Shirley and I haven't been to Portugal for about three years. The anticipation of our time in Portugal has always been exciting and heartfelt to be in fellowship with our friends there. This time has not been an exception.
The flight over was comfortable and without event except for a gate change in Washington DC that occurred in transition from one gate to the next. We did not learn of the change until we were about to board the flight to Dublin (not Ohio)! So, we got some extra excersize running to the new gate. Puff! Puff! We just made it!
Our arrival was a good experience...there were very few Americans entering the European Union when we got there, so passing through Customs was a breeze and our checked baggage was there when we arrived at belt #12.
As we were entering the main terminal where all the stoic welcomers stood with their signs of names of people they were expecting, there, in the middle of the multitude were our friends, jumping up and down, waving their hands and shouting, "Welcome." As we hugged and hugged and kissed and kissed, we almost crushed the beautiful bouquet of flowers they presented to Shirley and me. Just like ol' times. (See the flowers in the pic above). They came by bus and car to warm our hearts. We stopped at a cafe for coffee on the way to our apartment for a quick fellowship, because they had to get back to work.
Connie greeted us at the apartment with snacks and armfuls of love. We've only known her for three years, but she is a part of our Portugal family -- warm hearted with bushels of love.
The first day was a day of rest...must have been the running at the airport.Second day was a day of re-orientation to the neighborhood and acclimatizing ourselves to walking up and down the hills of the city. I have some sore muscles...Florida is flat! Lisbon is a city built on seven hills like Rome. However, Lisbon is lighter in atmosphere than the Italian city.
Connie has been our advertisement during our re-orientation being an avid Christian with pounds and pounds of love for God. She IS a genuine doer of the Word. She introduces us in the neighborhood as missionaries and if "you need prayer, ask them."
On this day we have become acquainted in this manner to adult English students, butchers, a taxi driver, a butcher, a laundromat proprietor, and two tailors.
Our first series of teachings about healing will begin shortly. Updates on this blog will occur each Saturday thereafter.
We love you guys and pray for you daily.
Ray and Shirley