Friday, 28 November 2014

Here we go!

I'll be leaving at midday today to go to Tavares County in the mountains where we will inaugurate another new well - this time for another ex-slave community at Arara. I will sleep the night at Princesa Isabel.

Tomorrow morning I have a trouble-shooting meeting at Princesa Isabel. Oh boy! I worked 40 years with Pastor Manoel Jorge without a hitch, but now he's gone to glory... crumbs!

In the afternoon I will travel on a long journey to Ceará where on Sunday we will baptize 12 (I think) and I will preach at the communion service. I will be back in Patos on Monday.

On Tuesday we will have another new well inauguration in São Mamede County so it's non-stop!

Another church situation is presenting problems too so I have to sort this out as well. Help! Please pray for us at this time.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rare Tree found at Green Pastures

Yesterday we received at Green Pastures the second university professor now working with us there, and what an afternoon it was. We walked in a southerly direction along the dry river bed and after a while the professor shouted: "Look at this! You've got a Vitex Gardneriana Tree! Why didn't you tell me"! I explained that I was only learning at that very minute what the tree is, and this morning I have discovered we have lots more of them!

The thing is that when you have a jungle-like environment with lots of trees of all shapes and sizes then many species can be hidden in the entangled branches, twigs and leaves. It needs an expert to turn up and spot and distinguish things. I am over the moon! What is more the tree is producing seeds now and when they turn black they are ready for picking. I will now collect the seeds and pass them on to the university to produce seedlings so as to propagate the species.

Now I have just received a phone call from someone wanting some leaves from the tree (she saw the photo I posted on facebook) because they are a herbal medication prescribed by a doctor for her kidneys! So it's all happening! She has been sending to get the leaves from a great distance until now.

However not all is joy and problems in one of our churches are giving me a real headache and I ask for prayers for wisdom and tact in dealing with the whole situation.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It's raining Professors - Aleluia!

I have just received word from another university professor, other than the one already involved with research at Green Pastures, that she wants to go there with me this afternoon and view the land with a view to helping us plant lots (I mean LOTS) of trees there in the coming rainy season hopefully fairly early in 2015. This is an interesting development as this professor is responsible for the production of native tree seedlings at the university. Watch this space.

Liz and I watched some of Paul McCartney's live concert in São Paulo last night on TV. It was brilliant and very moving at times. A great musician and what life for 71!

I have just taken the plunge in the QPR prediction league for this Saturday at home to Leicester as follows: 1 x 0 at half time + 2 x 1 at full time with goals from Austin and Barton. I was severely tempted to opt for a draw, but looking at Leicester's season decided to take a chance with a win. Let's hope I'm right as we sure need it!

I have already exchanged emails with Philip in India this morning and had discussions with someone regarding housing for the poor. I have also lined up some counselling for a deaf person with our deaf pastor.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Memory stick Ministry

I was surprised last week when Tarcísio, who leads EAB's Green Pastures church, asked me to start sending them recorded teaching on a memory stick, of about 15 minutes in length, for him to play to the church leading on to possible group discussion! Modern technology is out in the sticks alright and I have just recorded my first message for this which lasted just over 11 minutes. We shall see how this develops!

I also had a message from a young man in our Imaculada church who is very hungry for the things of God. He told me that he had got someone (I don't know who) to record my Sunday sermon in Patos and that he had already heard it and been greatly blessed by it. So praise the Lord again!

Then there are a constant stream of people who send me questions via private messages on facebook. Sometimes these are Biblical questions about passages they don't understand and sometimes they have problems in their lives or families and ask for advice. I never ever sort of suggested this but it is just happening so PTL! "By all means save some" comes to mind.

I guess it would be nice to be able to set something up on the internet for both preaching and teaching and communicating in general either via audio or video. I have no idea how I could actually start this, but we shall see. I value your prayers.

I continue in 2nd place

I continue in 2nd place in the QPR prediction league as I predicted a 0 x 0 scoreline at half-time on Saturday and won 5 points for that. Now comes Leicester at home which we all say is a "must win" - but will we? I'll decide to go for a win or a draw in the next couple of days.

I have worked all morning on a project report and completed that. PTL! I have a bit of a cold today which is a nuisance.

Where's Father Christmas?

This morning has been a difficult one with no signs of any presents whatsoever from Father Christmas! What is this world coming to?

Then I heard his factory was on strike... and then I saw a note on facebook to say that the reindeer had come out on strike in sympathy! (Memories of Arthur Scargill's days!)

Then I woke up... and realized it's the 25th of November and not December! What a gigantic relief!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Orange Insect

I popped out to Green Pastures late afternoon and photographed a beautiful orange insect catching an ant.

I discussed with Tarcísio the special end of year service I am going to conduct at Green Pastures on December 20th when I'll be dedicating 5 children and baptizing 8 adults (at the latest count).

I got back to Patos to face yet more problems at the Princesa Isabel church. Oh Lord! Please pray.

