Joe and Rachel Clarke moved to Coimbra, Portugal in 2015 to work amongst students with the GBU (Grupo Bíblico Universitário - the Portuguese Christian student movement affiliated to IFES). They are seeking to evangelise and disciple university students and equip them for future Christian ministry. Rachel is a full time mum and is helping their children to adapt to a new culture and supporting Joe in his ministry with students.
Portugal has a population of almost 11 million people, yet less than 100,000 attend an evangelical church. Within Portuguese Universities there are few professing believers and the Christian student movement is small. There is a great need to develop the GBU’s work in order to disciple and equip Christian university students so that they can reach out to their fellow students with the gospel.
Joe and Rachel have four children: Beth, Hannah, Joshua and Timothy.
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‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.’ Revelation 3:15-17
I deceive myself all too often when it comes to my walk with the Lord. And I don´t think I´m alone in that. You see, I read Jesus’ letter to the Laodicean church and I think it doesn’t really describe me. After all, as a Christian I know that I am not self-sufficient. I know that I am unable to do anything about my status before God other than come to him in repentance and faith, trusting wholly in Jesus’ death and resurrection for forgiveness and life. And I know that I am unable to walk in the good works, which God has prepared in advance for me, without his help by the Spirit.
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