Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BILD International Summit/What Lies Ahead

What an amazing week!  Pastor Antonio Figueira and I headed to Ames, Iowa Sunday, October 31.  We spent five days studying and discussing the way of Christ and His Apostles with people in ministry from all over the world.  I met wonderful people from places like Senegal, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Togo, India, Nigeria, Haiti, the list goes on.  At this summit I learned about the curriculum that Pastor Antonio uses to train leaders right in his own church, instead of sending them away to be trained.  The curriculum is directly from the first century church at Antioch.  This is the curriculum that I will be trained under, and it is also the program that the youth of the church is taught, something that I will be directly involved in.  All over the world pastors are using this tool to train and send leaders to advance the Gospel and plant new churches.  If you would like to know more about BILD International, I invite you to visit their website - 

Praise the Lord I did well in the final two days of my TEFL course, and I am now certified!  I had a great time teaching a lesson and wrapping up the certification.  Now the Lord has blessed with a great tool to reach out to the Portuguese community and to gain part-time employment in the country.  Please be in prayer as I begin to make contact with schools in northern Portugal for potential employment.  As you know, Caryne and I will be headed to Portugal the end of January 2011 for a week, and I will Lord-willing be meeting with several schools during that time.

The summit in Iowa energized me greatly, and I am anxious to move forward!  Please pray for patience on my part, as the Lord's timing is perfect. 

As stated in a previous post, our timetable to move to Portugal is September of 2011.  We truly thank God for the team of prayer warriors that He has brought along side us.  If the Lord is leading you to join us with financial support, now is the time to begin!  Will you prayerfully consider supporting us monthly for $10, $20, $50, or whatever amount you are led to give?  If you enjoy giving to specific projects, we are still in need of about $500 for our trip to Portugal in January 2011.

BILD International is the organization that provides tax receipts, so please send your gifts to the following address:

Make the check out to BILD International, and send to:
BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames, IA 50014-8417

Please write "Darling Family" on the memo line of your check.

We have no idea what the future holds, but we do know that the Lord is good and He holds us in His hands.  Thank you so much for letting us share this journey with you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Update

Lots of great things going on!  This coming weekend will be the final two days of the TEFL course that I have been taking.  The course has been very informative and well worth the while.  I will be teaching a lesson this weekend as part of my practicum/final exam, so you can pray that I finish well!

The baby is beginning to kick inside Caryne's belly, a wonderful reminder/reality check that a new addition to the family is coming!

Pastor Antonio will be traveling to the US next week to eventually meet up with me to head to the BILD Summit in Iowa.  Please be in prayer for him, as he will embark on a whirlwind journey to meet with great friends and ministry partners in PA, NJ, VA, DC, IA, and MN.  I am truly looking forward to our time in Iowa to meet with folks from all over the world and to beginning learning the discipleship curriculum that people at BILD have written.  Please pray for travel safety and for our time there to be fruitful.

Finally, Caryne and I have decided to take a week-long trip to northern Portugal in January of 2011.  We feel the Lord has led us to go there and spend time with Pastor Antonio and his family, as well as with the church family.  This will give Caryne an opportunity to get to know the area, look for possible places to live, spend time with Pastor Antonio's wife Ana, and participate in small groups and church services.  We will also Lord-willing be setting up meetings that week with schools in the area to discuss possible employment in teaching English.  We will be leaving our two precious girls behind with my parents in Connecticut.  This will be the first time we have done something like that, so please pray that the Lord will grant us strength to handle it!

The Lord has already provided $1200 for this trip.  At this point we need about $500 more to cover the rest of the expenses for the journey.  Would you prayerfully consider being part of the financial team to help reach the $500 goal?  The information for sending finances is below.  We thank you so much for being a part of this ministry and for all your prayers! 

Talk to you soon!

Make a check out to:  BILD International

Send to: BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames IA 50014-8417

Please write "Jeff Darling" in the memo line of the check


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soccer Ministry/Upcoming Events

Its been a while!  Just wanted to update you on a few things.  Last Sunday the 11th we had our youth soccer ministry kickoff at out church.  We had 26 kids sign up, which is a great start, and we praise the Lord for that!  It is a true blessing to be given a responsibility like that at our local church, and we look forward to seeing what the Lord will do though that ministry.

