us, nor our country, but to all of us. We have all had these changes in our lives recently, so much so that I do not need to say what it is, yet you know of what I speak. We are thankful for the Portuguese government and the seriousness they have given to this pandemic. We are on our third week of quarantine and are only allowed to leave our house, one at a time to take the dog out, go to the store or pharmacy. The same week schools shut down, Melissa started a masters level class for educational therapy, so she has been very busy. Lines are long at the stores and it has been tough staying inside, since it has been so beautiful outside, but God is good and He continues to provide for us in so many ways. Our only option for being outside together is our balcony which is a staggering 11 x 5 1/2 ft. Because we live in an apartment and cannot be in public spaces, this is our only outdoor space to stay in for long periods of time. Our yard in Bartow, FL which seemed small at the time would be a dream come true at this point. But God is faithful! Along with changes, our church, as I’m sure yours as well, has experienced new changes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of live-streaming services, but maybe thats just me lol. However, the only options are to go against the government and/or look bad in the community that you are in (as I just read about yesterday in Tampa, FL). So we have been pre-recording our services and have had an amazing surprise. In the past three weeks we have had a total of 391 views with the highest views being 82 views!!! We could not even fit 82 people in our building. But God is using this time to reach people we do not know! Our prayer for us as well as other churches in Portugal and around the world is that God would use the internet to reach people who would never visit our churches. More than that, our prayer is that we eventually see new people come when we are allowed to meet again with each other. And one day in the future we will hear how a horrible virus in 2020 was used to bring thousands and even millions to God! God is not stagnant, He is not resting, He is doing something huge. Let us be ready to be used by Him, today and in every other day He gives us. To God be the Glory great things He has done and is doing!

Praise! —7 baptized! —Good health during these times. —Church outreach while we are unable to gather. Prayer! —For continued growth of those who were baptized. —For us as we are going on our third week in quarantine. —For churches to stay strong and grow in these times of being apart. Thank You! We can never stop praising God for you, your prayers and support. We are praying for you as well. Pray that God would use us to help people during this time. God is faithful, our desire is to be that as well. Thank you and thank you for your faithfulness. Psalm144

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Posted: February 14, 2013

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Category: Europe, Missions