Pray for Bishop Robinson & Miriam Cavalcanti in oversight of the Diocese of Recife, for the work of the parishes and the contribution of the diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone. Pray at this busy time for Marcus & Tamara Throup in João Pessoa as they await the birth of their first child, Marcus continues his PhD studies and has increased teaching commitments at the seminary.


Ruth & Efraim Vilella moved three months ago to Porto Alegre. Pray for their roles at church and in social projects, and keep in prayer the House of Hope project in Recife, where they served for several years, as it ministers to poor folk in the neighbourhoods. Pastora Dorinha leads the mission church there.


Pray for mature disciples to emerge from the youth ministry in Espirito Santo parish, Recife, of Josias & Danielle de Souza and Daniel. Ask God to bless the family in this and the wider ministry of the church.

News & Prayer

Pray for My Father’s House in Brazil, a safe house for boys at risk in Recife. Andy Roberts, writes; “a few months ago we were told that the Brazilian Federal Government have plans to develop the coast in Olinda. This includes building a road along the sea front with the proposed road passing straight through where My Father’s safe house is. We have just been informed that we now have two months to find and rent/buy a new house for the project. Do pray for us as we try to find a new place for the boys and the project… two months isn’t very long. God has always provided in the past but do pray that he will give us wisdom and guide us to the right property for us.” Please also pray for Ian and Simea Meldrum, who work with Andy and Rose Roberts at Living Waters Church and My Father’s House.



Pray for the country of Chile after the earthquakes (the largest being 8.8 magnitude), aftershocks and tsunamis experienced last month and another earthquake last week during the inauguration of the new president. Please pray for those who have lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods, as they try to rebuild their lives, and for the new presidency. Praise God that the Kirks, their family and colleagues were kept safe during this time, and they also ask for prayer for new initiatives at their church such as new discipleship and leadership courses, and prayer groups. Richard and Sue Pamplin also ask for prayer for a new home to rent as their current landlord’s house was affected by the quake and so they will need to move out so that he can move in!



Alison and Chris Hawksbee in Paraguay ask for prayer for more rain in the Chaco areas to fill reservoirs, water cisterns and for the growth and maintenance of subsistence crops. Please also pray for Chris as he liaises with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture about funding and running courses in the Chaco on basic livestock husbandry courses, cheese making, beekeeping and brick making.


Living Waters church in Olinda is a refuge, spiritual home and community centre. Pray God to raise up more leaders and to develop the ministries of care, evangelism and education for many needy people. Uphold Ian & Siméa Meldrum in oversight there, and in refurbishing the farm for future ministry.

News and prayer update from Marcus & Tamara Throup in Belfast and Brazil.

Just an update on Throup life! Please continue to pray for Tamara and me, as it is quite hard being apart. You’ll recall that I’m on a post-graduate diploma course in Theological Education in Belfast, whereas Tamara is at her Mum’s in Recife, finishing her post-grad course in Psychology. Studies are going well for both of us, and one good piece of news for me is that the University of Nottingham accepted my PhD proposal in New Testament studies, so I am now officially a (part-time) PhD student!

The pregnancy is going well and via Skype I am able to have some idea of our daughter (Rebekah’s) progress. Tamara is now 22 weeks and so far so good; this Thursday Tamara is due in for another important scan so please pray for her and Rebekah.

Here in Belfast, I’m having a productive time.  As well as studying around 10 hours a day on the Theological Education and on the doctorate, I have done a small amount of Greek teaching and may yet do some further teaching in other areas. I’m also learning a little Swahili with Dr Paul Mwangi, my Kenyan roommate! We’re quite an international group, with college lecturers and principals from all over the world. A lot of us (me included!) are feeling the cold now! Term is coming to an end though, and on January 1st, after Christmas with my folks, I’ll be getting on a plane to Brazil!

