Wednesday, 30 August 2017


I worked all morning with issues linked to the ACEV leadership team/board, had a meeting with one of our pastors, and wrote a little bit more of Mission history amidst all this. 

This afternoon I had a very good meeting with Ray who is coming on board to help me with communications for ACEV revamping the website, setting up Instagram, improving Facebook and You Tube. 

Then Liz and I went to give a bathroom wheelchair to Down's Syndrome lass Sandra Raquel. She is getting steadily worse and has great fears of falling and does everything she can to not have a shower or get off her bed. Please pray for this dear woman. 

Public Health Project Prosposal handed to Patos Mayor

The meeting yesterday afternoon, which I had with the Patos Mayor and Deputy Mayor, lasted one hour and twenty minutes and was very positive. I presented to them a project which EAB/ACEV wants to implant in Patos in partnership with a Christian NGO from the south of Brazil which is willing to come and install in Patos a mini-hospital to attend the poor on the land which we were donated in 2006. The mini hospital would be installed in accordance with the main needs in Patos as defined with the local council. The authorities were enthused with the idea and took contact numbers with them to discuss further the matter with the NGO. We pray that this will come to fruition for the glory of God and for the benefit of many needy folk.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Meeting with the Mayor

I have lined up a meeting in my office with the Mayor of Patos and the Deputy Mayor for this Tuesday afternoon at 4pm. Please pray. This is to discuss  a new Public Health project proposal to help the poor on a very large scale. If this comes to fruition it will be big - very important - a blessing.

Sunday night's service was great and Philip preached so well. The P&W really flowed. It was a blessing to all. 

After church we all had a pizza together celebrating our grandson Arthur's 16th birthday. He'd been away for the weekend with a school trip but got back in time for this. I thought this photo of Arthur I took with his Dad looking on was particularly touching.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Health, Drugs & Projects

I have had a very intense day which started with the first meeting starting at 7:45 am at the project centre. The meeting was to discuss a possible public health project which if it works out could be fantastic. I will not say more about it yet as it is by no means sure. That's how things are here in the work. People ask to talk to us and sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. If is comes to fruition the project will probably be established on land donated to ACEV by the Patos Council in 2006 which has never  been used for lack of funds. Please pray for this possibility which would be a massive long-term help for the health of thousands of extremely poor people.

After this I initiated the training course for those who are going to work in the new anti-drug project. I introduced the speaker/trainer and generally introduced the entire project idea. 22 came from 8 EAB/ACEVchurches. I stayed for the first part of the course before moving into another meeting. This Friday I will hold a meeting with those from Patos who were trained today to define where we go from here. Watch this space!

I then went into a two hour meeting with our projects coordinator Flávia discussing a very wide rage of projects and issues. It was well worthwhile.

Tomorrow I will be leading the main service of the week in Patos and Philip will be preaching. Your prayers are valued.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Driving again

I drove to Green Pastures this morning and Liz went with me. As from now on I am back to the steering wheel. All went well. The caution was with the clutch as my surgery was on the left, but steady does it and full steam ahead now. I walked 1.5 km and all well. I enjoyed the relaxing walk as I always do amidst all the nature. There were hundreds of the smaller of the two species of parakeets we get at the Reserve. 

Liz had been doing a load more counselling today and I have been working with umpteen pastors via internet counselling, discussing etc. Also busy preparing for the Leaders Conference now less than a month away. Have also been working on a lot of project issues with the projects team.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

In a Brazilian Nutshell

My EAB Nutshell Update was dispatched late on Wednesday night, just before midnight, so everyone around the world should have awoken to it in their inbox at breakfast today! If you want to receive a copy please let me know.

Yesterday we had the sad news that Jéssica, our deaf pastor Luiz Carlos's wife, who is also deaf, lost her unborn baby at 36 weeks weeks of pregancy. When she went to the hospital there was no heartbeat and they estimate there had been no growth of the baby for the past 6 weeks. This is the second baby they have lost. The first was much earlier in pregnancy. So they will now try to discover the cause. Our church support team has been fantastic in all this and the Married Couples Ministry has been amazingly helpful. Thank God for Christians! Please pray for the couple.

On Tuesday I had an excellent meeting with the 'Native non-stinging Bee' professor from the university and next Thursday she will be going to our Green Pastures Reserve with me to commence her research. She told me that she found 2 nests of 'Melipona interrupta' bees there in tree hollows on her first brief visit which is a good sign of preservation. 

