Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lovely service

I'm just off to bed. Liz is on night duty with Amanda Ivy who is slowly but surely doing fine.

The service this evening went great. Full church, blessed praise and worship and the sermon really went well and seems to have blessed many lives. PTL! Thanks for your prayers.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

I have cuddled Amanda Ivy!

Our 8th grandchild, Lynn & Hutan's daughter Amanda Ivy, was born exactly 4 weeks ago today and finally this afternoon arrived in Patos with her parents and Grandma. It's great to have Liz back and everyone here. Amanda is so cute, very tiny, but slowly making progress. I had my first hold of her and sang to her! We just need to pray for her to put on weight and get stronger quickly. The doctor has said we must avoid visits for the time being so as to avoid the transmission of illnesses or the likes. So praise God with us and please keep praying.

This was the day!

FA Cup final day, FA Amature Cup final and Wimbledon final day were the three days as a lad that I was allowed to watch sport on TV! TV, for my fundamentalist dear old Dad, was tabu, so we sneaked into our neighbour Mrs. Wheeler's ground floor flat in Highlever Road, North Kensingston, and watched on black and white TV. The FA Amature Cup was important because my Mum's home town of Bishop Auckland won it three times in the 1950s

So today I'll cheer for the underdogs in both English and Scottish FA Cups - Aston Villa and Falkirk!

My sermon is all ready for tomorrow in Patos. I will be preaching on Mark 1:40-45 about the purification of a leper who probably wasn't a leper! This is the 4th sermon in my series going through Mark's Gospel. 

Liz, Lynn, Hutan & Amanda have just left João Pessoa gratefully, so they should be in Patos this afternoon. Now this IS good news! PTL!

Friday, 29 May 2015


Last night's service was really blessed in the Patos church. I led and gave the Bible study and we had so much participation from different folk with words and songs. Really encouraging.

News from São Mamede is good too where the church plant there which had folded up is about to restart. PTL! In the rural areas the work goes forward in leaps and bounds.

Slowly, very slowly, prem. baby Amanda is getting stronger and it looks like they will all be coming to Patos at the weekend at last after a month in the capital where Amanda of course was born. Thanks for your prayers. Please don't stop.

The water situation in our State is utterly desperate. After the drought from the second half of 2011 through to March 2014 we just had a few good months of rain prior to the drought kicking back in. Hence 2014 never recovered the reservoirs and now with a poor rains of 2015 things are worse than ever. Things are very serious indeed - even in cities which normally don't have droughts, like Campina Grande, there will be water rationing for 3 days every week as from next week!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Field Conference results

One new minister was ordained at the EAB/ACEV annual Field Conference this year held at Itaporanga. The focus for the coming 2015/2016 year was set as 'United we are Stronger' based around John 17:21. Praise God that we experienced this unity at the Conference.

Statistics showed that our 85 churches remained stable in numbers (about 3,600) over the past year with an increase in members and a decrease in the number of Christians in our churches who are not yet members. People evangelized were about 200,000 and those benefitted by social action projects about 100,000. The general assembly felt the latter statistic was more realistic than the former and that the number of those evangelized was probably inflated by over ambitious estimates of those evangelized via our 8 radio ministries spread around the field. Thus for next year a set and uniform way of making these radio audience estimates was put in place. Probably a more realistic evangelism figure for this year would be around 150,000 which is still truly wonderful. PTL!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

World Champion in QPR Prediction List!

The following announcement has just been made:  "Congratulations to JOHN PHILIP MEDCRAFT. He kept the top spot for many months. VINCENT VAN DE LUSTGRAAF finished in 2nd spot with PETER HOUSEGO in 3rd. Thank you again for playing along with this every week. It is all for fun but a bit of competition don't hurt anyone. I hope you all join in next season".  

Now your Majesty... what about the next honours list?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Excellent Annual Field Conference

The annual EAB/ACEV Field Conference went superbly well. Any minor moments of tension were quickly overcome in the 4 loooooooooooong general assemblies (which I chaired) which covered a great amount of business. The emphasis was on unity and a good degree of positive vision for the future was evident.

