Voelker – September 2010

voelkerSee You At The Pole is an international event held on September 21st where students meet around their school’s flag pole and pray for their school, community and country. Several GLCA students planned the event on their own and most of our student body participated. The interesting thing is that we don’t actually have a flag pole. Very few public buildings do. That did not stop us from gathering on the school’s large veranda to join hands and hearts in worship and prayer. It was a moving experience as we listened to students praying in small groups. Most prayed in English but some chose to pray in their first language, be that Korean, Portuguese, Nepalese or German. We sensed His presence in a special way. Tears came to my eyes as I tried to sing standing across the circle from. Benjina who would not have chosen to participate in such an event before her salvation last Spring. Benjina is the fruit of your prayers. God is changing her heart and working on others. Later that morning I walked past the music classroom and saw the 3rd and 4th graders with bowed heads as their music teacher opened class in prayer. Again God’s Spirit tugged at my heart. Uttam is a new Nepalese student who barely understands any English. I am sure he has no idea why we bow our heads in prayer or what we are saying when we talk to our God. What will God choose to do in Uttam’s young heart and life this year? Please pray with us for his understanding of English to grow so that he can learn and grow academically and spiritually.

Two single teachers and a teacher’s wife are leading a group of High School girls in a weekly Bible study. Participation in the study is growing and girls are opening up, sharing their stories and growing in their understanding of God’s Word. Pray that lives will be changed through this investment of time and energy on the part of the leaders.

Please pray for Carlos Martins, a Deaf man who has come to our church four weeks in a row. He seems to have a hunger to understand God’s truth and a burden for the many Deaf here who know nothing of God’s love. We are not sure if Carlos is saved but are continuing to pray for spiritual understanding. Another Deaf man (also not sure if he is saved), lives about an hour and a half from Lisbon. Sergio has a hunger to understand the Scriptures and wants to become Portugal’s first Deaf Baptist pastor. However, for both of these and for most Deaf, the Bible is very difficult to understand. Pray for David and Sarah Booth and myself as we seek God’s wisdom in how to best minister to the spiritual needs of the Deaf. I began the fourth level of Lingua Gestual Portuguesa this morning. Class was pretty intense and a bit over my head but I have a good teacher and think that I will be stretched and learn a lot.

portugalCal’s enjoying teaching five classes this school year, one of which is Marriage and Family. He has invited several young couples in to share their stories so that the students are not just hearing from him or from the textbook. Students are asking good questions about friendships and relationships. After class one day, a Nepalese student talked privately with Cal. “My parents have already arranged for a husband for me and I don’t know what to do. Should I obey my parents and honor their wishes when God says I should not be unequally yoked with a marriage partner?” She went on to share that custom would only permit her to date and marry another Nepalese from her family’s class or above. Though there are a number of Nepalese young people here, she does not know any who are believers except one male cousin.

Thank you so much for your partnership as we continue to minister at Greater Lisbon Christian Academy and at Igreja Baptista de Loures. We could not be here without your prayer and financial support. A recent email from a friend was signed “A Work In Progress.” It was a great reminder to me that we are all His workmanship. Please join us in praying Philippians 1:6 for ourselves, our school staff, our students and our church family.

Running the Race,
Cal and Joyce Voelker

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