The next couple of months are going to be crazy!  Here is the rundown: 

September 18-25: Family vacation at Ocean City, NJ
October 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24: TEFL Certification course in Chapel Hill, NC (Jeff)
October 31-November 6: BILD International Summit in Ames, IA (Jeff)

We are blessed to be involved in these ministry opportunities, and we covet your prayers for strength and safety in these upcoming months.

Last but not least, we recently learned that there will be a new addition to the family!  Baby number three is due March 30!  We praise the Lord for awesome blessings!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great things are happening! The Lord has brought in the finances necessary for both the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course and the plane ticket to Iowa, the two initial projects explained in past postings.

I will be taking the TEFL course October 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 (changed from September) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I will be able to stay with my cousin and his wife and children in Durham while I take the course, which is certainly an extra blessing! I will then head to Iowa October 31-November 6 for the BILD International Summit.

Please pray that the Lord will grant my family and myself strength during the upcoming times of travel and study.

We are so excited that the Lord has opened these doors for us to move forward. We can't wait to share with you the next steps in this journey!

We covet your prayers!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Update of Praises

Praise the Lord for answers to prayer! I will indeed be heading to Iowa for the BILD International summit in November, as a good friend has graciously given the funds for the needed plane fare. We are also well on our way to be able to take the TEFL certification course in September. To date, $500 has been given, and we need $600 more to be able to pay for the course in full. Would you prayerfully consider giving to that project to reach the total of $1095? If you would like to give, please send a check to the below address and make sure to include "Jeff Darling - TEFL Course" on the memo line:

BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames, Iowa 50014-8417

On another note, please continue to pray for Caryne's mom. Praise the Lord she is on the last leg of her chemotherapy treatments, and she seems to be recovering well. Please pray for renewed strength and health.

Thank you so much for your support!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Local Church Youth Soccer League

I wanted to update you on something I mentioned a while ago. My pastor at our local church here in Lynchburg, VA has asked me to head up the launching of a youth soccer league at our church. The Lord has blessed the church with some land right next to the sanctuary that is perfect for sports outreach. He has also blessed the congregation with tons of kids, and they just keep coming! We envision this league as an opportunity for parents to come together for a great time of ministry. We also have a larger vision of reaching out to the local community to bring their children to play. The league will be volunteer-driven, which means the parents will be coaching, setting up cookouts, refereeing, and anything else that comes along. We trust the Lord will use this league to stir up conversations about what He is doing in our lives! We will start with two divisions. A three and four year-old division, and a five and six year-old division. If the Lord sees fit to grow the ministry, then we will add more age groups. We start registration this Sunday. We are looking forward to watching the Lord work! Please pray that the Lord will use me to further His kingdom through this ministry!

We continue to pray the Lord will provide for me to take the TEFL in September, as well as for a plane ticket to Iowa for the BILD Summit in November. Please pray the Lord would make clear His will regarding those events. Thank you for your continued support!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

TEFL Certification/Target Date

The time spent with Pastor Antonio Figueira has truly created such an eagerness to move forward! There are two steps within reach that need to be completed as part of the process of going to Portugal. They are explained below:

First, I have found the specific TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course that will open the doors to work in Portugal. The course is Oxford Seminars and is offered at the University of Virginia, which is about one hour from our home. It is taught over three weekends, starting this coming September 11. The cost of this course is more than what I listed in a previous post, $1095. This price includes all course materials, TEFL teaching resources, full access to the English Language Schools directory, and six months free teacher placement service. We are praying that the Lord will provide the funds to take this course in the form of sponsors who would like to invest in this ministry with a one time gift. Would you prayerfully consider becoming a sponsor? If so, please send a check to the BILD International address (located in the April 3 post), and please include "Jeff Darling, TEFL Certification" in the memo line of your check.

