Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mission Sunday

Today all the EAB/ACEV churches in Brazil celebrate our 76th anniversary Mission Sunday as today is the nearest Sunday to September 2nd when pioneers Albert and Daisy Mundy arrived in Brazil in 1938. We praise God for all His help and blessing over the years. The work presses on!

EAB/ACEV remains committed to the preaching and practicing of the integral mission of Jesus Christ. As Christ, we seek to teach truth and feed the hungry together (though giving the rod and not the fish); we seek to respect and bless children (and not send them away by listening to disciple-like committees) and we seek to minister to the sick and needy.

EAB is 76 years into planting churches principally in Brazil's poorest north-east region. EAB also carries out a multitude of church coordinated social action projects linked to four programmes:

1. The Sustainable Rural Programme which includes projects such as: wells, horticulture, trees, environmental care, rain harvesters, bee keeping, 4 legs (goats) and 2 wings (chickens).

2. The Care Centre Programme which includes projects with HIV/AIDs, drug addiction, domestic violence, emergency food hampers, dental and basic health care, income generation, senior citizens and the deaf.

3. The Action Child Programme includes 20 small school projects to help poor children with food and education administered with Christian love and care. 

4. The Leadership Capacity-building Programme which includes Bible College projects in Patos and Campina Grande, a digital distance teaching project for those outside the College catchment areas and the Green Pastures Conference Centre, Camp Site and Nature Reserve.

You can support EAB by contacting EAB's Office in the UK: Beryl Gough (Hon. Treasurer), 6 The Glade, Langley, Southampton. SO45 1ZP - England.

You can also support EAB online through its website:

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

QPR pulling away from Man. Utd

QPR managed to win their first match of the season today and thus find themselves well above Man. Utd in the English Premiership! Lovely stuff!

I've had a nice day today walking and reading at Green Pastures. Tonight I went to the inauguration of an Internet and Cable TV enterprise. I was interviewed by 2 TV stations whilst at the event! I also met up with my old priest friend Jair who was there, as were many other friends. It was nice and it is so good to feel better so as to be able to go to this sort of event as it's all bridge building.

Please pray for a couple from the Patos church, Clayton & Dilma, as well as their daughter Milena. They are all very upset at Dilma having lost her baby boy around half-way through the pregnancy with cause unknown.

Friday, 29 August 2014

EAB Nutshell Update

I have written, compiled and dispatched the latest EAB Nutshell Update this afternoon. It has been sent to all on our mailing list. If you would like a copy and have not received one then please do let me know.

I had a meeting with a State Deputy this afternoon. It was not an easy meeting owing to reasons I can't go into here. Definitely not my cup of tea. We had some most blunt and complete disagreements in the discussion. We fight on for ethics and justice. May God help us! 

The weekend ahead

Last night's Bible Study went well in the Patos church and you can see the group that was present below. The service was tinged with sadness at the prayer time when news came through that a couple from the church in their 40s had lost their longed for baby when a medical examination showed the foetus to be without a heartbeat. Please pray for this family.

This weekend sees me facing a wide variety of demands/events which I will need to go to. This Friday night I am invited to go to the inaugural lesson of the Patos School of Medicine (FIP) where Dr. Paula (ex-EAB Care Centre doctor) is the coordinator. So I will need to dress up posh for this event and have bought a new suit for the occasion, as my old suits are all gigantically too big after all the weight I have lost! The Patos School of Medicine is an important step forward for the town and region as I definitely feel it will bring progress and higher medical care standards with it. All we need is for doctors to be more human (sensitive / caring) in their work as Dr. Paula always has been. She is an ideal person to coordinate the course.

Then tomorrow I am invited to an internet company's inauguration in Patos which I will go to as the owners are friends. During the day men will be installing a small water fountain at Green Pastures for the wildlife. The fountain I received as the best Father's Day present in years! Far better than socks!

Amidst all this I need to polish up my sermon for this Sunday in the Patos church. Prior to me preaching our deaf pastor Luiz Carlos will preach so it will be a case of two shortish sermons rather than one long one. Your prayers are valued.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Rural Communities (part 2)

This morning I went to Green Pastures for a good walk and photographed bats, a snake and a Field Punarei which is a sort of large field mouse or rat. I have seen these a number of times but never had managed to photograph one, but today I clicked one which was part of a family darting in and out of the rocks near the dam. (see below)

Going back to Tuesday in Flores (Pernambuco State) I wrote yesterday about what we did in the morning. In the afternoon we visited the EAB/ACEV Action School and that was nice. We even had a bit of fun with the kids teaching them English as that was what they wanted.