UK's Top 20 for funeral songs!

This list says it all about a pagan lost UK - a post-Christian nation which only faces the reality of death because it has to! May the Lord have mercy on the once "Great" Britain!

I say this, not to be offensive to non-Christian friends who might read this, but to simply express my shock at the state of things in a land which still sings (I presume?) "Abide with me" at the FA Cup Final and that played "Nearer my God to thee" as the Titanic went down. It would seem to me that with the Titanic went down a lot more, and one just wonders where it's all going to end?

Moringa Tea

I am drinking at this moment my first mug of Moringa Tree leaf tea because I have read that it is good for lowering blood glucose levels. I figure like this that Moringa leaves are fine for eating so to make tea from the dried leaves (which we dried at Green Pastures) should do me no harm! If this blog ends abruptly as from today you will know I was wrong! I will now start observing my glucose levels and see if this tea does have any positive effect. I am therefore, as from now, a sort of Moringa 'guinea pig'! (I made this mug of tea by the way!)

News from the the Mandacaru church building project is good. They are getting on very well. News from Ceará is also good where I will be going to baptize 12 at the weekend. PTL! We also held our first little communion service at Ipueira in Rio Grande do Norte State on Saturday where the church plant has its first members. PTL again!


My sermon from the Epistle to the Romans last night went amazingly well, considering how tired I was. The service as a whole went great.

Liz has already gone to the church renovation project with some supplies. The heat is on with less than 3 weeks to go to the inauguration and still no electricity company link up! Please pray.

Philip continues in India with his work and is not finding it easy to cope with the 9 hour jet lag. Please pray for him.

This week I have trips for ministry at Tavares and Ceará ahead so value prayers for all this too.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Back from Campina Grande

I am just off to lead the service in the Patos church and preach on the first 3 chapters of Romans in one go! Pretty ambitious! What an epistle it is! 

We got back at 9.45am from Campina Grande and I immediately started working on tonight's sermon which I completed at 3pm. Liz and I worked on it on the journey as she read the first chapters of Romans to me and we discussed it all. Fabulous stuff.

The graduation went well in Campina Grande - just a bit long (two and a half hours!) and tiring. Nevertheless it was great to see 8 graduating including 3 from EAB/ACEV churches - including Rafael who leads our Teixeira church. A lovely lad.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Liz and I will leave shortly for the EAB/ACEV Bible College graduation service in Campina Grande where 8 will be graduating. I prepared my message this morning. I still have to prepare my message for Patos tomorrow. Help!

QPR have just lost 1 x 0 at Newcastle which was about what I expected, though I officially forecast 0 x 0 at half-time (correctly) but I gave it as a draw at the end too, which was unfortunately wrong. Oh dear. It's not looking good for Rangers!

Friday, 21 November 2014

He'll be coming down the mountain when he comes!

I've just come down the mountain from another well inauguration in Imaculada County which went very well. Lovely spirit - people so happy - let off loads of bangers with joy at the end of the thanksgiving service. I spoke and Lindon Carlos led. There were also special sessions prior to the service for kids, women and men to teach them about health issues. Both the Mayor and Deputy-Mayor were present.

I gave our social worker Marah Danielle a lift home after the event and so was able to have a lovely chat with her about the work throughout the hour long journey. So encouraging!

Our son Philip has left today on his latest business trip - this time to India. Please remember him in your prayers. He should be back in about a fortnight's time.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bible + Well

The Bible study went well in the Patos church this evening. We covered Luke 8:1-3 which took us into some good discussion on the role of women in God's work. We then went on to Mark 3:20-21 which makes you reflect on prejudice against the Gospel and Christians. It was a blessed evening.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at Green Pastures with the university folk and then in the afternoon travel to Imaculada to inaugurate a well with a thanksgiving service with the community. I always enjoy these joyful occasions very much. I value your prayers for the journey up the mountain.

Research at Green Pastures

I had a great meeting yesterday afternoon with a Federal University forestry engineer professor in which I agreed for new research to be carried out there starting tomorrow! The plan is for it to initially follow 3 phases:

1. A team of 5 students under his supervision will do research over a period of months defining which species of native trees are where, their state of health, quantity etc. in the eastern section of Green Pastures in the sprawling area on each side of the lake. This will be done by a scientifically approved method chosing 20m x 20m example chunks of the woodland from which to arrive at the overall totals.

2. At some point next year, following this, a detailed individual count and definition of tree species will be carried out in the Reserve around the stream/dam area. This is an area of intense reforestation and preservation.

3. At some point next year work will also be done with all the neighbouring farms, small holdings and farm workers so as to understand their perception of the importance of the Green Pastures Nature Reserve and to seek to educate them concerning the environment so as to seek their cooperation as neighbours in our work. For we can't stop birds flying for a visit to neighbouring farms and need the neighbours' backing, as far as is possible, in this venture.

