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Following the opening conference of Transform, OM's summer outreach to the Mediterranean, two teams moved on to Portugal. The surf outreach took place in the city of Porto and the Dancelink team went to Evora.
The full schedule included a lot of surf/skate/beach activities as a way of sharing the gospel. Each morning, team members helped little kids on the beach catch their first wave on a surfboard, giving many opportunities to also share the reasons why they were doing it. These kids ended the first week with their hearts full of joy and filled with gratitude.
Afternoons were set aside for bible studies and each team member got opportunity to share their faith and relationship with God with the others, a good way to increase their knowledge of the Bible.
Sundays the team became part of Surf Church Porto, starting with surfing on the beach, meeting a variety of people, resulting in friendships and in some cases, invitations to the Surf Church evening service.
The Baptist church had Sunday morning sessions and Bible studies where the team participated and learnt more about the Portuguese culture and church. Walking in downtown Porto, sightseeing and doing extreme and fun activities, such as jumping into the Douro River was really enjoyable and provided an amazing time to share the gospel with locals.
“Transform really did transformation in our own lives,” shared a team member, “it was an exhausting but super rewarding time with friends, church family and, above all, God.”
In Evora, the Dancelink team worked with an International Church and gave dance workshops to local young people; aiming to build bridges through culture.
Towards the end of their outreach, the locals as well as the team were looking forward to the performance by the team and their young students in the town square. “It was epic!” exclaimed team member Justin as he explained what had happened:
“During the contemporary 'Spirit Break Out' performance there was violence and commotion going on next to the stage, along with some initial sound and song difficulties, but we were determined not to let that stop us! In fact, it gave us the perfect opportunity to explain to the audience why we’re dancing and what the meaning of the song was, to bring heaven on earth. The audience responded with applause and was eager to hear more!”
It turned out that almost everyone who stopped to watch stayed for the whole show. The students who had been participating in the daily workshops performed boldly. Testimonies were powerful and resulted in friendships and connections with the church. Afterwards they celebrated with ice cream and got involved with conversations with the audience about their faith and about dancing, with someone saying: "It's great that the church is relating to young people like this!"
Please pray that the seeds sown through the Transform outreach will bear much fruit. Pray for the ongoing ministry of OM Portugal, the Surf Church in Porto and the International Church in Evira.