In the final celebration we ordained one lady minister from the beach church at Jacumã and Pr. Wostenes from Campina Grande preached the Word and I led the service.

It wasn't easy for me personally without Liz present, but the Lord helped us. News from João Pessoa is that baby Amanda is slowly but surely getting stronger and hopefully they will all be in Patos by the end of the first week in June. Thank you for praying.

I am extremely tired after the exhausting weekend. I got back in time to lead the service last night in Patos and I also preached! I managed to stay awake for my own sermon!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Grandson Lucas is 8 today!

Happy Birthday to our grandson Lucas (son of Philip & Gylmara - sister to Louisa)! He's 8 today and is undoubtedly the most dynamic full-of-life non-stop amazing grandchild we have! He is incredibly intelligent and a very kind loving little lad! We love you Lucas!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Oh Boy! Hectic pre-Field Conference Days

I am going like the clappers and without Liz around to help as she is still in João Pessoa helping Lynn, her husband and their new baby Amanda. Without Liz is very complicated but we press on!

Last night's service was good. I feel we need to improve our praise and worship a bit though. I feel we need to move up a gear again. Anyway all went well and then my third sermon in my new series in Mark's Gospel went fine. It was a full church as usual.

I am absolutely rushed off my feet preparing for the annual Field Conference to be held in Itaporanga on Friday and Saturday. I have been on the phone so much to different pastors chasing up different details and items of information for our annual report. Tomorrow will be more of the same! And I need to prepare next Sunday's sermon by Thursday and the Bible study for Thursday as when I get back from the Conference I will be both exhausted and without time for preparation.

Baby Amanda is slowly progressing and is slowly getting in to breast feeding gear and more awake today as she takes in the fact that she has been born! 

Thanks for all your prayer on her behalf and on behalf of all of us in these incredible busy and important days.

With one match to play I remain in first place in the QPR prediction league so it will be fun if I manage to win it!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

EAB Board meets

An excellent EAB Board Meeting was held today at West Wellow near Southampton, UK, also with John Medcraft from Brazil via Skype. A variety of subjects were covered such as the 2015/2016 budget, the need to increase the contingency fund, the Action Child Programme, John & Liz's UK itinerary as from late August & the 77th annual celebration. The work goes on for God's glory!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Musical Talent

Saturday 13 June 2015 - 3pm

 Christ Church Chineham
Basingstoke, Hants, UK

A CELEBRATION OF MUSICAL TALENT raising funds for Evangelical Action Brazil, a Christian charity working with the poor in NE Brazil.  £5 per ticket (children free).  Refreshments included.  Tickets available from Jeanne Medcraft-North, 07717 777 529.

 If you can make some cakes for Jeanne for this event please contact her, thank you!

Baby Amanda Ivy out of intensive care!

I am thrilled to announce that Lynn & Hutan's little girl, born prematurely 12 days ago, left intensive care in a João Pessoa hospital tonight and is now in a special care ward where Lynn can be present and where she is no longer in an incubator. Still very tiny and somewhat lazy to breast feed, Amanda is steadily getting stronger. We praise God for this wonderful moment and thank everyone who has prayed. Please don't stop!

I am extremely busy this week preparing so much stuff for next week's annual Field Conference and without Liz around this is triply more complicated. I can see that even if baby Amanda is home by the end of next week that Liz will need to be on hand in support of Lynn with this tiny little baby to care for. This clearly means I'm going to have to face the Conference without Liz which is not something I like the idea of, but such is life! Please pray for the Conference which will gather leaders from all of our churches far and wide.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Lovely service

Last night's service went very well with a packed out church as usual. The service went very well and the sermon flowed nicely. PTL!

News from João Pessoa is good with baby Amanda getting a bit better every day and putting on a little weight. It now seems that she should be out of intensive care this week and then move into the semi-intensive unit where Lynn can be with her all the time. So thanks for your prayer and please keep praying.