I am now preparing the Bible Study for tonight in the Patos church.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Green Pastures on TV!

I spent the whole morning at Green Pastures filming with a TV crew for a programme they say is to be broadcast in about 2 months time. Watch this space. They seemed to be fascinated with the place and with the way it has developed as a Nature Reserve. They saw photos on the wall there of what it was like 35 years ago! They asked me for the originals of my films of Raccoons and Wild Puma Cats and for my authorization to broadcast them as part of the programme! Of course I agreed. This could almost put me in line for an Oscar!

At the end I gave them lots of EAB/ACEV literature and online links + my book 'Notting Hill to Brazil'. I told them lots about our projects and they were very interested. I hope the programme comes out alright as it is going to be available online so everyone will be able to see it anywhere.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

TV Film Crew coming

I have known about this for weeks, but said nothing because the last time a TV crew was supposed to have come it turned out to be still photography and an interview. OK this ended up as a big article in a nationwide magazine, but it is not the same as TV and people were asking me how they could see the programme from different parts of Brazil - and this never happened being outside of my control.

However I have now had confirmation direct from the TV crew whom I spoke to on the phone a short while ago confirming that this time they have come to film me and my environmental work and will be arriving at 6.30am tomorrow. Should be interesting. 

 I went to see the work in progress at our church here in Patos this afternoon and it is good to see the new lights now installed in the new ceiling. It's looking good! We have fixed the date for the opening of the refurbished church for 13th/14th December with 2 visiting speakers - Gleydice (Campina Grande) on the Saturday and Ângelo (Soledade) on the Sunday. Please pray for this event and for the final work still to be done in the build-up for this.

I've received news of 2 coming to Christ at our branch church in Princesa Isabel and 1 coming to the Lord too at the Green Pastures church. PTL!

Restoring walk

Yesterday I tried to take it as easy as possible as I was so tired after everything that happened and had to be done last week. I gently went through different administrative stuff in the morning and chased up a few people that missed church on Sunday.

In the afternoon I went to Green Pastures after a siesta and walked and photographed. It is always refreshing good exercise and so enjoyable. You can see my photos at

Monday, 17 November 2014

That was the week that was!

Oh boy! What a week we have just come through! In a nutshell it involved:

A young couple in the church having a baby which was born with a defective leg - so joy mixed with sadness.

A 7 year old boy from the church died having crashed through a glass door. The ensuing wake and funeral to conduct and now the follow up help and support for the bereaved family.

Speaking at the Inter-Varsity Conference in Pombal which was lovely but ending a message at 10.30 pm was a bit late!

Speaking at a Theatre in Campina Grande where EAB/ACEV's praise and worship group recorded their second DVD in a mega production. This was on the same day as our 45th wedding anniversary!

We had a full house last night in the Patos church service which was great. 2 men made commitments to Christ, the P&W was really good and the sermon flowed wonderfully.

I am now utterly exhausted and aim to rest up today. Liz has already disappeared to church to check on the builders! Bless her heart! The re-opening of the EAB/ACEV Patos church has been fixed for December 13th/14th with special festive services on both the Saturday and the Sunday. This means we only have 3 more Sundays without being at home in our church!

This week I have a TV interview at Green Pastures on Wednesday - Bible Study in Patos on Thursday - a well inauguration at Imaculada on Friday - speak at the graduation service of our Campina Grande Bible College on Saturday - preach again in Patos on Sunday. We value your prayers and support.

Please pray for my 90 year old Mum who is not so well, my sister Jean tells me.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Campina Grande Trip

Liz and I travelled to Campina Grande yesterday afternoon and made the journey in two hours as there was no traffic. We went to take part in the recording in a theatre of the new and second DVD of EAB/ACEV's praise and worship group there called "Tenda do Encontro". I gave the opening message of the evening prior to the start of the music.

It was an interesting evening with various contrasting styles in music and dance. It started with pop/rock and as the night went on went through regional folk music, then what I would call Gleydice music, with Gleydice being the leader and singer of the group whose compositions have a distinctive style. There were also songs from other composers and there was also a sort of classical quintet towards the end. So variety is the spice of life!

Gleydice certainly has amazing self-confidence and goes for things in a big way. It was a fairly mega production and she managed to just about pull it off recording 16 songs live on stage in one night - though it did finish late. Of course there are studio resources to patch and fix so we now wait for the final product to see how it all turned out. Going on the basis of the first DVD I am sure it will all work out well and be a blessing to many.

The message of Integral Mission was loud and clear throughout the night. That was important and distinctive as few do anything like it in Brazil. A few years back I challenged Gleydice to communicate the Integral Mission message in song - and she did!

Liz and I stayed the night in Campina Grande getting to bed a bit after midnight. We drove back to Patos this morning where we arrived at 11am - and I got straight down to finishing my sermon for tonight in the Patos church. Liz has been out visiting a lady in hospital from our Ibiara church with a broken arm and visiting a young couple who had a baby this week.

