Saturday, 31 January 2015


Today I reached the ripe old age of 66 and celebrated it by attending an EAB Board meeting via Skype in which the members cut my birthday cake and ate it whilst I watched! The meeting was very good.

The main point of the meeting was to define that as from this year the EAB Action Child Schools will focus on primary education with intake at nursery and year 1 levels with children studying with EAB's school programme through to the end of year 5. Everything else stays as it was. The defined goals of the programme are:
  • Pupils learn thoroughly to read, write and handle basic maths. 
  • Pupils receive special help with homework and areas of need so that they pass each year's final exams in their regular school.
  • Pupils receive Christian education to lead them to possibly making a commitment to Christ.
Current sponsors should consult EAB's UK Action Child team now led by Pauline Pennels or speak to the EAB UK Chairman Roy Dyer so as to understand their options in this transitional year of 2015.

I now await the QPR match at Stoke. Surely QPR won't lose again on my birthday!? I have predicted a 1 x 1 draw at both half-time and full-time.

Friday, 30 January 2015

What a Week!

I am writing this with Liz threatening me to go without lunch if I don't get to the table right now! Help!

My week has been a mad rush like this with journies to Conceição and the State of Ceará. Exhasting but great. I met up with Pr, Márcio of the new Nova Olinda church whilst there. I had great fellowship with my Baptist pastor friend Fred.

The problem is when I travel that the backlog of work is gigantic - but I have to get away sometimes!

The newly expanded Green Pastures Nature Reserve was measured by GPS this morning. Wonderful! The bird singing this morning was gloriously deafening!

Last night's service in the Patos church was wonderful. I am now off with Liz to an Action Child leadership meeting. I value your prayers at all times.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Mumbai, Recife, João Pessoa & Patos!

Philip is safely in India - hopefully asleep now as they are five and a half hours ahead of GMT. Sacha continues in Recife going into the final week of her course. Deborah is in João Pessoa with her sons and we are in Patos. Louisa is just off to the band practice as the service starts in two and a half hours time. 

I will be leading the service this evening, dedicating a baby and preaching on our church's vision concerning being a worshipping church.

I have just realized that with Clayton away in João Pessoa (who normally does the visual aids stuff for the service - songs etc. for the big screen) and Philip in Mumbai who can also do it as a back up - we have nobody to do this. Help! Clayton has put it all together and will send it to me via email. Now trying to find someone to install it all in the church computer.

Just received news from someone who is going to send some financial help for the Carnival Camp. Many thanks indeed!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Camalau Well Inauguratiom

Yesterday involved a very long tiring journey to Camalaú to inaugurate yet another well, but it was well worth the effort. Social worker Marah Danielle went with me in the jeep to give a talk to the ladies on health issues and Marcia Alencar also went with me to work with the children. We always start these events with health talks to separate groups of men, women and children. Then everyone comes together for my talk on the environment prior to the actual thanksgiving service at which the Gospel is preached. It always ends with my prayer of consecration of the well. The events are always joyful as was the event yesterday.

I am very tired today and need to prepare my sermon for tomorrow. I value your prayers. On the journey I had a lovely chance to chat to those that went with me. It was great to talk to Marah and Márcia and to get to know and understand them better.

Philip is now on his long flight to India. Please remember him in your prayers. Please pray for Sacha too still in Recife, going into the last week of her Cambridge teacher training course. She is doing very well, but it is a long haul!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Mid-week service change working well

We have changed our weekly services sequence this year in Patos with house groups on Tuesdays and Praise, Prayer & Preaching on Thursdays. Many more are coming to the latter than was the case with the set up last year. I am really pleased with how things are going.

Tonight's service was really good despite Philip (gone to India) and Sacha (still on a teacher training course in Recife) as they make a big difference in the praise and worship. Tonight's service was packed with a fast flowing programme of praise, prayer and preaching + some testimonies thrown in from the youth that went to the 10-day Outreach.

Last night's leadership meeting of the Patos church was excellent. Positive decisions and much unity.

I went to Green Pastures this morning and the second fence of the three being constructed for the nature reserve expansion is now done. This is good as the expansion will be done and ready for the carnival camp. The team preparing the buildings for the camp is doing well too.

Anyone able and willing to help subsidise the carnival camp will be most welcome. We need help to be able to help poorer people go to the camp by giving them reductions as many can't afford the £25 for the whole camp.Please send designated donations to the EAB treasurer. Thank you and God bless you.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Count down to Carnival Camp

With less than 4 weeks to go to the kick-off of the 2015 EAB/ACEV Carnival Camp at Green Pastures (the first was in 1979) the team started all the cleaning and painting work in preparation for February 14th. Liz, Philip and I also have worked on the spiritual programme, speakers, subjects etc. It is yet another big task which we have over the coming weeks. The preparation won't be made easier with Philip having to spend next week back in India, but at least he'll be back in good time for the camp which runs from February 14th - 18th. Of course Philip has all the band practices to fit in and he will be leading the camp - so do pray for him a lot over the next month please.

