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DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020
The evangelical church in Portugal accounts for less than 1% of the population and the context for church planting is challenging as a gospel / evangelical culture does not exist in Portugal. The religious expression of the Portuguese people is one rooted in superstition, rites, and rituals in which God is seen as distant, uninterested and irrelevant. The Bible is a closed book and although many people have one, it is a book they never expect to read let alone understand. It is like a lucky charm. There is also a lot of misunderstanding about the person of Jesus and Christianity is seen as a religion of good works rather than one involving a relationship with the living Lord Jesus.
It takes a long time for an evangelical church to become established (10-20 years) and the average size of a church is 45 members. Years can pass without seeing any visible results. Therefore, church planting in Portugal is a long- term investment.
As we approach the end of 2019 and enter 2020, pray that God would move, by his Spirit, in the hearts of Portuguese people. Even though many Brazilian Christians attend Comundidate Pedras Vivas (CPV), the vision of CPV continues to be to share the good news with the Portuguese.
The Christmas period is often a time when people are more open and willing to accept invitations. Pray for our Christmas service on 22 December, pray for the small groups which will meet during the third week of December and pray for the youth activities during this time. We are thankful that James has started one micro group with three young men from church. In January Heather hopes to get another micro group up and running with three or
four young women. Also, in January we hope to begin membership classes as there are approximately 10 people who have been worshipping with us for at least six months.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” Matt 18:20