Pray for the Samora Project.
After various months of gathering information, actual bids from four contractors and clarifying many questions, the ABWE board re-approved the Samora church construction on November 4th, 2013 with the condition that 100% of the accepted estimate of $330,000 be in hand before construction may begin. Praise God $100,000 was given last year!
Would you consider giving a significant gift toward this need? You can click on the ABWE site at http://www.abwe.org/give/ including our project account number 0753023, or mail a check to ABWE, P.O. Box 8585 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8585.
|1 gift of $50,000 -|
|2 gifts of $30,000 -||1 x 30,000 = $30,000|
|3 gifts of $10,000 -|
|10 gifts of $5,000 -||3 x 5,000 = $15,000|
|22 gifts of $1,000 -||5 x 1,000 = $5,000|
|25 gifts of $500 -||6 x 500 = $3,000|
|30 gifts of $100 -||22 x 100 = $2,200|
|50 gifts of $50 -||11 x 50 = $550|
ABWE has four teams of existing churches working together to start new churches in their area circling Lisbon. I like another analogy that the term "4x4" has come to signify: maximum traction for advancing in spite of difficult terrain. To that end, we continue to ask God for vision to advance its church planting efforts in a challenging part of the world similar to Egypt or Turkey.
Why is a building so important at the beginning of a new church start in Portugal?
~ It provides CREDIBILTY – as a legitimate church rather than a shady operation. In a country filled with cathedrals, monasteries and shrines, Portuguese normally equate the “church” with a building. Inadequate facilities create a stigma associated with the cults in the minds of the people we are trying to reach.
~ It provides STABILITY – as a long term commitment is evident. Many “protestant” groups have rented for a time and then closed, giving a bad example of “trial & error.” Rent laws allow for a landlord to easily cancel a rent contract, which creates a different type of instability. Having our own building helps them see we have a long-term commitment to them, while also modeling generosity within the body of Christ.
~ It provides OPPORTUNITY – to publically meet, to develop outreach and to become autonomous sooner. Facilities provide the tool for creative relation-based ministry. Once it grows to where it can support its own national pastor, he can concentrate on outreach and shepherding the flock rather than the time consuming efforts of a building program. Each “graduated church” then contributes to a church planting fund, which is where the money came from to buy the land in Samora. It’s our hope and prayer that once all 16 churches are fully grown and contributing, there will no longer be a need to raise funds from outside Portugal to start new churches.
In summary, over the years we have witnessed many gatherings of believers who have not developed into church congregations because of lack of adequate buildings. The facilities ABWE has built or purchased early in the process in the cities of Ramada, Loures, Linda-a-Velha, Barreiro, Miratejo, Ericeira, Almodôvar and Arruda, have all made a positive advance in the church planting movement in Portugal.