Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Marian has flown!

We had a nice couple of days in Natal taking Marian Rashleigh to see the largest Cashew Nut tree in the world (absolutely ginormous!) and Liz got in a bit of beach. Then on Thursday we took Marian to the airport for her flight back to the UK. Liz and I slept the night in Natal and returned to Patos on the Friday, calling in at Green Pastures on the way for a flying visit. 

On Saturday I prepared my sermon for Sunday and this went very well. The service on Sunday was excellent. The drama group also presented a 5 minute piece which was brilliant with great impact.

Yesterday I had a Bible College meeting. Times are hard at the College. Please pray. 

Today I have been interviewed by a journalist concerning the work of EAB/ACEV and concerning Green Pastures. Our educational work concerning the environment is causing great impact here. PTL! Tomorrow another school group is going there and on Thursday I am giving a talk to our own school kids at the Green Pastures School who are to be joined for the event by a neighbouring rural school.

At Green Pastures we are planting lots more native tree seedlings with the rains and are very encouraged by the improved survival rate of seedlings planted in 2016 as opposed to a lower rate from 2015. This was partly due to better rains in 2016 compared with 2015, and because of improved techniques in caring for the seedlings which come with experience.

I went to the dermatologist today to sort out my usual skin fungi problems caused by my heavy perspiration as I walk so much in the hot sun.

Monday, 20 March 2017

A Full Week

On Monday (13/03) we travelled with Marian to Serra Grande (north-west of Itaporanga) where Liz used to go with her Dad in the 50s to spread the Gospel. Liz wanted to go there to see what it was like today. We also called in to see the EAB/ACEV church and Action School at Itaporanga on the way back.

On Tuesday, 14th, Marian Rashleigh gave a handicraft workshop at Green Pastures which was very well received. The amazing thing was that Tarcísio saw one of the ladies, who was at the workshop, already having made some of the things she learnt to make at the workshop and was selling them in the São Mamede market on the Saturday. Now that is great! On the Tuesday afternoon Marian visited our Pastor Frank Dyer School in Patos.

On the Wednesday we travelled to buy some different species of Cactus at a sort of Garden Centre near Pombal, and from there we travelled to Sousa to see some fascinating trails of dinasoars bedded in the rock which must goes back a few years! On the way back we called by the largest reservoir in the State of Paraíba which we were shocked to see is still nearly bone dry! Very sad!

On Thursday (14/03) Marian was involved in doing a workshop with the ladies of the Desert Flower Project and on Friday morning she was with Liz doing a session with the Young at Heart in Patos which was also well apreciated. I had the 6th year of a school at Green Pastures that morning, giving them practical lessons in environmental care and awareness. 

On Friday evening (15/03) we took Marian to the church plant at Ipueira in Rio Grande do Norte State where she spoke beautifully. The drive back to Green Pastures after the service was very slippery, as it had rained, but we made it without problems in our tough Jeep.

On Saturday we held the inauguration service of the ex-landless folk's Plantation Project 4 miles from Green Pastures. I gave my talk on the environment, led the service and preached the Gospel. It was a lovely service. Then yesterday (Sunday) Marian brought a great message to the Patos church. It really was a blessing. PTL!

Today Marian is involved with the Soup Run team preparing and cooking the soup this afternoon and then she'll be distributing it this evening.

It has been a pleasure to have Marian here with us. Tomorrow (Tuesday, 21/03) we head for Natal where Marian is kindly going to give us a couple of days at the beach. Well in fact it's Liz who likes the beach and I am the driver! On Thursday Marian flies back to the UK and Liz and I will head back to Patos on the Friday. Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Good Services

Marian Rashleigh gave a lovely word at the Picotes church plant on Saturday night and she took part again in the Patos church this evening. This week she has a busy schedule speaking and teaching people handicrafts. We value your prayers for our travels and for the meetings and workshops.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Marian to speak at picturesque village

Wednesday's International Women's Day event went well and Liz, who received a special tribute and award, spoke very well indeed. The Lord really inspired her and used her.

