Back from Portugal. I had a fantastic time and you can see some photos . Portugal is a great country. The people are incredibly hospitable and friendly. I would put it on my top 5 favourite European countries. A definite must see. And the people we treated us like kings. I even managed to catch a few waves at the beach.
Other reports: Marc. Reinhold.
The highlight was seeing so many leaders of emerging churches, traditional churches, and missions come together to pray and think and plan. Paulo (the DAWN leader for Portugal) challenged them to start church planting movements across their country. Dr. Jun Vencer gave 3 days teaching on God’s redemptive plan. And I taught on emerging culture and what kind of churches are needed. The incredible Aussie band called “RiverTribe were there for a Saturday night concert, and they were good enough to give me some background music for our Tree By The River movement (same one I taught in Japan). There were also some great worship leaders from Portugal.
Thanks for your prayers. We felt like God got what he wanted and the event was highly successful. I taught from the Scriptures on Friday (Luke 8, 10, I Timothy). Marc Van der Woude backed me up with prayer and some strong God-comments during the teaching. So did Kerstin Hack from Berlin, who highlighted the downgrading of women in the Portuguese church and the need to honor what God is wanting to do among the emerging church. That gave some of the young people courage to share from their bruised experiences from church, and their need to be seen by the elderly people.
A few young people working among punk/goth/hippie tribes in Lisbon shared from their heart about not being encouraged or understood by the mainstream. It was very cool to see the older leaders rise up and call them blessed, and to pray for them. As the older were praying for the younger, i asked Barbara, with her hippie clothes and bone-pierced ear, to pray over the older folk, that they might have her eyes, the ability to see what she sees. It was a really moving moment. And thats how we ended up. ONE CHURCH in Portugal, old and young, funky and traditional, pierced and clean cut, all committed to see thousands of new church wineskins for the new wine that God wants in this country that He loves.