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Church without walls
As we head into the sixth week of quarantine in Portugal, we have settled into a routine being a church without walls. Technology and social media mean we can have very regular contact and we can continue “meeting” within our micro groups. Our church WhatsApp group is more active now than it has ever been! A pre-recorded Sunday service is uploaded to the CPV Youtube channel each week and it has been good to be able to be involved others with worship, readings and prayers (check out the channel and test your Portuguese). We now wait to hear what, if any, relaxation measures the Portuguese government proposes as we reach the end of the 3rd period of the state of emergency on 3rd May. Prayer meeting We completed the membership classes just before the quarantine measures came into force which meant the receiving of these members is now postponed until we can hold public worship again. We are thankful we were able to complete most of the planned renovation work for the new church location and to vacate the old building just before we were forced into lockdown. Micro girls online Leopoldo and Lidiane are a young Brazilian couple sensing a call to full time ministry and seeking God’s guidance for their future. CPV has, over the years, welcomed interns mainly from outside Portugal, but we are excited that CPV is now able to offer an intern program to two of our own members. It was previously agreed that they would begin their one-year internship on 1st April. Little did we know that there would be such challenging restrictions in place just as they began. Some in our church have lost their jobs, one of our older members has been unable to have a scheduled knee replacement, no-one yet has been infected by the virus. The first CPV baby was born on 27th April and we give thanks that mother and baby are doing well. At a personal level, we give thanks that Alana was able to return home with James after this deputation period. She returns to final year studies in September. Lucy continues to maintain a reduced home school schedule as we wait to find out how cancelled AS exams will affect her studies next year.
Prayer Points • Pray that as CPV continues to be church, that our members would find encouragement in the reading of God’s word, though prayer and through sharing Christian hope with their non Christian friends. • Pray for protection, especially for our older members, those within CPV who are pregnant (2 women are in their 2nd trimester) and pray that God would meet the physical needs of all those who have lost jobs. • Pray for energy and wisdom for us in ministry and as a family as we all deal with the sense of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” Matt 18:20