Sunday, 16 February 2020

EAB Action Schools

With EAB's Action Schools Project now totally revamped and upgraded we rejoice at the hundreds of extremely poor children we are able to minister to educationally, spiritually and socially. Being a shoe-string Mission we depend on donations from churches and individuals to be able to maintain this vital work and we hope and pray to expand it this year. To support this work and to receive more information about it please contact eabchild@gmail.com

Yesterday we held a training day gathering all teachers and church leaders from our Action Schools to go over the principles which govern the work we do, the high standards we must always maintain, improving reporting techniques to enable us to monitor better each school's progress etc. Praise God for an excellent day as we start a new school year and for the great team we have. We seek to give poor kids a meal a day, help with their regular government very low standard school work so as for the children to genuinely learn and enjoy learning, and lead kids, up to year 5, to a living faith in Jesus Christ.

What a joy it was to hear about one of our ex-Action School kids who today is a bank manager and another who is a worship ministry leader in his church and RE teacher in his town! On the other hand, as we don't just tell the success stories, we prayed together for another ex- EAB Action School kid who is living in promiscuity, has been involved in the drug culture and has been in jail twice. However he at least is back in church now and we pray for God in His love and mercy to change his life! The seed was sown and he is back in church! Please pray for this fantastic project.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Busy & blessed week

The Men's Fellowship meeting on Tuesday was especially blessed and the 2 brothers who came to Christ though this ministry last year were both in the meeting.

On Wednesday I took part in a Skype meeting with the new Tearfund leader in Brazil who lives in the south at São Paulo. Unfortunately it was confirmed, as I had suspected, that Tearfund has decided to cut back on funding work in Brazil so that is a further challenge to the work here on top of all the other difficulties in the funding field. I also went for an eye test and I am going to have to wear sunglasses out and about. The doctor has been pressurizing me on this matter and I have resisted, as I like to see small aspects of nature when out walking, but I am going to have to give in.

On Thursday I took the Bible study and we had a good study progressing through chapters 5 and 6 of Deuteronomy. Then yesterday I had another meeting with deaf pastor Luis Carlos to get feedback on the ministry and discuss a few matters. There are 28 doing the latest Brazilian sign language course we always run each year. The Deaf's annual Conference will be in July.

With 2 weeks to go to the Carnival Camp it is all stations go preparing for this. I am today working on my opening message. There is of course so much preparation to do. You have no idea! All the dormitory roofs were overhauled this year as the clay tiles are prone to leaks and the massive amount of trees shed many leaves which block up roofing channels causing leakage problems in an eventual heavy rain. One has to think of everything! We value your prayers for the camp. 

Monday, 3 February 2020

Counselling

There is always plenty of counselling ministry for Liz and I. We spent a nice time with one young Christian man in the last few days and we also visited Sandra who is a Down's Syndrome lady. She loves it when we are with her and she loves to sing hymns with me. She beams smiling and she remembers the words of old hymns quite well. Bless her!

I celebrated my birthday eating a pizza with all the family and that was nice. The church gave me a shirt and a new wallet as my old one had been noticed to be falling apart! Honestly!

Communion service was lovely yesterday. I preached on Matthew 5:6 - "Hungering and thirsting for righteousness". A young Bible School student of ours gave a short meditation prior to Communion in preparation for it which was nice. 

I had a long walk very early yesterday morning at Green Pastures and managed to photograph for the first time a gorgeous Striped Owl (Asio clamator) which is a fairly large and beautiful owl about 42 cm tall. This species had been registered at Green Pastures at night by our automatic cameras, but I had never seen one personally. However recently I have seen this large owl perching in one specific place near the lake, but every time I tried to get near enough to photograph it, it flew off and I couldn't even see which species it was. I thought it might be a Barn Owl. So yesterday I very slowly approached the location from a different angle and it worked!

Tomorrow I will be speaking at the Men's Fellowship (Book of Daniel) and the Bible Study (Deuteronomy) will be on Thursday. In between I have a meeting on Skype with Tearfund as things are complicated with them these days helping with any projects. It's quite a headache. On Friday I have a meeting with our deaf pastor.

Please pray for us and for the soon coming Carnival Camp at Green Pastures starting on the 22nd of this month.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Round up of news

The 10-day Evangelistic Outreach ended up well. I preached as always at the last main street service in front of the church and it was lovely. 8 raised their hands indicating desire to follow Jesus at the end, one man gave me a note asking to be contacted afterwards and another came to me asking for prayer. There were a total of 25 people who made decisions for Christ, and now ensues the follow-up work to see how many really are converted and committed to the Lord. Please pray.

We had a good EAB UK Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday in which I participated via video link on Messenger. One of the things I told them about was the excellent Action Child leadership meeting held in my office the previous day. We are always pressing on towards excellence and seeking to improve all we do for God, and it was wonderful to see the total dedication and commitment of the team. We will have a further meeting with all the Action Child/Schools teachers, local pastors and coordination team on February 15th. 

