Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bible, Youth & Deaf

The Bible study went fine on Thursday. Tonight we have another special youth meeting with out excellent Campina Grande church band coming. Tomorrow we will hold the Communion service and also present certificates to the latest 9 people who have completed their one-year basic sign-language course for ministry to the deaf. 

Liz continues to be alright and looks forward to having her CT scan next week on her fratured pelvis which will show if she will from then on be able to use a wheelchair and no longer be confined to bed. She should receive the result by Friday so please pray.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Sunday went very well. I invited one of the soon-to-be probationary pastors from João Pessoa to preach and he was excellent. The service was very good.

Liz and I did a long counselling session today at her bedside. Liz is very good at counselling and doing it together worked great. I have been working a lot more linked to next month's Field Conference. Prayers are valued.

We have had no more rain. It is a concern for everyone.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

9 hour Marathon Meeting

Today's 9-hour marathon meeting of the Brazilian leadership was very tiring but very harmonious, positive and productive. The meeting was in preparation for the Field Conference next month. A vast amount of topics were discussed as the agenda for the Conference was prepared. We also interviewed 5 ministerial candidates who all will be presented at the Conference for probationary status, subject to the Conference's approval, and one minister will be ordained.

A lot of discussion went into the formation of the new leadership team for the next 4 years which will be elected at the Field Conference with probably 10 members, 4 of whom are new to the Board. Please pray for all the decisions to be taken at the Conference. May God's will be done.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

What Olympic Games?

Sadly Brazil is missing great opportunities to portray a good image to attract tourism and commerce as the Olympic Games approach, just as happened two years ago with the World Cup. As with the World Cup no doubt everyone will wake up at the last minute, but then it will be too late as it was two years ago. Two incredible national marketing opportunities are being lost. 

Here nobody talks about the Olympic Games. All that you hear about is politics with the nation bitterly divided and utter hatred being expressed constantly on social media. It is all very sad as the on-going battle to impeach the President charges on. Please pray for Brazil.

Liz presses on

Liz gets lots of visitors as she's well loved. She's now in to her third week in bed recovering from her accident and keeping busy to try and avoid boredome. Of course just being in the same position 24x7 is pretty awful. She has her next CT scan on May 5th so we hope and pray she will be able to sit and use a wheelchair after that.

Tonight is Bible Study night so I'm ready for this. On Saturday we have an all day general leadership meeting preparing for the annual field conference on May 20-21 at Matureia up in the mountains. Please pray for this very important leadership meeting.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Teens pray on Tuesdays!

Our Patos church teenagers meet every Tuesday night for prayer and this week they gathered round Liz's bed to pray for her recovery. It was a lovely gesture. Praise God for teens who pray!

On Sunday the service and sermon all went off really well. We consecrated a new deaconess and a new deacon also in the service. It was a real blessing.

Over the weekend we had more decent showers at Green Pastures with 3 mm on Saturday, 4 mm on Sunday and 9 mm last night. This takes us to a total in this rainy season to 603 mm (25 inches) which is good. We just need some more heavy rain between now and next month to fill up reservoirs and lakes, but the rains we are getting are great for the more than 5,000 tree seedlings we have planted.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Sermon ready to roll!

I have spent all day preparing my sermon for tomorrow night's service. Finally we get to Corinth, rounding off Paul's 2nd Missionary journey, in the 6th sermon in the series.

Liz is OK. The same.

Lots from the Patos church have gone to the village of Passagem tonight to hold a Gospel street service. I have received the photos below of the deaf pastor preaching and the Patos band worshipping. There's also a photo of some of the youth as they were arriving.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Good Bible Study + Rain

Last night's Bible study went very well which covered the healing of a blind man in two stages (Mark 8) as opposed to a similar story in the previous chapter in one stage. We then started on the major confession of Peter as reported in the 3 synoptics. Prior to this we heard 3 short words from 2 young people and an older man. It was a lovely service.

Numbers were down at the service owing to more rain - which is a problem we love! It rained just over an inch at Green Pastures (28 mm). This takes us to a total this rainy season of 24 and a half inches of rain - but we need a lot more. Reservoirs in Paraíba State are only at a 15.7% level of capacity. Please continue to pray.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

We slept!

