Lives Changed, Tears Shed in Portugal
Many Accepting Christ in Advance of My Hope
July 13, 2011 - The My Hope Portugal broadcasts are still more than four months away, but God is starting to move in the lives of many people, including 15 who made decisions during a recent Sunday service outside the capital city of Lisbon.
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
— Psalm 26:3
By Fernando Resina
Fifteen people came forward to the foot of the cross at the Baptist Church of Queluz, Portugal.
Tears of joy and brokenness flowed as they asked Jesus to come into their lives or to restore their relationships with Him.
People gathered in the library for prayer with those who made commitments, and there was sweet harmony as the crowd began to sing "Amazing Grace."
Nobody wanted to leave.
"We felt that the Spirit of the Lord was present and active," José Pego Guedes said. "We have great joy for the results expressed in the many decisions for Christ Jesus."
Preaching on this Sunday was Pr. Josué da Ponte, the mobilization coordinator for My Hope Portugal, a country-wide television evangelism project through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Ponte was asked at the last minute to preach after the planned speaker's father-in-law passed away.
"The Friday before, the church met for prayer, knowing that God chooses to move through the church," Eunice Cavaco said. "On Sunday, the speaker presented a simple message about the need of having an encounter with God. Then he made an appeal, and we saw people leaving their seats, one after the other, and coming forward. Blessings from God rained today and few eyes were dry amongst us."
This may have been a precursor of what God has in store for the country on the evenings of Dec. 8-10, when My Hope Portugal will air on national TV in "Matthew" host's living rooms around the nation.
In previous weeks, there has been an increasing prayer movement, from many brothers and sisters in Queluz, a city of 100,000 just outside of Lisbon. This movement involved not just members of the Baptist Church, but also friends and a faithful ladies prayer group. Many lives are being changed.
"I am not ashamed of confessing that during the service today I felt some tears," Carlos Mendes Jorge said. "Tears of emotion and joy to see what the Lord has done and is doing in the lives of so many, who had the courage to publicly confess Him."