10 Days with 12 New Friends for 2 Noble Purposes

July 8-18, 12 members of a Partner Church in New York worked side-by-side with us, the Rusts, and the members of the Samora Correia church plant.  We worked together to benefit our city and to give people an opportunity to see and experience authentic Christianity.  Together, we hosted American games for kids, activities for teens and a “Virtual Visit to the USA” for teens and our English Club.  The team also renovated a new classroom space in our bookstore, helped out at the local senior citizen’s center and primed/painted our new apartment.  They engaged with hearts wide open and servant attitudes.  One gentleman from our church remarked, “I haven’t experienced friendship/fellowship like this since I left my home country more than 20 years ago!”  They shared their lives and life stories.  They made both an impression (very positive) and an impact.

In no way do I wish to detract from what they did, but I need to highlight that all of this was in answer to prayer.  We prayed in January that God would do something to help us connect with teens.  In the weeks before the team came, we prayed for open doors and open hearts among those we know in Samora.  God did all this and much, much more!!!

  1. What a blessing it was for our team to minister in Portugal with Andy and Mara. When the team returned to Lakewood, their enthusiasm for how God worked and answered prayer was obvious. They took the entire service sharing the many God-sightings they had experienced. I am so thankful they had this mission experience. Thank you, Andy and Mara, for giving leadership to this 12-day trip. Pastor Dan

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