Both Tamara and I sense that this is a very special and formative time in our lives. The arrival of Rebekah and the start of the PhD bring new challenges and serious commitment, but both of us are sure that the Lord is with us, guiding us through. As of next year, alongside the PhD hours, I’ll be doing various teaching jobs that the bishop has lined up for me. Please pray that both of us will be refreshed and rested over the coming Christmas break, so that we can be at our best for the things God has for us next year.


With every blessing in Christ


Marcus and Tamara

Brazil (from Tearfund’s weekly World News Watch)

Severe flooding has displaced many tens of thousands of people in northern and north eastern Brazil and killed dozens of others.

Weeks of torrential rain have affected several Brazilian states, especially the ones in the semi-arid region, leading to at least 200,000 people becoming homeless.

Some of the worst affected states were Pará, Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará and Paraíba, which are among the poorest in the country.

Tearfund’s Country Representative for Brazil, João Martinez da Cruz, said, ‘The recent torrential rains were a real surprise to the local people. Temperatures are always high and it normally only rains for a few months during the year.’

Tearfund partner ACEV (Evangelical Action) reports in recent weeks many houses were practically submerged by water in a neighbourhood of Patos, the town where they are based in the state of Paraíba.

Sacha Medcraft from ACEV, said, ‘The rescue services could not cope with the demands and we had to mobilise a large number of volunteers to help out. In three hours, it rained more than in four months.’

ACEV has mobilised local church volunteers and members of the community to help provide basic provisions for those forced from their properties.

Other regions of the country have been severely affected by floods in recent months, especially the states of Santa Catarina in the south, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro in the south east.

  • Please pray for the rains to ease and the flood waters to relent.
  • Pray for the Brazilian government and local authorities to effectively coordinate rescue and disaster relief efforts.
  • Pray for Tearfund partner ACEV and local churches as they help affected people.

Andy Roberts, Brazil : January 2009

Dear Friends,

Hello from England!! Rose and I arrived back in this fair land on January 26th after an 11 hr flight from Rio de Janeiro.  It’s great to be back even despite the freezing weather! Rose is enjoying getting to know snow for the first time in her life, I’m sure the excitement will die down the moment it turns to slush.

Read more …

Maybe there is more to Christmas …

Christmas Reflections

Andy Roberts, a SAMS volunteer in Olinda, Brazil, reflects on a very different kind of Christmas. In Brazil 25 million children live in extremely deprived conditions. 8 million of these live on the streets, forming gangs to survive, and many will be killed before they reach the age of 18. ‘My Father’s House’ is a project linked to the Anglican Church of Living Waters which seeks to help and reach out to these boys. Living Waters Church is situated on a favela (shanty town) at the side of the city’s open air rubbish dump and together we reach out to over 250 children a day through a school at the church and ‘My Father’s House’, a safe house for boys in high risk: their lives are in danger. Statistics show, just from our own favela where we work, that on average 4 young people are killed each week due to gang violence.


Many of the boys in My Father’s House have run away from home due to

physical/sexual abuse from their families or because their parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Our youngest boy came to the project at the age of 4; he was found abandoned on the rubbish dump and covered in marks from where his mother had been biting him. Two of our boys have witnessed one of their parents being murdered: one boy’s mother held his father down whilst her boyfriend stabbed him and the other boy has to live with the fact that his own dad murdered his mum.


Christmas is a time to be with family and loved ones. Unfortunately, as you’ve just read, many of our boys don’t have any family or have no family suitable to take care of them. Parental love is something many of our boys have never felt. We work closely with whatever family the boy has to try to restore them both and this Christmas we hope that most of our boys will be able to pass a few days with some sort of family – their own or a substitute family. On the favela many of the children work on the rubbish dump picking through the rubbish to find recyclables, the majority of them supporting entire families from the little money they manage to earn.


For many children Christmas Day will be spent just like any other day, up on the dump picking through the rubbish, and Christmas lunch will be whatever they find there.Christmas is also when we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who said in John’s Gospel that he came to give us life – and life to the full. It’s only through Jesus Christ and the new life that he brings that these boys and these children will change their lives.