I have managed, at long last, to send off the first draft of the next edition of the EAB magazine InTouch to the UK Board. It is a relief to have got this ball rolling at last!

Tomorrow evening we have a meeting of the Patos church leadership team and value your prayers for this too.

I went for a good walk at Green Pastures this morning to check things over and relax at the same time.

Monday, 19 January 2015

10-day Evangelistic Outreach comes to an end

Here's the 70-strong team photo on the final day of the 10-day EAB/ACEV Outreach at Soledade. Mission accomplished! May God bless this young team which swapped beach and holiday for sleeping and eating rough so as to evangelize the population of Soledade and neighbouring São Vicente do Seridó. 20 decisions for Christ and 70 families waiting for follow up visits and Bible studies! Wow! PTL! Thank you for praying and supporting EAB.

Liz is back from Recife with Alice and Bia. That is good!

My jeep has been serviced today. All fine. They just brought forward the air filter change by 10,000km as "clearly you drive on lots of earth tracks", said the mechanic!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Marching on!

Last night's trip to preach at Soledade went well. I took 3 of the Patos youth with me. The service was great and the sermon went well. Always so lovely to see a big group of vibrant Christian youth. The team was 70 strong this year and they saw about 20 make decisions for Christ during the event. PTL!

I got back late - slept in a bit later this morning - then went to teach a class at the Patos church Sunday school. I had lunch at Deborah's after dropping two sacks of cactus plants at Green Pastures to be planted at the Cactus Rockery I am developing. I then led the service in Patos and preached. Full house and the sermon flowed really well. PTL!

Tomorrow the Jeep goes in for a service. My Jeep is for me the best thing invented since HP Sauce! Liz is returning from Recife tomorrow together with Alice and Bia. Philip & Gyl finally moved house yesterday.

QPR lost as I predicted yesterday so I think my lead at the top of the QPR prediction league will be slightly increased! We now have 2 weeks to get ready to play away at Stoke. A draw would be wonderful! West Ham have dumped this player (Zarate) on us and he is so unfit he can't play. 'Arry is losing the plot falling for old bubble blowing tricks!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Exhausting Days

Yesterday was great, but very tiring. I collapsed into bed at 10.15pm at the end of it. I left at 7am, climbed the Teixeira mountain in half an hour, got to Matureia after 45 minutes and Imaculada after an hour. I was at my destination of Manaira after two and half hours of driving with my camera switched on on the seat by my side all the way - but nothing to click.

At Manaíra I had an excellent meeting with local pastor Francinaldo, his wife Carla, Pastor & Town Councillor Valdemy from Caroá and a pastor from the south called Lúcio. (see below)

The story in a nutshell goes like this. This famous singing group (Diante do Trono) asked me to find them a location back in 2012/2013 for them to do a live recording of a song as part of a DVD focused on the north-eastern semi-arid region. They did the recording at the Fonseca ex-slave community and felt awkward amidst such poverty, to the extent that they promised to build ten houses, in partnership with EAB/ACEV, for the poorest of the community.

Yesterday I went to view the first house pretty well finished. The folk in the south have now agreed to build 20 houses. They are small bungalows - but lovely in comparison with what the people had. The old mud hut will be demolished and they will move into their little bungalow below.

So the meeting was to sort out all the partnership details and all worked out well. Whilst there I visited the little church EAB/ACEV is also constructing there. Then I went on to Mandacaru to visit another church we are building. (see below) Thank you for your prayers and support for all this work.

Now today I am off to preach at the 10-day Outreach at Soledade. Today is a practical day of showing love and care for the community with free hair cuts, manicures, checking blood glucose and blood pressure and the likes, but tonight there will be the usual outreach evangelistic service.

I need to teach at the Sunday School in Patos in the morning and preach at night, so value your prayers for everything. Liz is away in Recife with Alice and Bia so that they can be with their mum for a weekend in the middle of her month special teacher training course.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Ready for Study

Our main mid-week meeting is on Thursdays with praise, prayer and preaching of the Word (Bible study) - so I've prepared for this today and am ready to go!

Prior to this we will have a little family tea for Bia who is 5 today - bless her heart. It's a pity that her Mum's away in Recife at an advanced English Language Cambridge teacher training course, but Bia is no trouble and takes it all in her stride.