Liz will be giving the Bible study again this evening. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Red-nosed Field Mouse

I am very happy to have recently managed to film the Red-nosed Field Mouse (Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos) twice, with the infra-red camera at night, at Green Pastures. This might not seem important to many, but for me it's fantastic. An environmental expert helped me identify the species. If you're interested you can see both little 30 second films on my Flickr site . One film was posted today (21st) and the other on the 15th of August. 

EAB Pastor's Brother murdered!

Please pray for Pastor José Vieira and family in João Pessoa. His brother was a taxi driver and took a young woman to the Cristo borough of João Pessoa not knowing that she was an ex-convict and involved with drugs. Upon reaching the requested destination an ambush awaited her with various men opening fire to kill her, and in the process killed the taxi driver as well!

Pastor José Vieira is the pastor of the second of three EAB/ACEV main churches in João Pessoa in a borough called Cidade Verde. The wake is being conducted right now. Violence in Brazil is at unbelievable levels everywhere. 

Hectic Weekend

Sunday was an extremely full day which started with a 2 hour church business meeting in the morning which went very well. All sorts of matters were discussed such as how to improve some aspects of our services, and some new leaders were put in place in some of the church's ministries. It all went off very well.

As yesterday was our youngest daughter Sacha's birthday we all then went out for lunch together at a restaurant and that was great too. Quite a crowd with only our eldest grandson Felipe missing, as he's on military service.

Then we had to get ready for the Sunday evening service which is the principal service of the week, which I led and preached at, completing John 5 in my series in this Gospel. It was a lovely service and this was followed by various meetings with individuals who needed to talk to me like the leader from the Passagem church, the leader of the deaf ministry and the leader of the Christians in Action group. I got home pretty exhausted!

Tomorrow I have a new university professor lined up to see me. She is a bee specialist and wishes to set up research into native bees at Green Pastures which is something I have long wanted to see there. The professor visited Green Pastures whilst I was recovering from my surgery so already knows what it's like there. Another researcher is already lined up to start studies with frogs and toads. All this is so encouraging.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Meetings & Walk

On Monday evening our meeting with Dedé, who is the leader of the Christians in Action group at the Patos church, was long but very good. It was basically a review of all the different little works the group ministers at, as well as the fellowship group in Patos. Dedé is a quietly spoken unassuming father of two who is incredibly sincere and committed to the Lord and his work. Please remember him and the ministry of this group in your prayers.

On Tuesday morning Liz drove me out to Green Pastures where I had a nice walk of 1.2 km. I was pleased to see how beautifully in flower the Licania Rigida tree is along the banks of the now dry stream. I have not seen it flower so well for years so we hope for many seeds to transform into seedlings to plant along the banks where many have died during the droughts of the last 10 years.

On Tuesday afternoon we had a meeting with 2 single Mums who are to take on the leadership of the church's singles fellowship. It was nice talking, praying & and planning with them for the future. Then in the evening we chatted to a young Mum who is a Vet and who, together with her husband, will join the other couple already leading the married couples Fellowship to try and shake it up a bit.

Today I'm working on my sermon for Sunday amongst many other administrative matters. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Great Father's Day service

Yesterday was Father's Day in Brazil, the 2nd Sunday in August. The second in May is for Mums. I managed to lead and preach and all went well. A packed church, lovely P&W, a good slot for the Dads and then I preached the Word. 

Please pray for Tarcísio at Green Pastures whose elderly parents are ill. His Dad (87) had his leg amputated last week and now his Mum (77) has been taken ill. We took more food for the hungry to folk from the Green Pastures area as things are tough for everyone, especially for the poor.

We've a lot of meetings this week. Tonight is with the leader of the Christians in Action group. Tomorrow we have meetings with the married couple's potential new leaders and later with the singles potential new leaders. I have a meeting with a Baptist pastor friend on Thursday and on Friday with our deaf pastor. Sunday is the Patos church members meeting.

Today, 15 years ago, my dear Dad died whilst on a visit to us. We have many happy memories of dear Dad and praise God for his blessed life.

Funeral Announcement

The funeral service of a very faithful EAB supporter, Peter House, will be held on Monday, August 21, at 1pm at Emmanuel Church, Shirley Road, Southampton. We praise God for Peter's 90 years lived for God and for his faithful encouragement and support for the work of EAB. Our prayers are with Margaret and the family.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

One & a half kilometers

Thursday evening's Bible study was again given by Liz this week. In the build up for the 500th anniversary of the reformation on October 31st we are focusing on this at the moment and the studies are being a blessing and a challenge.

