Monday, December 17, 2012

Feliz Natal!

Downtown Porto
We have been in Portugal now for six months! As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, we are thankful for so much.  We have been blessed with a wonderful home, a loving church family, opportunities in ministry, opportunities to teach, and a tremendous network of partners alongside us.  We are very encouraged to see the movement of the Gospel here, and are humbled to be part of God's work in Portugal.

After spending several days with my parents in Connecticut, I returned from the States on the 16th of November.  Praise the Lord my father is doing great following his surgery, and his rehab is going well.  I also was wonderfully blessed with the opportunity to share with North Haven Bible Church family.

The Lord has graciously brought so many awesome partners to this ministry.  We are praising the Lord for your support, as the needs mentioned in the last blogpost have been met!  Finances were given for our winter necessities, and another generous gift given enabled us to pay for the car we've been using.  We marvel at how the Lord always provides for our needs.

The last thirty days have been a busy time in the life of the church.  I continue to have the privilege of spending the weekends with the young people, and have greatly benefited from theological training every Monday and Friday. Additionally, the Lord has provided Portuguese lessons every Tuesday through the English school I work for. These lessons have already greatly improved my ability in the language, which of course is a huge help as I communicate with the youth.  Meanwhile, Pastor Figueira has had the opportunity to minister to several Portuguese communities in the region.  There are church-planting movements in both the Azores (Portuguese islands), as well as in Luxembourg. Pastor has recently met with key leaders in both those areas.  Please be in prayer that these growing partnerships will be used of God to spread the Gospel throughout the Portuguese-speaking world.

The girls are all well and are enjoying their first Christmas season in Portugal.  The church family has wonderfully embraced our family, and the girls love to spend time with them.  We see almost daily improvement in their grasp of the language, and its great to watch them become a part of the culture here.  Caryne and the baby are also doing well, praise the Lord.  Please pray that the Lord would watch over this pregnancy.

As year 2012 comes to a close, we reflect on all the Lord has done.  We are thankful for His love, grace, and provision.  We are thankful for each one of you, as your partnership is absolutely vital, and its a true joy to share our passion for this country with you.   We rest in the knowledge that He has everything in hands, and we look forward to what He has in store for the future!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Isabel is going to be a big sister!
Well, the Lord has brought along another blessing! We recently found out that Caryne is pregnant! We are thankful for the wonderful news, and we appreciate your prayers as a new life prepares to join us.

I have spent the past week in leadership training in Ames, IA, at the annual BILD Conference.  What a true blessing it was to worship and train with several hundred men and women from all around the world.  I am grateful for the opportunity to meet and share with fellow believers in Christ.

I am now in Connecticut spending the next several days with my parents before I head home to Portugal on Thursday.  We praise the Lord that my father is recovering well from his recent surgery.  Today I had the great privilege of sharing and updating our wonderful partners here at North Haven Bible Church.  We are so thankful for their love and support of our family.
Preaching and Teaching Workshop at BILD Conference
Caryne and the girls are doing well.  I rest in the comfort that they are well taken care by our awesome church family in Porto.  

Specific Things You Can Be In Prayer For:

*We are in need of approximately $1550 to pay for the car that a man from our church has allowed us to use.  He would like these funds by the end of the year
*With the winter coming up, we are in need of $400 for the purchase of space heaters and wood for our home

We thank each and everyone of you for your partnership in this ministry!

Jerry Neuman (Brazil), Myself and Pastor Figueira in Iowa

Cora enjoying a warm water bottle

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Commit Your Works to the Lord

Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

It is a regular occurrence for me to be surprised when the Lord provides exactly what we need at exactly the right time.  He is always faithful, always.  He promises to supply all our needs (Phil 4:19), and yet we are amazed time and time again when He does the very thing that He promises He will do!  I am ashamed of my unfaithfulness, and forever grateful that I serve a forgiving, powerful, almighty God!