 At night we met with the church members and after a time of prayer and worship we had a good discussion about the work there at Flores seeking to hear what they wanted us to know and how they felt and what they would like to see in the church. It was good. We drove home late at night and we got to bed after midnight. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Distant rural communities visited

Liz and I left Patos on Monday evening at 6.11pm and travelled up the Teixeira mountain in the jeep arriving at Princesa Isabel about 8.25pm. We stayed at the "Ideal" sort of little hotel built on top of a petrol station. It's quite neat, clean and tidy but the ramp (no stairs) to get up to the rooms is quite a climb! We asked for a coffee prior to hitting the hay, but they only did coffee with sugar in so that was me out. I had a zero Guaraná instead (a Brazilian pop drink). We then headed for our earliest night in a long time.

We had breakfast at about 7am and after a good shower, despite brackish well water, we headed across the border into Pernambuco State to Flores where we were met by local pastor Nemias. Together we headed for our first visit of the day along dusty earth tracks to Seriema Community where EAB/ACEV drilled a well a few years ago. It was good to see the community surviving thanks to the well and growing all sorts of things like Moringa and Coconut trees, vegetables and elephant grass for the one cow that survived the drought!

Since the well being drilled we saw how the community itself had layed pipes so that all the houses have water on tap in their little houses, which is considered quite a luxury in these parts. The people remain very grateful. Liz got involved with some counselling whilst at Seriema and then we moved on to another rural community called Serra do Cruzeiro which involved negotiating some tracks which our jeep laps up! Again we met up with thankful people who are able to carry on in their community thanks to a well we drilled there about 5 years ago. 

It was a hot and dusty morning, but around noon we headed back into the town of Flores where Nemias and his wife live together with their son Isaque. There we had lunch and a siesta, prior to more visits in Flores later - but I'll tell you about these another time. Thanks for your prayers for our health and strength which make it possible to do such good trips as this one to Flores! The people liked it and the local Christians were encouraged.

Monday, 25 August 2014

This new blog location is excellent

This new blog location is like moving up to a Ferrari from a cart horse in comparison with the location I was at for 10 years! This is much better!

I now know that people are reading this in Brazil, UK, USA, Canada, Poland, Philippines, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands, in this order concerning the volume of readership.

It is no problem to include photos now so that is good too, but I admit I do not understand how google+ circles function. However hopefully somebody will teach me sooner or later. I have learnt so much over the years regarding computers and internet just by picking it up through the help of friends as I've never done any formal courses. I just asked Sacha to explain to me google+ circles, as usually the younger ones know, but she doesn't know either. I may have to ask her daughters!

Another good thing about this new blog location is that comments can be made by readers, as before, but I have control over what is published! So if somebody says something bad about QPR I zap them!

I have just been sorting out further issues linked to the EAB/ACEV Leadership Conference starting on September 17th at Green Pastures. I have sent out a further circular email to all the leaders.

I have also been exchanging emails with a journalist from the USA who wants to come and visit our work researching the relationship between faith and environmental concern. I don't quite know how he discovered little us in Patos when he is in Washington DC but I will be happy to receive him, and am trying to syncronize suitable dates with him for after our leadership conference.

"Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mat. 28:19) - EAB 75th AGM sermon

(I decided to tidy things up and transfer this from my Portuguese language blog so as to keep the English blog and Portuguese blog separate. This below I preached in October 2013 at the EAB AGM via Skype)

It’s a joy to join you in this EAB’s 75th annual celebration! God is good! His love and mercy endures forever.

We think back today over the many mission names of years gone by: Mundy, Dyer, Snelgrove, Peasley, Emmens, Zacarias, José Paulino, Antônio Pirambeba etc.

We think back over the names of so many EAB Board members and supporters like Shearing, Parsons, Dibden, Dyer, Simms, Hurst, Bergersen, Medcraft, Irish, White, Dalton, Scard, Cox, Rashleigh and so the list could go on and on!

We think back over the thousands upon thousands of people who have heard the Gospel over the years through the ministry of EAB and the thousands upon thousands who have come to know the Lord as their savior and also been benefitted by the multitude of EAB projects.