So during this busy Christmas time please give a thought to these children who won’t be spending Christmas with loving families but rather on the streets and rubbish dump of Olinda. And we’ll be praying for all of you that this Christmas you might remember that Jesus Christ came to save and give life… and not just to street kids.




Brazil and the UN

Brazil should have a greater role in international affairs and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, says French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

On a visit to Rio de Janeiro Mr Sarkozy said Brazil and the EU would adopt a common position on the global financial crisis at the next G20 meeting. The French leader was speaking at a summit between the two sides. During his trip Mr Sarkozy is expected to sign a deal to help Brazil build its first nuclear-powered submarine.

Defence deals

It is one of a number of defence agreements Mr Sarkozy is due to sign during talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Among them is a deal in which France is expected to allow for the transfer of technology, enabling Brazil to build four conventional submarines. It is reported the agreement will also include the purchase of 50 French Cougar helicopters that will be built in Brazil.

Mr Sarkozy is being accompanied by several ministers and French industrialists. The French leader’s visit is his final act as EU president. From January the six-month rotating position goes to the Czech Republic. At the EU-Brazil summit Mr Sarkozy said the Latin American country had an important role to play in global decision-making. From January the six-month rotating position goes to the Czech Republic. At the EU-Brazil summit Mr Sarkozy said the Latin American country had an important role to play in global decision-making. “I’m being honest when I say we need Brazil in world governance,” he said. “I think we need Brazil as a permanent member of the Security Council,” he added.

New financial order

Presidents Sarkozy and Lula ata news conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Mr Sarkozy says Brazil has a role to play in world governance

Brazil is also pressing for a greater role to be given to developing countries in controlling the world’s financial systems, following the global economic crisis and here too Mr Sarkozy was supportive.

He suggested that Brazil and France would jointly bring proposals to the next meeting of the broader G20 group in London next April aimed at supporting business people, not speculators.

“We decided with President Lula that things must change and change profoundly,” the French leader declared.

“We decided to narrow our positions and arrive in London with a common vision, on the future role of the IMF, the system of management of financial institutions,” he said. “We cannot allow a single financial institution to be uncontrolled or unsupervised,” he added. The BBC’s Gary Duffy in Brazil says Latin America’s biggest economy and diplomatic power has had a long ambition to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and the support given by President Sarkozy will undoubtedly be welcome.

Prayer line from SAMS GB

We begin by praising God for some news received this morning from Sandra Barrientos in Tarija, Bolivia. Her husband Walter had his second round of treatment for throat cancer last month; it took place in Córdoba, Argentina, and involved a new procedure performed with a laser. The tumour was reduced by 68%, way above expectations. Sandra and Walter thank us warmly for our prayers and encourage us to pray on for Walter’s full recovery.

Last week the new Anglican church for the Pehuenche communities of Alto Bío Bío in southern Chile was dedicated in Cauñicú. Bishop Abelino Apeleo conducted the service, with Terry Barratt and members of other churches present. Praise God for this and pray for the Pehuenche people and their leaders, including Gumercindo Queupil. A group of leaders also took the final exam of the SEAN Level 2 course, with an 80% success rate.

Finally, some arrivals this week:

  • on Thursday (18th) Gwen Carlisle and Mags Southern, Head and Deputy Head of St Andrew’s School in Asunción, Paraguay, arrive in the UK for a short period of leave
  • on Friday (19th) Bishop Henry Scriven and his wife Catherine fly in from the USA in preparation for Henry to take on the role of SAMS Mission Director from 1st January
    and on Saturday (20th) Efraim Vilella, husband of Ruth Hollingdale, arrives from Brazil to join her here for a month.
  • and on Saturday (20th) Efraim Vilella, husband of Ruth Hollingdale, arrives from Brazil to join her here for a month.

Pray for their journeys, adjustment to the British winter and subsequent ministries.

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