Yesterday EAB/ACEV's Teixeira church spent the morning and early afternoon at Green Pastures for Brazilian Mother's Day. They have done this for two years now and always are impecably careful not to leave rubbish behind which we do appreciate.

Our automatic camera has picked up a great 30 second film of a Rock Cavy daring to square up to a Hawk! It is lovely. You can see it at:

Sunday, 10 May 2015

QPR annihilated!

Oh well! At least it's over with... but losing 6 x 0 was a bit much! Pathetic! I got the half-time score correct and the overall result too, so will received 6 points in the QPR inter-gallactic league and should increase my head at the top with 2 games to play. I had predicted a final result of us losing 4 x 2. Anyway it's going down on the yo-yo lift once again and back to the Championship

I am all ready for tonight's service and it was nice the see the UK Prime Minister reading my text for tonight in Westminster Abbey this morning on the BBC World News. Thanks mate - you read it very nicely!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Easy Peasy!

I've not long been back from conducting a wedding at Green Pastures of Tarcísio and Maria's daughter Jozilene to Antonio. It went off beautifully.

Tomorrow QPR have such an easy game that it's hardly worth watching. They have to beat Manchester City away. An absolute piece of cake! Then to survive relegation they would still have to beat Newcastle at home and Leicester away and count on just a few other teams not winning their remaining games. For a team of QPR's standing anyone knows that we could play our B or C team (or the ladies or the under 17s) and still do it. As simple as pie!

Friday, 8 May 2015

In her arms

Today has been an encouraging day with Amanda Ivy. Born a week last Saturday, and in intensive care ever since, this morning Lynn was given the emotional chance to hold her darling baby in her arms for the first time for a short while. In the afternoon session Lynn cuddled her daughter Amanda for an hour! PTL! So though progress is slow, there is progress. I hope and pray that within a few more days Amanda with be moved to a less intensive care unit where her Mum will be allowed to stay with her all the time near enough. Amanda just needs to get her weight up for this to happen.

I prepared my sermon for Sunday today. My wedding ceremony for tomorrow at Green Pastures is ready to roll. Late this afternoon I took grandaughters Alice and Bia out for a nice ride to São José de Espinharas which is about 16 miles north of Patos. Listening to Bia tell her stories in the back seat is mind boggling! When we got to the little town, for example, we drove round the few streets there before coming home and the cemetery seemed to be very central and difficult to get round. Alice said she would like to see the cemetery but Bia objected as follows: "I don't want to go there because things work like this granddad: You're born as a baby, then you're a child, then you're an adolescent, then you're a young person, then you're an adult, then you're middle aged, then you're old, then you die, then they put you in a coffin and send you to heaven"! (Bia is five!) We ended up avoiding the cemetery!

UK Opinion Polls as bad as Brazil!

UK opinion polls are proving to be as unreliable as their Brazilian counterparts. It was a long night which must leave the SDLP feeling awful, the Tories and SNP elated and Labour well and truly defeated. A fascinating night indeed with yet bigger decisions on "federal UK" (?), in or out of the EU etc. now in the offing.

Here my campaign to get the breathalizers back in use is progressing. They had "gone away for repairs" over a year ago, but our complaints have seen them finally repaired and returned. Now we wait to see if they actually get used. I have asked for monthly reports.

I am also campaigning at the moment for a landfill promise to be fulfilled. A promise at least 10 years old! Then also I am campaining for improvements in the regional hospital and two mini local hospitals to be finished and commence functioning. The system is on paper: local medical clinics in the boroughs (actually function precariously and for an hour or two a day rather that all day); medium level mini-hospitals which ought to cope with middle level severity issues so as to take the pressure off the hospitals, but neither existent in Patos have ever been finished; the regional general, maternity and children's hospitals - the worst of which is the general hospital which has been firing on two cylinders for years.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Election Day UK

Though I've been living in Brazil for 43 years and am a naturalized Brazilian, I have never lost or forgotten my roots in the UK, and of how since a child I have always stayed up on election night to wait for the results. This is especially strong for me today as today would have been my dear Dad's 90th birthday (I have certainly not forgotten him 13 years on from when he died in my home here in Brazil) and I always stayed up with Dad when I was young.

