Brazil as I see it and live it

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Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 01h56 PM
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It's difficult to know how to define Green Pastures as it is not a farm in the UK sense of the word. It is a Conference Centre, Church, School, Camp site, Nature Reserve and the word Farm gets tagged on at the end of the list. We praise God for this place where we can relax and so many other EAB/ACEV folk too. I went there this morning to check things over as reports came to me yesterday that a neighbour was cutting down trees and burning them. There is nothing I can do about it, but the fear of fire leaping to Green Pastures is considerable as things are now very dry again, air humidity is very low and it is a quite windy time of the year. The water tank fed by our windmill is overflowing a lot as a result of the wind.

After returning from Green Pastures I worked on some matters linked to the Bible College and also worked on the Patos church building project.

Philip is on his way back from two weeks in Holland on business. He should be landing at Recife airport in an hour or so where Gylmara and their son Lucas will be to meet him. Their daughter Louisa is with us. It will be good to have Philip back. Alegre

QPR start the new football season back in the Premiership tomorrow playing Hull at home. I think Rangers have a better chance of surviving this time round as everyone has learnt from the recent past (I think and hope) and have a much more realistic approach. I remember how the first Saturday was last time round when nearly all the fans were wildly over confident forcasting a 5 or 6 x 0 win. As it turned out we were beaten 5 x 0. However this time most fans are hoping for a 1 x 0 win or at the least a draw. Yes, we have taken off our high heels and are walking firmly in the real world intending to do as well as possible. Come on you Rrrrrrrs!!!!!!!! Jóia

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 06h55 PM
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I have just got back from my doctor's and all my blood tests that were done on Tuesday were excellent, including those relevant to my Thyroid gland. I had misunderstood the results but the doctor carefully explained to Liz and I that finally my Thyroid is medicated correctly and under control! PTL! Esportista Jóia Muito feliz I want to thank everyone who has prayed for me throught the very difficult and dark first half of 2014 - but now the light is shining. God is good! Alegre I continue with unmedicated diabetes just controlled by my diet and all my cholesterol counts are bang on target... and so the story goes on! I managed to put on 1.5 kg, as ordered by the doctor, in just over a month so we have a lot to be grateful for. I feel good! Rindo a toa

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 02h03 PM
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I spent a long time last night at the Patos Bible College having some really good discussions with staff and pupils. The College is holding its own but needs more students next year.

Liz was off out early this morning - first of all to check the Patos church building project. There all the plaster is being removed from the remaining internal walls where it is necessary and we have had to go by faith and authorize the electrical people to go ahead with their work today or else they would be holding up everyone else. Hence we have had to pay 40% up front of the £9,500 bill for their work with another 40% a month today and the other 20% when their work is finished which should be in 6 or 7 weeks time. Help! We are now balancing on a financial tightrope very near the cliff edge. Please help us Lord!

Liz from there has gone on to the Placas slums on the outskirts of Patos to show the Tearfund folk the area we plan to work in with terribly poor families in an increasing way. Liz is the only one who has right of way in the drug-ridden violent slum.

I am doing some work on the next EAB InTouch magazine (edition 84) with valued help from Marian Rashleigh. I am also doing some work on the Green Pastures Reserve in terms of documentation for offical recognition of the Reserve with the national environmental authorities.

Brazil is still reeling with the death of the candidate for the presidency Eduardo Campos and the Brazilian Evangelical Alliance, of which we are part, has today released a good press statement on the matter. This tragic death could mean that an evangelical Christian woman Marina Silva could take his place as candidate. The parties involved have 10 days to decide.

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 09h01 AM
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The meeting with Tearfund representatives Serguem and Lívia went very well this afternoon. We started with a time of prayer for the family of the dead presidential candidate and for Brazil at this difficult time.

News from Tarcísio's wife Maria is not clear. Liz spoke to her daughter on the phone who said the surgeon said the tumour was not malignant but that Maria needs to go and see a brain specialist on Friday to discuss possible further treatment. We shall have to wait and see if we get a clearer explanation once they have seen the specialist.

I am off to the Patos Bible College shortly for a meeting.

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 07h11 PM
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We have just received the news that the candidate for the presidency of Brazil with whom I had lunch on Saturday - Eduardo Campos - has just been killed in a plane crash in Santos, State of São Paulo. I am gutted... and just off to a meeting with Tearfund representatives. Lord have mercy on us! aborrecido

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 01h37 PM
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Today started for me going to the medical laboratory to have my arm emptied for routine blood tests. Things work differently in Brazil than in the UK and by midday I already had my results via Internet and will take them to my endocrinologist doctor on Thursday. From what I can see my glucose and cholesterol are fine, but my thyroid is still not right. I reckon the doctor will reduce my dosage yet again which I take for an underactive thyroid. Anyway we shall see on Thursday. Alegre

I then went to Green Pastures to see how things are going. Tarcísio's wife is finally going to Campina Grande tomorrow to get her biopsy results so please pray for her.

I have also done a whole load more work with Liz on the Patos church building project. Financially it is faith stretching!

I have also sent out an email to all the EAB/ACEV leaders today regarding the Leadership Conference to be held at Green Pastures next month. I also sorted out some matters linked to this. I also have had good discussions with Gleydice in Campina Grande. Then a magazine editor contacted me asking for photos of birds I have taken for an article he is producing about my work. So off I went sorting this. It is quite a lot of work, but I always see these things as important bridge building exercises with the community.

