That question has become sort of a running joke in our church here. I used to ask it, and people would automatically say, “Sure, Pastor! What do you need?”
Now, when I ask if people will do me a favor, the first part is substituted for, “It depends…what do you need?” I had the habit of asking for a favor, then asking for something that I knew would stretch someone’s faith or get them out of their comfort zone. They caught on pretty quickly and began to see my will-you-do-me-a-favor schtick from a mile away.
Today, though is different. I’m really asking for a special favor from all of you who love the Lord, who love us and who love Portugal. Actually, only the first is an absolute requirement. If you neither love us, nor Portugal but you do love the Lord, you can still participate, if you wish.
Enough already, what is the favor?! Ok. All I’m asking is that from today until next Saturday afternoon (the 8th of September), you spend some extra time in prayer for our ministry. For the first time since we have been here, we are having a Vacation Bible School, and we’re doing it slightly different than normal.
First, we are having it in our home, rather than at the church, which means that it is in the “aldeia”…the small village where we live, which in turn, means that we are inviting kids who come from families that are very closed to the gospel. We are inviting kids who come from very, very staunch Catholic backgrounds.
In many cases, anyone who is not Catholic is part of a devilish cult, and they will have no part of it, whatsoever.
They will mostly be neighbors or our kids’ classmates from school. Many of them have spent the night with us or come over for birthday parties, but this is the first time, with a few exceptions that they will have been in a “Bible setting” with us.
On top of that, none of our workers will be Portuguese. American. Brazilian. African. Again, this is in a small, rural village of northern Portugal, where to put it mildly, political correctness has not taken over, if you know what I mean.
All of these things put together has not dampened our enthusiasm, though. We are super excited and are pleading with the Lord to open doors, to touch the hearts of moms and dads, to direct our steps, and to minimize the chaos.
In our second planning meeting today, I was rebuffed when I mentioned something about expecting 25 kids to attend. They all said that my faith was small and I needed to expect 50 kids to come.
So, for my faith’s sake, will you do me a favor? Will you pray for this specific need everyday from now until the end of next week? We would certainly appreciate it.
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