News from the 10-day Outreach continues good. I'll be preaching there on Saturday. Tomorrow I go to Manaíra to sort out a few project issues there. I value your prayers for all this.

I have made my prediction for the QPR prediction league for Saturday's match at home against Man. Utd.  I have forecast a defeat for us 3 x 2. Of course I hope we win but consider even a draw unlikely.

Dentist delivers phone!

The very kind lady dentist (sorry I don't know her name) has delivered Gymara's mobile phone to our house in one piece and functioning! Thank you doctor!

Lessons learned: mobile phones do not travel well on car roofs and dentists are not only good at drilling teeth!

Beatriz is 5 today!

Happy birthday to our lovely granddaughter Beatriz (Bia) who is 5 today - daughter of Sacha and Biba. She is such a cute, intelligent and charming little girl. She is "Liz 2" for me and so many other people. The spitting image in looks and attitudes. It is quite amazing the similarities!

Dentist gets her teeth into Gylmara 's mobile!

Here is the latest hot news on Gylmara's mobile! A dentist travelling in her car behind Gylmara saw her phone fall off the roof of the car and stopped to pick it up. She then charged after Gylmara sounding her horn... but Gylmara just put her foot down all the harder and the dentist lost sight of her in the traffic. This news has come back to us via the policeman!

Watch this space! We now have a lady dentist with Gylmara's phone looking for Gylmara and we don't know if her phone will work anymore after the crash to the ground as the phone doesn't answer or give any sign of life when we call it!

Looking for mobile phone!

Gylmara (Philip's wife) overslept and goes charging off to her new house, where they are in the process of moving to, because some workers were waiting outside to get in to finish off some bits and pieces in the house! In the panic to get in the car she put her mobile phone on the roof of the car and drove off! A policeman saw this and called out to her but she didn't hear and put her foot down all the more!

The policeman has now come to our house to report the incident! Watch this space!

This blog passed the 134,000 visits mark yesterday. Many thanks!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sermons flowing!

All preachers know that sometimes it's so hard getting going on a sermon and then other times they just flow like a river! Well today has been a river day! PTL! Today I have the consolidated bases of both my sermons for Saturday and Sunday. I am rejoicing and keen to get preaching them! That's always a good sign! Not that all is done... still more prayer, thought and adjustments to make... but both messages are well on their way. Thank you for praying for me someone somewhere. I feel it as I was a bit low and discouraged with one or two matters in the work earlier in the day, but the Lord has lifted me up higher! PTL!

Please pray for EAB income too as we are in an extremely tight situation... very tough at the moment. Please pray harder if you're already praying!

Thanks to Linda Matthews and my sister Jean who spread the word about the EAB English Language page today properly and to their friends. May many more follow suit!

EAB on facebook

We have now passed the 600 'likes' on the EAB facebook page . This is a very important modern means of communication for EAB as it is worldwide. We now have people following EAB news in this way in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the UK, Switzerland etc. previously linked to EAB. This obviously doesn't mean they are EAB supporters, but they can't become supporters if they have never heard of us!

So again I come to ask you to please spread the word about EAB's English language only facebook page as it costs you nothing other than a couple of clicks of your time!

So what you need to do to help is go to the EAB facebook page - click on the 3 dots to the right of the word 'message' (top right of the page) - then click on 'share' - then write a few of your own words - then click on 'share page'. Thanks a lot!

Just as a way of suggestion let me tell you what one EAB supporter wrote to her friends when she shared the EAB page in this way: "This is an amazing organisation doing fantastic work amongst the poorest people in NE Brazil. Please take a few moments to read more about what they do and encourage them by "liking" their page. Thank you".


We have had burglars twice in the last day or so. They stole our large gas cylinder with which we cook and which was kept in a back garden little storage place. We noticed it had gone late last night. Now this morning we are being told by a neighbour that a man was seen scaling our back garden wall again early today and then quickly retreating - no doubt because we were already up and he realised it and did a bolt. Almost certainly the same person who did the first job. So please pray for us and our protection at this time as the problem is not just one gas cylinder but that the thief has been and will be back, and we will be taking what safety precautions we can.

The 10-day outreach continues at Soledade and the Lord is blessing our team of young evangelists. Last night they held another open-air service in another town square and the drama group was in action conveying the Gospel effectively.

Please pray for Sacha who is in the second week of an advanced Cambridge teacher training course in Recife. She is doing well but it can't be easy away from her family for a whole month like this. Pray for me too as I prepare the Bible study for Thursday and sermons for Saturday at Soledade and Sunday in Patos.

Monday, 12 January 2015

10-day Outreach going strong!