I finished preparing my sermon for Sunday on Thursday and did some rounding off yesterday. This Sunday is Father's Day in Brazil and I never find it easy to prepare messages for this and Mother's Day in May as I much prefer doing straight exposition of the Bible, but in this culture one has to do these things. The challenge is to say something relevant and important to the fathers which is also relevant to everyone else. This I have endeavoured to do, but I don't feel entirely good about it. I value your prayers.

Yesterday I walked slowly at Green Pastures, but I did walk a total of one and a half kilometers which was great. I know the exact distance as all the walks there I have measured exactly with GPS. I experimented with the wide-angle feature on my iPhone which my grandson Arthur taught me existed! Here are a couple of examples: first of all the lake (which is full of fish) and then 2 native trees (now rescued from the Neem tree invasion!).

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Leaders' Meeting... Breakfast Surprise... School Special!

Tuesday night's Patos church senior leadership meeting went well as we prepared for the general church business meeting on the morning of the 20th. The meeting took well over two hours but was most worthwhile.

This Wednesday morning the Soup Run Team was up at dawn to surprise 200 extremely poor families with a lovely breakfast in the slums of Patos. It was a wonderful endeavour and practical example of God's love.

Liz and I went to spend some time at the EAB Patos School this morning and have a good meeting with the head-teacher. The school will be expanding it's work as from September from the normal 5-day week to include Saturdays as well. The Saturday expansion is to be in partnership with Compassion. It's a lot more work but we are all excited about this reaching out to yet more desperately needy children. The Action Child programme is now going forward with renewed enthusiasm and blessing. PTL!

Monday, 7 August 2017

Lovely to be back preaching!

We had a great communion service in Patos last night. The praise and worship was really blessed. The church was full as usual. There was a nice moment of thanksgiving in the service for the promotion of our previously Captain in the Military Police Esaú who has just been promoted to Major. Philip led the service very well.

It was so nice when my time came to preach and the Lord really blessed and strengthened me and I preached without any feeling of weakness or the likes. PTL! The sermon flowed really well and by the feedback I had from many people afterwards I feel many were blessed. God is good.

After the service I had some meetings with different leaders and I got home tired but not half as tired as a week earlier when I had done nothing and felt exhausted. 

My surgical wound is now completely healed. PTL! No more dressings and stuff. So good! Steadily stronger. 

Tomorrow we have a meeting of the Patos church senior leadership in preparation for a general church business meeting on August 20th in the morning.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Great Meeting with regional leader

I had a really good long meeting with the leader of the Itaporanga EAB/ACEV region this Saturday morning (photo below). His report was very encouraging. We discussed all the churches in his region plus church plants at different stages of development. We also talked over one or two problems and took a few important decisions. It wasn't a planned meeting but he turned up at our house to talk over one issue and things just went on naturally from there. What was also encouraging for me was that I felt much stronger in coping with the long session. PTL!

Yesterday afternoon I went to Green Pastures for a short visit and chat to Tarcísio. It was pretty hot but nice to go there. See photo taken near the entrance to Green Pastures below.

QPR have started their season today with a 2 x 0 win at home against Reading. I had predicted a draw.

I'm all set to get back to preaching in the Patos church tomorrow. Philip will lead the Communion service and I will preach. Your prayers are valued.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Slow but sure

I am glad to report that I am slowly getting better from my post-op infection. The wound is now 90% healed and I am getting stronger. The surgery was five weeks ago tomorrow (Friday). Thanks for prayers.

I went with Liz yesterday to Green Pastures in the Kombi and I even took my big camera to at least take a few photos sat in the Kombi. One native tree called Ipê Roxo is in flower and absolutely beautiful.

The meeting with the Action Child leaders went well. Separate to this on August 26th we have a training day for a new anti-drug/drink project which will last from 8.30 am to 9 pm. This has been a project I have prayed for for years which at last looks like it is going to start. Please pray for this as the need is immense. I will be able to give you details about the project when I learn more myself. Who is coming to give the initial training for EAB/ACEV church leaders is Pastor Tércio who is experienced in the field and is also a psychologist. He is coming all the way from Londrina in the far south of Brazil.

My sermon is already prepared for Sunday so I am looking forward to preaching on John 5:19-30: "Life through the Son". I will stand or sit to preach as I feel able first time back in the pulpit.