Mission Trip Update

Olá, Church family and friends,
We (team 1 to Portugal) are currently in Portugal, as you likely already know, and it’s been an eventful few days since we’ve last updated you.  Let’s see…I’ll now update you on events on Sunday, Monday, and today, respectively (though today is far from over). 
Sunday:  On Sunday, we went to a couple of churches in the area.  The first church, which we went to in the morning, was in Loures (pronounced Lorish), and is called Igreja Batista De Loures.  This church started its morning with a worship time, then split up for Sunday School (adolescents, which here means teenagers; and jovens, which as far as I can tell is a young adult class).  During Sunday School (at least in the adolescents) class we shared testimonies (with a translator), as did a couple of the Portuguese teens (and there were only three in the class in the morning).  After Sunday School, there was an intermission (mingling time, as well as pastry type stuff…kind of like our doughnut/coffee time between services), after the intermission the service started, which, -like Sunday school- started with announcements(I think, but I don’t speak Portuguese so I could be wrong), and then there was singing, and then there was an offering, and then we (the entire team) were introduced, which led up to our doing two songs for special music (Our God and Revelation song), Mr. Brown shared his testimony (with a translator), between the two songs.  After all this, Pastor Coon preached a sermon (with translator) on the Three Levels of Relationship with God.  
After the service we went to the Hendersons’ for lunch, where we stayed until it was time to leave for the second church in Arruda (pronounced Ah-hoo-duh), which was called Igreja Batista de Arruda dos Vinhos.  The second service was similar to the first except that there was no Sunday School, and the mingling time was after the service as opposed to before.
Monday:  On Monday (yesterday), we came to the church (in Arruda) at 10ish and did some weeding around the walls and in the flower beds, as well as some people spraying the wall with water.  After this we had lunch and left for the second part of yesterday (VBS type stuff).  The first thing we did is go to the Hendersons’ and practice the songs that we would do in the parks for the day.  The first park we went to was in Arruda and started out mostly empty, we did a couple of songs, and then a couple of classes from the school basically next door to the park came to the playground (in the park), because the playground was enclosed in a…fency structure.  The teachers wanted to be able to keep track of all of their students (ages from five to eight-ish, approximately 20 per class, and two classes).  We were not in the playground at this point, and Sara (pronounced Sah-duh), -who goes to Igreja Batista de Arruda dos Vinhos, and was helping us with translation as she is a native Portuguese speaker, and speaks good English- went in and asked if the kids could come and do stuff with us, at which point she received the information regarding the teachers not wanting to lose kids outside of the playground, but the teacher also said that we could come into the playground area if we wanted, so we went into the playground area and played “Portuguese” games with the kids (a variant of duck duck goose; a variant of steal the bacon; and another game we didn’t quite catch the name of), and did crafts.  After about an hour and a half, we left this park and went to another park in Loures, where there were about…three or four people within 100 feet of us at any time while we were there.  We stayed at the park in Loures for a couple hours or so, and then left for the Lisbon Training Center (the place where we are staying), where we ate supper, had a meeting, and then went to bed.
Tuesday (up to this point):  On Tuesday (today), we went to the church in Arruda (Igreja Batista de Arruda dos Vinhos), where we did some weeding, and some people power sprayed the wall.  After this we had lunch, put stuff away, and headed to the Hendersons’ place, where we are about to leave to more-or-less repeat the park process that we did yesterday.

 Thank you for your continued prayers,
John H.

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