Moore Family to Portugal

Moore Family to Portugal

Tuesday Newsday – September 28

Hello and Happy Tuesday.

We had a full house on Sunday with a guest missionary speaker from Brazil. We had several visitors that, thankfully, had contacted us ahead of time about coming so we were able to make a seating chart and tape people’s names on chairs in order to maximize space. Unfortunately, we had to ask one family of six to watch from home this week. We are SO tired of our space problems, but are grateful that as of October 1, they are lifting more COVID restrictions and we will be able to be at full occupancy again, at least for a little while 😬

We are now also able to host small groups in our homes, unmasked. The above picture is our Portuguese service at “game night.” Please pray for “Israel”, a Portuguese college student who accepted the invitation to game night. Afterward, he said he would like to visit our church service sometime.

Meanwhile, I met with a lady today who has been attending our services for a couple of months and we have met for coffee and Bible study several times. She came to us a believer but has been part of just about every denomination I know of. We have been sorting through some mixed teachings and one by one, the lightbulbs are coming on and the dots in Scripture are connecting. During today’s Bible study, she expressed that she feels the “next step” for her is Biblical baptism. Praise God for the way His Word and Holy Spirit are working to grow these young believers. Her name is Tania.

Thank you for your prayers. Have a great week!

Tuesday Newsday – October 5

Happy Tuesday. Today we had the privilege of attending a meeting comprised of many missionaries and pastors, working to plant churches here in Portugal. The speaker asked an interesting question of the audience, “By show of hands, how many in this room were not born in Portugal?” It was an overwhelming majority. This was his suspicion, and always our observation over our many years in Portugal. Those that fill our churches were either first exposed to the gospel outside of Portugal, or they have lived outside of Portugal at some point in time, making them more “open-minded” and willing to listen to and accept the gospel at a later point in life. Winning a Portuguese person to the Lord is extremely difficult. The speaker shared his testimony, having been born in Brazil to a Brazilian pastor, who, many years into a successful ministry felt God was calling him to the Azores (islands belonging to Portugal). The islands have an American military base, and a group of American Christians gathered every week for a church service. They acknowledged the neediness of the “locals” but recognizing their limitations as soldiers (not missionaries) and as Americans (not speaking the Portuguese language), they began praying for a missionary to come to the island. They even contacted the association of Baptist churches in Portugal asking for someone to come (this was in the 70’s). Unfortunately, the response was, “We would love to send a missionary to the Azores, but we don’t even have enough pastors for our churches here. Some are pastoring more than one congregation just trying to keep the church open in that community.” At some point, the association received word of this Brazilian family determined to go to to the Azores as missionaries and passed along the good news to the American soldiers. The pastor, along with his family (including his son – today’s speaker – who was 9 at the time) sold all they had, got on a boat, and hoped to find a hotel or something for a few days when they arrived on the island while they searched for a home to rent, and hoped the money they had would be enough to buy furnishings and become established in the Azores. When they arrived, the group of American believers met them at the dock. They didn’t speak Portuguese and the pastor/missionary didn’t speak English, so they mostly communicated through hand motions. Much to their surprise, they didn’t need a hotel, because the American believers had rented them an apartment, had completely furnished it including a toy truck on his bed and a doll on his sister’s bed, and had rented the small storefront below this apartment to be their first “church building.” When the missionary realized that theirs was the only island that had radio broadcast capabilities, he thought this might be a good way to get the gospel out. The “on base” church took care of the details, making that happen the very next week. To this day, the longest running radio station in the Azores is their Baptist station, still proclaiming the gospel. As he looked around the room and the many missionaries dedicated to Portugal, including some still raising support to arrive in Portugal within the next six months, he observed, “God must love Portugal very much, and must be determined to do a work here, since He continues to call laborers to the field. The work is His, the laborers are His, and He can bring them from wherever He wants.” He thanked the missionaries for their service and the sacrifices they have made to serve transculturally. He encouraged the national pastors in their mission as well, and together we prayed Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” – that God would continue to send laborers from other countries, if He chooses, and that He would bring up laborers within our churches here, to reach their own nation with the gospel. We have an alarm set on our phones at 9:38 every day. At this time, we are reminded to stop and pray for the Lord to send more laborers – we so desperately need them. Portugal has not had the presence gospel for very many years, and the laborers that are here are over-taxed with the workload of the mission. Some of us prepare the ground, some of us plant the seed, and some of us water, but the Lord gives the harvest. Praise God for the group of believers on the military base who understood there was work to be done, and did the part they could. May we all seek to do our part.

