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More than 600 find Christ during Portugal campaigns

LISBON, Portugal (BP)–Numbers may not be important in God’s eyes, says missions volunteer coordinator Jerry Byrd, “but people are.”
So Byrd is excited that during a May crusade in Portugal, 16 evangelistic teams reported 672 people prayed to receive Christ as Savior, 44 indicated a call to full-time ministry and 138 recommitted their lives to the Lord. Other teams haven’t yet reported their results.
A week of evangelistic outreach in Portugal culminated in a victory worship service in Lisbon. Portuguese Baptists and Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries working with volunteers from International Crusades heard how the Lord had worked throughout the country.
“We don’t know all of what God has done this week,” said Byrd, volunteer coordinator for Tennessee-based International Crusades. “We don’t know who prayed and didn’t mean it, or who said they didn’t want to receive Christ but may have gone home and prayed. I can’t wait to get to heaven and hear all that God has done during this week.”
Some who received Christ included the chief of the fire department in Queluz, a policeman in Caldas de Rainha and an accountant in Mem Martins.
Pastor Daniel Pascoal of Cacem said the week had changed his life, his church and the city. The Cacem church ministered to the mayor of the city, who attended the services and responded by offering the city bus for church members to use to attend the victory service. The church also began a new ministry among Gypsies in the city.
Pascoal likened the week to the miraculous catch of fish in Luke 5: His church called on others to help harvest lost souls, just like in the Bible story one boat needed another to haul in the great catch. Pascoal thanked volunteers for remembering Portugal and coming to help.
In Queluz, where 53 people prayed to receive Christ, the Baptist church has begun making assignments for follow-up to conserve the results of the campaign. In addition to leading the city fire chief to the Lord, the church also shared the gospel with the mayor, chief of police and commandant of the army in that city.
Special evangelistic emphases will continue through the summer as Baptists reach out to those attending Expo 98, the last world’s fair of this century, running through Sept. 30 in Lisbon. –30– Crossover students collect offering for local church By Joni B. Hannigan
SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–Substituting ball caps for offering plates, hundreds of college and seminary students surprised Rob Lee when they spontaneously accepted his challenge and dropped hundreds of dollar bills and piles of loose change toward offering to help reimburse a Sandy, Utah, pastor who purchased $700 in supplies to fix his church.
Lee, the Utah/Idaho Southern Baptist Convention’s religious education consultant, was the local chairman for the student phase of Crossover, an evangelistic effort coordinated by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. His challenge was to the 475 college and seminary students from across the country gathered for a June 8 rally at Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah.
Students ready to work at the Alta Canyon Baptist Church in Sandy would have been without the building supplies they needed if the pastor, Darwin Welsh, had not made a sacrifice and purchased them out of his own meager funds, according to Lee.
“He didn’t expect to be paid by the church,” said Lee of the retired pastor who is a former executive director of the Utah/Idaho convention. “I knew it would be a real big crimp.”
The situation began when Lee contacted Welsh about ministry needs students could help provide during Crossover. Welsh returned a long list of needs, mostly related to their deteriorating building, which still needs a new roof and carpet.
When Welsh and Lee started to prepare the job sites for students, he noticed the materials they would need were not available, and there were no church funds to cover costs. Welsh decided to go ahead and buy the supplies himself, according to Lee.
After he was approached by a few people aware of the situation, Lee made the decision to simply ask the students to see what they could do.
The result was astounding to Lee. An initial offering yielded $609, and subsequent individual donations surpassed the $700 mark.
“It was the Holy Spirit,” Lee said of the response. “It couldn’t have been me. I didn’t make an emotional appeal — the students wanted to make a difference in this area.”

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  • Steve Ford