We are now in Germany with a Turkish couple who have an amazing internet ministry with Turks in Germany and Turkey. They have seen hundreds of Muslims come to Christ over the years. They are a sweet couple and we are enjoying being with them. Memduh has tried to gather some pastors to investigate our training but most feel they do not need anything, that they already know everything they need to be a pastor. It is sad since none of them have any real training. So, it has become clear that this is not the time for us to work here.
Our time in Portugal was a bit more positive, but there are still questions about whether we will return to do anything there. The evangelical church in Portugal is in real trouble as it has almost shrunk in half over the last 15 years or so, losing nearly 700 churches that have closed. The church is not reaching out or planting new churches and 60% of the pastors are over 65 with small aging congregations. There are some exceptions of course, but as a whole, there are great needs for revival there. We had good discussions with one exceptional pastor and with a ReachGlobal missionary living there. We will see if anything develops from those discussions.
While we were in Portugal, Franklin Graham was conducting an evangelistic crusade and 15,000 people attended and 600 came forward. I am sure that was a great encouragement to many of the churches. Because of that, some of those we wanted to meet with were busy helping with the crusade. So Edie and I spent a couple of days alone, but because it was by the ocean, we enjoyed our time.
Much of this trip has been unknown from the beginning and still remains a mystery in many ways. We are not sure what God is doing in most of the places we visited. We are thankful for the good progress made in Romania and can see a future for ministry there. Otherwise, we are simply trying to pour ourselves into those we are with for a short time assuming that God has a purpose. Again today, we are not sure what is happening as no pastors wanted to meet with us and even the small group I was to speak at was cancelled as few were going to attend this week. Tomorrow we take the train to Amsterdam and then home on Thursday. We will be glad to be in our own bed for a change.