Thursday, July 20, 2006

Portugal!!!

(Take number two after I just deleted the first one I wrote... so the focus is slightly lacking in this one...)

I got back from Portugal on Tuesday and I already want to go back! I just absolutely loved the people and the place! There is so much to say but I just don't have all the words to explain how amazing the trip was. God blessed us so much while we were there. The people from Portugal he put into our lives were so cool and awesome. I can't say enough good things about them. It was so cool to have people wanting to spend time with our team... especially since our days were from about 2pm to 3am!

We had a team of ten people who were mostly from 20-22. Cris, is actually 34 and just finished her Masters degree. She is originally from Brazil so it was great to have her with us since her first language is Portugeuse. The team was so amazing, we all got on really well. I met everyone on Friday when everyone came into Cardiff for a training session with Mike Adams from World Horizons. We worked with World Horizons in Portugal. On Saturday afternoon we headed out to the airport in Bristol and flew into Faro.

There was so much we did I just can't even write it all down! We went to the beach (the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea), worked with World Horizons, with the church, and just got to spend time with lovely people! Every day we had free time to spend as a reflection time and also a group time with praise and worship. On Sunday, Joel (a 20 year old guy from Faro with amazing english) took us around where we were living and we came to a big courtyard in the old part of town and pretty much went there everyday. It was awesome to spend so much time in fellowship with God.

On this expedition, we didn't have set goals to accomplish as much. We spent so much of the time in prayer. On the first Monday, we had a 24/1 Prayer. It was so amazing!!!! We converted one of the rooms in a flat that we were using into a "prayer room" where you could go for quite time. For 24 straight hours there was always someone from the group in the room. We started and ended with the entire group and took shifts throughout the day. We really used this time to find a direction and what God wanted us to do while we were there.

A lot of our focus was just reaching out and talking to people around the town. We would go out at nights around 11 or so to the cafes, bars, and clubs around Faro. I was afraid it would be more "in your face" evangelism and needless to say I wasn't too excited about that. It was much more just chatting people up and showing by your attitudes and actions that you were interested in what they were saying. The situations that God put us in really allowed us to bring up Christianity naturally.

We attended a Teen Challenge meeting (drug rehab) and went to a place called "The Factory." It's a closed down factory where a lot of the homeless people live. There were red boxes everywhere. We found out that boxes were supplied by the government and they had sterile needles and condoms and those sorts of things. Not exactly a fix to the problem...

The people from the church were absolutely wonderful! The church we worked with was Igreja Baptista Evangelica (Baptist Evangelical Church). We stayed in some flats owned by the church and the girls stayed with a woman called Silvia! Joel was with us everyday for our entire stay. It was really encouraging the way the church reached out to us and even though there was quite often a language barrier the people wanted to spend time with us! Joel, Andre, Marina, and Raquel were always with us and they're amazing people! I love them!

So much could have gone wrong with this trip but God provided everything we needed and more! I'm already trying to figure out when I can go next!

The entire team at the airport before we left with Evangeline, the amazing van!

Silvia and I! She spoke absolutely no english but she was wonderful!

Cris, Elen, and I on top of the bell tower in old town Faro.

Raquel, Joel, Marina, and Andrea... four of my favorite people ever! Aren't they beautiful!?

Andre and Elen!

5 comments:

Joel said...

HEYYYYYYYYYYY VAL!!!!!

I just loved time I had with u guys. I miss u Val. Hope we'll be together soon. God bless you a lot!!!

;)

vicki said...

Veeves, your groupies are so glad to have new info to absorb! Are daily reports too much to ask? I don't think so! And, hey, I didn't recognize you at first in the group photo with Evangeline. The no-bang look threw me til I enlarged the picture. That said, you looked really great, as did your buds. Did you do any scenery shots in Portugal? I love those photo tours, don't you know, as I don't get out much. Lylaf, The Mom

Lyndsey said...

Well it took you long enough. You never get to be abusive to me again about too much space between entries. :) Sounds like you had an amazing trip - I look forward to the PHONE CALL that I expect any day now. (perhaps on Monday or during my big gaping dinner on Satuday 4:30-6:30 EST) Love you kid. NY IN NY!

dede said...

Sorry my inglish!!!
Adorei as fotos e o tempo em que estivemos juntos aqui em Portugal, foram momentos marcantes em que deixaram saudades, mas também um gostinho de quero mais!! Queremos ver a mão do nosso Deus agindo fortemente na vida daqueles que se entregam por inteiro ao Senhor!! Conhecer vcs foi o melhor presente que Cristo poderia ter me dado, por isso para conhecer-vos teve que ser em um momento especial pois vcs são especiais!! Oro todos os dias por todos vcs, estão aqui todos bem guardados cada gesto, palavra, brincadeira, oração e qualquer coisa que me faça lembrar a vossa presença!! Agradeço a Deus por suas tão preciosas vidas e espero poder nos vermos muito em breve!!! Jinhos pra todos, e proclamem esse nome Jesus, Ele tem poder!!! Saudades!!!
André. Funny funny!!!!!

dede said...

Hey Val sorry my inglish!!!
Tanks for visit in Portugal, i love you!!!
Como percebes-te me inglês é péssimo, mas já esta a caminho de melhorar, por isso vais ter de traduzir isso!!!
Saudades muitas saudades foi o que vc e outros deixaram, agradeço a Deus todos os dias por suas preciosas vidas!!! Adorei as fotos, e espero poder em breve vêla novamente, seria muito bom!! Por isso vou parando por aqui, porque se não tens muito o que traduzir!! Jinhos e até breve!!!
André.