Hermelinda and Jorge are associate missionaries who serve with the Baptist Churches in the Dereham region of the United Kingdom. They are assisting churches of the Baptist Union of Great Britain reach out to the communities of Portuguese-speaking migrant workers in the region.
The Damascenos' work involves visiting migrant workers, assessing needs and working with the churches to develop strategies to welcome and provide services for the migrants so that they may grow in the understanding of God’s love, truth and justice. The Damascenos previously served as missionaries in Albania. They are now serving in the United Kingdom as jointly appointed missionaries of International Ministries and JAMI, the cross-cultural mission agency of the National Baptist Convention (CBN) in Brazil.
Jorge and Hermelinda serve through the Amigos Project in the UK, which seeks to serve the Portuguese-speaking community in four ways:
1. Services and Bible studies in Portuguese - to provide opportunities to Portuguese speakers to get to know and worship God in their own language and integrate into church life in UK.
2. Listening ear - Opportunities for people to come and share about their problems, difficulties and concerns.
3. Food program - Food parcels to help those who are facing financial problems as a result of debt, low income or just being new to the country. This program aims to attend urgent needs rather than creating dependency.
4. ESL program - because the Portuguese community needs to integrate and have a better quality of life, ESL (English as a second language) can be a powerful tool to achieve this objective.