OK... it's off to church now in Patos! We value your prayers.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

It's our 45th Wedding anniversary!

On 15th November 1969 Liz and I were married at the Millbrook Christian Centre, Southampton, England and today, 45 years later, we celebrate in Patos, Paraíba, Brazil going later to speak at a DVD recording by the EAB/ACEV P&W Group 'Tenda do Encontro' in a theatre in Campina Grande.

Liz and I are reckoning that this marriage gives every sign of being on track to work out! However, as I always say to Liz: "If you did ever think of leaving me, just make sure you take me with you"!

We've got lots to thank God for over these years, especially for our 4 kids, 7+ grandkids and for all the spiritual children God has given us along the way.

Last night my talk to the university students in Pombal went well despite a late start. My talk started at 9.30pm instead of 8.30pm - I spoke for an hour - and then had to drive home to Patos. I got to bed a bit after midnight. I enjoyed doing this. It just would have been better had they started on time!

Now I've got to prepare my sermon for tomorrow in Patos. Help!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Inter-varsity message ready to roll

I stayed up late last night and finished my message for the students of the Brazilian inter-varsity (ABU) conference at which I will be speaking in Pombal this Friday. I was extremely tired after the stressful funeral of a 7-year old child, but I had no choice but to go for it. I will be speaking on "Christianity, Environment & Sustainability".

Now I need to complete the message already started for Campina Grande tomorrow - day on which Liz and I will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary! We usually end up celebrating it with me preaching somewhere or other! Then I need to prepare from scratch my sermon for the Patos church on Sunday. Help!

This blog had passed the 132,000 visits mark today. Many thanks and hi to all readers from the UK, Brazil, USA, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Switzerland, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, India, Spain, Portugal etc. May God bless you all. Please keep praying for us and EAB and please keep or start supporting EAB via online giving at or direct to the UK head-office speaking to Beryl Gough (Treasurer) at

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Not easy... but victorious

Well I have just got back to the office from an exhausting stressful difficult funeral, but the Lord really helped us and I preached the Gospel hot and strong and everyone felt the mighty presence of God and we really felt spiritual victory by the end.

Philip, Louisa and Lucas Silva were great with the worship songs, Liz was as amazing as ever, and in the end everything really came together. There was a big crowd present and lots of emotion of course.

The order of service just kept getting altered as we went along. In the end the little boy's mother who abandoned him as a baby asked to sing (and it was pretty bad), a cousin asked to read a message (good), the boy's school headteacher asked to speak and she was good, the father (who also abandoned the child) spoke a few words, and an uncle spoke (well). Then finally the grandmother from our church, who brought the lad up, also spoke nicely. There is a lot more about this whole story that I can't write here. All I can say is that the whole story is very sad and drugs are involved.

Well, now I must get on working on sermons for the weekend. May the Lord help me!

Liz is going off now to see Felipe, our 17 years old grandson still in hospital, who is no better and now has an abcess inside his throat and his fever will not recede. Please pray.

Outrageous Journalists!

I sometimes get sickened by unscrupous insensitive journalists who create news for their own (often political / financial) ends at any cost. So often photos are published here with such gruesome close-ups of people injured in accidents and things like this. This morning I am informed by the bereaved family that members of the press (who exactly neither they nor I know) have been hounding the Grandma, whose 7 year old Grandson died as the result of an accident yesterday, wanting to interview her inside the wake at our church! They are trying to apparently build a story of hospital negligence in the case which would be a blatant lie as Liz was present throughout and saw how wonderfully the medical team ran and desperately tried to save the lad's life. I have just posted a protest about this on facebook and challenged whoever these people are to come and speak to Liz and I! If they do come, which I doubt, they they will hear a few home truths! Honestly! What next?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

What an awful shock!

I have been working all day on my messages for Friday and Saturday and was starting to wind down late this afternoon to get ready to go to a 'think-tank' meeting when... the phone rang and an hysterical Sister Socorro Help from the Patos church yelled at me screaming for Betinha to help her immediately at the Patos Children's hospital. I contacted Liz on her mobile and she set off to the other side of town to find out what the problem was. At that point we had no idea.

Liz phoned me from the hospital and told me that the 7 year old grandson of the lady who had phoned had dived through a glass door and been torn to shreds by the glass. Whatever made him do this we have no idea. Liz went into the emergency room at the hospital where they were fighting for João Marcos's life. The nurse asked if Liz was strong enough to cope with what she was about to see and Liz was and did go in and tried to cofort and calm the little boy who was desperate and terrified. Liz said she had never seen anything like it!

Sadly there were some internal deep wounds and they took him into intensive care to try and save him, but without success. 

Liz took the Grandma home and Philip set things up in the side hall at the church ready for the wake. I visited the Grandmother at her home and prayed with her before going to the wake from where I have just come. To see the little boy lying so sweetly in his little coffin is a sad sight. Liz is still at the wake. The funeral will be tomorrow at 4pm (7pm UK time) so please remember us in your prayers as I conduct that.

