Saturday, 30 January 2016

Good EAB Board Meeting

I took part in a good EAB Board meeting this morning at 7am via Skype. We discussed in some depth some important matters and there was a good participation from everyone. The meeting was positive, productive and helpful. I can now see a way ahead on some important Mission issues now.

The service in which a couple are going to get engaged has been delayed by an hour so I am getting on with other things in the meantime, like working further on tomorrow night's sermon.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Nice Bible Study

Just in from a good Bible study night with 50 present, which isn't bad is it for mid-week? PTL! We went through Matthew 15:10-20 as we press on, in chronological order, through the Gospels. Really good!

Off to Green Pastures early in the morning as lots to prepare for the Carnival Camp just 10 days away. Please pray!

EAB Board meeting on Saturday morning and I have a young couple's engagement service at night.

Good & Bad

The good is that our service on Sunday night was really good despite numbers being down owing to the rain. We have now had about 10 and one third inches but none yesterday and no signs today, so perhaps we will have a break from the rain for a bit.

I took lots of lovely green photos at Green Pastures yesterday morning. We are busy preparing for the Carnival Camp which starts a week on Saturday (Feb. 6th).

A very complex incident happened in the Patos 1st Baptist Church at the funeral of a mother I guess in her 40s who had a stroke. She was a Catholic but her husband an evangelical. He decided to hold the wake and the funeral service in his church and all was well until the funeral service when her priest requested to do some sort of committal proceeding during the service and was turned down by the pastor. Catholics on social media exagerated the incident and started spreading that the priest had been kicked out of the Baptist church and lots of very un-Christian comments were made about the pastor and evangelical Christians in general. The whole incident and subsequent comments on social media created an extremely volatile and unpleasant climate in Patos so we pray that things will calm down now that the priest is said to have said in a mass that the story of him being kicked out is not true.

I am now preparing for this week's Bible Study, a little service for a couple getting engaged on Saturday, and my Sunday sermon too.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Green Pastures on TV in edited version

Now you can see the TV report on Green Pastures in an edited report cutting out all the other news and adverts which was broadcast with the original report. Now it's much simpler to watch.

Monday, 25 January 2016

TV at Green Pastures

You might like to see the local TV report on Green Pastures after the rains started. You may not understand Portuguese but you will see things as they are. Skip the video to the 17th minute as the report on Green Pastures runs from minutes 17 to 25.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bride arrives early!

Well I'll go to sea in a rowing boat! The bride actually turned up 5 minutes early last night! Can you believe it! Amazing! Hence we kicked off bang on time and all went off beautifully. First came up the nicely decorated aisle 6 couples as witnesses, followed by the groom with his Mum and then the bride with her Dad accompanied by little bridesmaids and pageboys.

My part - the ceremony itself - was timed at 43 minutes 20 seconds from the first words: "We are gathered here today..." to the final blessing! This is my average time. Hence having started at 8pm sharp we were leaving the church a for the reception at 9.30pm. I finally got to bed half an hour after midnight!

EAB Nutshell Update

I have just dispatched the latest EAB Nutshell Update via email to all on our mailing list. Do let us know if you would like to receive this by email.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Late night!

Tonight is going to be a late one as I am to conduct a wedding at 8pm, but what time will the bride actually turn up? She says she'll be on time but so do they all! I am not long-winded with my wedding cermonies, but I can't see us getting away from the church before 10pm allowing for bride's delay, about an hour's ceremony and then photos afterwards. Then we still have to go to the reception for a meal. Help!

My sermon is ready for tomorrow night on Acts 14 and the second part of Paul's 1st Missionary journey focusing on courage in preaching the Gospel, giving all glory to God and establishing local leadership. If you read Acts 14 you will see why these points will be stressed (I hope!). 

QPR drew this afternoon 1 x 1. I forecast we would win 2 x 1 so wasn't far off. I forecast the scorer correctly. This season I am in 6th place in the prediction league. They changed the rules this time round and you get most points if you guess exactly the correct score which is a bit crazy and like doing the lottery!

