FC Missionaries Osmar and Linda Silva | Summary and Reflection
“Missions are the heart of God,” said Osmar and Linda Silva, missionaries to Portugal. It is a small European country bound by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The LORD also gave us the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ’All authority in heaven and
on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end
of the age.’” (NIV)
With only 2%of the Portuguese population as Christ followers, the Silvas have taken the Great Commission seriously, and they serve in many different capacities.
One area of work is with the pastors. They give leadership conferences, and at one of these conferences a lady came in and began asking questions. It was evident that she was not a believer so Linda said that she would like to talk to her later. After the meeting Linda spoke to her and discovered that she did not mean to come to that meeting, but she took the wrong train and ended up at the church. Actually, she had intended to commit suicide, but God…. A year and a half later, Linda and Osmar returned to the same church and that same lady greeted them. She recounted how her life had changed and that she was active in that body of believers. At the first meeting, Linda and Osmar obeyed the LORD, talked and prayed with the woman, and she met the LORD. They made a disciple of her. Praise God!
Another passion the Silvas have is church planting. They mentor a young couple and help them establish a small home church. After the church has grown and they have grown as shepherds, the Silvas help the young couple find a building to house their church. They help to refurbish the building such as cleaning and painting it. Then they help with equipment like chairs. For three months they even pay for the fledging church’s expenses. As the church becomes more established, the Silvas move on to support and mentor another young, pastoral couple. They want to be in the center of God’s will and are proactive in sharing the gospel to a dying world where 98% are not Christ followers.
Also, in working with churches, they teach church members how to love their pastors. They also remind the pastors about their first love as believers. Pastors can be wounded or burnt out because of all the demands. The Silvas work to build and restore pastors because again the LORD said,”And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”Matthew 28:20b (NIV) Both for pastors and for church members it is important to remember God’s presence in their lives. Though times get rough and unsteady, He “will never leave us nor forsake us.” Hebrew 13:5 That is a huge reassurance in spite of circumstances.
A final example of the Silvas’ work was four years ago they were homeless. They were staying in various people’s homes. Then they met a young couple who were serving in Brazil; Osmar is from Brazil. The husband felt the LORD wanted them to go to Portugal, but the wife was resistant. After they met Linda and Osmar, the wife sobbed and said,”Ok, I will go to Portugal.” Linda was ecstatic to report that the young couple wants to focus on youth work which is greatly needed. What satan means for evil, the LORD can turn to good. Was this meeting a coincidence or a divine appointment? Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He has plans for us for good and not for evil. Praise the LORD for His hand on all four of their lives.
The Silvas reminded us that we need to be willing; to be proactive and to be available. Then we can be salt and light to a dying world.
Written by Larry and Annette Linthicum