Go to the nations. Be the body of Christ.

Go to the nations. Be the body of Christ.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

FAQs # 3 - Why Portugal?

Why Portugal?

You might be surprised to know that we were the very first people to ask this question! We have always felt a pull towards Europe, but had assumed it would be someplace we could speak English, or German, or even really broken French - Portugal was not even on our radar. Then one day we came across TEAM's plans for an intercultural member care center on their website. The description sounded eerily familiar. We met with TEAM, and were introduced to their Portugal team leaders who just "happened" to be in Portland on home assignment. Their vision and our vision were clearly from the same source, and things started to come together from there.

Portugal, as it turns out, is a really great home for a member care ministry. It is a beautiful country to visit, and it is easily and affordably reached from all over Europe as well as northern and western Africa. It has a very temperate climate, similar to the Mediterranean, that is generally nice year round. So no matter where a person is coming from, or what time of year they visit, it is typically not too hot or too cold, and rarely has any kind of severe weather that could impede restful and restorative activities.

Friday, February 16, 2018

FAQs # 2 - Lacy Dog

One of the first and most common questions we get from people about our ministry is:

Is your dog going with you?

Our answer is, of course, YES!!!

This seems to bring relief to most people, and surprise to some. Lacy, our yellow lab, is an important part of our family, as well as a part of our ministry vision. We knew when she chose us, that she had the perfect personality and temperament to become a great therapy dog. Our hope is that she can help people feel comfortable at the retreat center, and provide the kind of extra care and experience only an animal can give.

How do you get a dog to Portugal? Does she have to go into quarantine?
Thankfully, Portugal is one of the EU countries that does not have any type of quarantine, so she will be with us the entire time, from our home here in Portland, to our new home in Portugal. She already has a special international microchip, and when we get closer to go she will have her very own pet passport and travel documents. Just like us, she will be flying there on a plane. We are hopeful to be able to get a direct flight from the east coast to Lisbon to minimize her travel stress.

What is a therapy dog, exactly?
Unlike a service dog, or an emotional support dog, who work with a single individual as their "person", a therapy dog is trained with their handler to provide care and comfort to anyone. These are the dogs you might see in libraries, hospitals, care homes, schools, etc. Dogs are naturally in tune with emotions, and seem to know just what people need in times of stress, sadness, or crisis.

How does a dog become a therapy dog?
Lacy current goes to work with Risa once a week. She is very good at her job of interacting with clients, and is working on proper office manners and behavior. Later this spring she will undergo a temperament and obedience evaluation to be certified by a therapy dog organization. To prepare for that we are working on loose leash walking and politely greeting people.