In the middle of all this, but before I had understood how seriously the lad was injured, I called in to visit Felipe at another hospital. He is a bit better but still has a fever and is very weak. Please pray for him too as he remains in hospital and still on a drip.

Grandson still in hospital

Please continue to pray for our 17 year old grandson Felipe who was admitted to hospital yesterday with a ghastly throat infection and resistant fever. I visited him last night and he looked brighter as the fever, under heavy medication via a drip, had receeded partially. The hilarious thing was to see how the hospital has had to dismount the hospital bed to cope with Felipe's length! They have removed the end of the bed and his lower legs and feet overshoot the runway, so to speak! The doctor doesn't think Felipe will be released till later in the week.

I made progress with two messages yesterday - the one for the Inter-varsity students on Friday at Pombal - and the other one for Campina Grande on Saturday. I would really love to finish both today so am into this now before 8am. I value your prayers. 

Liz is out on church refurbishment matters already. I contacted somebody in the hierarchy of the electricity board last night in the State Capital João Pessoa asking for him to give our local subordinates of his a shuv for them to get a move on linking us up with the new mains connection which only they can do. Please pray.

Now I hear that my son Philip is not well with similar symptons to Felipe. Oh Lord!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

I'm now second in the QPR prediction league

With my accurate forecast for Saturday's game against Manchester City I have just learnt that I moved up in the QPR prediction league from 8th to 2nd place! Fame at last! Now to figure out what to forecast for QPR at Newcastle on November 22nd. Another tough game. A win's very unlikely there!

Deadly Coral Snake at Green Pastures

The deadly Coral Snake (Micrurus ibiboboca) is known as a snake with one of the most potent venoms that exist. I watched one for half an hour this morning and photographed it as it swam around in the first of our wide-mouthed wells which supplies the water for our vegetable patch. It was hunting the frogs in the water. It was a beautiful, colourful but most poisonous sight!

Felipe in Hospital

Felipe has been admitted to hospital this morning after spending the night with a very high fever which refused to subside with medication. Please pray for Felipe, who is now on a drip with antibiotics, and watch this space.

I had a good relaxing long walk at Green Pastures this morning and photographed a snake deep down in one of our wide-mouthed wells as well as 3 largish frogs together in one of our now 17 watering holes for wildlife. I also picked up the memory card from the infrared camera and to my delight saw we had managed to film two South American Raccoons drinking at 2.38am at one of the watering holes and standing up to keep an eye out for potential predators. It is the first time I have caught them on film standing like this. Simply wonderful! You can see the 30 second video by clicking on the link below. Remember that the animals were not aware that they were being filmed as no flash is used. They are in this way not disturbed at all in their habitat.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Eye eye!

I went to the doctor's today to have a full annual eye test including the back of the eyes, eye pressure etc. Thankfully all is very well. PTL! Diabetics need to check these things regularly. My glasses do need a fractional adjustment which I will get done.

Last night's service in the Patos church went well and my eldest daugher Deborah has again written a superb resumé (with her comments) on my sermon and published it in Portuguese on facebook. 

We will be so glad to get back into our church building. Finally the electricity company has come and removed the entire old linkage to the mains outside source so that is progress! Now we need them to turn up and put in the new underground link for which our part is ready to receive.

I have handled umpteen other matters today talking to people who didn't show up in church last night and exchanging emails with EAB in the UK on the Action Child programme in a phase of transition. We value your prayers.

I now need to prepare 3 messages for Friday (Inter-Varsity), Saturday (Campina Grande) and Sunday (Patos) and I have a 'think-tank' meeting on Wednesday and need to check things at Green Pastures tomorrow. Help!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Responsible citizens vote!

The idea of a no-show or spoiling the ballot paper in the next UK General Election, now just 6 months away, is certainly not an option for a responsible citizen in a democratic society, no matter how much he or she is dissilusioned with politics. Democracy is about choosing and electing the party which is the nearest to our view of what is for the common good, good for the nation and in line with our vision of justice, ethics and principle. No party's manifesto is going to be identical to what we would want, but democracy is all about defining our priorities of choice and what we consider to be important and thus opt for the party most in line with these for us.

With the social media available to all it is probably not too late to influence the manifestos that will be published next year. What do the Brits want for Britain? What is right and wrong in your view? At least read the outlines of the manifestos and compare them!

As Christians we do not have the right to impose our values on wider society no more than any other religious or non-religious group has, but we can seek to live out and show the importance of Christian values and convince people of the importance of including or maintaining such values within our laws and society. When I speak about Christian values I do not limit myself to issues such as abortion, euthanasia and gay issues. Christian values are much wider in scope than these matters. What about war and peace? What about hunger and disease? These and many other wider issues must be considered by the Christian citizen. For what good would it be saving lives with anti-abortion laws yet approving ones which irresponsibly bomb people out of their minds and kill many more in the process. I am not saying that we are wrong to raise ethical questions about abortion or euthanasia, but we must also raise the same ethical questions about peace and war, for example. There is such a thing as a "just war" but there is also a problem with being "gun happy"!

