Portugal ExPress

Miriam Tyers @ Summer, 2008

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Meditation on a Barbecue

Monthly Feature:  Using ESL as an Outreach

The American cowboy came to visit my house last week.  He brought with him five teen girls from the U.S.A. to  help bring a taste of the “Wild West” to my homestead.  We managed to round up eighteen children who learned English vocabulary through songs, stories, and games.


They also tried their hand at baking sour-dough biscuits, panning for gold, and hunting for the “rattle snake” hidden in the grass.  The children who came to this “English Camp” were taught at three stations led by my missionary colleagues, my Portuguese team mates, and the teens who had come on a summer missions trip.

The purpose of the camp was to continue to build friendships with the families that live in Venda do Pinheiro to eventually share the gospel with them.  Our stories during the week highlighted character qualities of some old folk heroes. 

One father came to see his son enjoying the activities, like flipping flapjacks or dousing his comrades (and leaders) in the final water fight and was so impressed by the positive atmosphere, he and his wife allowed their son to go with us to Bible camp the next week.

As a matter of fact, four boys went on to attend Bible camp, and went home excited about knowing Jesus.  We will now try to follow up their families with a Bible study.

So, the “American Cowboy” may have been the attraction for English week, but we want to lead them to discover a far more attractive Hero who has adventures in store for them.

   Childrens's Bible Camp                

Heaven:  What is it like, and how do I get there?

This was the theme of Children’s camp this year held in July.  Thirty-two campers were present, along with an American team of summer missionaries, my Portuguese and national colleagues, and various Portuguese teen helpers.

There were a number of decisions made during the week.  One highlight for me was leading Tatiana (9) to the Lord.  She is Mario’s (12) younger sister, and a member of the family God has been drawing to Himself.

Carla, the mother said, “Now it’s just Renata (5) and you, Jorge (father) that haven’t yet given your hearts to Christ.”

The four boys that attended camp from Venda do Pinheiro also enthusiastically opened up to the Gospel message and were excited about getting a Bible.  We plan to follow up these' children with personal contact and start a family Bible Study.  Many boys indicated a decision.