The rainy season continues well here and hopefully we will get more rain at Green Pastures tonight. We are just half a millimetre short of a total of 200mm this rainy season. May it long continue!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Weather forecasts

Our weather forecasters sure got it wrong for our part of Brazil when they predicted that the serious drought would get just worse and worse in 2016. As it happens rain arrived early on December 18th and today we have reached a total of 198.5 mm (a little over 8 inches) with some water accumulated in the Green Pastures lake this week! Of course we have a long way to go to reaching the needed 40 inches to replenish all the lakes and reservoirs of the region, but the fact that things have got off to an early and good start is very encouraging. We are grateful to God and thank you for praying, but please don't stop! The rainy season normally can run to May and a little even in June - so we are on the right track!

I slept at Green Pastures last night and got some great photos this morning of two species of toads reproducing. The specialist university professor here of this field is really thrilled with what I have registered. I went out to Green Pastures after the Bible study in Patos last night which went particularly well and was really blessed. PTL!

I am conducting a wedding in Patos tomorrow and my sermon for Sunday is virtually ready. I have been doing a lot of work on the EAB Action Child programme and also sorting things out for the Carnival Camp early next month.

It was nice to have latest grandchild Luis Philip at home today. He is doing very well. PTL!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Rain glorious Rain!

27.5mm of rain has just fallen tonight at Green Pastures, taking the total up this month to 95mm and the total in this rainy season, since December 18th, to 152mm (6.3 inches). PTL! We estimate that we need around 40 inches during this rainy season to replenish the reservoirs in the region, so we have had a good start and pray that it will keep raining plenty between now and May!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Christmas Cards!

Thanks to one and all for a whole load of Christmas cards which have now arrived! Thank you to:

Joyce & Alec (Verwood), Neil & Naomi (West Wellow), Liz's Aunt Rosemary (Verwood), Dewi (South Wales), Gill (West Wellow), Deryk Scard (Poole), My cousin Faith (Ledbury), Ada & Willem (Danbury), Ledbury Baptist Church, my sister Jean (Basingstoke), Sam & Gerti (Switzerland) and a couple of others whose signatures we can't decifer.

The 10-day Outreach team on the final morning yesterday

Trip to the Ceará Outreach

My trip to the Ceará Outreach went well. I left on Saturday at 4am and got there at 9am. I immediately launched into meetings with the leaders of the event to understand how things were going. I am glad to say thing went very well and there were a number of decisions for Christ during the 10 days.

I visited the team after my meeting with the leaders and saw them in action in a community. They were helping a very poor community in all sorts of practical ways with a doctor attending the sick and ladies doing manicures and haircuts and others playing with crowds of kids. Wonderful!

Following this I went to visit some folk in a neighbouring County who have interest in joining EAB/ACEV but we didn't feel right about this (as this stage anyway). I had lunch there and then went to see a new seedlings production project we are due to start up shortly to spread native trees to reforest destructed areas. Then we went on to another County to visit another new group who are now part of EAB/ACEV. This was really good.

At night I preached in the closing service in the open-air and all went very well. We slept in Ceará and headed back to Patos on Sunday morning in good time for the Patos church service.

Tragic Accident just outside Patos

Late yesterday afternoon I was here in my office preparing for the evening service when I heard lots of police and ambulance sirens. Sadly this if often what I hear on Sundays owing to drivers worse for a day of drinking. I do not know if this was the cause of yesterday's tragedy but it usually is. A fine rain was also falling which complicates things as drivers aren't used to rain here.

When I got to church a policeman from our church phoned Liz to ask for prayer as he was on duty and at the horrific scene of the accident involving 2 cars on the road which goes in the direction of Green Pastures. Of the 8 people in the vehicles 7 were killed including 2 children. 1 young man (not a driver) will survive. One family was from Sousa and the other from Natal. So very sad.

I drove past the location of the accident this morning on the way to Green Pastures. The vehicles have been removed but there is still a lot of debris and mess there.

Friday, 15 January 2016


Oh boy! It's all happening! We got back from João Pessoa yesterday evening and Alice went down ill vomitting. The poor kid is really knocked out and missed her sister Bia's birthday as a consequence.

We had a little lunch for Bia's 6th birthday for her friends and when her Dad came from work he complained of pain when chewing. He has already been diagnosed with Mumps this afternoon! Then her Mum Sacha went down with a virus so only the birthday girl out of 4 is well. It never rains but it pours! 