Tuesday Newsday – October 12

Today, as I was getting my nails done (this is Valerie writing, just to clear up any confusion that could ensue 😅), I was able to have a gospel conversation with Rute for nearly an hour. The conversation came up naturally… she had just returned from vacation so she talked about the things they did, saw, and ate. Then, I told her Beau and I planned to take a vacation the first week of January. She thought that was an odd time of the year to vacation and perhaps the weather wouldn’t be in our favor. I agreed, but explained that it would be a much needed break (and celebration) as Beau would finish his master’s in December. She asked what subject he was studying and at which university. I explained he is pursuing a counseling degree from a stateside university. “Why not a Portuguese University?” she asked. I explained that this subject was not available on a master’s level in Portugal from a Biblical worldview. I said this was important to us because of our faith and the church in which we work, ministering to many who are broken and hurt by the sinful world in which we live, who then turn to human wisdom and methods to resolve their problems, often unsuccessfully. I explained that studying counseling from a Biblical worldview offered people authentic solutions to their problems based on the truths of Scripture rather than the many opinions and theories of men. This started quite a long conversation with many questions concerning a variety of different religions and religious beliefs. And eventually, she questioned the efficacy of pilgrimages to “holy sites.”

Tomorrow, October 13, marks the anniversary of an “apparition” of Mary to three shepherd children about 1.5 hrs north of us. A church was built on that site, which was declared sacred by the Catholic church, and they decreed Mary should be worshipped there. It is one of three main pilgrimage sites in the world for Roman Catholics. Many crawl on their hands and knees for miles to find favor with God, in search of answers to their prayers. Many burn candles in the shape of an organ in which they may have cancer, or a baby, who may be sick. I shared with her that it was interesting that that came to her mind, because Fatima (the name of this city and religious site) is actually the reason we are in Portugal as missionaries. It was during a touristic visit to this site that Beau witnessed the incredible effort put forth by the people to HOPEFULLY find favor with God and to HOPEFULLY find a solution for their problem, at great cost to their physical and mental health. He felt saddened that people CAN know the truth, but don’t. I shared with her that in our state, there are multiple truth-preaching churches in most towns. You can pick up a book containing the truth at a grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, bookstore, hear it on the radio, read it on the internet, or are likely to encounter a person who has experienced the truth and can explain it to you plainly, if you are seeking. We realized in Portugal, even people who are desperately seeking, can hardly find the truth. There is very little gospel presence. (See, missions is not only about whether or not many, a majority, or even the whole has ACCEPTED the gospel. It is very much about how AVAILABLE the gospel is.)

Beau and I had an experience in a subway restaurant some years ago (in a Midwestern town), in which we shared with another customer in line that we were missionaries to Portugal, and they shared that they were teachers at a Bible college, and the workers shared how they were leaders and teachers in their churches, and by the end of the conversation, everyone in that subway restaurant was aware that not only were we all believers, but we were leaders in pointing others to Christ. Beau and I left that restaurant with the same thought, “The gospel is present here. We need to go somewhere where it isn’t.” (Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying every Christian is called to leave their “Jerusalem” and go somewhere else with the gospel. But I don’t doubt that some who are reading this are called elsewhere, but are not going.)

Regardless, I was able to share with Rute the reason why we chose to leave our country in order to bring a gospel presence to Portugal, and the importance for her to consider her “soul.” As the rich man who lived his life building bigger barns for storing all of the earthly treasures he was accumulating faced the day in which he had to give account for his soul, so each of us should be concerned with and preparing for eternity and not just this life.

Please pray fervently this week for Rute and the seeds that have been planted. Pray that the Holy Spirit would stir this conversation in her mind many times and that she would seek to know more. Pray for us to have more of these gospel conversations and more opportunities to share the hope of the gospel with others.

Have a great week!


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