Monday, 29 February 2016

EAB's InTouch magazine - edition 85 available now

EAB's latest magazine - InTouch, edition 85, dated March 2016, will be posted to everyone on our mailing list this week. It is already available online on the EAB website at

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Green Drought

Everything is green with the measure of rain we've had this year, but the reservoirs are in an increasingly desperate situation. In the State of Paraíba there are 124 public reservoirs of which 23 are bone dry, 57 have less than 5% of their capacity still with water and 36 have less than 20%. If we don't get an abundance of rain in March and April then we will be in unbelievable trouble. Please pray!

Long exhausting but good week

I travelled down to São Paulo on Tuesday for a meeting ot the Brazilian Evangelical Alliance. A 6-hour drive to the airport followed by a 3-hour flight to Campinas, São Paulo. Two days later it was the same again the other way round.

The meetings were very good however and I felt the trip was well worthwhile. It is important for us to be part of and support endeavours to unite the genuine Biblical orthodox evangelical church in Brazil, work together to influence with Christian ethics the government, and have a united voice in the name of all of us who make up the Evangelical Alliance.

Sacha led the Bible study on Thursday night in Patos and Pastor Sílvio from our Portelo church came and gave an excellent Bible study. Pastor Angelo will be coming tomorrow from Soledade to preach in Patos and I will lead the service.

We had half an inch of rain at Green Pastures whilst I was in São Paulo - so the rains continue to follow the pattern of dribs and drabs and so we hope and pray for a couple of really big rains to fill up lakes and reservoirs.

Monday, 22 February 2016

EAB In Touch Magazine

The new EAB InTouch magazine - edition 85 - is ready for the printers thanks to the work of Marian Rashleigh (EAB Board), Dave Flowers (our design man) and me putting in some overtime in overdrive! It will be great to get a new edition out and as soon as possible I will put the online version on the EAB website. Everyone should get their hard copies in the post early in March.

With the new system us '3 musketeers' have worked out I think we can now go back to thinking of two editions a year as in the old days. PTL! Whilst we are hot with our online news via this blog, email nutshell & dairy updates, website and facebook it still is important to have a paper magazine once in a while to back communications up which covers non-internet people, as do the monthly postal updates.

Going South

Last Thursday's Bible study went well with Sacha leading the P&W. Last night's Sunday service went great too with a packed church and Sacha also leading the P&W. She'll be leading the whole service this Thursday as I will be going to São Paulo tomorrow and only getting back on Thursday night. Pastor Sílvio from our Portelo church will be coming to give the Bible study.

I leave at 10am tomorrow for Recife airport which is a 6 hour drive. I could have got a flight to the Campinas, São Paulo airport from João Pessoa which would only have taken me 4 hours to get to by road, but the flight was 50% more expensive which is ridiculous. My 3 hour flight is due to arrive about 9pm and from the airport I will head for my usual Ibis hotel to sleep. Early on Wednesday I will head to the venue where there will be a gathering of the Brazilian Evangelical Alliance with denominational leaders from the 4 corners of the country. The meetings will go on right through the day. I am looking forward to representing EAB/ACEV at the event to which I was very warmly invited and to meet some pastors I haven't seen in decades. I should be back in Patos on Thursday night.

Philip is steadily recovering from his appendicitis operation last Wednesday. They removed his appendix in the nick of time as it burst immediately it was removed. These details we get to know in Brazil! Also the fact that the surgeon and team are all Philip's friends helps!

I am doing a lot of work in preparation for the annual EAB/ACEV Field Conference in May. This is the most important meeting of the year for all our leaders so please pray for all the work that goes in to the build up to it. We will have an ACEV Board meeting in April a month ahead of the Conference. At the Conference the new Board will be elected for the coming 4 years from 2016-2020. Time flies!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Philip recovering well

Philip's surgery went well and he now needs to rest and recover. To stop him talking is a work of art, but we are working on it! I visited him in hospital this afternoon. Thanks for your prayers.

Operation in progress

Our son Philip is now being operated on for acute appendicitis. Please pray.


