Madeira Island is the largest of the Madeira group of Islands which have a combined population of less than 300,000. It is a popular tourist destination, with approximately 1.4 million visitors every year. In June 2019 a small mission team, resourced with New Testaments from Biblica were among those visiting the Island.
Recently we caught up with David Whalley who was part of the team. David and several others from around the UK, had become part of the team in response to an appeal from Jason Murfitt. Jason Murfitt and his wife Andrea recently returned to the UK having spent twelve years as missionaries in Brazil. Over the past year Jason, through Grace Baptist Mission, has been scoping out the possibility of moving to Madeira to plant a church there.
David explained that Jason’s heart for Madeira was much inspired by the work of Dr. Robert Reid Kalley, a Scottish Presbyterian missionary, who went to the Island in 1838, and as he preached the gospel, more than 2000 people responded in following Jesus!
From his initial visits to Madeira, Jason identified a real need for bibles and other Christian resources on the Island, and so he put a call out for a Mission Team to go to Madeira to take some resources and share the gospel. As part of the team, David was given the role of sourcing Bibles to take and he contacted Biblica, subsequently obtaining 200 English New Testaments.
The New Testaments were distributed among tourists and to 60 hotels on the island who were really open to having them in their lounges and reception areas. David said that “We continue to pray that these New Testaments are being used by God to speak to the recipients who read them, and that they may be led to the Lord Jesus”.
David shared a story from the only day they had rain on the trip which took them into an indoor market where Cherry, another member of the team, got to chat with a Doctor from Brazil, and was able to give her a bible and other resources. This conversation has continued online and the team have asked for prayer for Dr. Ana that she would continue to ask questions and come to faith.
Dave and the rest of the mission team, were able to share the good news of the gospel with many people, and in follow up to this Jason has been able to return to the Island and meet up with some who now desperately want to have Christian fellowship and very much look forward to joining an evangelical church.
At Biblica Europe we are delighted to have played a small part in this mission, helping to provide resources which may help to spark another response to the gospel as seen in the 1800s.
All bibles were freely given to those God brought across our paths. Many were also carefully placed in a number of Roman Catholic churches
Rueben, a Madeiran who owns a mobile juice bar. Jason has been in contact with him for several months. He also speaks English and was thrilled to receive the New Testament in English.