Challenges and opportunities
2020 has been a very challenging year in terms of ministry. Plans were made and then postponed on numerous occasions, it was difficult to make contact with new people, maintaining a connection and a sense of fellowship among our members was not straightforward and introducing new ministries was impossible. As we enter a new year, we also enter a new lockdown. The number of cases in Portugal is high, the death toll is significant, and hospitals are working at capacity. For us this means that church services are once again online.
On a more encouraging note, before lockdown was announced we had four mornings of team planning with our co-workers, Chris and Rachel Humphries (also global mission workers with PCI) and our interns, Leopoldo and Lidiane, who joined us for part of the week. It was good to dream and think ahead, beyond this challenging period. We have several exciting ideas for outreach, evangelism and discipleship.
At the beginning of the year we began a prayer campaign, “40 days of prayer”. It was encouraging to see many of our members joining with us online on 1 January to begin the campaign together. It has given us the opportunity to pray more intentionally for our personal relationship with the Lord, our church family, our neighbourhood, our work and the vision of Comunidade Pedras Vivas (CPV).
Alana joined us for three weeks over Christmas and then completed a 10-day quarantine period upon her return to N Ireland. She is in her final year at the University of Ulster, but she hopes to study for a Master’s degree in Queens University Belfast in the next academic year. Lucy is due to sit her A-Level exams in May. We are praying that the exams will not be cancelled but, if they are, that she will be able to find an alternative route. She is excited about going to university and is holding a few offers from universities.
Give thanks that despite the challenges of 2020, God has been our rock and our strength. He has kept us well, and sustained CPV.
Give thanks to God for team planning and pray that soon we will be able to implement some of these new ideas.
Give thanks for the “40 days of prayer”, praying that this focussed time prayer would have given our church family a sense of togetherness.
Pray for Alana and Lucy at the different stages of education.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” Matt 18:20