We have officially made the transition from the "acclimation" phase to the "very busy" phase of our life here in Portugal, and we are loving it!  Our week consists of Bible studies, home-schooling, English teaching, small group fellowship, leadership training, language training, soccer, culminating with the church gathering together for Sunday worship.  We are so thankful and blessed to be a small part of this awesome ministry in Porto!

The Lord has continued to provide teaching hours for me in and around the city.  Just today I was given a new class that will furnish hours all the way to June!  Teaching has given me the chance to meet new people, and I have had great opportunities to share my faith with many of them.  Please pray that I will be effective in both my teaching and, more importantly, in sharing my faith.

The past few Fridays we have had the young men of the church in our home for Bible study.  The Lord has given us a burden to help each one of them understand the very clear purpose the Lord has for us as men.  It is a joy for me to come alongside them with the common goal of growing closer to our Savior.  Please pray that these times will be fruitful and honoring to the Lord.

Caryne and the girls are adapting well, and we are thankful for the church family for making the transition as smooth as possible.  A dear friend from the church gives Portuguese lessons to Anadia and Cora every Wednesday, and each day after lunch I help them with their Portuguese homework.  This is in addition to their daily homeschool with their awesome teacher Caryne. :)

Things You can be in Prayer For:

 - I am traveling to Ames, IA, October 30 - November 10, for leadership training at the annual BILD Summit.  Please pray for traveling mercies, as well as for Caryne and the girls as I leave them for the first time since we moved here.

 - In August the Lord graciously provided us with a car through the generosity of a man at our church.  We are still in need of approximately $1550 to pay for the car, and the owner would like the funds by the end of the year.  Please pray that these funds will be provided.

 - Finally, please be in prayer for my parents.  My father will be in need of hip replacement surgery as a result of very painful arthritis and deterioration.  Please pray for my father for successful surgery and recovery.  Please also remember my mother as she cares for dad, while she continues to help care for her parents in Canada.

Thank you so much for your partnership in this ministry!  We cherish your faithful love and prayer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

For in Him we Live and Move and Exist

Acts 17:28 - For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'  This verse resonated with me recently.  In a sinful and hopeless world, we have the joy of living, "existing," in the hands of the Almighty God.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve Him!

The church meeting together for a meal
We are excited as many new opportunities will begin these next few weeks.  Every Friday, beginning September 14, we will be having a young men's Bible study in our home. Please keep us in prayer as we study together what it means to "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord."  We will be studying 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and Colossians. This Sunday I will also begin leading the youth in study during the Sunday school hour.  My language proficiency is still a work in progress, so you can imagine the challenge these times will present.  Thank you for your continued prayers concerning our language study.

I am in constant contact with the ESL schools in the area.  Please pray that I would be able to gain some teaching hours in the next few weeks, as we are in need of those funds to supplement for what we still need in support.  We rest in the fact that the Lord has everything in His hands!  

We had the great privilege last week of visiting our dear friends Beca and Samuel Trancoso.  Beca basically became a part of our family while my parents were missionaries here, so much so that my father walked her down the aisle in her wedding. Samuel is a pastor of a church in Barreiro, just outside of Lisbon.  It was a joy to reconnect with them, and we are thankful for their faithful example in Christ.

Please also lift up Pastor Antonio and Pastor Barnhart (visiting from Minnesota), who left for Mozambique yesterday.  They will be there for 2 weeks, training and encouraging national pastors from several provinces in the country.  Our church here is heavily involved in prayer and support of the wonderful pastors and leaders of that Portuguese-speaking nation.  What an amazing work to be a part of!

We cherish your partnership in ministry here in Portugal!  Thank you for your faithful love and prayer!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This Is My Father's World

I am so thankful that this truly is my Father's World!  I am thankful that I do not rest my hope on the things of this world, but on the promises of an almighty God!  I feel so helpless as I observe the troubling times that we live in.  We serve a God who is infinitely more powerful than anything we face here on earth.  I was reminded of this fact recently, and it renewed my gratefulness for the awesome privilege we have to serve the one, true God here in Portugal!

