Friday, 24 February 2017

Carnival Camp starts tomorrow

It's been 38 years since we started our first carnival Camp at Green Pastures and so this Saturday it's here we go again! We value your prayers. Around 250 are expected this year and we have a rich programme for the mainly youth who will be taking part with sport, swimming, walks and a spiritual menu, as requested by the youth, which will address subjects that bother them or interest them as follows:

Social Media, Gender, Abortion, Christian dress code, environment, drugs, relationships and evangelism as a style of life. 

Philip got to bed at 2 am today having been at Green Pastures setting up sound and visual equipment with some of his team. Liz is backwards and forwards like a yo-yo! I have prepared my part this week, written the early morning devotional guidelines for each day in keeping with the topics of each day, and prepared my sermon for the Patos church the Sunday after Camp as we have a trouble-shooting journey to 2 of our 3 Ceará churches on the Friday and Saturday after Camp.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Ministry journies greatly blessed

I travelled to Caroá last Thursday and spent 3 days there travelling from there to various churches. I preached on Thursday evening at Caroá and to see 50 in the service on a Thursday night in the middle of nowhere is quite something.

On Friday morning I was up at dawn to go walking with Valdemar who leads the Água Grande church. Not many birds to see as the drought is terrible in that area. This year we have had good rains at Green Pastures and Patos but so many places are utterly desperate for rain.

We were joined after this by Pastor Valdemy and we visited and had fellowship at Pinheira, Mandacaru and Água Grande where all these little churches are going well. I had good chats to the leaders etc. 

In the afternoon I went to Travessia which was about a 45 minute drive. All the travelling in this are is jeep country. At Travessia we inaugurated a well for this 62 family village. The Mayor turned up to the service so I took the opportunity to present him with a Bible. The inauguration took hours to finalize and we finally got back to Caroá well after 8pm pretty exhausted.

On Saturday morning I walked early and photographed a couple of nice little birds prior to visiting the Umburana church where there is a little tension. It is a pity that bad feelings have taken hold of some there so I talked to the leader and tried to give advice, though I felt like she wasn't wanting to hear it. From there we went on to a community I hadn't been to before with the strange name of 'Chico Nenem' (Chico Baby!) where I visited the home of Lídia and Célio whom I married 5 years ago. I was pleased to see them so well and happy.

On Saturday afternoon I went to inaugurate another well - this time in Pernambuco State - about an hour and a half from Caroá and vaguely on my way home to Patos in the process. That went off fine and I got back to Patos around 7.30pm - half dead with exhaustion but very happy and blessed.

I was of course back in the Patos church last night where I preached on John 3:16 as the 10th sermon on my series of sermons in John's Gospel. Numbers were down somewhat owing to the heavy rain which started about an hour before kick-off.

And talking about kick-off I should draw everyone's attention to the unbelievable news that QPR beat Birmingham away 4 x 1 on Saturday. Now how about that for a miracle!

This morning I went to Green Pastures to see the dam overflowing for the third time this year with us past the 16 inch rainfall mark already. We thank the Lord for this but are sad for so many areas getting little or no rain. Rainfall is erratic and irregular around the region but we are really being blessed. Our goal for this year is 40 inches.

Tomorrow I go back up the mountains to chair a community meeting again to try and save the area of conservation around Jabre Peak and I value your prayers.

Carnival Camp starts this Saturday so we are all stations go in the preparations. More are coming this year than last year. We're expecting at least 250 people. Please pray for this important event for the youth which will run from Saturday to the following Wednesday.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Rain glorious rain!

We have had 9.5 inches of rain in 3 days at Green Pastures! It is fantastic! Total to date is 11.5" and we need 40". This lake was virtually dried up 4 days ago! Thank you for your prayers but please don't stop praying! 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Desert Flower Project is back

After the holiday break the Desert Flower Project is back with some sadness for us as one of the women really involved in the project is now in jail for having tried to smuggle drugs into jail in her vagina on visiting day. Very sad. Another woman was beaten up by her partner during the break and has broken bones. She also lost all her clothes which he set fire to. Both partners in these cases are on drugs. This is a very difficult and challenging project. Please pray.

Busy Week (as usual)

Sunday's service was great and my sermon on the New Birth went very well. 2 decisions at the end. PTL!

All week there have been a mass of administrative demands from all angles and places in the work. Either by fixed phone or mobile phone or WhatsApp or Facebook - never a dull moment. Some are problems to solve and others are blessings to share.

I had a good meeting with a County Councillor and the secretaries of Agriculture and Education of São Mamede where Green Pastures is situated. Very good meeting with the Council wanting us to expand our school work there in partnership with the Council. I also took the opportunity to complain about the rubbish tip not far from Green Pastures.

I also have had a meeting with the Mayor of Matureia County and the Secretary for the Environment. This is the County where the Jabre Peak is, which we are fighting to save. It was a very good meeting. I will be speaking at our church in Matureia on Saturday and I understand that many authorities will be there. Please pray. The pastor there who is not well has had a brain MRI and thyroid tests for which we await results.

Tomorrow I will be speaking at the new plantation/organic horticulture + 4 Legs + 2 Wings projects' official inauguration in São Mamede 6 km from Green Pastures. Today I made a quick visit to Teixeira in the mountains.

We continue to be in desperate need of rain in our region. 

Sunday I will be continuing my series of sermons in John's Gospel - sermon number - 9 - and I value your prayers.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Young Pastor Unwell

Please pray for our 35 year old pastor at Matureia who has passed out this morning and is desorientated. This is the third time he has passed out. Tests and scans have thus far not produced a diagnosis. He has right now been admitted to the Patos Hospital to investigate and discover what is wrong with him. Renilson is married to Getiane and they have 2 lovely little girls. I worked flat out on this matter today lining up a doctor friend at the hospital who is the current EAB/ACEV doctor etc. Here it only works like this.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Getting ready for Carnival Camp

Carnival Camp starts on February 25th and runs to March 1st so it's all out now preparing for this. Please pray. I went to Green Pastures both yesterday and today working on this. There is always maintenance and repairs to do. The Green Pastures School restarts on Monday so it's all go!

There have been many other things to handle including problems in our Ceara State churches. I am sending 2 pastors there next weekend. I have prepared my sermon for this Sunday in Patos.

Please continue to pray for my sister Joy recovering from surgery in a Slough Hospital.

Today we held a day long seminar for all our Action Child School coordinators and teachers which went off very well indeed. PTL!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Birthday Lunch

Yesterday was my 68th birthday and we all got together at lunchtime for a nice meal together. The family has grown quite a bit since we came out here with just baby Deborah in 1972! In the evening the Couple's Church Fellowship Group came and did a surprise serenade so that was nice. This group is below.

Yesterday I was somewhat stressed by my sister Joy's health as she had to have emergency surgery for a perfurated bowel. Bless her heart! She is now back on the ward but apparently with plenty of pain. Please pray for her.

This morning we had a very good meeting with leaders of the child sponsorship organization 'Compassion', which we believe will lead to the expansion of our work with children, from their funding for ACEV for special work with children on Saturdays at our Patos, Matureia and Imaculada schools. This will be run by a separate ACEV Saturday team, distinct from our regular team, and will reach a separate group of children to those already being blessed by the Action Child EAB/ACEV programme. There is such a massive need that the more that we can impact dear poor children's lives the better! Please pray.