SMT Spain/Portugal – Update #2
As we enter our last week in Portugal we are as busy as ever with the ministries here. Early this past week, we finished the painting projects in Colares, painting fences and whiting walls around the corps’ exterior. The first days of Summer kicked in this week, so sweaty brows and suntanned skin became a part of our daily lives in the weeks.
Instead of a normal band rehearsal, we traveled to the Marinel Senior Home with the Colares brass band to play for the elderly. Another aspect of daily life in Colares was times of rest and team devotionals on the beaches where our driver/ translator Goncalo joined us every night. The crashing of the waves and the setting sun on the horizon after a hard day’s work was truly a beautiful reminder on the majesty of God and the beauty of his creation. Through the limitations of our physical exhaustion God reminds us of his power and his control beyond physical limits.
On Friday, we had our final lunch with Majors Pedro & Rosa and their family. We left Colares for Lisbon in the afternoon. Our first round of goodbyes started not with tears, but with hopefulness that we’ll meet again some day, as their daughter Deborah, who is visiting from Texas, asked that we travel back on Saturday for her daughter’s dedication, and of course we plan to be there. Pray for our friends in Colares, for the places we visited around the area, and for the children in the children’s home. That their faith may continue to illuminate those around them and that whatever ministry or calling God has for them that they’ll be excited once God reveals it to them.
On our first full day in Lisbon, the corps was in preparation for a lunch fundraiser. What was surprising was that this fundraising meal was humble. Everyone was dancing and after the meal was served there was a conga line. It was lovely seeing this community event become intimate with such interactions. The day after on Sunday, we learned more about the history of the Army in Portugal and specifically in Lisbon. Some of the higher-ranking officers here, talked about the persistence of officers of old inviting them to the corps when they were children. After the Sunday service, we had fellowship with the younger members of the congregation by going on a scavenger hunt at the Expo. It was a blessing time of fellowship and a gentle reminder that the concept of church become more powerful when applied beyond Sunday Service and into our daily lives and relationships. Pray for the young people of the corps, for their faiths and their relationships with others, so that they can continue to build upon what God started in Lisbon long ago.
God bless you with his peace.
-Sam (Spain/Portugal Representative)