Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Back From Portugal!

What a awesome time Caryne and I had!  We are back from Portugal and we miss it already!  The Lord truly blessed our time there and we have come back to the States with a tremendous passion to go back and serve our Lord in that country.

The first couple of days we spent getting to know the city of Porto and its surrounding areas.  On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go see my favorite soccer team play near the Porto area.  What great fun!  On Thursday Caryne and I were able to go to a huge outdoor market in the town of Barcelos.  These markets have all the necessities: clothing, fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, live chickens :).  We love the atmosphere of the open market and we can't wait to be able take advantage of this great variety! 

On Friday we visited a number of grocery stores to get a feel for what was available, and then stopped by another outdoor market close to the church.  Friday afternoon I met with two ESL schools for interviews.  The interviews went well and we are excited that there is opportunity to teach English in the Porto area.  Friday night we gathered at Pastor Figueira's home for a "Lighthouse," (small-group) meeting.  Each Friday there are several Lighthouses held throughout the city.  It is just a wonderful time of food, fellowship, and Bible study.  The picture above is of that Lighthouse.  That night we had a birthday celebration for Caryne, which was a complete surprise to her! 

Saturday morning I played indoor soccer with several men from the church, and then we had a delicious lunch with our hosts, the Cristofanos, a family we grew to love in the short time we were there.  What a blessing from the Lord it was to get to know such a beautiful family!  Saturday afternoon was spent at the church with the children and young adults.  Each Saturday they have programs of games and Bible study for each age group.  We also spent a brief time with one of the leaders of the church discussing the cost of living in the Porto area.  From that information we will soon be able to share our target amount of support to be raised.

Sunday morning we spent at church, where I had the opportunity to share with the congregation what had been happening over the past year.  I was able to share some of it in the Portuguese language, which I was encouraged about.  It was a joy to be able to worship and fellowship with fellow believers, even in a different language!

Monday morning Pastor Figueira graciously loaned us his car, and Caryne and I headed north to spend a couple of days just the two of us.  We did fit in a precious time with great family friend, Manuel, for lunch, and it was great to see him.  Caryne and I had a wonderful time together traveling through the beautiful countryside and along the coast.

Now we are back, and eager to set out accomplishing the tasks that will bring us to Portugal permanently.  Would you prayerfully consider joining us in prayer and financial support?  We continue to target September of this year to move, which is not long from now!  Things to be in prayer for: the birth of our third child (March 30), the application process for a work visa, the next step in the interview process for the ESL schools, and support raising.  If you would like to give financially the information is below. 

Thank you so much for your love and support!

Make the check out to BILD International, and send to:
BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames, IA 50014-8417

Please write "Darling Family" on the memo line of your check.