This messed up our planned leaving for the Ceará Outreach straight after lunch and now Liz is staying to look after the sick whilst a man is going to travel with me leaving Patos at 4am tomorrow. I hopefully will only arrive a bit later than originally planned and should be able to do all my visits prior to preaching at night in the Outreach. Your prayers are valued for the sick and for my journey.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

João Pessoa

Liz and I are in João Pessoa with Sacha and her daughters. I had my medical check up and all was well. PTL! The ladies have got a bit of beach in and I have done some walking and had a good meeting with a chief environmental government man. We also saw Liz's niece Natasha who is in Brazil at the moment. We hadn't seen her since 2008.

Tomorrow we head back to Patos and on Friday we go to Ceará to minister at the Outreach. The Outreach is going well and two have come to Christ thus far. PTL!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Great Weekend

God has blessed us this weekend. The Patos church band led by Philip and with Sacha, Louisa and Sacha's husband Biba in it - travelled to Ceará and back safely and the service went off great despite it having to be held indoors owing to the rain!

Tonight's service went well too and the sermon on Paul's 1st Missionary journey part 1 flowed beautifully.

At Green Pastures this week we've had 24.5mm of rain (an inch) so that is good - though we still need so much more - but we have started and things are green again for Carnival Camp less than 4 weeks away.

This week I'll be going for a routine check-up at the doctor's in João Pessoa and after that I'll be going to preach at the Outreach in Ceará State.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

EAB Annual Team Outreach starts

I went to Green Pastures yesterday morning and had a good walk, especially looking over the "Woman's Rock" area where we have planted hundreds of cactus plants this week. We will be adding more next week and this cacti area of the Reserve is really taking shape nicely. here are some photos I took yesterday.

We had another 11mm of rain on Thursday night, none last night but hope for more over the weekend according to forecasts. This takes us up to 77mm since rain started on December 18th which is about 3 inches. We need about 40 inches between now and May to replenish the dry reservoirs, so please keep praying.

Once back from Green Pastures I started on preparing my sermon for this Sunday night in Patos. I am going to continue the theme of challenging the church to accelerate evangelism in 2016 from last week's sermon. This week I'm going to preach on Paul's 1st Missionary journey.

Philip, Louisa, Sacha and Biba (her husband) are travelling the long journey to Ceará State today to sing and play with the Patos church band at the big opening of the annual January team outreach there. Liz and I will be going there next Friday and Saturday. Your prayers are valued. The team arrived there yesterday and had a welcome meeting last night.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Heavy Rain!

It is raining hard right now at 11pm. PTL! This is in Patos. We will know about Green Pastures in the morning.

Had a good Bible study tonight. 40 there. We had a bit of a problem to solve after the meeting. Such is the life of a pastor!

Last night we had 9mm of rain (1/3rd of an inch) at Green Pastures. Things are starting to improve a bit.

Monday, 4 January 2016

What a start to the New Year!

I woke up late on New Year's morning to discover that a very good Catholic journalist friend of 35 years standing had suddenly died of a heart attack during the night. Liz broke the news to me gently, as only she can, over breakfast. It was a terrible shock. That evening we were at the wake which was held in the Town Hall as he had been a Town Councillor many years back. The following morning (Saturday, 2nd) we were back at the Town Hall for the funeral where the family had asked me to speak. It was very moving and a tremendous opportunity. José Augusto's death left me reeling a bit. It takes a bit of coming to terms with.

The rest of Saturday I spent preparing my sermon for the Sunday night service. I made it, but it wasn't easy with a somewhat fuzzy head. However praise God He blessed mightily in the service last night. We received another 3 into fellowship.

Early on Sunday morning I had a walk alone at Green Pastures which is where I always go to cool my mind down when things are tough. My camera had a bit of a glitch so I sat under a tree to sort it and whilst there heard an unual bird call. It was the White Woodpecker (Melanerpes candidus) which I had never seen there before, having only picked it up once on the automatic camera. So an unusual species for Green Pastures. Great stuff.

Today I have done a lot of work on the Carnival Camp preparations. I have also done some more work on our environmental campaign to save Jabre Peak. If you haven't signed our petition and care about God's creation then please do so at All you have to do is put your name and email address. Every signature helps!

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Great Watchnight Service

Last night's watchnight service to see in the New Year in the EAB/ACEV Patos church was greatly blessed of God with 11 baptized, another received into church membership, much praise, preaching, testimonies and communion! The service lasted 2 hours 20 minutes & just flew by. It was great! A blessed 2016 to all EAB friends & supporters!