Travels in the Algarve, Portugal

Hey everyone! I’m Mary- the oldest McRae child, enneagram type 1, and world traveler! I’m excited to share my very first post on this blog about a place that I absolutely love- Portugal!

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Portugal for the third time with my husband, Joseph, and a group from our church in Baton Rouge. We spent a week in the Algarve region, which is on the southern coast of Portugal- just across the ocean from Morocco! We’ve gone on this trip for the past three years, and going back this time felt like going home!

While in Portugal, we spend our time in a city called Portimao, which is actually the European City of Sports. The city has a camp for kids called Ferias Desportivas (Holiday Sports), which is put on by the public school system. Our team goes to help with this camp, and in doing so we get to know the monitors (camp counselors) who are around college age. Over the 8 years that our church has been going to Portugal, we have developed many relationships with the people there and have been able to share Jesus with them. I love being able to go there and not only build relationships, but also answer the questions about Jesus that some of my friends have and minister to them.

Now, I am definitely more of a mountain girl- I would choose the mountains any day over the beach! However, Portugal is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, and the beaches are amazing! Being in such a beautiful place reminds me of how great God is to have created places like this. I love Portugal, and I am counting down the days until I can go back!

Ponte de Piadade in Lagos- right across the ocean is Portimao, the city where we stay.
The cliffs in Lagos- aren’t they beautiful??
Look at that water!! Isn’t it beautiful?? These are at the cliffs in beautiful Carveiro.
We always take our team to jump off cliffs with our Portuguese friends. I’ve never been able to muster up the courage to do it, but Joseph does it every year!
Dancing is a big part of the sports camp, and I LOVE IT! So much fun!
Some of the kids I worked with, and my friend Sarah.
We always take a boat ride with all of our friends. I love these people! Some of theme I’ve known for three years now, and some I just met this year, but they are all awesome.
Spent a day with our friends at their favorite beach. The other girl in the picture is Rute, the guy behind her is Joao, who we have known for three years now. Joseph (my husband) is the guy in the Braves shirts, and to his left is Ze (Short for Jose, which is Portuguese for Joseph- he and Joseph are best friends!), and the guy in the white is Jake, who we have also known for three years. It was so much fun spending the day with these people!
The sunsets on the beach are AMAZING! This was while we were playing volleyball one night with our friends.
My friends Rute and Laura! I’ve known Laura for three years, and got to know her better this year after spending a lot more time with her.
The Portugese sunsets are my favorite!
Please pray for the people of Portugal- that they will see the love of Jesus in our team, and that they will accept His love! Also pray for the missionaries in Portugal that we work with, that they will be able to continue to do God’s kingdom work throughout the year.

If you are interested in learning more about Portugal and the work that we do there, please email me! I would love to give you more information! Join us as we continue to pray for this beautiful country.

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