Our beautiful Isabel

This past month has been an eventful time of orientation.  We have spent some very fruitful time with several individuals and families of our church, and we are thankful for the friendships the Lord is bringing our way.  I have enjoyed working with the men of the congregation on an addition behind the church building, as well as with Pastor Figueira's son painting the home of his sweet grandmother "Maezinha."

Maezinha's Home BEFORE
Maezinha's Home AFTER

As a family we are getting to know a small portion of our community.  It has been great fun as we become familiar with the owners and employees of the various businesses around us.  Very close to our home there is an arts and crafts store, a frutaria, a florist, a butcher, and several cafe's.  Every Friday we walk as a family to the open market, where we have met great people who have blessed us with their kindness.  For the past month I have been teaching English to Jose Luis, a Paraguayan man from our church.  It has been a joy to help him learn the language, which we pray will be a useful tool to further God's Kingdom.  Additionally, Caryne did an awesome job playing the piano at church the past two Sundays!  She was filling in for Pastor Figueira's wife as they were on vacation, and it was a great blessing to watch her work in that capacity.  Please pray that as we become more comfortable here, that we will answer those opportunities when the Lord calls us to share His love to those around us!

Things You Can be in Prayer For

 - Please pray that God would give all of us as a family the ability to learn the language as soon as possible.  We feel this is a tremendous priority, and we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom as to the best way to accomplish this.

 - Pray that we would have an impact on the the youth of our church as they face more and more responsibility in their lives.

 - I have had the opportunity to visit and drop off my resume at several ESL (English as a Second Language) schools in and around the city.  Please be in prayer that I will be able to receive part-time hours working for these schools.

 - Lord-willing I will be going to Iowa in October for a week of training at the annual BILD Summit.  Please pray that we will be able to raise the funds needed for the plane tickets to the States (around $800)

 - We are in need of an additional $350 of monthly support.  Please pray that those funds would come in a timely fashion.

We are so grateful for the prayer and support of each and every one of you!  We can never say thank you enough!

Monday, July 2, 2012


I just wanted to clear up any confusion regarding our updated support needs as described in the last post.  Our original goal, based on the research we had done, was to reach a total of $2,000 of monthly support.  After spending a few weeks in Portugal and learning of the tax system here, it was decided between our family and the church leadership that we need to raise an additional $350.

I trust this clears up any misunderstanding from our last post.  Thanks so much for your prayer and encouragement!

Viva Portugal!

Praise the Lord for a safe arrival!
As we begin to get settled here in Portugal, we are thankful for the Lord's provision.  Each day I am reminded that He is in control of every step we take.  My prayer as I wake has been to let go of my concerns and fears, and to be completely open and aware of what God has for us.  We are humbled that He even allows us to be a part of His work on earth!  We cannot do any of this on our own, so we praise Him who has it all in His hands!

Prayer Requests 
Concerning Visas
The Lord has opened the door for us to swiftly receive the necessary documentation to be able to work here legally, and to open bank accounts.  We have a meeting on July 4 that will Lord-willing result in the whole family receiving extended-stay visas.  Please pray that the meeting will go smoothly!

Concerning Support
Also, after learning of the tax system here, we are needing to raise additional monthly support.  The new figure is $2,350 per month.  Will you prayerfully consider joining us in monthly support?

Our Beautiful Girls
Anadia, Cora, and Isabel are beginning to adjust.  Everything is done later here in Portugal, so that has been a challenge!  For instance, out of necessity their bed times have changed from around 8pm to 9:30pm!

They are already getting used to frequent walks with Caryne to the various grocery stores and open markets around our apartment.  We have even begun hearing Portuguese words in their vocabulary.  They are warming up well to the congregation at church, and we are so appreciative of how welcoming the people have been.  We covet your prayers as we raise our girls!