Tomorrow we have a projects leadership team meeting with Tearfund's Brazilian representative and his new assistant. They will be visiting the Patos Bible College at night and the Action School prior to this.

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 09h49 PM
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Sunday went very well with the visit of 5 young people who make up a Tearfund Transform team who have been here with EAB/ACEV for a month and leave tomorrow morning. Being as 3 are Irish we even had Irish dancing to one worship song last night which was very nice. We had some drama, a testimony, a message and some singing. Ben Price has been taking them around the field so he interpreted, and we thank Ben very much for the hard work he has put in with this group. A number of young people reconsecrated their lives to God at the end of the service last night. PTL! Jóia

The group stayed at our house last night and throughout much of today. They have now gone on to Campina Grande prior to heading for Recife airport.

I had a lovely chat with Ben Price this morning. It was really good. This afternoon Liz and I had an excellent meeting with the Patos Church building project architect and clearly have the rest of the stages in the project worked out. We just need more money to complete these stages, but we believe God will provide.

The new EAB/ACEV church at Nova Olinda in the State of Ceará was inaugurated last night. PTL! Alegre

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 07h49 PM
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I was invited to a luncheon today for 250 people in honour of the visit of the candidate for the Brazilian Presidency in the October General Election - Eduardo Campos and our State Governor Ricardo Coutinho. I received some big Brazilian hugs from the Governor who remarked about how slim I look! Alegre The presidential candidate's vice-president is Marina Silva who is a lovely evangelical Christian. The tops! Jóia My intention is to vote for these candidates who are of a more serious and ethical character than most.

I have worked clearing my backlog of emails today so I've caught up a lot. I also had a long meeting with a man involved in the Patos church refurbishment project. Please pray. It is a financially uphill job! Sem jeito

I have also prepared tomorrow night's service programme which as well as being Father's Day will be a special youth meeting with the visit of 5 Brits who form a Tearfund youth Transform Team - accompanied by Ben Price who has been caring for them this last month. They return to the UK early next week. It has been very good having them and we look forward to a great service tomorrow night. Esportista

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 08h24 PM
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6 hitmen invaded the Patos General Hospital early today and murdered a man in the emergency department shooting him a number of times at point blank range. They had ambushed him earlier and knocked him off his motorbike at Teixeira, but when they found out they hadn't killed him they came to Patos where an ambulance had brought him with an exposed fracture. Lord have mercy on this violent society!

The Care Centre received 7 women yesterday, forwarded to us by a government social department, who have all been suffering regular beatings at home and all sorts of domestic violence. This is an area in which EAB/ACEV is getting more and more involved. Please pray.

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 08h46 AM
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My blog was started on the 9th of August 2004 so PTL for 10 years of communication in a natural way - tell it as it happens - give personal opinions - sometimes a bit controversial - tell the good news about EAB and life in Brazil and tell the bad too. This has been the spirit and idea behind this blog over the years and I want to thank all those have contributed to the 127,700 visits to the blog to date. May the Lord bless you all and us all as we seek to do the work of the Lord and live as Christian citizens in this world of strife and so much pain.

Happy Birthday Blog - "Brazil as I see it and live it"! Ficando velho Muito feliz Convencido Esportista Jóia Alegre Na correria

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 06h02 AM
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I left Patos last Monday afternoon with my Baptist pastor friend and headed for the João Pessoa area. After a short night in a hotel we were up at 4am and heading for a nature reserve in the neighbouring County of Santa Rita. We spent the entire morning there and it was quite fantastic! In the afternoon we headed up the River Sanhauá towards the open sea in a very small boat more adequate for a park boating lake than a wide river heading for the open sea. After an hour's journey the boats owner said it was too windy and was scared the boat might turn over! We headed for the nearest place we could get off and there started another story.

On shore I suggested a taxi but my friend insisted on the train. The problem was that the train saw a knife fight break out at the first stop, but we managed to escape off the train. We had to walk miles to get a bus and then another argument broke out on the bus which held us up for 15 minutes. We made it back to the jeep eventually!

At night we went to the same reserve we had been to in the morning and stayed till about 11pm by the light of the full moon. I bumped into an alligator and lots of nightjars! We were up again the next morning at 4am and went to another reserve in Sapé County where we spent most of the day.

On Thursday morning we went to a reserve in Conde County and after lunch headed for home. However we decided to stop at a very isolated place in a forest and very nearly got robbed at gun point, but I had a feeling we were in danger and called my friend to get in the jeep. We roared away just as the would be robber approached us on a motorbike. I drove through mud and over bumps through the forest to the exit and back on to the main road and the bike could not catch us and gave up. Thank you Lord.

Thus it has been an adrenaline flowing week with little sleep but great joy and pleasure amidst God's nature where I photographed over 40 new species of birds in the Atlantic Forests of the coastal region. Quite fantastic! I am posting photos on flickr as I have time at

Back in Patos today Liz and I had a long meeting with the electrical engineer (see photo at the church. I also had a meeting with politicians who came to see me and then I went out to Green Pastures this afternoon to check things over. All in all - quite a week! Muito feliz

Escrito por John Philip Medcraft às 09h07 PM
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