Tuesday, 30 August 2016

South American Raccoon at Green Pastures


Hope you like it!


Saturday saw Philip, Sacha and the Patos church band travelling over 4 hours to minister at the 11th anniversary service of the EAB/ACEV Juá rural church. All went very well and the service was really blessed. We thank God for such dedicated young people.

Saturday was our grandson Arthur's 15th birthday so we had the usual cake and soft drinks all together in the afternoon.

Philip led the Sunday service and Bible College teacher Elaine preached. It was an excellent meeting.

Yesterday I received the visit at Green Pastures of an International Christian Consultant Arturo Menezes at Green Pastures. It was a lovely visit. He has just given a good training course at Princesa Isabel for some of our young leaders which went very well. In yesterday's photo below he is next to me and that is our pastor Lindon Carlos the other side of him.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Beautiful Owls

Look at these beautiful owls filmed in the night this week at Green Pastures. I am waiting for confirmation by my specialist friend as to the species, but I think it is a first at Green Pastures, but am not sure. https://www.wevideo.com/view/724344473

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Heavy Cold

I have a heavy cold which started on Sunday night. I hope it will soon go away!

Yesterday I started preparing my sermon on Acts 20 for this coming Sunday.

This afternoon Liz and I had a very good meeting with Marah Danielle who leads the project to help very poor women in a Patos slum area. We had an in-depth discussion of the serious difficulties the project team is facing with life threats now common. We have decided that the best thing to do would be to no longer run the project in the rented house we have in the community as it is just too dangerous. We are proposing that the project be run at our project centre next to the church. Please pray.

Monday, 22 August 2016

They got away with it!

"They got away with it... just" is how the BBC summed up the Rio Olympic Games. I think that about gets it just right. Well done Team GB who did brilliantly to take 2nd place in the medal table.

The service in Patos went great last night as did the live internet transmission of it too. The new Internet provider worked out really well and we had a non-stop transmission of real quality.

I have had university folk at Green Pastures this morning and a meeting with the deaf pastor this afternoon. Liz is still counselling at nearly 10pm.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Live Service Broadcast

This week we changed out Internet server and now have a much better signal to transmit better the Sunday services from our Patos church. Please support this endeavour by watching it LIVE as from 10.30pm (BST) or watch the recording the following day. The broadcast is from the church's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ação-Evangélica-Patos-PB-773650192729931 

Through this Internet ministry we are reaching people with the Gospel all over Brazil and the world. Many people contact us from far and wide blessed by the services.

Our youngest daughter is 30 today! May the Lord bless Sacha! We will be having a family meal at her house this evening.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Video Message

I hope you like this video message I recorded this morning at Green Pastures for all EAB friends and supporters!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bible Study

I have just got in from the Bible study which went very well on Romans 12:3-8. I am feeling steadily better.

Liz has been busy with her counselling work. We now have two new folk to baptize yet this month.

I have been preparing my sermon today on Psalm 84 for Sunday. 

I had a good meeting with the candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Dinaldinho & Bonifácio respectively, this morning. It was very good. That's the third candidate for mayor that's visited me in recent weeks. The elections for Mayor and Town Councillors will be on October 2nd.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Brazil's World Cup & Olympic Disaster

I see the last 2 years as world public relations disasters for Brazil. The spin-off from such events should be selling an attractive positive image of the country, attracting more tourists, investments etc. However prior to the World Cup I saw people all the time online telling people not to come to Brazil! Now the hostile crowd behaviour in the Olympics basically carries on with the same theme. Some of the Brazilian TV commentators I hear here are disgusting ridiculing the bronze medalists on the podium as "loosers" when a Brazilian had won gold, and shouting at them to "stick it up you"! This of course only incites negative crowd behaviour. 

When Brazil won the right to stage these 2 events there was dancing in the streets. Now the sour political and economic climate has changed this. Brazil is essentially focused on football (and not doing well at that anymore) and a few other sports to a lesser extent. There needs to be a whole re-education of the sportculture in Brazil to diversify it, encourage and make possible grass-root participation, and embibe in the Brazilian press and public as a whole (there are good exceptions but not enough) the Olympic spirit.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Great Service in Patos

Philip led the service and preached extremely well last night in Patos. It was a great blessing with 4 decisions for Christ. One blind man, one woman with Down's syndrome and 2 other people. PTL! I think it expresses a lot about EAB/ACEV with services interpreted for the deaf and a full weekly program for them + one Down's syndrome member and now another decision + now a blind man. Somehow I think the Church should be just like this.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Health improving

Thanks to those who have been praying for my ill health which resulted from intoxication from an MRI contrast injected in my vein on Wednesday. I felt terrible on Thursday and Friday but I am steadily improving today. Philip will take the service tomorrow in Patos to let me get completely over this hitch.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Treadmill + MRI

On Tuesday Liz and I travelled to Campina Grande for me to do a routine treadmill test with the cardiologist. All went off fine.

