POURED OUT FOR PORTUGAL,
Kevin & Angelina Mullins
Obedient, Active Faith
“We were walking back to the car when she turned and walked towards us, the fleeting thought of ‘oh, please, please don’t talk to us’ running through my head. She was older, weighed down by grocery bags and smelling a little off, prattling on about ‘waiting…missed…on foot…home’; frankly I had stopped listening and started making excuses in my mind. ‘I can’t speak Portuguese,’ ‘we’re in a hurry,’ ‘It’s Eva’s dinner time…’ everything but listening. When I rejoined the conversation Angelina had engaged her and was asking her to repeat what she needed. The truth was I could understand everything she was asking for and she simply needed a ride home.
Once I stilled my mind and we got everyone loaded into the car we started to converse with the nice, smelly lady. She usually walked by foot, was a little disoriented on how to get home, didn’t take public transportation because it was too expensive, etc. After dropping her off in her bairro Angelina and I reviewed the incident, discussing the impact. Perhaps we had entertained an angel or simply had helped a lonely old widow. Whatever it was, it was a convicting lesson that faith without works is dead faith, meaning not real faith.
It is so easy to claim to follow Jesus isn’t it? It is 1000x harder to actually put faith into obedient practice. Make no mistake, God accredits our faith as righteousness not by our words but by our obedient, active faith; a beautiful but difficult lesson learned by a couple of so-called ‘missionaries.’”
We have some additions to God’s family to share! Last week we celebrated the new re-birth of Marla at the cold ocean in Caxias. She put on Christ in baptism after a long period of study with one of our leader couples (Valfredo & Soili) and through our ongoing Sunday series in Galatians. She is a sweet woman and has already started bringing family and friends along with her to hear the Gospel!
Additionally, the husband of one of our members (that have become dear friends) also requested to be baptized. We’ve spent a lot of time conversing about Jesus, the Gospel, and faith and so yesterday we had the privilege of going down to the cold Atlantic in Estoril where I baptized our new brother into Christ! Please join us by joyfully praying for Marla & Emanuel as they begin their new lives as disciples.
Growth and Change
At the end of September we had a significant change in our congregation’s leadership. Vaninho, who has served as the associate minister for the past 7 years lost his missionary support and will no longer be serving with the congregation. He and his family plan to return to Brazil. While a drastic change, it was not unexpected and I am confident that God will work this for an even greater good in the coming months and years ahead.
At the same time, the congregation took its positive first step towards biblical leadership by formally recognizing our leadership group. Our first task is to stabilize the church and then begin laying a foundation for elders and deacons. We continue to bleed members as the financial crisis grips tighter but we’re working on a strategy for evangelism targeting couples and families.
On Sunday I kicked off Galatians 5 as we march toward completing our series in Galatians. We’re already planning next year’s preaching calendar which is a welcome change from just two years ago when we arrived. Change is never easy but is often necessary. We’re looking forward to the future.
The Mullins Family
In May 2010 we moved as a family to Lisbon, Portugal in an effort to support & plant Christian churches in one of Europe’s most spirtually impoverished countries. Currently we serve on the leadership team of the Igreja de Cristo Lisboa and serve as partners of MEVIC a Portuguese national ministry initiative. We live outside of Lisbon with our daughter Eva.