8/4/2014
Portugal
Portugal map

There are about 195 countries on earth, and the people in every one of them need to have access to Brother Branham’s Message. From online sermons to printed books, we are doing everything we can to make the end-time Message available to the world.

One, very important, thing we do is to send our office managers to different churches, not only to bring them material, but to better understand their needs. Brother Gerald Buitenkamp and his three sons (Timothy, Matthew, and Benjamin) recently made the trip from our office in Holland, to Portugal. Their mission was three-fold: meet with the believers, deliver Message material, and spread the Gospel along the way.

Here is their report:

Before we started out on our trip we only had two addresses from Portugal and one address from across the border in Spain. We contacted one brother in Portugal, which we had never met before, who had a church in Porto (Northwest Portugal). This was the only place that we had made arrangements to visit their church on Sunday morning.

I tell you, when you go someplace where you totally depend on being led by the Spirit, all you can do is try to reach out and surrender everything to Him. You just don't know how things will unfold.

As we had never been to this country, which is about the size of the state of Indiana, we had no clue of what the people would be like, all we knew is that it was a real Catholic nation and all we could do is trust that He would lead us in the right direction to meet the right people.

We were in great expectation, but as we arrived and started on our journey, the first two people we met on the side of the road right out rejected the tracts that we tried to give them. They did not even want to look at them. As we took about 200lbs of material I was kind of getting discouraged, thinking of how I would ever leave all this material behind if they are all going be like this; we’d go home with most of the material we came with. But as we went on, we kept trying to reach out to the strangers in the highways and the by-ways.

Finally, as we got to meet more people along the way, we found out very quickly that the people were after all very open and friendly to us, and I can't really recall of anybody ever rejecting anything after that.

We took every opportunity we got to give something to the people we met in the mountains, market places, in the stores, in the villages. Come to find out that most of the younger generation speaks enough English to get by, and after a while we felt encouraged at how well it was received whenever we gave some of these precious messages away to total strangers.

I remember one occasion of a young man selling bread with his family in a market place. I was telling him that I used to live straight across the Atlantic in the State of Rhode Island, where a lot of Portuguese people lived that had immigrated to America. A lot of those people were fishermen by trade from Portugal and we always like their Portuguese sweet bread. I found some of the same bread at his stand, and bought some bread from him. I told him that I got a surprise for him too, and as I handed him a book, he looked at it and smiled. I said, “This may really change your life, would you be interested to read this?” He said, “Sure, I certainly will do that.” You never know when you give the Bread of Life to someone that has never heard the truth before. This is one of the many people that we ran into that we got a chance to give something too.

As we ended up close to the Spanish border on the northwestern coast of Portugal, we decided to try to visit one person that lived in this particular area of Spain where we had never been before. Since this was in a remote area of Spain, and we happened to be in the area, we thought we would give it a try to visit this person. We only had an address, but no phone number. As we finally found the address, we went to the top floor of an apartment building. We came to find out that nobody was home!

As we found a cleaning lady sweeping the steps, we asked her if she knew the name of the person that lived at the top floor of an apartment complex. The cleaning lady led us to a nearby neighbor. We finally got a cell number from a neighbor of the person that we were looking for. We quickly got on the phone and called her.

We told her that we were in the city at her home and said that we came to visit her, to bring her some Spanish messages from Brother Branham. She was so happy to hear that we came all the way out to visit her. She called again, being in shock to make sure that she heard that right that we were really in the city and had come all the way out to visit her. We reassured her that we were really there. She said that she would be off of work at 9:00 pm and would meet us at her apartment.

As we met Sister Yolanda, who is originally from Ecuador, she was so happy to meet with us. She took us to a nearby restaurant where we met another believer who had also come to the Lord and started to believe this Message. We made arrangements to meet with this brother the next morning at 8:00 am at his house and shared some things with him on our laptop from VGR and what is done around the world where this Message is going. We told him about Quiet Time, the Jubilee tapes, etc. And finally gave them all the messages that we took in Spanish. They were so exited to receive all this material. The brother, who was originally from Venezuela, told me that he heard the Message from Sister Yolanda, and said when he read the one message, Serpent Seed, it changed his life and he knew that it was the truth. We left them both with all the available messages that we had taken on this trip. They had prepared breakfast for us and said it was a real honor to have us in their home.