Oh how important sleep is, and last night Liz had a good night so that meant so did I! Liz is now into her second week post-accident and is doing OK. We will only know where she is with the fractured pelvis after a month on about May 8th after another CT Scan. If things are going well then she may be allowed to sit and move around the house a bit with a wheelchair in month 2. 

We're needing more rain here badly. Please pray.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


I have just had my second session of physiotherapy on my back, neck and shoulder to relieve the muscular side-effects of the Zica virus. So far so good. I feel the sessions are helping. PTL!

Liz has had a better day and medicational side-effects have eased a lot. Hopefully both of us should get a better night's sleep tonight.

I have been doing more work on EAB's Action Child programme and on the Annual Field Conference to be held next month. Your prayers are valued.

Meeting with ACEV Vice-Chairman

I had a long meeting with ACEV Vice-Chairman Pastor Wostenes from Campina Grande yesterday in my office. It went on till about 11pm and involved Liz at times (by us going into the bedroom) and was a good discussion on a variety of aspects of the work here around the churches and projects. There was one major problem to solve and I felt we sorted that.

Liz didn't have such a good night last night and so nor did I as a consequence. Hopefully now she has finished her course of very strong medication she was on she will feel better as the day goes on. Your prayers contine to be valued a lot. The accident was a week today and she is free from pain without pain killers. She is sticking to her bedrest rigorously with never the left foot going to the ground.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Decisions in Patos church

I preached on Paul in Athens yesterday. It was a really good service despite a lot away ill. 3 people expressed their desire to follow the Lord at the end. PTL!

Last night was not a good one for Liz and I as the strong medication she is on is having side-effects and the medicaion will be reduced today. It was a long hard night! Your prayers are valued.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Liz being well looked after

Last night all our kids and some of the grandchildren and daughter-in-law spent time with Liz. Our bed was full!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Orthopaedic specialist has called

Liz's orthopaedic specialist has just called and says that Liz must move her left leg as little as possible in the first week after the accident and no left foot to the ground for a long time to come. It must be total bed rest for the first month and then Liz will have another CT scan to see how it's going prior to moving to a wheelchair stage. He reckons that if Liz sticks to the rules (as I know she will) she will be back to normal in 3 months. Only time will tell, he said, how the heal works out inside the hip. We can but trust and pray.

Liz's accident recovery update

After her accident on Wednesday a CT Scan revealed a fracture of the left acetabulum cavity of the pelvis, plus muscular and articulation damage. The good news is that surgery should not be necessary. The not so good news is that Liz will be stuck imobilized on a bed for a long period of weeks. Your continued prayers are valued.

Liz continues to be her usual positive self answering 2 phones at once on the bed and receiving visitors like Madame Tussuad's! 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Busy as Bees

EAB/ACEV's Bee keeping project progresses well in the Tavares area where we have just held a training course for local community leaders and farm workers. Honey is giving them a new means of income. Thank you for supporting this project.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Liz does have fracture

Later in the day a second orthopedic specialist was called in to Liz as by then she was out of the immediate initial crisis and had the pain controlled by strong medication and could be examined more thoroughly. This revealed a small fracture in the left hip which holds the upper leg joint. She is going to have a more refined scan done tomorrow to define this more precisely. Hopefully it will not require surgery, but we will only know this with the scan. If she doesn't need surgery she will have to have 3 weeks in bed, 3 weeks sitting and 3 weeks with a crutch so a long haul to recovery of at least 9 weeks. We value your prayers.

Liz knocked down in accident

Liz was knocked down in the Patos town centre this afternoon by a pick-up truck which jumped the red lights and caught her on a pedestian crossing. We praise God that Liz has apparently not broken anything, though she is in a lot of pain with a dislocated left leg/hip. She has been medicated and is in hospital in observation. Please pray.

TV reports on EAB/ACEV's day of action in poor borough of Patos

Of course the comments are in Portuguese but the images speak for themselves. See this 5 minutes report on our practical day of ministering God's love to the very poor in the Placas borough in Patos last Saturday. Action speaks louder than words!

Non-stop variety

Our work is varied and one never knows what is going to happen in any given day. I am senior pastor of the EAB/ACEV headquarters church at Patos and will soon have Philip officially as assistant pastor, which has already been in practice for a long time. However as chairman of both the EAB/ACEV churches and projects it means masses of other things have to be sorted, prayed on and worked on every day!