Thank you so much for being a part of the ministry here in Portugal!  We are so thankful for your love and support!  Please subscribe to our daily blog,, for more frequent updates!

The girls at a local playground
Our Street
Young people at our church sharing in song

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Giving Options

Did you know you can give to our ministry to Portugal using automatic debit from a credit card?  This option is available for monthly or one-time gifts.  If you would like to do this, here is the information you need:

Please contact BILD International at 515-292-7012.  Ask for Keith and let him know you would like to give to the Darling Family using your credit card.  He will take it from there. Thank you for your support!

We are departing June 14!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

2 Weeks Away!

As we spend the last several weeks with our extended families, we thank the Lord for the wonderful support system He has placed around us. We feel so blessed to have parents who love the Lord, and who value the power of prayer as we follow God's calling for our family.  God has provided the opportunity for us to see and spend time with most of our family on both sides, and we thank Him for what He has done and will continue to do through this time!

New Roots Photography 
The Lord has also given us some great opportunities this past month to share our calling to Portugal.  We spent some time at Caryne's parent's home in New York, where we were blessed to update the wonderful supporting church family of Calvary Bible.  I also had the privilege of meeting up with Pastor Figueira and spending two days in Fall River, MA. Fall River is a city with the largest Portuguese American population in the United States.  Pastor Figueira had come to the States to conduct leadership workshops, and to share about the overall ministry in Portugal.  What a blessing it was to fellowship with local Portuguese pastors and leaders!  Most recently, I had a special time speaking at Calvary Bible Church in Derry, NH.  Calvary holds an important place in my heart, as my grandparents served there, and my parents were sent out from the church as they headed to Portugal as missionaries.  I was welcomed warmly, and I thank the Lord for the blessings that came from that visit!

Our last 2 weeks will be spent first with Caryne's side of the family in the Philadelphia, PA area, and finally back with my family in Connecticut. Before we fly to Portugal we will, Lord willing, share at North Haven Bible, a special supporting church of our family.  We are so thankful for the churches and individuals the Lord has brought alongside us as we head overseas!  

We are at around 90% of our monthly support goal!  Will you prayerfully consider helping us reach 100%?  Through the support and love from so many of you, the Lord has awesomely confirmed His calling for our family.  We are so anxious and excited to enter into our new life in Portugal!  Thank you so much for your prayer and support!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Leaving Lynchburg

On April 30, at around 2pm, we left Lynchburg, VA for good.  Leaving the town that Caryne and I have lived in all eight years of our marriage was not easy, but we are excited as we follow God's calling for our family. We were blessed and humbled as good friends and church family have poured out their love and support to us as we go.

Before leaving Lynchburg we had the awesome privilege of traveling to Kodiak, Alaska to share our calling to Portugal.  What a special time we had!  I woke up everyday to the spectacular beauty of God's creation. We were welcomed warmly by the Kodiak Bible Chapel congregation, and we cherished our time with Caryne's sister and her family.  We are so thankful to the Lord for bringing that wonderful church alongside us as we head to Portugal!

The next 5 weeks will be spent with family and friends in PA, NY, MA, DC, and CT.  We are so blessed to be able to spend time with loved ones before we leave.  We so clearly see the Lord's hand as He lays out His plan for us, and we rejoice in the knowledge that He goes before us.  We thank each one of you for confirming His will for our family through your love, prayer, and giving.  

Praise the Lord the necessary visa has been approved!  The plane tickets are purchased, and we fly to Porto, Portugal June 14.  The Lord has provided us with an apartment in a great location, and we can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the future!

We are at about 80% of our monthly support goal.  If you would like to join us in monthly support, the information you need is in the upper right hand corner of this page.  

Consider liking our Facebook page,, so that we can keep you updated as we move overseas.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Departure to Portugal - June 14!