After we got on the road again we felt encouraged that we finally got to meet the first believers in a far away forgotten corner of Spain. We had a little time to witness to several new people along the way in Spain, and we took some of the new Spanish witnessing CD's “Be certain Of God.” They were well received by the ones we got in touch with as we met them on the way.

When we got back into Portugal, we continued giving out tracts and books to whomsoever we met along our journey. Most the time we started out with a conversation to show them the message in Portuguese called, “Conference With God.” The other tract we used a lot in Portuguese was, “He That Hath An Ear.....” Both tracts were well received by anybody that we got in contact with. We also gave the new English witness cards to those who could well understand English, and were able to check out the website.

Saturday night we came back to the city of Porto and tried to look for the two Portuguese addresses we took with us and see if we could find these people in the city. After going around the city and following our GPS, making a few wrong turns, we finally ended up at one of the addresses at an apartment building. After ringing the doorbell there was nobody home.

We rang the neighbors’ doorbell and got no response at all. Finally some people showed up at the main door entry, and quickly we asked if they knew this person we were looking for. Again they did the same as we did, and asked somebody if they knew the people we were looking for.

Finally another man walked up and asked what we were looking for. I just mentioned to him “Jeffersonville, Indiana....?” He immediately responded something like, “I’m a Message believer too.”

“Who are you?”

He said, “My name is Bro. Vilmar (His family is originally from Brazil).” I told him, “We were just about ready to leave, but we got stalled because we missed an exit and ended up getting here later than expected. But it all had to be that way to end up here at the right time to meet you here.”

He replied and said, “I was out on a job, 70kms away, and as I pulled up in the parking lot, something told me that they must be believers up at the door.” We had no phone number from this person, and just came and tried to look up this address. If we had left a few minutes ago, we would have missed him altogether.

The brother embraced us and told us that it was the Lord that sent us at the right time. He's been praying for the Lord to do something for them. As we fellowshipped a while we told him that we took some new Portuguese messages with us, and he invited us to come to the church for the morning service and meet all the other believers.

I said we already have commitments and asked if he was able to arrange a meeting for Sunday evening. He said that would be fine. I said we planned to be there and take material for all the believers as well. I had told him that we also took the new Portuguese Seven Seals book that was printed not too long ago. Also took Church Ages and lot of the other messages in Portuguese.

He smiled and said this is truly an answer to our prayers. He said, “We don't have any of these books that you mentioned.” I said, “We'll meet you Sunday evening and will bring enough material for everybody.”

We were so happy to find out that we found another group of believers that we could help with all the Portuguese messages we took.

Sunday Morning

The next morning we visited the church that we had contacted prior to our departure for a visit on Sunday morning. This was the only church that we knew of in Portugal. Brother Fernando, who has had a church in Porto for 17 years, awaited us and we took the new Seven Seals that they had not received yet along with some other sets of Portuguese books with the children books and Cub Corner, etc.

We showed them some videos and passed out the books, “Voice Of The Sign” in Portuguese, and played the tape for about 45 minutes. It was a small church with about 8 people, mostly his family.

Sunday Evening

Bro. Vilmar is the brother we met Saturday night at his apartment, who told us that he was very happy that we came and believes it was a miracle and an answer to his prayers. The church is normally about 40 people…

Again we showed a few slide shows, taught them a few new songs, and then introduced the tape, "The Voice Of The Sign" and played the other half of the tape.

They really enjoyed the message that was played, and the fellowship was really nice after we finished the tape. We then passed out the materials and again the people were really happy to receive all the new materials.

None of them had seen the new Seven Seals book and neither had they any of the messages with the new covers. It sure was a blessing to give each one their new Portuguese translations, children books, and Cub Corner magazines as well.

We got to sign up a lot more believers there, and Bro. Vilmar told us that he would also get us the addresses to three families that he knew of in the Lisbon area.

There are also another two believers in southern Portugal that he knew of. He reassured us that he would stay in touch with us and was very happy that we came to visit them. Bro. Vilmar was a very nice brother and made us feel very welcome!

Brother Gerald

VGR Holland Office

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