Recently I got the exciting news that several young people gave their lives to Christ at an outreach in a town my Dancelink Portugal team visited this summer. Praise God for tying all the pieces together and making something beautiful out of our small contributions! See the full story below, and read more about my ministry trip in Portugal at my trip blog.
An outreach visit by a Transform Dancelink team in August 2012 paved the way for a harvest in Mondim, Portugal, by the Lifehope Transit ministry team a few months later.
“Every part needs each other,” said Mpumi Waweni, co-leader of the Transit team. “We needed Dancelink to go before. It felt so real. When it comes to the results and the fruit of God, we saw it. And we pray for God to continue to work.”
The Dancelink team spent a day in Mondim, doing street performance outreaches and putting on a dance show in the cultural centre that evening. During the show, which many non-Christian members of the community attended, members of the Dancelink team shared the Gospel and their personal faith stories.
In this staunchly Catholic area, many times a true understanding of the Gospel message is quickly plucked away from potential believers by resistance from family and community.
After the show, OM Portugal director Neil Mason said he felt the dance performance “cleared the birds” and opened doors for the Gospel in Mondim.
Fast forward four months, and the Transform 2012 Transit team has come to town. The five-member Transit team—so named for the vehicle in which members travel around Europe for five months, ministering to communities along the way—spent a week in Mondim, passing out Christmas Gospel pamphlets, doing prayer walks and sharing their faith stories at local schools.
In partnership with a local church, the Transit team also hosted an international night, which around 30 people attended, including several students from the schools.
“The purpose of Transit is to esteem the local church and partner with the local church,” Mpumi said. “This is a wonderful way to engage people about Jesus Christ.”
During the one-hour programme for international night, members of the Transit team did an ice breaker activity, provided a time of worship music, shared their faith story, and prayed—everyone doing their part. At the end of the programme, a woman came to the Transit team member who had shared her testimony and said she felt God was speaking to her through the team member.
After the programme, the Transit team showed a short Gospel allegory film called The Father-Son Bridge.
“That clip is very powerful,” Mpumi said. “When I stood up (to speak), tying in what everyone was saying, I said, ‘It doesn’t end there. Jesus died for our sins, and wants to give us eternal life with the Father.”
God definitely did something in the hearts of the people there that night, Helcio, pastor of the small evangelical host church in Mondim, said. Many people were profoundly moved, and around 10 teenagers indicated decisions to accept Christ as their Saviour that night.
“I even surprised myself,” Mpumi said. “I was so overwhelmed. A bunch of the boys put their hands up; this girl was just in tears. We rejoiced, and looked at this moment, and everyone did their role.”
One of the boys who made a decision for Christ came up, along with a non-Christian friend, and thanked the Transit team for sharing the message because they had never had the story of Christ explained to them before.
“There is a tremendous amount of darkness in this part of the world, demonic strongholds that darken the understanding and create a lot of fear,” said Helcio. “The battle for souls is very intense in this small and very set way of life. But you are praying, and we are praying, that there will be a harvest of people for the Lord Jesus Christ here in Mondim.”