The election is said to be going to produce a hung parliament and induce another coalition government of some shape and form. It will be interesting to see how this evolves. Is Scotland finally going to stand up for itself and might Wales do the same next time round?

General elections are always a challenge for thinking Christians and it is always so difficult to define what are the most important factors at stake. That's why I like the Swiss system where there are referendums on just about everything as this gives the electorate a much greater freedom of expression about details. For example: under the present UK system you might like party A's economic policy but not their policies which in your view infringe Christian principles. Under the Swiss system you can vote on each thing separately. Under the UK system you have to opt for the least worst party and give them a blanket mandate with which you agree partially only. 

News on baby Amanda Ivy is good with her now completely off oxygen. She just needs to put some weight back on to get out of special care. Please continue to pray.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Hair Cut

I have just had my hair cut. I hope you like it. Dentist's tomorrow afternoon to finish a round of bits and pieces.

I have been wading through a massive translation for Gleydice and her singing/musical group in Campina Grande who recorded a new praise and worship DVD a few months back so now she wanted to put sub-titles in English which I have managed to do. When I finished all the 16 songs she then produced two long speaking texts which she spoke during the recorded presentation so now I'm working on this. Oh Lord!

The news on our new grandchild is encouraging. She is gradually developing and improving. It is a slow process demanding much patience and prayer. Thanks for being with us in prayer.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Here comes the Bride

I have prepared the wedding ceremony for this Saturday evening at Green Pastures when I will be conducting the wedding of Tarcísio and Maria's only daughter Jozilene to Antônio. They have two sons neither of whom are married. Tarcísio has even rented a suit for the occasion! Tarcísio is the Green Pastures manager and church leader.

Liz continues in João Pessoa with Lynn, her husband Hutan and their baby Amanda Ivy. Lynn left hospital today but the baby remains in special care where she is making some progress following her premature birth. I sense we might be in for a fairly long haul with all this. We value your prayers.

I have a lot on preparing for the annual Field Conference which starts a fortnight this Friday.

I got in some exercise at Green Pastures this morning. Oh dear how we need rain! In fact there has been a big debate tonight in the Patos Town Council on the regional water crisis with all the reservoirs very low. 

This blog has now passed the 137,500 visits mark (started August 2004) and my Flickr photos have passed the 176,500 visits mark (started October 2009) at

Monday, 4 May 2015

Encouraging news on our 8th grandchild

Amanda Ivy, born on Saturday in João Pessoa to Lynn and Hutan, is progressing well in special care. Being premature the hospital is letting the baby get her lungs up to necessary levels which may take a few days, but the little baby is doing really well now. PTL! Thank you for praying and please don't stop.

Green Pastures had 5mm of rain last night so again very little but welcome none the less. This takes our total up to 364mm this year which is badly down on what's needed. On Saturday I will be conducting a wedding at Green Pastures with Tarcísio's daughter Josilene marrying Antonio at 6pm.

The service went great

The communion service went great last night in Patos and the sermon went fine too. Great to have Philip back.

I was up putting food on the bird table at 5.30am and at 6am Pastor Valdemy phoned me from Caroá to discuss an issue linked to the church there. That is his normal time to phone!

Lynn's new born daughter seems to be doing well and making progress. I await more concrete news later in the day. Please keep praying.

Today is the first lesson for the class which lost their little friend in the tragic lift accident last week. Sacha is consulting a psychologist this morning as to how to handle the issue with the little children. Please pray.

QPR are now relegated having lost again at the weekend. It's certainly nothing I am going to lose sleep over, but I am sorry they have never managed to get their act together all season. What is wrong internally it is impossible to tell, but as a leader I sense something is essentially wrong inside the club. I am not saying they could be expected to win all their games, but it has been so bad that one hardly expects them to win anything. I remain top of the QPR prediction league with 3 games to go. 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Preaching soon

I will be leading the monthly communion service in the Patos church in a little under two hours time. I will be preaching from Isaiah 40.

