Monday, 30 December 2019

Last Sunday of the year

I preached again last night in our final Sunday service of the year with my sermon asking: God is in control of what? It all went well. Now we have our final watch night service starting at at 10 pm tomorrow and going to around half an hour into the New Year with communion. 

Yesterday morning we held our annual members general assembly in the Patos church which also went well.

Christmas/New Year is pretty hectic but all has been blessed of God. Thanks for all your support and prayers throughout another year. 

Monday, 23 December 2019

Happy Christmas!

The past week was very full with the Men's Fellowship meeting for a pizza on the Tuesday night to start with. What a blessing this fellowship is! Such a joy to see two men won for Christ during 2019 there to eat pizza and testify about their joy in Jesus!

On the Wednesday was the Women's Fellowship's end of year get-together too and on the Thursday was the last Bible Study of 2019. How we have enjoyed following the  key Bible stories schedule and studied Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Job in 2019 with a start in Deuteronomy on the final day! Well worth doing this with your church IF they really want to study the whole Bible, because some parts of the Pentateuch are pretty heavy and stodgy! 

Then on Saturday we did the annual Christmas Hamper/Toys distribution with 462 hampers and over 200 toys. It was another moving emotional Christmas party with the poor for the glory of God!

Then yesterday on Sunday (22nd) we had the final Sunday School fellowship time together in the morning and our first Christmas Service in the evening. I preached and the Deaf Fellowship led a moving worship time to God, followed by the fantastic Children's Cantata - Jesus: the Joy of Christmas!

Tomorrow night - Christmas Eve we will have our main Christmas play - "A Christmas Carrot" and the giving of presents and sweets to the children round the church Christmas tree. Then it will be all the family back at our house for the traditional Brazilian Christmas Eve Supper. Happy Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2019

The conversion of a Master Craftsman

Toinho Adjuto is a master craftsman who has been coming to services on and off for years but never made a commitment to Christ. He liked to come and see his young daughter interpreting for the deaf in church. 

Then this year he came to Christ quietly but definitely! He is jubilant in having come to faith in Jesus.

He is a brilliant craftsman and can sculpture anything from wood and make things from clay and even wires. So a few weeks back I went to visit him at his little shop in the central market in Patos to see his work, and one thing that especially caught my attention was an small ornamental bird cage with a red cardinal bird, common in our area, inside the cage. So I asked him if he could make me another such item with a difference? The difference being that the bird would be outside the cage and the door would be open.

Last night Toinho gave me my early Christmas present at the end of the service and I was really moved. For sadly the 'cage culture' here means that many wild birds are trapped and kept in cages. Can you imagine a Robin or a Thrush kept in a cage in the UK? Horrific thought!

So we can teach people to care for God's creation through art and this we are doing. Jesus, our Master and Saviour saves master craftsmen and transforms them spiritually and environmentally and sets them free, and we should NEVER split up the package. With God it's all or nothing! Happy Christmas with freedom to fly with Christ!

Life is so worth living!

Since I wrote on this blog a few days ago so much has happened that I have no time to write my blog. One morning we already had a church member in dire straights asking for help at 5.30 am and so the day went on. Monday is a relax day after a hectic weekend so here I am still in my pyjamas at 10 am but I will have a shower in a minute I promise.

On Saturday night I preached at the Patos EAB School Christmas service on 'thankfulness for Christmas' as requested by the head teacher. The service was fantastic with over 200 present in the street in front of the school. Last night's service in Patos was blessed of God too and I preached on Paul's beautiful prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 with only 20 minutes notice! The scheduled preacher went down ill and literally told me at the last minute.

Now we are preparing for the big annual Christmas Hampers distribution for the poor this Saturday, and then we have our first Christmas service in the Patos church on the Sunday night (22nd) with a second on Christmas eve. In the 1st the children's cantata will be featured plus the Deaf Fellowship's presentation, and I will bring a short message. In the 2nd we will have the main drama production: "A Christmas Carrot".

May the Lord richly bless us all this Christmas!

Anything with two heads is a monster!

I think this title of a study into marital equality and domestic violence brilliant. The study is written by Heidi M Levitt from the University of Massachusettes, Boston, USA. How sadly indeed attitudes can be so polarized on such issues and even sadder when, in my view, they are based on a total misunderstanding of original Biblical contexts and meanings. I could hardly believe it last week when someone asked to be my friend on Facebook and when I checked who he was I saw he has just posted a video in which a wife was affirming "how wonderful it is to be ordered around by my husband"! I turned down his request. How sad that people think that is Biblical spirituality! People adjust their discourses and behaviour according to bananas interpretations of Scripture! 

I believe marriages form teams! Teams need a leader but they certainly don't need a dictator! If Liz had been a yes woman Lord only knows where I would have ended up!

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Well well!

We have recently inaugurated two new wells for extremely poor communities with one in Tavares County and the other in Princesa Isabel County. In the former inauguration thanksgiving service it was sweet because a 17 month old little girl insisted on sitting on my lap whilst I spoke to the crowd! The community loved it and so did I.  On the trip to the latter service I travelled with 2 project workers so we made good use of the long journies there and back to discuss a wide range of plans for 2020.

The result of the week of silent evangelism in the Patos supermarket raised 2,054 pounds for well and toilets projects so praise the Lord for that!

I have done 2 recent radio interviews and travelled to preach at the 36th Caroá anniversary service. I went to see grandddaughter Alice in her school choreography concert and she is a star. Amazing! I also watched grandson Lucas get a judo blue belt. He did very well. The Juazeirinho church baptized 3 at Green Pastures on Sunday and had a fellowship day there in the process.

This week is birthday week with grandson Luiz 4 yesterday, his sister Louisa 20 today and daughter Lynn will have her birthday on Saturday. I cut my hair yesterday as I hate it long and tomorrow I will be doing a filmed interview with a university professor Dr Amy Erica Smith (Iowa State University - USA) who somehow found me in the middle of nowhere. She is researching Christians and the environment and the interview will be at Green Pastures.

This Saturday will be our Patos School's Christmas service where I will be speaking. Then we will have 2 Christmas services on the 22nd and 24th in the Patos church. The Christmas Hampers will be distributed on the 21st. 

A very Happy Christmas to you! Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Ordering EAB Cards

People are asking if they can buy the cards through bank transfer as they don’t have a cheque book any more. Therefore, please note the following:

Please post the form to Marian Rashleigh 59, Rosewall Road, Southampton. SO16 5DU
or email a copy to her at  Her phone number is 02380 345 945

We now have the facility for people to pay by bank transfer so either take cash or cheque to Lloyds Bank, or use the online facility on the website. Please let Marian know which method of payment you are using so we can trace it.

EAB’s account is at LLOYDS BANK - sort code 30-91-85 - account number 02385564

Monday, 2 December 2019

What a fantastic week at the supermarket!

Yesterday we as the Patos church concluded an amazing week of silent evangelism, silent prayer and fundraising for our projects at a big central supermarket and shopping complex at their invitation! 

That is, the last item was what they invited us to do in recognition of EAB projects, and we added the former evangelism/prayer to the package! 

For an entire week from 7 am to 9pm there were boxes at the check-outs for us to collect customers’ change, so we organized a 100 strong team of volunteers from the church, all wearing the same green church t-shirts, to ask people to contribute to our projects. Our T-shirts spoke the Gospel to people in silence as we evangelized thousands of people throughout the week. We prayed for many in silence too and some actually asked us to pray for them. We had countless contacts for the Gospel. 

It was a fantastic week. Tomorrow we will discover what the check-out change added up to, but the seeds of the Gospel will produce much fruit we are sure anyway!