We are very thankful that the phased plan of coming out of confinement is on track and latest figures show that 20% of the population has now received the first dose of the vaccination and 7.6% has received both doses. As with other mainland European countries, progress is slow, but it is moving forward. Restrictions on movement between council areas were removed on 5 April and it was a delight to be able to have a “full” church during the last few Sundays in April.
During Holy Week we continued to develop online presence through short daily devotional videos looking at the ‘Silence of the Cross’. Feedback has been encouraging about the simple and accessible way the Bible was presented in these videos. Opening the Bible to those who are curious but unsure of where to start has been an integral part of our vision for church planting since arriving in Porto. We are delighted that a Portuguese version of the ‘Bible Course’ (written by Dr Andrew Ollerton in association with the British Bible Society) has been produced and launched by the Portuguese Bible Society. Over the course of eight sessions, this video and study course invites people to explore the big picture of the Bible. We are planning to launch this tool to Comunidade Pedras Vivas (CPV) in May with the hope of running the course for the first-time soon after. Pray that we will be able to make connections with those who are curious about the Bible and that CPV would catch the vision to use this tool among neighbours, friends and colleagues.
We are thankful that after much research and consultation, Lucy has been able to register for teacher graded assessments for her A levels. All assignments and mock exams have now been completed. Alana will be finished her undergraduate course this month, and with no graduation ceremony possible, she hopes to return to Porto at the end of May.
Give thanks that Portugal continues to come out of lockdown and pray for the ongoing vaccination programme.
Pray that through the Bible Course, many would be exposed to the Bible and come to understand who God is and what a tremendous plan he has to save us.
Pray for Brazil where many of our members have family and pray for those who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19.
Give thanks for Lucy and Alana coming to the end of their respective stages of study.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” Matt 18:20