On Thursday I took Marian Rashleigh round part of Green Pastures and we both took photos. We repeated a walk at night too and saw quite a few frogs and toads. Liz arrived with lunch on the Thusday. In the afternoon we took Marian to see the new Plantation Project at the ex-landless farm so that was nice. On Friday morning we showed about 60 school children round the reserve.

On Friday afternoon Marian sat in on our monthly meeting with the deaf pastor, plus interpreter. This was very good. At night she visited with Liz the Care Centre where the sign language course goes on every Friday night.

This evening we are going to Picotes in São Mamede County where Marian is going to speak and I am going to interpret. We value your prayers.

This morning I finished the preparation of my sermon for tomorrow in Patos. I have also had some difficulties to sort out around the field. Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Marian lands early!

Marian Rashleigh landed early last night at Natal airport - not because she used a parachute but because the plane arrived 40 minutes early! It was great to see her again. We therefore got back to Patos just before midnight, earlier than expected, and she has been going like the clappers here since 5.45 am!

We are off out to a special community lunch shortly on this International Women's Day which is a big thing here in Brazil.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Off to Natal Airport

We're just about to leave for Natal airport to meet Marian Rashleigh who's coming from the UK and staying till March 23rd. Marian is a staunch supporter of EAB and member of the EAB UK Board of Trustees, as well as being co-editor of the EAB magazine In Touch and quite a few other things! It is always a pleasure to have Marian here as she gets mucked in and helps in whatever is needed! We will arrive at the nearest little town to the Airport at around midday and have lunch at a restaurant come boarding house where Liz and I have booked a room to snooze all afternoon and early evening. Then we will meet Marian and drive back to Patos. We have to get straight back because we have a special community lunch tomorrow on International Women's Day when Liz will receive a special tribute from the authorities for all her service here.

The weekend was long and tiring. Liz and I, together with 3 pastors, drove to Ceará State where we slept on Friday night in an awful hotel where Pastor Wostenes became unwell and I slept little. I'll never go to that hotel again! On the Saturday morning we had the planned meeting with the EAB/ACEV pastor and his wife at Nova Olinda and in the afternoon the meeting was with them and 9 other members (the church there has gone backwards!) and 6 members from the Altaneira church which is doing better. I think we sorted out most of the issues although we do not feel totally at peace and ask for your prayers. It's always funny going to this part of the field because we go through Missão Velha where EAB had a work back in the fifties!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Carnival Camp was wet & wonderful!

With over an inch of rain during the camp we rejoiced throughout this year's Carnival Camp. But that wasn't just because of the physical rain but because of the spiritual rain as well! PTL!

With 250 present from Patos, São Mamede, Campina Grande, Londrina in the south, Manaira, Tavares, Imaculada, Princesa Isabel, Itaporanga, Curral Velho, Ibiara, Conceição, Teixeira, Matureia & Soledade it was an excellent camp. 

Philip preached the most amazing sermon on the opening night about social networks and the Christian in the light of God's Word. It was tremendous and got us off to a great start. So it went on with a wonderful 7 services + special children's programme + sport, walks, swimming and much good food and fellowship. PTL!

The other topics covered during the camp, at the request of the youth, were abortion, gender, dress code, drugs, alcohol, environment, relationships and evangelism. It was a very full programme of Biblical teaching.

Rainfall has been better at Green Pastures than most places in the region and we are grateful to God. We have passed 18 inches of rain already and counting. The dam has overflowed 4 times and the lake is now about half full. 

Tomorrow Liz and I travel to Ceará State with 3 other pastors to trouble shoot in the churches there. It will be a long journey and we need to be back to preach in Patos for Sunday.

On Tuesday we're off to Natal to pick up Marian Rashleigh at the airport who will be with us till the 23rd. Please pray for much blessing upon her trip.