Indeed on this 75th anniversary we have much to thank God about and rejoice about! As the Psalmist said in Psalm 126 - “The Lord has done great things for us – and we are filled with joy”!

But we do not just think back over 75 years tonight! We also think and praise about what God is doing today!

Take for example the Green Pastures church 12 miles east of Patos which is on fire for God and planting new churches. One such church plant happening right now is in a new settlement of 30 families who were part of the Brazilian “landless movement” but who have now been given land which once belonged to a corrupt land owner who didn’t pay his debts.

EAB has launched into this new community and many have already come to Christ! People are standing up in the middle of services and saying they want to commit their lives to Jesus without any appeal being made but with tears rolling down their cheeks! PTL!

I am talking about not just what God has done over the past 75 years but what He is doing today, and just yesterday we inaugurated a new plantation project in Capim Grosso (Thick Grass) Community in Itaporanga County about 75 miles west of Patos. Since drilling the well there a couple of years ago we have seen the community greatly helped and blessed by the practical demonstration of God’s love and many have come to understand the Gospel because they have seen it (if you see what I mean)! 17 have already become Christians there! The transformation is terrific!

However yesterday EAB projects there took a step forward with the inauguration of the Plantation Project which includes irrigated organic horticulture and fruit trees together with Moringa and Neem trees – plus a brand new element – fish farming! The community is jubilant and praising God because they have been helped to help themselves! They have self-esteem and income generating produce. It’s the Garden of Eden restored amidst the worst drought in half a century!

EAB believes in and practices integral mission! What is integral mission – some ask? Integral mission is preaching and practicing the Gospel. Integral mission is living like Jesus who preached, taught and prayed nonstop – but who also cared for the sick, fed the hungry and ministered to needy children.

People often say to us in Britain that this is great for a very poor area like north-eastern Brazil – but you can’t drill wells for the poor in the UK where rain is abundant – so it’s not possible to do this in England!

Whilst it is true that well drilling is not necessary in the UK – integral mission is! Oh yes it is! It’s just that the church in the UK has got to discern what their communities needs are and then get its hands dirty to help and minister to those needs with the love of God! If we cry to God to see our communities transformed by the Gospel we must be willing to get involved and be transformers! Other than that it will never happen!

May God deliver the UK church from sterile secularism or spiritual cozy holy huddles where everyone joins together for lovely times of praise, fellowship and Biblical reflection – and then goes away till the next Sunday to get on with “everyday life” whatever that is!

May God wake us up! May God rattle our dry bones! May God shake our cages! May God rock our boats! We are supposed to be going into the community – building bridges – relating to people – and making disciples for Jesus! But nobody will have a clue who to be a disciple of if they do not see tangible evidence of the living God amongst us!

People can’t see faith! James said: “I will show you my faith by what I do”!

Jesus said: “Let your light shine before men, that they might see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”!

This is what EAB is all about at 75 years old and going for a ton!

I am saying that God has been good over all the years – God is still being good – and God will continue to be good because He never changes!

Caroá is 30 years old this year! Perhaps you remember the name Caroá where EAB pioneered the Gospel in 1983? We founded a church and dug our first well there – but today Caroá has given birth to 10 new churches and is in the process of spreading over the State border and into Pernambuco!

Pinheira is one such daughter church of Caroá with a plantation project and its own little church built by the people this year! Another offspring of Caroá is the ex-slave community of Fonseca where EAB is now evangelizing descendents of African slaves who are now being set free by the Gospel and have water to drink from an EAB well!

The Gospel in action works! It is where the Spirit of God flows like a river! Dogmatic fundamentalist bigotry forms stagnant pools which stink – but moving in the Spirit in the unity of the body of Christ is like the sweet smelling oil or perfume which ran down Aaron’s beard!

God has blessed EAB in the past – God is blessing EAB in the present – but what happens to EAB from now on?

Well – there is much yet to be done before Christ’s return and EAB (already in 5 north-eastern States) has the God given vision to reach all 9 States of Brazil’s north-east – with the whole Gospel for the whole man – preaching and practicing God’s love!

That is where you come in continuing to pray and support this work and endeavouring to spread the word about EAB to more people. We thank you all for all you have done to date – but the work goes on and so we must all be workers together for Christ.

Please ask your friends to “like” EAB’s English only page on facebook which is an excellent means of communication. Please keep in touch with Mary and the prayer updates she sends to those in the loop. Please keep supporting EAB via Beryl. Please carry on with the fundraising efforts such as Garden Party, Trumpets and Trifles, Oak Lodge School etc. All is really helpful and very much appreciated. – These are a few ideas and initiatives I mention so as to be practical this evening. May God richly bless you.

