Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bom Trabalho!

Today the men of the church got together for a full day of work.  A new addition is being placed behind the sanctuary, and much was accomplished! It is not often that the men are able to join together as a group, so this was a blessing enjoyed by all.  I truly appreciated the opportunity to begin to get to know these men. Please pray for them, that the Lord will use each one in a mighty way!

Please be looking for an update on our first few weeks here in Portugal. To see that update, visit in the coming days!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Tia Ana!

Today was Pastor Figueira's wife Ana's birthday. We celebrated in their home with several families of the church. She is a wonderful example to everyone who knows her, and she is loved dearly by all.  We are so blessed to have her as a friend as we begin our new life here in Portugal!

I also began getting to know the bus system in Porto today.  As many of you know, we have chosen for the time being to be without a car, so learning the transit system is very important.  It is well set up, so we should be able to get around with no problem.

The girls are well, starting to get into the routine here.  We are already noticing some Portuguese show up in their vocabulary.  We enjoyed some of their ballet talent today!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have let a few days go by!  We have been getting used to the way of life here, and I have been quite tired!  Lunch is usually at around 1:30pm and dinner is at 7:30pm or later, so consequently motivation for writing has been a bit low :).  Praise the Lord, however, as we are so blessed and thankful to be here!

Our apartment is beginning to feel like home.  We are getting to know our surroundings, visiting the several supermarkets in the area, as well as the outdoor market held every Friday.  Praise the Lord the various governmental steps we need to take to live here have all gone well so far.  Pastor Figueira has been vigilant about getting us integrated, and we are very thankful for the work he has done for us.  Please pray for the next steps for acquiring extended stay visas.  We have a meeting on July 4 with the immigration system in Porto that Lord-willing will result in us receiving those necessary visas.

Please also continue to pray for the well being of the girls.  They are beginning to adjust, and our desire is for wisdom as we raise them in this new environment.  The Lord is truly in control of each step, and our prayer is that we will be used of Him to share His truth to those around us!

Thank you so much for your prayer and support!  It is a joy to share all of this with you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"I will say of the Lord, He is my God."

A beautiful song we sang tonight - "Aquele que Habita"
We are so privileged to serve the almighty God!  Praise the Lord for the experiences He allows us to have.  Tonight I joined a Lighthouse in Pastor Figueira's home, a small group meeting of many members of the church.  Amongst the gathering was a couple from Brazil, a couple from Romania, and a man from South America, all speaking Portuguese and praising the one true Savior!

The girls had a fun day exploring around our house.  They played at a nearby playground, and then got to know the folks at a great arts and crafts store at the bottom of our apartment building!

By the way, today I received the necessary documentation to legally work here in Portugal.  Praise the Lord!  Thank you so much for your love and support!

Monday, June 18, 2012

We're Here!

Isabel slept well on our TAP Air Portugal flight :)
Praise the Lord we have arrived!  The girls did wonderfully on the plane, and we are thankful that we can begin our new life here.

As you might expect, the first few days have been a bit of whirlwind.  Almost directly off the plane Caryne, Pastor Figueira, and his wife Ana, headed to IKEA to set our new home up with some essentials. We are so blessed that we are able to move into an apartment that has all we need!  We are so undeserving of what the Lord gives us! I then had the privilege of playing soccer with the men of the church on Saturday night.  We had a great time of fellowship, and I will look forward to that time every week.

We then attended our first Sunday service at our new church.  We were welcomed warmly, and we are so appreciative of the love the congregation has already shown us.

Today we headed out to receive the proper identification numbers to be able to open up a bank account here.  Praise the Lord the process went abnormally well!

Our apartment is slowly taking shape!
The girls are all doing fine.  Please pray for calmness and patience, however, as this transition has been somewhat unsettling for them.  It has become very clear that this would be the time for discouragement to creep in.  Please pray that we would only rely on God for each step, for without Him we are truly lost!

Thank you for your love and prayer!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Estamos Prontos (We're Ready!)

Here we go!  We fly to Porto, Portugal at 7:20pm tomorrow night!  We are excited, yet nervous, but we rest in the knowledge that the Lord has us in His hands.  We are so thankful for the privilege of being a part of the furtherance of His kingdom!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Golfing Tradition

My father and I love the game of golf.  Any time we get together, we do everything we can to make sure we play at least one round.  We've played in the cold, in a downpour.  Short of a hurricane, we are out there!  Today dad and I played under beautiful skies, in what will probably be our last round together for a while.  I am so thankful for these times I can have with my dad.  My father learned the game from his father, and I have very fond memories of playing with them both when I was younger.  I am blessed to have a dad who loves the Lord, and I will always cherish these moments together out on the golf course.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Those Who Come Alongside

We are so thankful for those the Lord has brought alongside our family as we head to Portugal!  We shared this morning at my father's church here in Connecticut, our final time of presenting before we leave on Thursday. North Haven Bible Church is truly special to us, as their love and support has been such a tremendous confirmation of our calling to Portugal!

We are also blessed that my Nana Darling (Winkler) has joined us for the days leading up to our departure. She has been an amazing spiritual example to us over the years, and we are so thankful that she is here with us!
(Left to Right) My mom, Caryne, and Nana

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What is the "Douro?"

I realized yesterday that I have not explained what the Douro is.  The Douro River is the river that runs right through the city of Porto, where we are going to live.

From Wikipedia: "The Douro (PortugueseDouro [ˈdowɾu, ˈdoɾu]; is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto."
"The Douro is famous for having a microclimate, allowing for cultivation of olives, almonds, and especially grapes that are important for making the famous Port wine."

It is a truly sobering thought that we will be moving to such a beautiful, stunning place, and yet the people are spiritually desolate.  May the Lord use us to share His beautiful name.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wrapping it Up in CT

We are less than one week away from our departure to Portugal. We have spent the past eight weeks traveling, with stops in Alaska, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.  Family and friends have been so graciously hospitable, as we have stopped and lived in their homes for sometimes as long as ten days.  We feel so blessed and are truly thankful for this time the Lord has given us to spend with our loved ones!

Having said all of that, man are we ready to be in our new home!  A pastor in Pennsylvania recently said to me, "sometimes its not always what the Lord is going to do through you in this process, its what the Lord is doing in you."  That really resonated with me, and its is something I know the Lord wanted me to hear!  I know He is working on so many things in me through this time, much of which I probably won't realize until further down the road.

As we spend the last 6 days here at my folks home in Connecticut, we will cherish the wonderful support we have around us.  Today was the calm before the rush, and these next days will be filled with mental and physical preparation for the big change ahead. Thanks for being along side!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day by Day on the Douro

The Lord has given us the privilege of calling our family to serve Him in the city of Porto, Portugal. We will be arriving in our new home the morning of June 15.  For those of you that might be interested (it may not be many of you :), this blog will serve as a means to update you daily on the experiences God has for us as we begin this new life.  My goal is to be consistent at least for the first few months, at which point I will assess the impact (and interest) of this publication.  My hope and prayer is that you will be encouraged as you read of God's perfect provision for our family, through the good times and the bad.  I thank each one of you, as you have played such a huge part in providing us the opportunity to follow His will for our lives to serve in Portugal.  You have blessed our family more than you probably will ever know.

On a different note, today is my wife and I's ninth wedding anniversary.  God in His perfect plan brought a beautiful, amazing women into my life, a women who has always felt called of Him to go and serve wherever He leads her.  Her influence in my life has done more to bring me closer to our Lord than she will ever truly understand.  I thank God for His perfect will, and for allowing us as a couple to be a part of His kingdom!