United Church of God

Portuguese Work Growing: United Minister Holds First Passover Service in Portugal

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Portuguese Work Growing

United Minister Holds First Passover Service in Portugal

"The work of God in the Portuguese-speaking area is a very small work," said Leon Walker, coordinator of Spanish operations, who also coordinates the Portuguese area. "However, we are doing all we can to serve the members in Portugal and Brazil with sermons and literature.

"In the 2007-2008 fiscal year we plan to print four booklets and 12 Good News articles in the Portuguese language. We have recently contracted a professional translator in Portugal to help us with the translation work. We also rely upon member volunteers in Portugal, Brazil and the United States to help with proofreading and other editorial responsibilities.

"We have only one elder who is fluent in the Portuguese language—Jorge de Campos. Mr. de Campos has his own job, but enthusiastically dedicates as much time as possible in serving the Church in the Portuguese-speaking areas. He makes two trips a year to Portugal. He also prepares sermons for our members in addition to editorial work.

"We greatly appreciate his service, as without it we would be able to do very little to help our Portuguese-speaking members."

Some History

United's efforts in the Portuguese language began in 2002. Since then a small version of United News in Portuguese has been issued on a quarterly basis, the Fundamental Beliefs and Clean and Unclean Meats booklets have been printed, regular sermons are being sent to the brethren and a small Web-based set of Good News articles is scheduled to appear on United's Web site in the next few weeks.

God also opened the door for a Feast of Tabernacles site to be held in Portugal (see www.ucg.org/portugues/feast/).

First Passover

This year God opened the door to hold the first Passover in Portugal since the beginnings of United.

Jorge de Campos arrived in Lisbon on the morning of Sunday, April 1. After a brief rest from his overnight flight, he visited with members, had discussions on the translation and review work in progress and then helped make preparations for the Passover service after sunset.

The Passover service was held at the home of Jaime Campos, a deacon in Lisbon. Five people attended the Passover. The Night to Be Much Observed was also held in his home with an attendance of eight people.

The First Day of Unleavened Bread service was held at the Hotel Dom Carlos Liberty with an attendance of 10 people. This little hotel hall is the venue of the biweekly Sabbath services in downtown Lisbon. It has a special built-in facility to project video sermons on a plasma screen mounted on the wall. An Internet connection is available to play video sermons directly from the Web.

The main sermon emphasized how we need to encourage each other to obey God and be without spiritual leaven in this difficult world, how we need to have God living in us and how we must desire to be so close to God that we are one, like Christ prayed that we should be in His last prayer with His disciples.

Prayers Needed

God's work in the Portuguese language is small, even though Portuguese is the sixth most spoken native language in the world, and the third most spoken European language, ahead of German, French and Italian.

Portuguese is a difficult language in its orthography, multiple influences and precision of meaning. Many misunderstandings may be created if translations are not thoroughly reviewed and checked for correctness doctrinally.

"We feel that every attempt we have made to further develop the work of God in the Portuguese language has been attacked immediately by Satan," said Mr. de Campos. "We have found that the translators and reviewers are under extreme pressure, which seems to have mounted exponentially since they have committed to help with this effort.

"We need the prayers of the brethren to help the translators and reviewers with their personal trials, which are slowing down the work. We also request prayers that God may add more laborers deeply proficient in Portuguese and English to help in this facet of God's work." UN