As some of you are enjoying beautiful, white snow, we are getting more rain this month than we think we’ve ever seen here in Portugal. It has rained for many days now and some areas near the kids’ school have even flooded. We are not experiencing any flooding here near our house, but we are seeing a whole lot more rain than we would like to!
As many of you know, we found out at the end of summer about a church plant in Alcochete. We were surprised to hear this, as were many others including the Alencar family who we have planned to work with us planting a church in Alcochete. This has left us trying to understand where to go from here and so we devised the following plan in the form of introspective questions:
1. Does the church plant in Alcochete teach salvation by faith in Christ alone for salvation and is scripture the principal document for doctrine and Christian living? We are confident that the church plant in Alcochete meets this standard and so we don’t feel as though it would be appropriate to start another church in Alcochete.
2. Do we have enough compatibility with those at the church plant in Alcochete that we could work together to establish this church? This is complicated as there are so many factors that we have to consider. Having read the doctrinal statement, we don’t see any major doctrinal problems. But teaming up with a group is more involved than just doctrinal agreement. There needs to be a compatibility in the finer doctrinal points, in personality, and in philosophy. Currently, we are trying to work through this and we’ve had the pastor and his wife at our home for dinner to talk through some of this with them.
3. Are there places in Portugal that don’t fit the criteria in number? With roughly .5% of the population of Portugal being evangelical, we are confident there are others places to plant a church. On deputation we shared with you all that there is plenty of work to be done regarding church planting in Portugal. So essentially we could go nearly anywhere in Portugal, but before we move on we want to be absolutely sure that we can’t be of use in Alcochete.
Pastor Wesley, our Brazilian counter part, and our family could use your prayers in discerning the next steps for our families regarding church planting in Portugal.
We were roughly $700/mo short of hitting our Q3 budget. Consider being 1 of 7 to give $100 to fill that shortfall.