Second, BILD International is holding their annual summit in Ames, Iowa, November 1-5. The purpose of this summit is to learn the curriculum and discipleship program used to train up leaders within the local church. I will also have the opportunity to interact with church leaders from all over the world who are already implementing this curriculum in their churches. Pastor Antonio wants me to attend this summit as a part of my preparation in joining his church. All I need to do is purchase the plane ticket to Iowa, as BILD takes care of all the rest. The cost of a ticket to Des Moines, Iowa is between $300-$350 round trip. Would you consider sponsoring me for this trip? Please include "Jeff Darling, plane ticket" in the memo line of your check.

We have set a target date to be in Portugal: August/September 2011. We can't wait to see how the Lord will accomplish his plan for us, as it is truly only Him who will accomplish these things. Thank you so much for joining with us!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Briefly in Connecticut

Here is myself and my family with Pastor Antonio Figueira. This was taken at my parents home Sunday, May 2.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We're Back

We arrived back in Lynchburg earlier this week from a long but productive and enjoyable trip for both myself and my wife and children. Caryne and the girls departed April 23 to Philadelphia, PA and then on to upstate New York. Caryne's main purpose of the trip was to help her mother during the recovery process following chemotherapy. Please keep her parents in your prayers. From there they traveled to North Haven, CT, to spend some time with my parents.

Meanwhile, Pastor Antonio Figueira arrived in the United States. I picked him up on Wednesday, April 28 in Madison, VA. From there we embarked on a journey, meeting with pastors and old friends, discussing our ministry vision and looking for partners to join us in that vision. The Lord truly blessed and it was an experience I will not soon forget. We began with a brief meeting Wednesday night with my pastor, Pastor Marvin Suitt of Living Word Baptist Church. The purpose of this meeting was to receive Pastor Suitt's blessing on me in joining and ministering at the church in Porto, Portugal. From there we headed north and made stops in York, Harrisburg, and Telford, PA, before reuniting with my wife and kids in North Haven, CT.

Sunday morning, May 2, Pastor To' and myself had the privilege of sharing in Sunday school at my father's (Pastor Dan Darling) church. We had a tremendous time with the congregation there, and I praise the Lord that he is doing an awesome work through my father there. It was also a great time of catching up, as Pastor Antonio and my parents were in ministry together for many years in Portugal during the 1980s.

I learned much more about the ministry of Pastor Antonio through the many hours on the road together. The Lord is accomplishing much through the work of Antioch Baptist Church in Portugal, and we are anxious to join with them in ministry.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we take steps toward this goal!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Destination: Portugal - Our First Official Newsletter

Well, we have delayed publishing our first official newsletter until now as we have been trying to gather all the necessary materials to send out hard copies. That has proven to be a bit difficult at the moment, so without further ado...

It is truly interesting to see the Lord so clearly at work presently in my life. As we strive to seek Him we cannot deny that He is in control. I was born and raised in Portugal, and moved to the US at the age of eleven. Since leaving, my desire to return has remained all these years. I have visited the country four times in the past twelve years. I have wrestled with understanding whether it is God's will for me to return, or if its just a case of me missing where I grew up. I believe the Lord in various ways has affirmed that He wants me to go. He has blessed me with a wonderful wife who is ready to go and serve wherever the Lord leads us. Good friends have encouraged me with prayer and advice. And of course, the invitation from a pastor I have known my entire life and look up to as a powerful man of God. These things have blessed us as a family, and we desire to go wherever He wants to take us.

Pastor Antonio (To') Figueira's church, Antioch Baptist, is located in the city of Porto. The church is a growing and vibrant place, and I had the privilege of attending a service while we were there. We are particularly impressed with their strong discipleship program, and their understanding that everything in the Christian life has its foundation within the local church.

There are numerous areas within the church where we will be serving. It will begin initially with a leadership role with the youth, but of course we will be involved wherever we are needed. Pastor To' is very involved in church planting both in Portugal and within Portuguese-speaking countries. He envisions us having a role in that work as well.

We feel it is important that we are able to serve in Portugal fully supported, so that will be our objective as we move forward. However, I will be looking to become certified in teaching English as a second language (TESL) to open up doors for part-time employment. This strategy will help supplement our income until we are full supported. Antioch Baptist is a church of about 150 members, so consequently they are unable to provide any salary for us. We will rely on support and part-time work for our lively hood.