Here ends a bit more of my British politics ramblings!

A Great Christian Concert

The Christian Concert was superb tonight because the band actually managed not to do a show and in fact lead a real service of praise to Jesus and dynamic preaching of the Gospel. Thousands gathered from the region for the famous group "Diante do Trono" from Belo Horizonte which is 2,000 km south of Patos.

Alice, our 7 year old granddaughter, is a long time fan of the lead singer Ana Paula Valadão, and will not sleep tonight after having her photo taken with the singer!

I met the singer's husband a couple of years ago and took him round some of the EAB/ACEV churches and projects so after the service they filmed an interview with an update on EAB's work for their site which was nice. It's gone 1am, but I am still bubbling with tonight, but I guess I'd better get to sleep now. You can see further photos of tonight at

Saturday, 8 November 2014

My forecast was exactly right!

I forecast a 2 x 2 draw for QPR against Manchester City with 1 x 1 at half time and I got it all correct. However City's first goal was both offside and handball so they were lucky to get away with it. That's the 4th match QPR have played well in on the run so we have hope. Well done Rangers! Nice work!

This evening we will be going to a big Christian Concert here in Patos so pray that God will bless many people's lives, especially youth, through the event.

I have prepared my sermon for tomorrow and am raring to go! :)

The Death of British Culture

I suppose people might question who I am to write about this, having lived in the wilds of NE Brazil for 42 of my 65 years - but I am a Brit ex-pat and born and bred Londoner proud of my distinct London accent, and I love every bit of those beautiful British Isles.

It saddens me, on trips to the UK and as I read and watch the BBC World News, to see how British culture is dissappearing and being destroyed. I don't really know what exactly to put it down to? Is it a backlash from our colonial past which makes the Brits feel they have to give in to everyone else from anywhere as if to repair mistakes of the past? Or maybe it's an excess of generosity where anyone can come in and do anything, say anything and change anything in the name of a pluralistic modern all embracing society.

I certainly get the feel, even at this distance, of how British politics is going and sense that I personally, if I still voted in the UK, could not vote for any of the three mainline parties exactly because they do not defend Britain, its culture and values. One has the impression that all other cultures and values are defended at any cost by most politicians, but if you talk about defending true British traditions then you are liable to be given all sorts of odd labels or called all sorts of names. Maybe I have the wrong impression. We shall see.

Is it right that in the name of a free and open society we simply let anyone buy anything which is British? After all we live in a globolized free market so it must be alright. Must it? Say, if the price was right, would it be OK to sell Shakespeare's birthplace or Big Ben? The answer will probably be that such landmarks have heritage protection tags on them, but the point is that the majority of every day British houses and buildings, not to mention ways of life, are not protected by heritage tags or whatever you call them - so the lot just goes to the highest bidder!

I am conscious that I find myself sounding like a hard right nationalist which I am not, but I am a nationalist that believes in Britain with equal rights for all who defend Britain, its life and culture. I can only think that in the next general election unless there are major shifts in policy to defend Britain then I would be obliged to vote radically different than ever before.

Keep Britain British! Keep British culture and heritage alive! A dramatic U-turn is urgently needed in British politics!

Friday, 7 November 2014


I've sent out the EAB Diary Update today and done some more work on the Action Child Programme. I also contacted the authorities (can't go into precise details here) so as to get Tarcísio's wife the medication she badly needed and praise God that is now sorted.

So much crops up every day here from around the churches that it is difficult for me to keep up with everything and everyone needs quick answers and assures me it won't take me long to answer and sort out etc.! The problem is that it all adds up. I badly need an assistant pastor again as then it is easier when one gets pressure periods. 

Liz continues to go bananas with the church refurbishment project. I hardly ever see her. She is at the moment working on the Patos Bible College accounts with the new treasurer and training him to take this part of the work on. She worked till the early hours preparing for this meeting and hand over. I vaguely remember her coming to bed!

Tomorrow we have a big Christian Concert in Patos with a famous group from Minas Gerais coming here for the first time, so we will support this of course, but it is all time consuming and I need to prepare my sermon for Sunday! Help!

Great Bible Study

Last night's Bible study in the Patos church went so well. Really good! It was on Luke 7:36-50 with the story of the prostitute washing Jesus' feet at a meal at a Pharisee's house. A brilliant example of God's grace and love in Jesus because Jesus was not misinformed about who was washing his feet (as the Pharisee thought) but had come to save exactly such people who are sick and recognize their need of a doctor! "He that's forgiven most loves (expresses more gratitude = Hebrew phrase) the most"! Wow! The place took off last night!