Pray too for our planned trip to the UK next year. Our 3-year cycle will be up in 2014 as we were last there in 2011. We look forward to visiting churches, family and friends, God willing. Hopefully we will be physically present at next year’s AGM and not just virtually.

May God bless you all – UK Board – supporters and prayer warriors! The Mission marches on in obedience to Jesus command to “go and make disciples of all nations”! May the drought stricken barren north-east of Brazil receive abundant rain in the first quarter of 2014 and abundant spiritual rain too till EAB reaches its century for the glory of God! – Amen.

Pernambuco here we come!

Liz and I will be heading for the State of Pernambuco later today where we will be visiting communities in the rural areas around Flores where EAB/ACEV leader Nemias Oliveira is working together with his wife Fátima. We will be ministering in the church there in Flores tomorrow evening. Please pray for the trip.

Last night's service in the Patos church was well attended and good. We launched a 4-month concentrated prayer campaign starting on August 24th and running to Christmas Eve when we pray we will be back in our church. Everyone in the church is commited to praying either every morning or every afternoon/evening each day, or morning, afternoon and evening! Prayer is for spiritual renewal, the church building revamp and funding for it, the church leadership, the various church ministries etc. Please join us in prayer if you can and kindly let us know if you are taking part in the prayer campaign. It doesn't matter how long you pray for as long as you pray every day!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Celebration Service

We will be off to the auditorium we are renting, whilst our church is being refurbished, to hold the main weekly celebration service shortly. We look to God for a great night of blessing in His presence. I will be leading the service and a college teacher will be speaking, with Philip leading the praise and worship.

This week Liz and I will be visiting the church plants in the Flores region of Pernambuco State and next Sunday's service in Patos will be different with the deaf pastor Luiz Carlos preaching first and me preaching second. Please remember us in your prayers. 

Liz is out visiting at the moment. She is visiting a lady who lost her husband in his 30s. Very sad.


Oh dear me! QPR are already 3 x 0 down at half-time and are being so utterly outplayed that one fears a rugby scoreline on 90 minutes! Rangers only had one chance and the rest has been all Spurs. I don't know what Queens Park Rangers are going to do to stay in the Premiership. They have bought some good players but so has everyone else! This is awful!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Background information

With this new blog location I take the opportunity to mention some background information for friends old and new:

  • I was born in London (see my book - "Notting Hill to Brazil").
  • I will have been married to Liz (mainly known in Brazil as Betinha) for 45 years in November.
  • My studies included a missions course at IBTI, a diploma in TESOL at Leicester University, a degree in theology at LST and an MA at Leeds University.
  • I have lived in Brazil (where Liz was born) for 42 years and am a naturalized Brazilian, as well as having been given honorary citizenship of the State of Paraíba + 4 towns (Patos, Manaíra, São Mamede and Imaculada).
  • I am a keen amature ornithologist, photographer and environmentalist - receiving an award for my work with nature from the State Legislature.
  • Liz and I are directors of EAB ( and I am chairman of ACEV Brasil ( and pastor of its local church in Patos (PB).
  • I am a Rotarian, a member of the Patos "think-tank", founder of the Patos and Region's interdenominational Ministers Fellowship and Bible College as well as the Patos Cultura Inglesa TESOL School.
  • We run the Green Pastures Christian Conference Centre and Nature Reserve.


I have been to a political rally in support of the re-election of the Paraíba State Governor this morning. It was held in the boiling hot sun on the north side of the Patos central market. It was well attended I am happy to say. The Governor thanked me publicly for my presence.

I went to this event as a way of showing my approval for his nearly 4 years of government in which he is revolutionizing our State with ethics, honesty and well organised and planned administration. Roads are being tarmacked all over the State which helps the work of EAB/ACEV so much. One of his trademarks is that he does not promise what he will not and cannot do. Governor Ricardo Coutinho is a breath of fresh air for Paraíba and I just hope and pray he is re-elected for the common good of the whole State. Anything different would be madness! Please pray.

Friday, 22 August 2014

QPR will be on Brazilian TV this weekend!

Now that's what I call good taste! ESPN will be showing the mighty QPR away to Spurs this weekend on Brazilian TV and my official forecast for the result, in a competition I take part in each year amongst Rangers' fans, is 1 x 1. I just hope we don't lose!