Yesterday I sorted out, for example, some financial help for two of our workers in difficulty - but to get to that decision one has to go through a long process of email and phone consultations with the Board of leaders who are spread all over Paraíba.

I also checked some more stuff done for Action Child by Sacha, had discussions with the new Patos local TV about a possible regular EAB/ACEV weekly programme, and discussed issues raised by different church leaders. I also did more preparation for the Field Conference next month and did more work on ACEV's history which is a new book I am writing.

Liz also had a massively long counselling session with someone in need and I had to handle a surprise consultation from a church member and nurse who seems set to be a candidate for Town Councillor in the October local elections!

Hence we always value your prayers as we never know what each new day will bring us! 

By the way - the social action day with the battered wives (I don't use this term on facebook which could be read by them) was reported on by Patos TV and I will post it here once I have received a link to it's you-tube version, removed from the whole half hour new bulletin. It's in Portuguese of course, but the report is good and the visuals speak for themselves.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Sunday of blessing

Yesterday (Sunday) was a blessed day. The business meeting in the morning lasted 2 hours and went off smoothly and unitedly. The church re-elected 2 deaconesses for another 3 year mandate (Deborah Maria & Josinete), re-elected another veteran deaconess as an honorary life-long deaconess (Beatriz), elected a new deaconess (Márcia) and a new deacon (Ricardo). Philip was also elected by the church to go before the annual Field Conference at Matureia next month as a candidate for probationary pastor status. A couple of ministries also had their leaders changed.

In the evening we held the monthly communion service and this was really blessed. Despite many away ill, with the absolute epidemic of viruses, the church was still completely full. PTL! I preached my 4th sermon on Paul's 2nd Missionary journey and that went well covering Acts 17:1-15. We're off to Athens next!

Last night we had no rain again in Patos but we had another quarter of an inch (6 mm) at Green Pastures. PTL! This takes us up to over 23 inches of rain at the farm this rainy season and with more rain possible this week things are really looking up. The Patos reservoirs have taken in quite a lot of water too. We rejoice and thank everyone for their prayers.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A Fantastic Day Yesterday!

Yesterday's action day at the very poor area of placas on the outskirts of Patos was fantastic. We attended the following:

62 Haircuts / 47 hair hydrations / 28 manicures / 43 blood pressure and glucose level checks / 41 hairsets / Vet: 32 dogs de-wormed and treat for ticks / Doctor attended 26 including one home visit / 6 social worker home visits / 18 pregnant Mums complete kits of nappies, toiletries and everything imaginable for the baby / 144 toothpaste + toothbrush kits / 12 Eyebrows / 30 Toys for kids.

We ended up the log day of lots of work with a lovely street service where bullets often fly. This time praise to God and the Gospel blessed a hundred that gathered. PTL! The lady in the photos was in the service live and kicking!

Then to cap it all we received 42 mm (nearly 2 inches) of rain at Green Pastures last night! PTL!

Now off to a church business meeting! These things are sent to try us!

Friday, 1 April 2016

4 inches of Rain!

After 3 inches of rain on Tuesday night we had 4 inches on Wednesday night at Green Pastures! Absolutely wonderful! Now the lake has taken in a lot of water (see yesterday's photo below). There's still a lot needed to fill it up and fill all the reservoirs in the region, but it is a great improvement on the precarious situation we were in previously. We have now had 21.2 inches of rain in this rainy season, and as I had said previously, we need around 40 inches to fill everything up! We praise God for the progress with rain and pray for a whole lot more throughout this month of April.

Since Wednesday we have been planting native tree seedlings again. It's quite a challenge in a semi-arid region with such inconsistent rainfall. Of the 4,000 seedlings we planted last year only 180 survived, but we battle on and try again this year.

Last night's Bible study was good. Tomorrow we have a special all-day event of action with the folk of the borough where we are running the "battered wives" project which is going so well. We will be doing a whole load of things to help the community - doctor, hair dressers, manicures, Glucose and blood pressure checks, Vet for the family pets etc. We will also have a service at the end of the day in the street at which I will preach.

On Sunday we will have a church business meeting in the morning and communion at night. Lots of the people at church are really poorly with the viruses going berserk in these parts. Please pray. 

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