We have reached a number of milestone's in the past few weeks! Our visa application was sent to the proper authorities. Now we are in prayer that we will be approved for those visas in a timely fashion.  In addition, at the end of March I finished up my employment with Ecolab, a company I have worked with for nearly four years. The Lord has blessed as we have made these steps of faith.  We have been so encouraged by so many of you. Thank you for your prayer, thoughtfulness, and support!

The Lord continues to open up doors for me to share my faith, and to gain experience for the work He has in store for us in Portugal.  I recently was given the opportunity to enter into a local elementary school and share the story of the resurrection of Jesus.  Praise the Lord several children made decisions to accept Him as their Savior!  I was able to do this as a part of an after-school program called the Good News Club, which is put together by Child Evangelism Fellowship.  What a powerful ministry!

We would appreciate your continued prayers, as we face a very eventful next few months!  The month of April is dedicated to the selling and packing of our belongings.  We will also be saying goodbye to our pets, as the Lord has provided new homes for them. Also, we have recently been given the awesome privilege of traveling to Kodiak, Alaska, to speak at Kodiak Bible Chapel.  We have been overwhelmed with the journey the Lord has us on!  Please pray for safety as we travel the weekend of April 22.

The month of May will be filled with time spent with both sides of the family.  The Lord has wonderfully seen fit for us to be able to see all of our extended family on various days during the month.  We will split our time between Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.  We also look forward to sharing our ministry to Portugal at Calvary Bible Church in Derry, NH May 27th.

Finally, in the beginning of June we will travel to the Washington, DC area to attend the wedding of a wonderful Brazilian friend from Portugal.  We will then, Lord willing, fly to Porto, Portugal out of Newark, New Jersey on June 14th.

It is such a privilege to be a small part of the work of God's kingdom.  Thank you for coming alongside of us in our love for Portugal!

*If you would like to join us in financial support, the information you need is on the upper right side of this page.  Please also consider "liking" our Facebook page (link on the right).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jeff Darling the Preacher?! Believe it!

Growing up a missionary kid, I made it very clear to the Lord I would not be following in my father's footsteps.  I would not be a public speaker, I would certainly not raise support!  Well, as most of us know, telling God what we are not going to do is not a smart idea!

The Lord presented the opportunity to preach recently at a church in Roanoke, VA. Through prayer and counsel, I have come to the understanding that if the Lord asks us to do something, we better do it!  I pray that we will always be ready to listen and follow the Lord's will for our life.  The Lord blessed us with a great time of fellowship.  For those wondering, yes, I did make it through the sermon!

Packing and selling is in full swing at the Darling household!  We will moving out of our home the end of April.  The month of March is my last month working for Ecolab, a company I have been with for almost 4 years.  We are stepping out in faith, as we believe the Lord is asking us to do.  We will then travel to the northeast, to spend time with our families, and continue preparing for our departure to Portugal.

Lord willing we will be flying to Porto, Portugal, June 14.  We pushed the date back several weeks as many events important to our family are happening in May and the beginning of June.  So far the visa process is going well.  Please be in prayer as we make these big leaps of faith, believing that the Lord will sustain us as we seek to follow His will.

We have felt very blessed as so many of you are in continual prayer and support of our family!  We are currently at 70% of our monthly support goal of $2,000. Will you help us reach 100% of that goal before we depart?  We are also beginning to incur expenses related to visas, travel, and shipping costs to Portugal.  Will you consider a one-time gift toward these expenses?  This information you need is located at the top, right of this page.

Also, please consider following our blog by email, as well as "liking" our Facebook page.  As we begin to travel more, these are the best ways to stay updated.  You can sign up for both on the upper right hand side of this page.  

Thank you all for your love and support!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recapping Our Trip to New York, Future Travel

We have returned from our recent trip to New York, and we are invigorated by the blessings the Lord has brought our way!  His provision is so evident as He prepares awesome opportunities, and by how He keeps us safe as we travel and share God's calling for our family.