Acute Appendicitis

Philip is about to be operated on for acute appendicitis. He became ill during the night. We value your prayers.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Number of Decisions

The service went very well last night in the Patos church. The sermon flowed well and at the end a number made decisions for Christ. PTL! I also dedicated the son of who was our first sponsored Action child. This family needs your prayers.

This morning we received the important visit from the National Semi-Arid Institute based in Campina Grande. Biologists/environmentalists (see below) came to visit Green Pastures envisaging the carrying out of scientific nature research there over the coming years which is something we are very happy about and fully support. Today's visit was to define the part of Green Pastures most appropriate for their work and this we did. Next week they will be back to go through the chosen area slowly to define the particularly area which will be researched concerning soil content and quality, tree species and their development over a period of many years.

This afternoon another meeting of the Patos Bible College was held in my office and lasted 2 hours. Things are not going so easily for the College so I am pretty busy in my counselling role. It was a productive meeting but there's a lot to sort out. We have another meeting marked for a fortnight's time. Please pray.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Good meeting with ACEV vice-charman

Thursday night's service was good with many testimonies from people blessed at the Camp. This was very encouraging.

Yesterday we received the visit of Pastor Wostenes and his wife Gleydice in Patos. Wostenes is the vice-chairman of ACEV and the couple have meetings with Liz and I from time to time to discuss details concerning the work. It was a very good day with lots of short and medium term decisions taken. We had a working lunch in the middle at a restaurant which was hopeless, but we survived! As they went to return to Campina Grande their car would not start so they took ours whilst we get theirs fixed hopefully tomorrow. It's probably the fuel pump which has broken.

I have managed to prepare my sermon for tonight amidst everything else and am ready to roll. I will also be dedicating a baby tonight.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Carnival Camp ends in great blessing

I have just got back to Patos after a great 4th day of Camp yesterday - the best day of them all this time round. Pastor Max of the Independent Presbyterian Church preached on prayer in the morning and it was for me the sermon of the Camp! Superb! I preached at night on evangelism and we ended up round the Lord's Table together about 9.30pm last night. 

The kids insisted that they had a little bomfire after the final service as we always used to. We let them have a mini-bonfire led by grandson Lucas! It was very touching to see the kids give their testimonies round the bomfire.

This Camp has not been entirely easy because of one or two internal problems within in the team. It caused Liz and I a lot of stress and heartache but we managed to keep this secret from nearly all at the Camp so as not to hinder God's blessings on people's lives. Gratefully many came to us telling them how their lives had been touched during the event so PTL!

We are now very tired and have photos to sort out and lots of emails to answer. I managed to post something here on the blog during the Camp and on facebook. Unfortunately I still haven't managed to get an Internet signal working at Green Pastures but I am slowly eliminating possible options and hope I will soon have this fixed. To be able to post during the Camp I had to drive back to the outskirts of Patos to get a signal. Now I will, however, work on the Camp photos taken on my Nikon camera and put together an album or albums with better and more photos. All the photos posted on facebook thus far were taken on my mobile phone.

Thanks very much to those who prayed for this Camp. We sure needed it. It was a spiritual battle from well before it started and became increasingly so whilst there. However we feel God gave the victory and touched many lives powerfully. Liz and I just have a few "gunshot" wounds to take care of as a result of the battles!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Camp Day 3

The 3rd day of the EAB/ACEV Carnival Camp has gone really well. The sermon this morning on the fruit of the Spirit was superb brought by one of our youngish pastors Oséias from Itaporanga.  Tonight's message was brought by the Teixeira church leader Rafael who will be given probationary ministerial status at the annual Field Conference in May.

We had 215 present today so numbers haven't been as low as expected. Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Camp going well

We have 200 at the camp and it's going very well. PTL! 4 of the 7 services have now been held so we are just over the halfway point. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Off to Camp we go!