Lynn's new born baby continues in intensive care as she was born premature. Her condition is stable. I will only be able to relax more once the baby is in her mum's arms and in a normal routine.

I sent out the EAB Nutshell Update today.

Ben Price's mother passed away

EAB missionary Ben Price's mother passed away last night in Basingstoke after a long battle with cancer. Our prayers are with Ben and the family.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Lynn's new born baby needs your prayers

Please pray for Amanda Ivy, born today, who has gone straight into special care in an incubator. She was premature and weighed 2.16 kg at birth plus the fact that to get her to João Pessoa for birth brought its difficulties. So please especially pray for the baby. Lynn seems fine.

Baby born and all well!

PTL baby Amanda Ivy has just been born. Liz has already heard her crying loud and clear! I have no futher details as yet. PTL! Thank you for praying. Please don't stop.

Lynn has gone into surgery

Lynn has just gone into surgery with her husband Hutan in João Pessoa to give birth to their baby daughter by cesarean section. Please keep praying.

Lynn in hospital

Lynn is safely in the João Pessoa hospital so we now tensely await further news of the birth of 'Amanda Ivy' and of the well-being of Lynn. Please keep praying.

All going well and passed Cajá

Liz has phoned to say they have passed the town of Cajá and are now within half an hour of João Pessoa. We pray for no traffic congestion on entering the capital. The maternity hospital is at action stations for Lynn to be there by 12.30pm (4.30pm UK time). John David, who is about to get his long awaited sister, looks dazed. Bless him. He said to me a few minutes ago: "Grandad, I'm in a state of shock. Everything is happening so fast"! Please keep praying.

João Pessoa full steam ahead!

Liz has phoned to say they have just passed Campina Grande non-stop on the by-pass so they're heading straight to João Pessoa as Lynn's contractions are closer together than they were, but still at tolerable intervals. Hutan is clearly on target for a Formula 1 debut and Liz sounds her usually confident calm self which is the ideal sort of person to have on board in such circumstances. Please keep praying. They are clearly on schedule at this rate for an earlier arrival in João Pessoa than I had envisaged. Perhaps they can make it for 1pm (5pm UK time)?

All well thus far

They are clearly going like the clappers and Liz has just phoned to say they have passed through Soledade so they are half an hour away from Campina Grande. If contractions remain as they are they may go straight ahead to João Pessoa after all so as not to lose precious time. Please keep praying.

There will be a Campina Grande stop

Lynn (see previous 2 posts for the beginning of this story) is for those who don't know our daughter and she should be at Juazeirinho about now, which is half way between Patos and Campina Grande (depending on traffic). I have learned that the doctor awaiting her in João Pessoa has instructed Lynn to be examined by a doctor in Campina Grande prior to proceeeding to João Pessoa. Lynn has been told where to go. This will delay the journey, but is clearly necessary. Normally on a good day it takes a 2 hour drive to get to Campina Grande from Patos and then about an hour and a half from Campina Grande to João Pessoa. Please keep praying.

If all goes well I can't see them getting to João Pessoa before 2pm (6pm UK time) at the earliest.

Lynn being rushed to João Pessoa

There were a few minutes delay for Lynn leaving Patos but she is now on her way. Her husband is driving, and Liz and an obstetrics nurse are with them as he can do the birth if necessary on the way. Lynn's waters have broken and she is having 25 minute contractions.

Once things started Lynn went to the Patos Maternity Hospital to be examined by a doctor who immediately said get going as here we can't handle this case. Nurse Rone from our church was on duty and was sent to accompany the situation. They called by here at home on the way out and the plan now is to try and reach João Pessoa which was the original plan and would be better. However they may have to settle for Campina Grande depending on developments.

Lynn is calm. The preganancy is very high risk pricipally for Lynn. Please pray.

Lynn being rushed to Campina Grande Maternity Hospital

Please pray for our daughter Lynn who has gone into labour ahead of time with a high risk pregnancy and is being rushed to Campina Grande right now.