We once again were blessed as we shared more detail and updated friends and family at Calvary Bible Church in Wevertown, NY.  Praise the Lord a few more families joined in monthly support!  We were so encouraged by the time of fellowship with the church family!  For the first time, Anadia and Cora shared some Portuguese they have learned in front of the congregation.  They were so beautiful and brave! 

The following day I had the privilege of meeting with missions committee members of a dear church in Syracuse, NY.  It was a joy for me as I shared with them God's calling for our family to serve in Portugal.  It was a tremendous blessing as I was able to fellowship with men and women there who are very special to our family!

The next Sunday we were graciously given the opportunity to share at Thurman Baptist, a church just a few miles from Wevertown.  Caryne and I shared our call to Portugal during the Sunday school hour, and we were also able address the congregation during the morning service.  The Lord truly blessed our time there.  We felt very welcomed, and we enjoyed the fellowship with the church body.  We look forward to spending time with that church in the future!

Praise the Lord He has brought us safely back to Virginia.  We will now embark on preparing for our move to Portugal in May.  We would appreciate your prayers as we tackle all that goes in to such a big change!

We also are looking forward to several more speaking opportunities in the next number of weeks.  Lord willing we will share at churches in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire between now and the end of April.  Please pray for safety in travel, and that our time with these churches will be fruitful.

We are currently at 70% of our monthly goal of $2,000 a month!  Would you consider helping us reach 100% by joining us in monthly support?  The information on how to support is below.  Thank you all for your love and prayer!

If you would like to support us monthly or with a one-time gift: 

Please write check out to BILD International, include "Darling Family" in the memo line, and send to:
BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames, IA 50014-8417

*Please indicate with a note if gift is either monthly or one-time

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Portugal: A Country in Need of the Truth of the Gospel!

We as a family have a deep burden for the people of Portugal.  Currently, the evangelical population in the country stands between .08% and 3% of the population.  A predominately Catholic nation, recent polls show only around 19% of Catholics attend mass on a regular basis.  There is an increasing number of Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons entering the country, raising the fear of false doctrine becoming entrenched within the population.  Portugal has also recently legalized abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy, and approved a new law authorizing gay marriage.

    We are asking the Lord for abundant opportunities to share the Gospel, and to enable us to establish strong churches in a land that desperately needs the truth of Jesus Christ!  Will you partner with us as we reach out to the Portuguese people?

    We hope that each one of you had a wonderful time during the Christmas season.  We had the privilege of spending that time in Connecticut with my parents and my sister and her family.  We were also blessed to be able to thank and update great friends at North Haven Bible Church.  The support of that church and of all of you has served as a tremendous confirmation of God's calling of our family to serve in Portugal.
 We would appreciate your prayers as we head back up to the northeast  on January 27.  Lord-willing we will be sharing our plans for Portugal to three churches in New York, including dear supporters at Caryne's father's church in the Adirondacks.  Please pray for safety as we travel, and that our time there would be fruitful.

Praise the Lord we are heading toward our departure date in May!  We covet your prayers as we work through the final paperwork involved with the necessary work visas.  We know the Lord has those and all details in His hands, so the prayer would be that we rest in the knowledge of His perfect will. 

     We are currently asking the Lord to provide between $8-$10,000 for traveling and start-up costs for our initial move to Portugal.  This amount would be for items such as visas, plane tickets, apartment rent and deposit, furniture, appliances, etc.  Would you prayerfully consider giving toward this need?  We are also at around 60% of our monthly support goal of $2,000.  Would you consider partnering with our family on a monthly basis?  The information needed is below.

    Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your prayer, love, and support.  We feel so blessed to be sharing the Lord's calling on our family with each and everyone of you!

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please email your address to 

If you would like to support us monthly or with a one-time gift: 

Please write check out to BILD International, include "Darling Family" in the memo line, and send to:
BILD International
2400 Oakwood Rd
Ames, IA 50014-8417

*Please indicate with a note if gift is either monthly or one-time