Saturday, 27 January 2018

Rain glorious rain!

This is almost live film. Tarcísio's son filmed the three quarters of an inch which has just fallen at Green Pastures. I'm sorry it's a bit erratic! He got rather excited!

Weather Report

The rains are getting going here somewhat. PTL! At Itaporanga today they have received 5 inches in one bang and there has been flash flooding! Caroá has also received a total of 7 inches so far and at Green Pastures we've had an inch and a half. We rejoice at this, pray that these rains will go on and on, and be evenly distributed.

I have been doing stacks of work linked to EAB/ACEV projects today.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

400,000 Viewings!

My Flickr Nature photos album has now passed the 400,000 viewings spot. If you're interested please see:

My blog, which started in 2004 when many asked me what a blog was, has now passed the 212,000 visits spot. We plod on!

Dare to be a Daniel!

Liz and I visited Veterinary Doctor Adriana, who together with her husband Klênio are members of the Patos church, and who rejoiced this morning at the birth of baby Daniel who weighed in at 4 kg. My T-shirt was at the request of Daniel who sent me a text message requesting it!

Yesterday and on Tuesday I prepared my sermon for Sunday early in the week. It will be sermon 30 in John's Gospel - this time on John 8:12-30 focusing mainly on verse 12.

I've had meetings with Action Child/School leaders this week and with other project and church leaders. 

Yesterday (Wednesday) we had nearly an inch of rain at Green Pastures which is at least a sign of hope. PTL!

This Saturday I am doing the youth meeting. That is - I am going to sit in the middle of them all and let them fire questions at me about anything they like! Lord only knows what they're going to come out with! I hope it will be a blessing and encouragement to them.

Liz is giving the Bible study tonight.

A Baptist pastor asked if I would go to his church 70 km north-west of Patos at Paulista and speak about integral mission at the beginning of February so I agreed.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Excellent Service

We had an excellent service last night in Patos. The Lord really blessed the preaching of His Word. Our communications man Ray brought a lovely report too on the 10-day Outreach. 

This morning I walked at Green Pastures and checked the work being done prepearing for the Camp. The start date of February 10th fast approaches and we are going flat out. Please pray.

This above was preaching at the street meeting at the Outreach on Saturday. Hundreds were present. PTL!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Bed at 1 am and up at 6pm

It was a lovely journey to Manaíra this Saturday to preach at the final big Gospel rally in the open-air as the last public service of this year's 10-day special Outreach. This Sunday morning the 100 strong team broke bread together in a service of thanksgiving prior to everyone heading home. 

The service was great yesterday and the sermon went down really well. The crowd present was enormous. It was lovely to chat to all the team and the leaders and get a full feel of how well the Outreach had gone and which yielded a total of 25 decisions for Christ. PTL!

The only difficult part of these Saturday night services are the long journies (about 3 hours each way) plus meetings and service etc. It meant we got to bed at 1am and we never manage to sleep in the next morning so it is tiring but well worthwhile.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

10-day Special Evangelistic Outreach

This year the Outreach is being held at Manaíra and as usual I go with Liz to preach the final outdoor Gospel service message. I spent yesterday preparing for this. There have been a number of decisions for Christ during the event. PTL!

It makes for a long tiring night as we need to be back in Patos for services tomorrow and we value your prayers.

We had 9 mm of rain at Green Pastures on Thursday night and the weather forecast is good for some more rain tonight. We sure need massive abundant rain over the next months as the situation is desperate here.

We continue going flat out preparing for the Carnival Camp now just 3 weeks away. The dormitory being expanded and upgraded should be finished next week I hope. Then the car park needs to be finished off. We should just about make it with all being done prior to the Camp. All the cleaning and preparing of all the dormitories and buildings now starts. The painters are doing overtime today. We also have snake and frog researchers on site all weekend too. 

I went to the dentist's (and survived!) this week and to my dermitologist to sort out routine skin problems which crop up as a result of the heat and my walking a lot in the bush. I also have has Action Child Project meetings and done a lot of EAB administrative work. I have also done some counselling. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Great Sunday night Service in Patos

Despite January being the big holiday month here we had a good crowd in church on Sunday with a dear sister, who was born in Patos but now lives in the south, who is an excellent poet. She recited three beautiful poems in the service which were a great blessing. I then preached on John 8:1-11 and this went well. PTL! We saw that some important first-time visitors to church were greatly impacted by the Gospel! Please pray for them.

We are working flat out getting ready for the Carnival Camp. We are desperate for rain at the same time! Please pray!

10-day Outreach Team

This is the annual EAB/ACEV 10-day Outreach team at Manaira. Please pray for  this over 100 strong team which is doing really well so far. I'll be preaching there on Saturday at the big closing outdoor evangelistic rally.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Busy Week as usual

At Green Pastures the revamping of the dormitories in the build up for the Carnival Camp presses on and I have been there twice this week and Liz once overseeing the work.

