the church is His, not ours
”…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This promise, spoken by Jesus, brings much comfort to the heart of a missionary. The pressure to “produce results” and grow a ministry numerically can become a stressor, despite knowing such a burden is not valid. Recently, we are humbled by how God is building His church even without us! Let me explain: Pedro (age 22) lost his grandmother. This caused many questions about eternity and the purpose of human existence. Someone suggested to him, “The Bible may have the answers you’re looking for.” So he read it – yes, the whole thing. He put his faith in Christ for salvation. He plainly saw his need for baptism and church membership in the New Testament. He began looking for a church whose teachings aligned with what he had read in Scripture. In December, he showed up at our church, ready to be baptised and become a part of our church, feeling well-acquainted with us, having watched our services on-line for a year. He had completed a degree in political science, but after becoming a Christian decided he could not best live out his faith in that field within such a corrupt government. Now he is asking the Lord what career he should have instead. He is thirsty! He is discipling weekly with Beau and drinking in every ounce of teaching. What an amazing reminder that God’s Word is absolutely sufficient to do the whole and complete work of the gospel, even without our efforts in networking, evangelism, teaching, preaching, encouraging, reminding, and re-reminding to walk in obedience to the Lord. What a refreshingly simple faith: “God’s Word says it, so I believe it, and I’m going to do it.” If only every Christian in our churches would live out their faith in this way. We are very excited to see how God plans to use Pedro for the gospel here in Portugal.
There is an incredible need for the gospel in Portugal, thus, an incredible need for workers. We have a daily alarm set on our phones at 9:38 to remind us to be obedient to Jesus’ command in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Find inspiration and encouragement regarding this at https://bbfimissions.com/project-938/. This year begins our 16th year as missionaries to Portugal, and we are troubled at the thought that we are the most recent BBFI missionaries to this field. BUT… last month we received the news that Jacob and Sydney Mulford will be approved in May as BBFI missionaries to join the church planting effort in Portugal. Praise Jesus!