Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Arthur's 18th Birthday

This is birthday season in our family and they come thick and fast at this time of year! Today is our grandson, fine Christian and student of law at university (top of the class) - Arthur's 18th birthday - so as he's a vegetarian we will all be eating macaroni cheese this evening in celebration! May the Lord continue to bless this lovely lad - son of our eldest daughter Deborah.

Since I last had time to write this blog we have held umpteen counselling session with different folk and the Lord had helped us in it all. I too have had some precious prayer times with God both in my office and out in the bush at Green Pastures. People who already thought I was crazy are now convinced, as they see and hear me on the way to Green Pastures at 6 am with Matt Redman blasting out from my jeep, and me with one hand on the steering wheel and one raised to God!

In the Bible study we progressed well as we travel through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation but we're still in Egypt (nearly out though!) having reached Exodus 12:30. On Saturday we travelled to preach at Conceição and that went well. This Saturday I'm preaching at the rural church of Cedro in Princesa Isabel County. The Sunday service went well in Patos and I sang a song which I had translated during the week. It was Dottie Rambo's "In the valley he restoreth my soul". All was blessed by the Lord.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Sacha's Birthday

Our youngest daughter in 33 today. We will be having a simple meal together this evening as a family in celebration.

Sunday's service was wonderful. PTL! I preached on Matthew 5:3 which went well. The P&W was terrific.

Patos has today had yet another Mayor resign! Unbelievable! The town is in political meltdown basically because of corruption. 

Brazil in general is in environmental meltdown. What the current government is doing is hard to believe. They are attacking their own environmental agencies, authorizing more and more pesticides thus wiping out bees, destroying the amazon forest to the extent that the smoke from fires there turned São Paulo dark in the daytime yesterday despite it being over 1,500 miles away!!! May God please help us!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Amazing Encounters!

This week Liz and I travelled to Serra Talhada in the State of Pernambuco where I had been invited to speak at an interdenominational Conference for leaders. I spoke on the training and teaching of pastors and leaders. My slot was in the afternoon and later on I also was asked lots of questions by those present. It all went very well.

Liz and I arrived early in the morning to get the feel of the event prior to my afternoon speaking. We had only just arrived when Sister Dunalva, who was one of the organisers of the event, came up to warmly welcome us and thank us for going. I knew her already and she told me that she had got married since we last met to a brother from Luxembourg! I immediately reacted: "From WHERE?" She confirmed Luxembourg and told me her husband had been converted at the Portuguese speaking church there! By this time tears had filled my eyes and I told her that 50 years last month I preached my first sermon ever in Portuguese in a tent evangelistic campaign with IBTI which led to the planting of the church where her husband was converted! She then told me her husband was there and whisked me out to chat to him. It was quite an encounter! "God's Word never returns to Him void" and how encouraging it was to see this indirect fruit of the day I had to first find Portuguese immigrants to go to the service and then lead it, sing and preach as the only Portuguese speaker in the team. My Portuguese was awful right at the beginning of my learning the language - but when we are weak the Lord is strong and does miracles!

But that wasn't the end of the eventful morning! Back in the service after the morning speaker had finished, everyone was asked to go to the front for the official photograph. There a brother came up to me and asked me if I had been in Aracaju State, about 500 km from Patos, leading an inter-varsity camp for Christian students about 40 years ago? I answered yes, and he said that he had seen me walk in and he thought it was me who had led the camp that changed his life! He is a Baptist pastor today. "God's Word never returns to Him void". It had been quite a morning. Thank you Lord! What encouragement!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Still in Egypt

We're still very much in Egypt in the midweek Bible Studies but we have now progressed through to Exodus 4:17 as we journey through the principal Bible stories. Also midweek fellowship group meetings work with one for men, another for women, another 2 for youth, one for the deaf, and another for a mixed group. There is also the weekly seniors gathering which is always blessed of the Lord too. Thanks for your prayers for all these activities. 

Father's Day

Brazil's Father's Day is on the second Sunday in August but we celebrated it on the Saturday as Sundays are too hectic. We slept at Green Pastures on the Friday night and spent Saturday there with a lovely family day. I walked 16 km including a night trek encountering a killer Coral snake which was fantastic, as I managed to photograph it and film it.

The Sunday Father's Day service was out of this world. God spoke to me in the week for the service to be less festive, than these occasions tend to be, and more spiritual. Thus the Lord blessed abundantly. I preached on "The Greatest Commandment" from Mark 12 and it was well... wow! Praise God!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Please pray

Please pray for Keith Dyer, who is EAB's chairman of the Board of Trustees Roy Dyer's 83 year old father, who fell down a ladder yesterday and broke some bones. It seems to have been quite a nasty fall and Keith certainly needs our prayers.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Lay in

Liz and I had a lay in bed till 6 am today after a busy and blessed Sunday. I had a shower and a short walk and then we had breakfast together. As we chatted we felt that we should visit Sister Aina, her sister Lourdes (both active participants of our seniors project) and Aina's daughter Solange. 

Later on Liz phoned Aina to see if they would be in at 4 pm and she replied: "I am all goose bumps! I prayed very early this morning and told the Lord I needed to see my pastors"! 

To visit these trophies of God's grace was a blessing to us as we look back on what the Lord has done in their lives. Our church is a "hospital church" so best to stay away if you're perfect! God's love heals wounds and God's power changes lives. I can say no more. Thank you Jesus for the power of the Gospel and blood of Jesus!

Yesterday's communion service was blessed too. The church was full and the service was lovely. Thanks for your prayers always.

Please pray for EAB which is facing especially challenging financial times. Now, on top of the lowest exchange rate on the pound in 28 months, the government is trying to rip us off adding 4% charges insinuating EAB (81 years old!) is not worthy of exemption from this tax as previously. So we are now battling this out legally and tightening our belts whilst we wait for a solution. Prayer changes things. Please pray! 

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Old Cow Pen

Great service last night at Curral Velho where we preached the Gospel. We had a lovely meeting with the couple that lead the church there before the meeting and had a nice meal with them too. Two hours to get there and two to drive home late at night but the Holy Spirit filled the car all the way home as Liz and I worshipped God with the help of Matt Redman. The car floated home and can't possibly of used any petrol!

On Tuesday night all the youth were at our house to do a surprise party for Alice on the eve of her 12th birthday. It was quite a shock for her as they were all hidden behind the front garden wall and when she opened the gate bang! It was lovely!

The Bible study in Exodus 1-2 went well on Thursday.  This week we'll move on to chapters 3-5. Tonight is the monthly Communion service in Patos.

Some of the youth went up the mountain to Teixeira to visit the church there last night whilst Liz and I went to Curral Velho. Thanks for all your prayers.

I finished reading 'God's Strategy in Human History - Volume 1 - God's Path to Victory' this week. A great book and a real blessing.