On Wednesday we went on to João Pessoa for me to do an MRI monitoring things and this went without a hitch too. However on Wednesday night I became unwell owing to a reaction to the contrast/die used in the MRI. I am now improving, but still feeling rough. I missed the Jabre Peak meeting yesterday as I wasn't up to going.

We value our prayers at all times. I am a bit out of contact with emails etc. whilst I get over the MRI side-effects.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Major Mountain Bush Fire

Over the weekend a major bush fire started on the Teixeira mountain which is clearly visible from Patos. It is a terrible ecological tragedy. I can only presume that the suspicions that it was started deliberately are correct as this is the cooler time of year here (when it's warmer in Europe it's cooler here and vice-versa) and thus not conducive to such fires starting spontaneously. The bush fire has spread 10 km a journalist tells me in the counties of Teixeira and Cacimba de Areia and the firefighters have lost control. Please pray. A friend in Teixeira took this photo yesterday.

Liz and I's weekend travel went off well. First stop was Itaporanga where we had a working lunch with the local pastor and his wife. This was lovely. Then we went on a dusty earth track with them to Barra de Oitis ex-slave community where the EAB/ACEV church is facing serious problems. The leader went of the rails (financial issues) and has left since being removed from the leadership. The problem is that the nearest pastor to this place is from Vazante and he is proving to be quite a headache and has fallen for a new couple in the problem church who are very domineering. Oh Lord! Such problems are very stressful and there is a lot more I could say! :)

From this trouble shooting we went to Curral Velho (Old Cow Pen) where I preached in a jubilant and blessed meeting held in the street in front of the church. We got home to bed at midnight. Tired and with mixed feeling from the good and the bad of the trip. Please pray.

Last night's communion service in Patos went lovely with just some problems with the internet transmission as my nephew Ben has gone to England for a while with his wife and it was he who had the transmissions off to a fine art. Now a new lad is learning, so please have patience! I'm saying that to me too as I told him not to do certain things and he did them! Such is life!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Olympic Games

I watched part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro last night and Liz watched it all. I was pleased all went off without hitches. I thought they did well for a much lower budget than 4 years ago in London. I hope and pray all the rest will now go off well and without violence or major problems.

Liz and I are off to Itaporanga, Barra de Oitis and Curral Velho shortly, getting back late tonight. I will be preaching at the latter place and having trouble shooting meetings at the others on the way. I'll be preaching at the Patos church communion service tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Liz back behind the wheel

Liz drove for the first time in 4 months yesterday. PTL! She had no problems, but just found the whole day very tiring owing to her loss of muscle mass over her period in bed and wheelchair following her accident. I would imagine she will take another month to build up her muscles again and feel totally 100%. Nevertheless she was able to go to church in the day and sort out lots of things there and in the Care Centre. 

I have been doing a fair bit of counselling this week and also have been for a routine check-up with my diabetics doctor together with all the routine blood tests. The last were done in March. My results thus far are fine with my main glucose in the blood test dropping from 6.7 to 6.1 which is great. Other results take a few days to get back to us. I have further check-ups in Campina Grande & João Pessoa next week.

I am now busy preparing sermons for the weekend. I will be preaching at Curral Velho on Saturday and at the Communion Service on Sunday. I also have the Patos Bible study tonight. Will also be trouble shooting at Barra de Oitis and having a meal with the pastor and his wife at Itaporanga. Your prayers are always greatly appreciated.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Visit from Rocha International

On Friday morning I spent a lovely morning at Green Pastures with a new university professor to Green Pastures + 10 forestry students. They loved it and it went great.

Later on Friday we received the visit of the Brazilian Executive Director of Rocha International - Conservation and Hope. http://www.arocha.org/en/ This is a Christian organization with work in many countries whose headquarters is in London. He had come to visit Green Pastures which was for him a sort of case of love at first sight! As a result I have been asked to join their Council of Reference and Green Pastures is to become their centre of reference for environmental research and conservation for the whole of north-eastern Brazil. The brother preached on Saturday night in a great service at Green Pastures (photo below) and on Sunday preached in the Patos church. Both services were mightily blessed.

Liz has today been given the all clear to drive again by her doctor. PTL! She has to go steady does it - a bit at a time - but she can get drive again which is wondersul. Thanks for your prayers.