Jason and Andrea Murfitt returned to the UK last summer after twelve years’ service in Brazil. Here Jason reports on a visit to Madeira, to investigate the possibility of serving there and planting a new church.
I was twenty-
At the time I met Ban Forsyth, our sights were on the Amazon, where we would arrive within five years, unaware that twenty years after my conversation with Mr Forsyth, my family and I would continue in Kalley’s gospel-
During those years in Brazil, God equipped us to support local struggling churches by being involved in training leaders, working extensively with young people and broadcasting the gospel, not only on the tributaries of the Amazon and deep into the jungle, but far and wide across the whole north of Brazil via radio and TV. Yet little by little, the Lord brought Madeira onto the horizon, confirming his call in 2016 that he was sending us to that mission-
Having arrived in Brazil 160 years after Dr. Kalley, we now find ourselves exploring a new ministry of church-
It was agreed by our sending church (Haven Church, Gorran) and GBM that two years would be well spent in the UK to strengthen ties with those who have been so faithful in supporting us. Lucy will study her GCSEs in a Christian school, and I will make bi-
A mission team is already shaping up. Rolland Brown (pastor in Loughton) spends six months a year on the island. He is experienced and gracious with a calming spirit and well connected on the Island, having visited there for some 30 years. Two Madeiran brothers (Claudio and Sandro) are receiving their theological training in a reformed church in Rugby, where they were saved and met their English brides. They are also hoping to move to the Island in 2020. There is a young man called Philip, saved from a criminal background and presently living on Madeira, a young Christian, but zealous to live and serve for the glory of God. There are other Christians scattered on the Island who have shown great interest, recognising the need for a Christ-
We are in contact with that Baptist church; it’s complicated, but in a nutshell they do hold to the gospel essentials, but at present lack the vision to reach outside of the building to seek the lost with the intention of making disciples. They agree that a new church-
Some, on the other hand, are looking for spiritual light elsewhere. After visiting a Roman Catholic Cathedral and sensing the oppressive sadness and hopelessness that pervades there, a lady called Sandra told me of the ‘pretence of dead religion’ but feared that she had nowhere else to go. She has slipped into an existential new-
Another day, due to car problems, I spoke with a mechanic and his father, on two separate journeys, about the fact that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to pay the penalty of sin for all who believe. With head cocked to one side the mechanic asked me to repeat the event three times, not because of my accent, but because he was truly amazed at never having heard the cross of Christ and his sufficiency as Saviour explained before.
There is no doubt that Christ’s church shall be built on the island of Madeira once more. But when God gets busy, so does Satan. It might be slow-