Portugal (MNN) — Ron Fairbanks and his family have been in Portugal with Greater Europe
Mission since 1991.
They were involved in teaching at the
Portuguese Bible Institute (PBI) until 2004 but have now dedicated their full
attention to Church Planting. It can be
difficult and lonely work.
Forty three municipalities out of
308 have no evangelical church. Evangelicals comprise only 1.6 percent of the
population, and many churches still lack full-time workers with adequate
theological training. Societal problems such as personal debt, domestic
violence, AIDS, drugs and alcohol abuse, and depression are increasing.
However, Fairbanks says teaching
the "Marriage Encounter with Christ" changed all that. For the first time in
his career, people were seeking him out to teach them. "As a direct result of this Marriage
Encounter ministry, the local church that we're involved in succeeded in planting
a church, which, in the group of churches that we're working with, hasn't
occurred for over 50 years!"
The Gospel is woven throughout
the material presented. As Fairbanks soon learned, people were hungry
for what the Marriage Encounter with Christ offers. Married couples were learning new techniques
of communication and exploring their relationship with each other and with God.
Hundreds were responding to the hope of
That ignited a hunger for more. After
the seminar ends, Fairbanks says, participants can continue their studies. "There are materials that have been
developed to go into further depth. They had a small group meeting in homes which grew and multiplied to other homes. These groups then came together
and had a public service. That's actually how this church got planted."
Fairbanks discipled the church until they were ready to go out on their
God is also awakening the
Portuguese: a national church-planting movement called Global Mission 2015
helps Portuguese believers unite to evangelize Portugal
and reach the world.
Keep praying for the growth of the church in Portugal.