Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Counselling & Community Meetings

My plan for yesterday was to concentrate on preparing my message for the Green Pastures church on Saturday and for the Patos church this Sunday. However things often don't work according to plan.

First of all a community leader asked for a meeting in my office to discuss the state of the Patos River Espinharas which is polluted and in a terrible state. I have long been campaigning about this.

Then came a series of eventually three people from the church for counselling, which took up most of the morning and afternoon. Eventually I got to working on my message for Saturday and press on today with this and my Sunday message.

However this afternoon I will drive Liz back to the coast (4 to 4.5 hours) to see her cataract surgeon first thing in the morning. Thankfully Liz is doing very well and I am sure her doctor will be thrilled with what she sees as Liz's operated eye looks perfect - and after all I put the drop in every three hours so have monitored it closely since surgery last Thursday. I hope the surgeon will set the date to do the other eye tomorrow. It will be nice for Liz to get it all done. We hope to travel back to Patos tomorrow latish. Thanks for your prayers.

Masses of Murders

Statistics just out show that there were 61,619 murders in Brazil in 2016 maintaining a rate of 7 per hour! The worst area is Brazil's northeast! Your prayers are always valued.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Blessed Weekend

Saturday ministering at Teixeira went very well and yesterday in Patos too. Both services were excellent. Last night the Patos church was very full and especially moving was the deaf fellowship's participation in the services together with the interpreters. The dance group also brought a very impactive presentation. I preached on the 500 years of the Reformation.

Tomorrow we go back to João Pessoa for a check-up on Liz's eye operation. Praise God she is fine.

On Saturday I will be preaching at the Green Pastures church and will be back preaching at the Communion service in Patos on the Sunday.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

EAB launches its 2017 Christmas Gift List

Liz has cataract surgery

Liz had a cataract removed from one eye today and an artificial lense inserted. All went well here in João Pessoa and we plan to return to Patos in the morning. Liz will have the other eye done as soon as possible. We value your prayers.

Last Sunday's service was excellent. Preaching on "eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood" (John 6) was challenging, especially in the catholic context in which we work, but the Lord really blessed.

On Tuesday the drama group had a fantastic opportunity for the Gospel as they were invited to perform our missions play (that I wrote together with Liz and our drama leader Dilma) in the Patos open-air theatre as part of the town's 114th anniversary celebrations. It went extremely well reaching a very large crowd. So well did it go that the group has been invited to perform our Christmas play (which I wrote about 30 years ago and which is being revived this year) in the same venue during Christmas week - so another great opening for the Gospel. PTL!

On Saturday I will be preaching at our Teixeira church up in the mountains and on Sunday I will be preaching on Reformation Sunday - being the nearest Sunday to 500 years on from October 31st 1517. The deaf and choreography groups will be taking part in the service. As Luther said, "Hear I stand"! And here we stand too in our belief in the supremacy of Christ, the Bible, salvation through faith in the grace of God which leads us to live exclusively for His glory! (Scripture alone - Faith alone - Grace alone - Christ alone - All glory to God alone)

Saturday, 21 October 2017

500th anniversary of the Reformation

EAB /ACEV has been emphasizing this all year long though the official date is 31st October 2017. It is an historic landmark of God's grace. We stand firm on the five foundation stones of Christianity as restored to the Christian mind and message by the reformers 500 years ago.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Projects Team Meeting

I had a great 3-hour projects team meeting today and it was really blessed. What a dedicated team of devoted Christians God has given us. We discussed where we can improve and made plans for 2018. 

Please pray for our church drama group which has been invited to perform the missions play, I wrote with Liz and drama leader Dilma, on the Patos anniversary day next Tuesday in an open-air theatre in a central town square. It is an amazing opening for the Gospel! The invitation came from the Town Council!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Blessed Weekend

The Patos church band travelled to Manaíra on Saturday and led the P&W at the 23rd anniversary service there. It was a real blessing.