The 10-day evangelistic outreach which EAB/ACEV holds every year in January is this year being held at Soledade and going well. Today the team invaded the open market with the Gospel in joyful fashion.

Last night's service in the Patos church went very well with a full church despite it being holiday month. 

This morning I had a good walk at Green Pastures and checked on the work being done now on the second of 3 fences being constructed to expand the nature reserve. A university professor will be going there with me tomorrow again to plan native tree planting once it rains.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Passagem here we come!

The trip to Passagem to conduct a communion service, dedicate two children and preach the Gospel tonight will be the first time we have done it on an asfalt road. Only the second child I dedicated over 40 years ago was at Passagem and up till now it has always been an awfully bumpy dusty track to get there. Then 4 years ago we elected a decent State Governor who has administered public funds with honesty and efficiency and here we are driving right left and centre on tarmacked roads as a result. PTL!

Philip has gone to Soledade with the Patos church band for the big opening service in the town square tonight of the 10-day special evangelistic Outreach.

The Christians in Action group from Patos are in Ipueira in Rio Grande do Norte State at the church plant there tonight as well.

In the Patos church the deaf fellowship will be holding its main weekly meeting too - so all in all you can see how the EAB/ACEV Patos church is still a real missionary church to this day. PTL! 77 years on and we're still marching for Jesus!

Friday, 9 January 2015

550 mark passed!

EAB's facebook English language page has now passed the 550 "likes" point! It just shows what can be done! Please spread the word folks! This is a brilliant worldwide means of communication. Visit us at

Cards, Cambridge and Nuts!

Thanks to my sister Jean for the 2015 diary which arrived yesterday! Thanks to Joyce & Alex Sims, Mrs. Yoakley and David Shearing for Christmas cards which have also arrived.

My youngest daughter Sacha continues her one month Cambridge Teacher Training Course in Recife and has received news that she passed in the highest level (CPE - Proficiency) Cambridge language exam so well done Sacha all round! Well done to our eldest grandson Felipe who not only surprised everyone by getting into the Modern Languages Course at University in first place but has now received news that he has passed the FCE Cambridge Language exam which is the third in five levels. He obtained a very good mark - so well done to Felipe too.

The 10-day Outreach starts today at Soledade. Those going from the Patos church have already left. Please remember them all in your prayers that many will be won for Christ in this outreach. 

I have a meeting with a non-EAB/ACEV pastor who has asked to speak to me this afternoon who is travelling a long distance to come for this. I understand that he likes our approach to integral mission and is interested in joining the cause. Please pray for God's guidance on this and possible subsequent meetings on this matter.

I will be preaching, conducting communion and dedicating two children and the small town/village of Passagem tomorrow. Please pray.

We follow the news on the awful violence in France with much concern as this is exactly what I have referred to with concern in the past on this blog. A mutually tolerant pluralistic society is fine as long as everyone plays by the rules but there are those who openly declare they won't play by the rules and infact want to impose their own laws. May God help us as this is a difficult nut to crack! Nut being a wholly appropriate word!

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Tonight's mid-week service in the Patos church was a wow service! Really blessed, relaxed, flowed - good content and numbers up. The P&W was superb, the prayer time was equally good and the Bible study hit home strong. PTL! Real good! Thank you Jesus for such an encouragment. 

With the adjusted weekly schedule, as from January 1st, it has freed up the Tuesday evenings for house groups and the likes. This meant that dear Sandra (Down's syndrome) was given communion at her home as she is unable to come to church these days. It went beautifully.

Tomorrow is launch day for the 10-day outreach at Soledade. Please pray for much fruit!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Action Child

EAB's Action Child programme, in partnership with our Brazilian brethren of ACEV, has today finally launched the new policy adjustments to the excellent work this programme does so as to improve and refine the work with children yet further. We will eventually tell all in the UK about the adjustments to the programme, but ask you to, in the meantime, pray for this and be patient as we put all the pieces in place spread over a vast region with busy workers who have so many other things to do as well as this. We only want to explain the changes overseas to sponsors and EAB supporters in general when we are certain that the new policies are fully functional in Brazil. This takes longer than we would like sometimes, but with God's help we will get there.

I am pleased to announce that EAB's English language facebook page has now passed the 500 "likes" point. For the uninitiated let me explain that this means that over 500 people have now expressed at least interest and some sort of appreciation for EAB's work and ethos, and our news will appear on their "pages feed" on facebook from time to time for them to check out if they want to. It is an excellent way of keeping people informed about the work of the Mission and spreading the word to people who have perhaps previously never heard of EAB.

