Today, one of the Portuguese pastor’s wives invited other pastor and missionary wives to accompany her on a walking tour of Lisbon. Since we’ve all seen the main attractions, she showed us a few hidden gems and told us some interesting stories behind them. She also shared about her first encounter with the gospel 40 years ago when she received a flyer in her mailbox for youth camp. At the age of 13, her and 4 other friends she invited went to that camp and received Christ as their Savior even though they were living in “Catholic Portugal,” and by that she explained she didn’t know anyone who wasn’t Catholic and it was unthinkable to convert away from Catholicism. Nevertheless, God had a plan for these young people, who are all still in church today. She showed us this statue of a doctor who was credited with many miracles during his medical career and after his death in 1897, he became somewhat of a “saint” to the people of Portugal. The Catholic Church tried to canonize him as a Saint, but he didn’t meet the qualifications. Nevertheless, people still beg for his healing hand today and credit him for successful surgeries, cancer treatments, etc etc. At the foot of his statue were countless engraved marble stones with various inscriptions such as “thank you for hearing me” and “thank you for the complete recovery of ________” or “thank you for the grace bestowed on me”. What sad knowledge that people are trusting in a deceased man to hear them with his stone ears and heal them with his stone hands. They could know the Healer!
Please pray fervently this week for Ana. Her heart is really softening toward the Lord and we are seeking opportunities with her in the coming weeks.
Have a great Tuesday!