It needs to be emphasized that clearly this woman has previously been reached by Jesus and ministered to by Him. This was her expressing her gratitude and Jesus declaring publicly that she was saved from a life of sin and worthlessness. She even poured perfume on Jesus' feet probably bought by her previous illicit earnings! Woo-hoo! Fantastic!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Daily Mail likes Moringa!

Ben Price pointed out a link to me to the Daily Mail singing the glories of the Moringa Tree leaves which EAB has been doing for 20 years! The Mail has got some of its facts wrong (surprise surprise!) as the tree is originally from India and not from Africa, but nevertheless its good to see this recognition.

My forecast for Chelsea x QPR last week was 4 x 2 to Chelsea. I am now in an amazing 8th spot in the QPR fans' forecasting results league! This week my prediction at home to Manchester City is a 2 x 2 draw, but of course I hope that we win!

Moringa Tree leaves

I worked for hours on some EAB administrative matters this morning. A long slog, but it's all part of our work. Mid-morning I nipped out quickly to Green Pastures to pick up the Moringa tree leaves which are now on their way to a laboratory in Recife as a scientist has taken them there to test for their anti-cholesterol elements or the lack of them - as we will see. I also brought some vegetables in for family consumption. 

Liz has been working on the church refurbishment project all day again. Now it's starting to get a fresh coat of paint it is looking really nice. See a photo at . We are being held up by the jolly electricity company which is taking its time to remove the old link to the external electricity supply and then to link up the new link on the side of the church, as opposed to on the front wall as it used to be!

I have prepared the Bible study for tonight during this afternoon and will be giving that in an hour and a half's time.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Grandson 17 today!

Happy birthday Felipe on this your 17th birthday! He's a lovely lad and will be doing university entrance exams quite soon. Crumbs! We had the traditional lightening 15 minute cake and coke this afternoon to celebrate Felipe's birthday. You might remember him as a little boy going round on itineraries with us in the UK? Well... he's now about tall enough to be a basketball player. 

I've worked like a trojan today on EAB's Action Child Project. Sacha and I started the day with a good meeting going through everything with a fine-tooth comb. Then it was over to me to put everything in writing as I re-went over everything as we organise phase 2 of this excellent programme to take effect as from 2015 (DV).

Tomorrow morning I need to go out to Green Pastures to get the Moringa Tree leaves for scientific research. Then I need to prepare the Bible study for the evening in the Patos church.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Today has been a very exciting cat day! To get on video 3 wild cats in a 30 second shoot is terrific. These animals are so secretive and cautious. They are hunted by so many. So to see the result of ones work of planting trees and protecting environments, which make the survival of these animals possible, is very gratifying. I rushed back out to Green Pastures late this afternoon to put the infrared camera back in the same place where I will leave it for a number of days again and hope that we might get yet more videos of these beautiful and so hard to see creatures.

Ben Price is with us today and tomorrow so it was nice that he could pop out to Green Pastures with me this afternoon. We have had some good chats.

I have spent a long time discussing some important pastoral and leadership issues with our new pastor in Nova Olinda in Ceará State. I was able to give him some extensive advice and I felt he really appreciated it, so that is good.

Liz is at church tonight at the prayer meeting and has been working as hard as ever all day sorting out multiple issues linked to the Patos church refurbishment project now in its final weeks.

Oh my word! Now we have 3 Wild Cats! We have a family!

This is unbelievable! First I saw one wild cat to the right of the waterhole. Then Marian in the UK spotted a second to the left of the waterhole. But if you watch right at the start at the bottom left of the screen you can see the tail of a third wild cat! We have a family installed at Green Pastures! We will need to start a cat school!

Now we have two wild cats!

Marian Rashleigh in the UK watched the video of what I thought was one Wild Cat at Green Pastures when she noticed that in fact there is a second one, more hidden to the left of the watering hole, but visible! Well spotted Marian! You've got good eyesight seeing that all the way from Southampton! Take another look folks! Wonderful stuff!

Wild Cat at Green Pastures

I went to Green Pastures this morning and brought in the memory card from the Bushnell infrared camera to check it over. To my delight it picked up a young Jaguarundi Wild Cat yesterday afternoon at one of our watering holes for wild life. Fantastic! Do take a look! It is hiding in the grass to the right at first and then comes out in full view! Wonderful!

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Battle of the Bees

We have a great variety of species of bees in NE Brazil including the stingless Trigona stinipes. The africanized honeybees are dangerous but these stingless bees just give a nip when they attack you. The main problem when there are a lot of them is when they get in your hair, ears and nose and buzz like mad! Well... in our front garden in Patos we have a lovely Fishtail Palm Tree which has had a nest of these bees at the top for years and we thought they were harmless and let them be. However with time the number of bees became massive, the nest got larger and larger, and the problem was that we realized the bees were sucking the sap from the tree and killing it. We therefore tried to find someone to climb up this 8 metre high tree to remove the nest but nobody could be found willing.