Will you prayerfully consider becoming part of a powerful team that will come along side of us in this ministry? It cannot be understated that prayer is the foundation behind any strong ministry, so first and foremost we ask that you would become a prayer partner.
Specifically our prayer needs right now are the logistics of getting to Portugal, preparing ourselves through ministry here in our local church, and for Caryne and the girls to begin learning the language.

Secondly, in order for us to be able to devote all our efforts toward the church and to the people of Portugal, financial support is needed. I will indicate specific financial goals at a later time, but for now please consider sponsoring me to cover the cost of TESL certification. The cost of the course is approximately $550. I desire to begin that process as soon as possible, as Pastor To' will start speaking to potential employers in Portugal on my behalf.

Antioch Baptist Church partners with the US ministry BILD International. They are the American link where financial support can be sent. They also provide the foundation for the church's discipleship program. BILD will provide any necessary receipts for tax purposes. Please visit their website at to see their mission statement and philosophy. Their address is 2400 Oakwood Rd., Ames IA 50014-8417. Would you consider supporting us monthly, with a one-time gift, or sponsoring me for TESL certification?

You can give by sending a check to the above address. Please write on the subject line of your check either "Darling Family/Portugal/Monthly", "Darling Family/Portugal/One-Time", or "Darling Family/Portugal/TESL Cert."

Thank you for your continued prayer and encouragement! Please pass this along to anyone who could join us in reaching the Portuguese people.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pastor To' Coming (1st Official Letter Still to Come)

Life has really been quite crazy (with that necessary day job), so our first official newsletter is still not ready. I am very excited, however, because Pastor To' is coming to the States the end of April. He will be participating in a number of activities, which include workshops for Portuguese-speaking churches, fundraising, and visiting old friends. He will be spending time in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He will be stopping here at our home In VA and I will be joining him for his trip to New Jersey. There we will participate in workshops in NJ, as well as visit my brother-in-law's church outside of Philadelphia. We also plan on making a stop in CT to visit my father's church. For those of you interested in what the workshops mentioned are about, please visit this site: There is some very cool info there, so I recommend visiting.

We covet your prayers as we begin to build a team of supporters, both in prayer and monetarily. I would ask that you would seek God's guidance about possibly supporting us as we move forward.

I truly can't wait to see what God has in store!


Friday, March 12, 2010

By the way

The most recent entry was written by Jeff.....

Portuguese-speaking world

(First official newsletter still to come)

I received an email a couple of days ago from Pastor Antonio (To'), who just returned from the Portuguese speaking country of Mozambique. Pastor To' was there giving workshops to local pastors. Mozambique is one of many nations that have Portuguese as either their official language or there is a large Portuguese speaking population. Countries like Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, and East Timor all have Portuguese as their main language. Even places like Luxembourg have a very large population that speak the language. Pastor To' is actually in the process of planting a church there in Luxembourg, and we will share that story in another entry.

On the local front, our pastor here at our church, Pastor Marvin Suitt of Living Word Baptist, has asked me to head up a kids soccer ministry. I am very excited for the opportunity and covet your prayers as we prepare to get that off the ground in the fall.

The Lord is good!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Jeff and I decided to start this blog to keep our friends and family up to date on what's happening in our lives and what God is doing in our family. Most of you know, we have prayed for a long time about opportunities to go to Portugal. For Jeff it means returning to the place of his childhood, and returning to a group of people that he loves and desires to serve. For me, it's an opportunity to serve and be used in whatever way God would have.
Jeff visited Portugal during the last week of January. My brother in law Christian went with him, and they had a great time visiting and exploring. Jeff's primary goal in going was to seek God's face and discern whether or not to continue pursuing a ministry in Portugal. We believe God answered that affirmatively through Pastor Antonio ('To) Figueira. He is the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Porto, and has a strong discipleship program and church planting ministry. He specifically invited Jeff and our family to join the church in ministry. We are very excited about this opportunity, a wide open door to serve in Portugal.
Our next post will be our first official newsletter. We will post all our updates here, as well as mailing the actual newsletters.
We love you all and are so thankful for your prayers throughout these years, past, present and future!