Green Pastures Nature Reserve and Christian Conference Centre prepares for our Carnival Camp starting on February 22nd. There is always much to do preparing for these big events. But Green Pastures always functions as a get-away place for our leaders and their families. 2 families have been there recently to relax and have a break in quietness in the middle of nature.

We value your prayers as we face different difficulties and challenges from day to day, that the Lord will give us wisdom and peace in all situations. How blessed Liz and I are by our wonderful relationship as we can support each other always. Difficulties have arisen in the work on a variety of fronts, at the same time as support income for the Mission has fallen low. Please pray for all this. One of our pastors has gone into depression for the second time now so I had to organize emergency cover for him at his church and help with his treatment. Other battles arise, but the Lord is with us. Sometimes disappointments arise, but God never disappoints us. 

Last night's service in Patos was really blessed. I preached on "Changing Clothes" (Ephesians 4:17-24) and was encouraged by a lot of appreciation expressed after the service. 

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Outreach blessing increases

We have now seen the number of people who have made commitments to Jesus Christ, as a result of the annual 10-day Evangelistic outreach at Ibiara, rise to 20. This is really encouraging. Of course only time will tell, in the follow-up, as to how many people will stand firm and truly be converted, but the signs are promising. Please pray. We carefully monitor all decisions between now and May when we have our annual General Conference. People are of course visited etc. as appropriate. 

I have just finished reading "The Kingdom of Jesus" written by Forster. It's alright, but not a book I would recommend. Other books I've read by him have been much better, but they were written in partnership with others. This reads like a copy of his preaching, without a partner, and you sort of have to stick at it to get through it. He has some good insights into the whole concept of the Kingdom of God/Heaven and the Son of Man.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

6 Decisions for Christ at Outreach

Our annual 10-day evangelistic outreach, this year with a team of 80, is now on day 6 at Ibiara (155 km west of Patos) and there have been 6 decisions of commitment to Christ thus far. We praise God for the good spirit and progress. 

It is not easy for the teams at these events as all take their own thin roll-up mattresses and sleep on the floor of a loaned school because January is holiday time for the schools here. The toilet and shower facilities are very poor too at these government schools. Quite disgraceful to be honest! So please pray for them!

Most mornings the routine is prayer and Bible meditation, with the exception of Monday as it was market day so the team hit the market with the Gospel early. In the afternoons door-to-door personal evangelism is done 2 by 2 so that the entire town will be reached during the outreach. 

In the evenings street services are held with praise, drama and preaching of the Gospel. My night to preach is always on the final Saturday. The street services are dynamic so as to attract and keep a crowd. 

Monday, 13 January 2020

Marching on in 2020!

Liz and I praise God for the 48 years we have had, to date, serving the Lord in the interior of northeast Brazil, and for the health and strength, both physical and spiritual, that we have to continue this work with great joy and pleasure for His glory.

We are the longest serving missionaries EAB has had and it is a privilege to be at the hub of Mission activities, in churches and projects, to this day. Whilst we have health and strength our pleasure is to serve the Lord as we are doing. As we compare ourselves with three of the Democratic candidates vying to be the president of the USA this year, which is a pretty demanding job, we feel youngsters!

Thus we ask you to especially pray for us and support us in this exciting period of ministry that we are involved in for God. We are leaders and coordinators of 88 churches, (small, medium and large) & multiple community projects to express God's love including rural community projects building underground dams, drilling wells, setting up market gardens, bee keeping for honey and goat rearing. All such projects always aim to help the poor help themselves and not be simply paternalistic hand-out people. We teach, behind all this, how such community development must be done in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, backed up by our Green Pastures Nature Reserve and Christian Conference Centre which is a living example of what we preach. (Carnival Camp there from February 22-26 would welcome help to get poor families there @ £30 per person for the 5 days)

In other fields of the work we run many small Action schools for those in extreme poverty, empower women to defend their rights, combat domestic violence and generate income by training them to make handicraft (Desert Flower Project), run a Christian Care Centre where a dentist treats the poor (principally children), the deaf are blessed and our seniors too. Our food bank is run here as well, for those in emergency need. 

We manage to do so much because we are "team people". That is, we enjoy working in and with teams. Our work needs to be understood as a series of multiple interlinked circles (teams) which all work together for God and our neighbour. We are leaders of a central team, and each church has a pastor and team of leaders, and all projects are church based and have teams of leaders. Liz and I have the joy of being involved with all these teams and are ultimately leaders of this, working together with this army of Christian workers built up over the years, and above all else, working together with God, and with His people who pray for us and support us, which is you.

So as we have plunged into 2020 we ask you to reinforce your prayers and support for us. The support of us your missionaries is key to these widening circles of Christian outreach and ministry. The core general fund of our Mission contributes to the entire work in terms of churches, leadership training and social action projects. We are not just leading a secular charity! We are leading a branch of God's church in a dry, barren and very needy part of Brazil which has in recent years seen much confusion, added to the religious mix, with abhorrent prosperity theology teaching. 

We march on in 2020 on our knees! We march on proclaiming the fantastic good news of Jesus! We march on speaking out for the voiceless and loving the unloved because that's just how Jesus loved us!

We count on your prayers! We count on your support! All is for the glory of God!