Today however EAB/ACEV's Bee-man, who is the pastor of our Tavares church and the leader of our new Bee Project, came to our house with his full bee garb and did the job. We were amazed at how gigantic the nest had become. I think I could compare its size with about 15 footballs in a sack together. When Robério finally toppled the nest, after a tremendous battle with the bees, the thud as it hit the ground was great. We hope that we have now got rid of this enormous amount of bees and we hope that our Fishtail Palm tree will now recover.

I have worked on lots of administrative matters today including EAB's Action Child Project.

November Communion

I conducted the November Communion service in the Patos church last night and it went well. There was a good number present and the P&W was good. 

Pastor Gersé from the Princesa Isabel church informs me this morning that in the end yesterday he baptized 13 so PTL! When I got there on Saturday they had 8 confirmed so that really changed.

I am very tired this morning after the travels and ministry over the weekend. I will try and not over do it today so as to re-charge my batteries a bit.

This Wednesday (5th) our grandson Felipe will be 17! Crumbs! He is a lovely polite lad and very tall. On the 15th will be Liz and I's 45th wedding anniversary.

This Thursday a scientist will be receiving 3 kg of Moringa Tree leaves from Green Pastures for what I believe is the final stage of ongoing research into the anti-cholesterol powers of the leaves. We supplied other leaves for this research in the past. We will be supplying 2 kg of dehydrated leaves picked a week ago and 1 kg of green fresh leaves picked on the day. Everything has had to be carefully synchronized so as to fit in with a laboratory's availability in Recife this Friday morning.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Back from the mountains

Liz and I have travelled back down the mountains this morning on "the day of the dead" as November 2nd is called here, having preached at the Princesa Isabel 74th annual celebration last night which went very well. I must admit that it wasn't easy with my dear friend Pastor Manoel Jorge not their having received his homecall 4 months ago to the day. It was just odd... I almost felt myself looking for him at times... but I didn't disclose my emotions not to charge an already difficult first anniversary service without him, who had led the church for 40 years!

The service went quite well and my sermon really went well. It was good to see an immediate result to the sermon with someone deciding to get baptized today as a direct result of what I preached. That was nice.

After the service I had a meeting with all the folk who were there from Manaíra county about the church plant we are endeavouring to persist with, despite difficulties, at Santa Cruz in the State of Pernambuco. This is about 17 miles south of the town of Manaíra just over the border. I heard that the folk were rather discouraged with the hard time they are having there with no results to date. So I called them all together and we had a great meeting from which I felt they all left with renewed hope and belief. Please pray for this pioneer venture of faith.

Liz and I slept at the little rustic boarding house we usually stay at at Princesa Isabel last night. We were very tired and it's safer than driving home very late. We had breakfast there and left for Patos about 8am arriving here about 10am. Now I need to get ready for tonight's service in Patos. Philip led the Sunday School this morning in our absence.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Unjust and Unfair Defeat

QPR played well again today for the third match on the trot, only today they were robbed by a bad refereeing decision. Those who read my blog regularly will know that I do not blame refs for defeats lightly, if ever. Usually I am more than ready to admit we had lost to the better team etc. However today we were defeated by a referee's mistake when he gave a penalty that was neither a penalty in Chelsea or China. When FIFA finally allows appeals against such decisions with a 5th referee watching a replay then such unfair decisions will be eliminated from football. As it was QPR, who had played well to equalise away from home, were condemned to defeat after a perfectly normal challenge for the ball. I, and the Brazilian commentators, have no doubt that this was what happened.

Oh boy!

I have had to be a firefighter this morning amongst our leaders still in the aftermath of the elections and the manipulation of the evangelical electorate using "false gay cards". Let me explain.

A few years back a very intelligent and articulate gay man called Jean Wyllys won the Brazilian version of Big Brother on the largest Globo TV network which projected him to fame and election as an MP (Federal Deputy). Realising the sensitive nature of the "gay issue" in evangelical circles the hard right has set out to manipulate the evangelical electorate inventing lies involving this your man. 

First we were told that President Dilma has invited him to be the national leader of Brazilian youth in the national Congress (Parliament). At this many evangelicals exploded and voted against the incumbent president. The only problem was that this was simply a lie and the chap had never been invited to anything of the sort.

Then this week in a hard right backlash to the centre-left's victory in the elections they invented the story that the same young man has proposed to the Congress that evangelical weddings be banned! Now I know this sounds ridiculous and was a pack of lives, but some of our pastors believed it and started openly attacking the non-existent idea on the internet.

Hence today I have published a message to all our leaders and members clarifying the lies and asking for everyone to calm down and check the sources of their criticisms prior to talking rhubarb! Oh Lord!

The fact is that the hard right funds false "Gospel News Sites" just to wind up evangelicals and manipulate them to their own ends.

I am now preparing my sermon, amidst all this flack, to preach up in the mountains at Princesa Isabel tonight. I value your prayers. We will be back in Patos tomorrow to lead the service here.