Sunday was great in Patos with 4 raising their hands at the end of the evening service - 2 were for rededication and 2 first commitments to Christ. PTL! The Lord really blessed the sermon I preached on John 6:37-47.

On Monday Liz and I had a great meeting with the Desert Flower Project team and what a good team it is! It was good to spend time listening to their experiences. Part of the team works with the "battered wives" and part works with their children. Slowly we are seeing some change in the folk. But some of the things the team goes through are unbelievable and I can't say too much here. Toilets have to be totally washed down and sterilized after each day and much immoral behaviour is thrown at the team at times. It takes a lot of grace to cope. Please pray for the team and the project.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Drug Free Group blessing

Yesterday's 'Drug Free' ministry group was really blessed with 2 visitors being helped. One has been off Crack for 14 months and the other for 8 months. Please pray for these two cases that God might help us to help them. We cannot mention names. The former has come back to God but the other is not a Christian. We pray that they might both live for God and that many more might come to the drug free meetings.

Things that go bump in the night

Last night I joined the researchers at Green Pastures on one of their night expeditions and it was fantastic. I photographed snakes galore, a deadly variety of Scorpion, frogs, lizards etc. See below the Red-nosed Field Mouse (Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos) I photographed:

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Special Needs Centre at Green Pastures

It was a moving morning receiving about 70 people from the Patos Special Needs Centre at our Green Pastures Reserve. The blind participants nearly brought me to tears as one after the other they recognized me by my voice! Once said she had been to our church and another presented his also blind wife to me.

The deaf were partly already known by me including our Pastor Luis Carlos who is a teacher there. Then there were the Down's Syndrome one of which hugged me and tried to kiss me. Then there was another lad with severe learning difficulties who had an amazing sensitivity to the birds' songs and picked them out whilst others were oblivious. They all just kept telling me how they loved Green Pastures including the blind who "felt peace" there. Wow! What a morning! PTL! I'll post a few photos below.

All this was going on whilst two groups of scientists were carrying out research (trees + lizards) in different parts totally unaffected by these very special visitors.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Drug Free

I have just had a very good meeting with the leader of the Drug Free Ministry Group, who is Nurse Liliane, and the assistant leader and University worker Adelson. We discussed the progress in the work and how to expand its effectiveness and influence for God's glory.

A video message direct from the Caroá region

Click below to watch my 90 second video:

Monday, 9 October 2017

In Touch 88

The EAB magazine 'In Touch' edition 88 should be hitting your doormat shortly. Many thanks to Marian Rashleigh for all her work on this. The online edition is already available at: http://www.eabrazil.com/wp-content/uploads/eab-intouch88.pdf

15 churches in a week!

Well it was a week with enough to do to keep us out of mischief! Liz and I over the past days visited no less than 15 EAB/ACEV churches - talking to the leaders and praying with them and taking part ministering in services. We took workers Josinete and Ray with us.

We went up the mountains to Teixeira, Matureia, Imaculada & Glória and then moving further west to Juru, Tavares, Cedro, Maia, Princesa Isabel and Manaíra. We held the opening service of the new church at Água Grande where I preached. We also went to Mandacaru, Pinheira, Travessia and Umburana before preaching again at Caroá. 

It was quite a marathon but really blessed. A big crowd gathered for the opening service on Saturday night. It really was lovely. The service on Sunday saw the Caroá church full. We visited well projects and plantations projects too. 

The jeep has returned unrecognizable covered with earth, dust and sand! What tracks we have been coping with these past days. Incredible!

I feel in need of a siesta now this Monday afternoon! Thanks for all your prayers and support. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

3 Decisions for Christ

We had a lovely service in the village of Arruda yesterday where I preached the Gospel at our church's 14th anniversary. It was a two hour drive each way to get there but well worth it.

Tonight in Patos there were three decisons for Christ at the end of the communion service and one person re-dedicated their life to Christ. PTL! It was a lovely service.