Clarkes’ Prayer News November 2023 Dear friends, We have continued to study Exodus at church over the past few weeks, and it has been such an encouragement to be reminded of God's steadfast love and his redeeming faithfulness towards his people in spite of their persistent idolatry and rebellion. That is great news for us, for it means that even in the many moments of weakness and failure that we experience, we can nevertheless be confident that God is with us (thanks to Jesus) and that he is at work for us (thanks to Jesus). Church plant The launch of the church plant has been delayed until the 26th November, since there is a lot of work to do on the space we are renting to make it more soundproof for the neighbours living in the flats above. Over the past month, I feel I have learnt an awful lot about construction work, soundproofing, and decorating, but the work has now finally begun (as of today), and we are praying that it will be ready in time for the launch! Please do pray for wisdom in all this - choosing what toilet and sink to buy for the space, deciding on the placement of lighting, choosing the flooring, picking which plasterboard to use etc, is rather time-consuming and is not my forte! Thankfully, Paulo has been very much organising much of this, but even so, it has consumed a lot of time. In the meantime, we continue to meet together as a core group every two weeks at our house, and it has been an encouraging time. Moreover, in a clear answer to my prayer request last month, the couple who live in the city but have been going to a church about 40 minutes away have finally decided to go to a more local church (hooray!) and have chosen the church plant. We are so pleased they have decided to go to a local church, where they will be able to invite their friends, and are obviously thankful to God that CGC will now have another keen couple getting involved. Exciting times! Pastoral issues Over the past week, a number of pastoral issues have come up, most of which aren't specifically related to the church plant but are related to people we know and have walked alongside for a number of years. One of these issues involves a fairly well-known Christian academic (he is head of one of the university faculties in Portugal) who has now decided to "convert" to Catholicism. Whilst not a complete surprise, given the huge pressure he has been under within his faculty from other senior staff who are Catholics, it is somewhat disheartening to hear that he is in the process of writing a book that will almost certainly be quite scathing of Protestantism and evangelicals. Please do be praying for him, for his family, as well as for evangelicals as we consider how best to respond to all this. WhatsApp We have now set up a system called WhatsApp Broadcast, where we hope to send out more informal updates and photos about once a week. If you would like to be included in this, please let us know and send us your WhatsApp number. Thank you again for your partnership with us in the gospel, and for your financial support either for us or for the church plant project. We remain, as ever, very grateful indeed! With much love from us all Joe, Rachel, Beth, Hannah, Josh, and Tim Date specific activities: October 28th - Sunday School leaders' training day with Mustard Seeds 29th - Joe preaching (Eiras), Joe preaching (CGC) November 2nd-6th - FEUER (evangelists conference in Spain - Joe) 8th - Joshua's 10th birthday 10th - Discipling young married couple 12th - Joe preaching (Tovim), Rach leading Sunday School 19th - Joe preaching (Eiras) 26th - Rach teaching Sunday School (Eiras), Launch of CGC (Joe preaching) Regular activities: Tuesday morning – Church planting leadership meeting (Joe) Tuesday evenings – Church housegroup (Joe and Rachel) Wednesday morning – Women's bible study group (Rachel) Saturday afternoon – Church youth group (Joe) Sunday morning - Eiras church Sunday afternoon - CGC (church plant)

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