QPR seemed to have learned by their previous mistakes and have been much more sensible, balanced and cautious with the transfer market this time round, but buying 2 Chilean internationals and 1 Dutch (all who were first team members in their national sides in the World Cup) are very good moves!

As the game will be played at around lunch time you might like to make it a day of prayer and fasting for QPR! :)

Leadership Conference

There is a lot to be done in preparation for the annual EAB/ACEV Leadership Conference which is less than a month away. Liz and I have been working a lot on this and had good discussions with some of our leaders about things. The theme this year will be "The Spiritual & Physical Health of ACEV Leaders". It will run from September 17th - 21st. 

I had a chat to Tarcísio about preparations for the Conference this morning as of course it will be held at Green Pastures. 

Philip is working a lot on the annual Youth Conference to be held in the State of Ceará in October. That this new church is to be the host church is quite a challenge as of course they have little experience concerning how things are done in EAB/ACEV.

I was asked to renew my participation in the SPEAK evangelical organization as a member of the reference council which I have been on since 2006. This organization does good work in speaking out on controversial and ethical issues from an evangelical Christian angle and the reference council is always asked to approve different campaigns that are launched. We value your prayers.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Plastering, wiring, crashing & bashing!

Liz and I have just got back from the Patos church, overseeing the complete revamp we have launched into by faith! We want to be back in the church for Christmas so just 4 months to go if we make it!

All the internal walls have had the old plaster removed from the walls and now we are in the process of replastering with about 30% done to date. The electricians are putting in wires and plugs and switches all over the place. Wow! What a mammoth job it is!

Please pray for this project. Thanks to those who have contributed to the project financially. Please don't stop giving and praying! All we are doing is for the glory of God so that for a long time to come the church will be safe and smart and just right for the continuation of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have done lots of other administrative work for the Mission today. There is a non-stop demand.  I have done a lot of work linked to the Action Child Project and the Patos Bible College, as well as preparation for next month's EAB/ACEV Leadership Conference at Green Pastures. 

We have a small plantation of organic cherry tomatoes and I brought some in yesterday for Liz to make fresh tomato soup which was so delicious!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Public anti-corruption meeting

Last night's public meeting of the Patos "Think-Tank" received the illustrious visit of Judge Ramonilson (2nd right wearing a jacket) and debated ways to combat corruption in the coming general election. It was a superb meeting and was expecially encouraging because we had younger people present like Philip, Brenda, Raylla and Pamela from the EAB/ACEV church. Please pray.

Today is our youngest daughter Sacha's birthday. Happy birthday! May the Lord bless you. Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Good news from Green Pastures

The medical specialist in Campina Grande has today confirmed that Tarcísio's wife Maria's brain tumour, removed recently, was not malignant. PTL! Maria received her new scan results today, plus her biopsy results, and she will do a further blood test tomorrow. She will have some follow-up treatment but the specialist says she is in excellent shape. So once again we thank all those who have prayed for this co-leader of the EAB/ACEV Green Pastures church.

I am off shortly to the public meeting in Patos which will debate how to combat political corruption in the coming October general elections for president, senator, governor & federal and state deputies. The main speaker with be the electoral judge Dr. Ramonilson. We value your prayers.

This is my new blog location

After 10 years at I am transferring my blog to this address, as from today, because the old provider does not move with the times and is giving me all sorts of problems. See below my final words on the old provider which I did not manage to publish. 

Productive day

I have had a good day and prepared a sermon out of the blue! This was not scheduled for today, but the Lord blessed me in my devotional time and things just went from there.

I've also worked on the church building project and the Patos Bible College. My health continues very good. PTL!
The service last night in Patos was very good. The P&W was lovely and it was good to have Philip back and Pastor Ângelo preached from our Soledade church. He really is becoming one of our best preachers. Excellent! I I led the service. 

I have had a couple of contacts with the State Governor again today.

Maria from Green Pastures is back in Campina Grande to have a further brain scan. She is still there and we await news a bit apprehensively. Please continue to pray.

Tomorrow I will take part in a public meeting with my friend who is the electoral judge, Dr. Ramonilson, to discuss combatting corruption in the electoral process. The slogan this time round is "He who buys votes is the worst candidate". Please pray for this important meeting. 

(I took the above photo this month of this Brazilian Tanager - Ramphocelus bresilius)