I just wish that more EAB supporters would spread the word about EAB to their friends on facebook. This would mean we would spread the word to many more. I have asked so many times for this help, it doesn't cost whoever does it a penny, but few have done it. So hear I go again making this appeal for help PLEASE!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Carnival Camp

I've worked with Philip and Liz on the organization of the Carnival Camp which is very near all of a sudden. We were so involved finishing the church building project that it cut our time down for preparation for this. Anyway things are starting to take shape. I have asked Philip to lead the camp like he did when I was ill last year. I will be in an active support role.

Philip and Gylmara will be moving house this coming weekend.

I walked at Green Pastures this morning. The heat was strong very early. There was again lots of wildlife activity preparing for the rains with birds making nests and some already with offsprings. I found a Pygmy Nightjar - so tiny and lovely Minute! Only experience helped us see it as it is so small and so camouflaged.

Monday, 5 January 2015

QPR exit FA Cup humilated yet again!

Once again QPR were slaughtered at the weekend in the FA Cup beaten 3 x 0 at home to a team 2 divisions below them! I think it's 13 years since QPR managed to win a game in the FA Cup! Every time the excuse given is that we're concentrating on the league! Oh well... let's hope so! 

I actually couldn't care less about the FA Cup as our team can hardly keep its head above relegation waters in the Premiership so I guess the team felt the same and were not motivated to get stuck in in the FA Cup. Now we're away to Burnley in the Premiership where the most we can dream of must be a draw!

Say it and Do it!

EAB is steadily increasing its number of readers/followers on its exclusively English language facebook page which has regular news snippets, photos and explanations of EAB's vision. Please help us spread the word about this important communications tool by first of all visiting our page and clicking on the word "like"

Once you have done this please share the news of EAB's English language facebook page amongst your friends and contacts on facebook by clicking on "share" near top right on the page and writing a word or two of recommendation like "I recommend" or "this is worth a look at" or the likes, so that your friends understand we are not a load of unknown nutters! (I hope!)

EAB celebrates 77 years of integral mission in the poor and semi-arid north-east of Brazil this year. We believe in saying and doing the Gospel for the glory of God! Please spread the word and thanks for your prayers and support as we start another year of service by God's grace.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A lovely service

We had a full church despite the holiday month meaning many are away. The number was compensated by many visitors including a Baptist pastor and his family from Pombal and another family from far away Porto Velho. For the first time in yonks we had the Prata Conserva family singing all together - all six of them. It was lovely.

I preached on the Mission of the Church and it was really blessed. At the end of the service a deaf couple asked for a prayer of blessing as they got engaged today. Please pray for Adalberto and Jussara (see below)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Church's Mission

I have completed today the preparation of my sermon for this Sunday's celebration service in Patos. The subject will be: "The Church's Mission for 2015 and always". The month of January is the big holiday month here (like August in the UK) so many go away whilst others turn up in Patos visiting family and friends - so you never know how full the church will be. 

Being holiday month it's that time again when some give up 10 days of their holiday for the 10-day Outreach with a team usually around 60 strong. This year the Outreach will be at Soledade from January 9th to 19th so please note this down to include in your prayers.

Sacha goes off tomorrow for a month's teacher training course in Recife linked to the English Language School - so please pray for her too as it is a very intense course linked to Cambridge. Her daughters will stay with us.

Yesterday we received just 3mm of rain at Green Pastures which is very little, but better than nothing. It's a start to what we hope will be a good rainy season in this first half of the year.

Friday, 2 January 2015

I sort of collapsed into bed

I sort of collapsed into bed last night at 9.45pm after having had just 3 hours sleep the previous night, then driven 4 hours each way to João Pessoa for the Governor's induction to a second 4-year period in office.

This morning I went to Green Pastures and had a good walk (photos below). I found a fantastic place where a Pepper-Frog had spawned in this mound of foam with a 12 inch diameter. Wonderful sight. I observed hyper-activity on the part of all the birds clearly pointing to their expectancy of rain. And sure enough it has now started raining at Green Pastures for the first time in months! PTL!

I am now preparing my sermon for this Sunday in Patos and looking to the Lord for great things. Please pray always.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A Hard Day's Night!

I am utterly exhausted, but very happy with how everything has gone off over the last 24 hours!

The Watchnight service went great with 3 baptized, lovely P&W, the sermon flowed with impact, the theatre group was superb and we ended with a lovely time round the Lord's table just after midnight. Happy New Year!

I got to bed at 2am and was up at 5am to leave for João Pessoa (4 hour drive) to attend the swearing in of our re-elected State Governor who had sent me an invitation. I am glad I went. He was very appreciative. However talk about tiring! Anyway you can see a photo of the Governor and I below.