Give thanks to the Lord; call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. (Psalm 105:1,4)
What a great psalm this is, reminding us of how much God has done for us and our responsibility to make that message known; then also with it the reminder that our strength comes from Him alone and we should seek His face constantly. What great verses for this new year!
We praise the Lord for all His love and provision for us and we are grateful for all the opportunities over the Christmas season to make His love known both at International Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, Portimão, Portugal, and in practical ways in the community.
The month of December was packed full of Christmas activities and ministry opportunities. It began with a lunch for all the helpers at our soup kitchen, where about 30 people gathered. Many of these helpers are not Christians and so there are many opportunities to make friends and share our faith. Ursula, our soup kitchen cook, came with us to our Christmas carol service at church for the first time.
Our annual Christmas dinner at the soup kitchen went well. We fed a roast dinner to approximately 80 people and gave them all a bag of gifts that included a Gospel of Luke, a pen with a Bible verse inscribed on it, chocolate and personal toiletries.
Our soup kitchen ministry has been going for 10 years now and is always full of opportunities to witness to people. A few weeks ago, a couple came in who were really desperate and asking for help. They had no food, nowhere to live, were sleeping rough, and were expecting a baby. As we talked with them, we discovered that they had come down to the Algarve in the summer for work, but their jobs had finished at the end of the tourist season and they hadn’t been paid for their last month of work. They were really hungry and had nothing — just the clothes on their backs. We discovered that they had family in Lisbon so we told them we could offer to buy their bus tickets home. The tears rolled their down their faces, and they hugged each other in excitement. They were so grateful. As we took them to the bus, we gave them a Portuguese Bible and a little book called “Who is Jesus?” We explained that Jesus is the whole reason we are here and why our soup kitchen exists. The Lord has done so much for us that we want to share His love with others.
These past 12 months our church has also been helping a girls’ home in Portimão that was struggling to provide for 40 girls, ages 5-21. Since a local supermarket is now donating unsellable food to our soup kitchen, we are able to share our blessing by passing on extra food to the girls, who are most grateful. At Christmas we also took them gifts that were bought by our church members and soup kitchen helpers.
May the Lord bless you in this new year and use you for His glory.
David & Joy Borgan