We also had the prestigious visit of the County Secretary for the Environment visiting the Nature Reserve which was lovely. (see below)

I have prepared my sermon for Sunday yesterday and today on John 8:1-11. I have also had meetings linked to the EAB Action Child Programme and the Desert Flower Project. We also have done quite a bit of counselling which went well.

A little rain has fallen here tonight in Patos. I will see in the morning if any rain fell there too. The situation regarding rain and water supply remains horrifically precarious here. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

First Sunday in 2018

The first Sunday of the year was really blessed. We baptized 2 (see below) and received them and another person into fellowship at the Patos church. I preached on the theme and verse (Isaiah 6:8) chosen for this EAB/ACEV's 80th year, bringing a challenge for the youth for the present and future. All went very well.

This Monday afternoon we had a meeting of the Desert Flower Project Team. The meeting had been scheduled for last week but the project coordinator went down ill. Today's meeting was very good. After the January break the project gets started again on the last day of this month and we are praying and looking to God for great things in 2018.

This morning at 7:30 am I met face to face with a South American Raccoon (Proyon cancrivorus) for the first time. It is a nocturnal animal so the infrared camera had often registered them at night but I had never seen one personally. It was a wonderful moment!  

Friday, 5 January 2018

It's lovely to see the fruit of God's work

This morning I was loading the car getting ready to go out to Green Pastures about 6 am and a man with a mule cart asked to speak to Liz. Rogério always works for us with his cart taking cuttings from plants away and things like that, or bringing sand for some building work etc. He is a very hard honest worker and such a cheerful chap.

Liz reminded me that Rogério had been a pupil of EAB's Pastor Frank Dyer School in Patos 30 years ago! "Ah yes... I remember it well" came to mind! And then Liz, in typical fashion, says I think I've got a photo of him when he was at school with us! Of course I remember these things just the same... but sometimes I forget! By the time I got back from Green Pastures Liz had already put the photo on my desk and sure enough he still has the same smile today as you can see by comparing the photos.

How wonderful to see someone doing well in life far from crime and drugs which affect so many. EAB Action Schools work and change lives. Thank you for supporting Action Child and Schools.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The EAB/ACEV Desert Flower Project faces great challenges in 2018

Our Desert Flower (euphamism for women targeted by the project in our semi-arid region) Project goes into its 4th year in one of the hardest and poorest and most dangerous parts of Patos. The area is dominated by drug abuse and the women attended by the project all have partners involved. The project at present attends 22 women and their children. Their problems are varied as they face domestic violence, health problems, low self-esteem and spiritual involvement with the realms of darkness.

The Desert Flower Project is teaching these women handicraft skills so as to give them the capacity to have an income through its sale as an alternative to drugs. The group now approaches the stage where the marketing of their handicraft will start to happen from 2018 onwards.

Parallel to this core aspect of income generation are: 1) A psychologist working on their self esteem etc. 2) Advocacy work by our project coordinator who is Marah Danielle (an experienced socialworker) teaching them about their rights as women etc. 3) Health with voluntary nurses from our church, teaching and giving them health guidance etc. 4) The children are given basic education + Bible lessons by church volunteers. 5) Evangelism in every session for the women.

Every session of the project everyone gets a meal. Many arrive not having ate that day. We bring them in to the Care Centre / Projects Centre paying for their bus tickets and to get them home again. We fund the materials used in the handicraft lessons.

This project has always been funded by EAB + Tearfund but the challenge now is for ACEV and EAB to stand alone and fund the project as Tearfund is apparently stopping support for it for reasons known only to them. We as a church feel we can't abandon ship with such a desperately needy community and so yesterday Liz, me and the project leader and social worker from our church, Marah Danielle, had a long meeting planning and praying for this year. We have another meeting of the full team tomorrow. So please pray and support this project. We believe in the God of miracles who will help us carry on and see people converted and transformed in the name of Jesus!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Don Skivington's Funeral

Our dear brother and long time EAB supporter Don Skivington will be layed to rest at Blackfield Cemetery on Thursday, 18th January at 1pm. This will be followed by a Celebration of Life Service at the Lighthouse Community Church at 2pm, with refreshments afterwards. We trust that EAB will be well represented. Special prayer was offered for the family in the EAB/ACEV Patos church this Sunday. 

Monday, 1 January 2018

Photos from a great Watchnight Service

Happy New Year!

We have just had a wonderful Watchnight service. Probably the best ever. The whole service flowed from 10 pm to 12.30 am. The P&W was great, the dance group fantastic and the sermon went very well. Straight after midnight we broke bread together and then as the service ended there was a big Brazilian hugs all round session wishing each other a happy new year. It was all wonderful.

I am now off to bed after having had supper with all the family. Most of them are still chatting but my time for bed is well overdue at nearly 2 am.