The kitchen team has been in place and working since Friday afternoon and they are now preparing lunch for early arrivals. I will be moving out to Green Pastures in the next hour. We look to God for mighty blessing throughout the Camp and value your prayers. The opening service is this Saturday night.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Carnival Camp starts tomorrow

Carnival Camp, so called because we have been running it every year since 1979 throughout the Brazilian Carnival period from Saturday to Ash Wednesday, when people rush to the mass to get an ash charcoal cross put on their forehead to represent forgiveness for all the drugs, booze and promiscuity practiced over the previous 4 days. It just doesn't fit with Christian principles so we get our youth out of it and make great healthy use of the days at Green Pastures which is a luscious green this year a result of the rain we've had.

This years theme is developing a Christian character. I will be preaching in the opening and closing services with other leaders speaking at the 5 others in between. I had said yesterday that my sermons were ready, but I didn't feel right with the second one and have worked more on it today and now feel good. It's now a bit longer and clearer I believe. 

I feel 90% better as I was a bit queezy yesterday. I had a good walk at Green Pastures this morning and helped with a few final touches for the Camp. Liz has been there again this afternoon. Now the band is back out there practicing. They are a dedicated bunch. PTL!

Please pray for us over the coming days from Saturday (Feb. 6th) to Wednesday (Feb. 10th). I will get what information I can to you via this blog and/or facebook depending on what internet signal I can get at Green Pastures.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Here comes the Carnival Camp

The Carnival Camp has been running at Green Pastures since 1979 and from this Saturday through to the following Wednesday it will all stations go once again. My 2 sermons are now prepared as is the entire programme and the quiet time questions are ready for early each morning.. The Patos Church Band spent 4 hours practicing till late last night and tonight they move all their gear to Green Pastures and practice again there on Friday ready for the Saturday start. We value your prayers.

I felt a bit unwell this morning but am gratefully a bit better this afternoon with my nausea less. There's a virus going round so I hope and pray it doesn't get me down for the Camp. Please pray.

Liz has just returned from another trip to Green Pastures taking more supplies.

The 'Battered Wives' project got underway again today after the January holiday month. Loads of very poor women were there to learn to make handicraft to sell to give them income. It is a beautiful project. See photo.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hospital & Camp Sermons

I spent most of Tuesday morning at the Patos General Hospital helping my friend and Baptist pastor Fred. First of all the problem was to find him as I went where he ought to have been according to my information received. But he wasn't there! Fortunately being well known and a pastor I have a free run of the hospital at any time, and nurses and a doctor soon came to my aid to track down my friend who I eventually found still on a stretcher in the admittance section of emergency care where he had spent the night. He looked pretty pale and quite ghastly but thankfully he started brightening up as I chatted and supported him. Fortunately he had not got an exposed leg fracture as thought, but an exposed dislocated knee and quite a few other gashes needing stitches on his legs. Eventually he was put in a plaster, given a whole load of injections (one of which I was asked to help with!) and so I brought him home to rest for a few hours prior to a vehicle, which came from Conceição where he lives, arrived to take him home. He is going to sell his motorbike which could have cost him his life together with his wife and daughter who were all on it!

After this I started work on preparing my sermon for the opening night of the Camp on Saturday. I start and finish the Camp with sermons and I have now finished the opening sermon and now started on the closing one. I have also had a lot on with a number of church issues.

Liz went to Green Pastures with more supplies today. She never stops either. We had a good rain in Patos last night but none at Green Pastures unfortunately.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Countdown to Carnival Camp

The 2016 Carnival Camp starts this Saturday and runs till Wednesday morning. Less people are going this year owing to Brazil's financial crisis, but we look to God for much blessing nevertheless. It certainly is going to be a green camp as we have now had nearly 12" of rain. PTL! We still need a lot more, but we certainly have had a good start to the rainy season.

Last night's service went very well in Patos. The sermon went well and it was lovely to dedicate our 9th grandchild, Luis Philip, on my birthday.

This morning I went to Green Pastures and checked over different things for the Camp. Liz went this afternoon taking supplies. It is a hectic time.

I have just had news that my Baptist pastor friend at Conceição who sometimes goes bird watching with me has had an accident on his motorbike today and broken his leg badly. He is in the Patos General Hospital so I have already contacted the director, with whom I have a good relationship, asking her to get on to his case as soon as possible. Please pray for Pastor Fred.