Questioning God

The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Have you ever questioned God’s character? Have you ever questioned his goodness? Have you ever questioned his justice?  Have you ever asked him, “Hey, God, why are you doing this”? or “Why did you allow that to happen”?

You say:  “Roger, good Christians and good followers of God don’t ask those kinds of questions” (At least, good missionaries don’t, right?). And I suppose you are right.

But I have been asking God some of these questions lately. “God, why won’t you let anything I do in your name succeed”? “God, why do you allow false teachers, false prophets and false pastors to thrive with seemingly no effort”? “God, why do I not have any energy or strength to do your work”? “God, why do you allow things to start well only to allow them to die a slow death”?

I am especially asking God about that last question, especially concerning the Chapel. Things were going so well at the Chapel to the point that I had begun to teach and preach about what constitutes a church and what is a church and what does it mean to organize and start a church. I was thinking the people of the Chapel were ready to hear these things and maybe we were ready to proceed to organize into a church. However, since we shut things down in March as a result of Covid the whole ministry has (in my estimation) imploded. Only three or four people show up to our services each week, some of those an hour late. Those that come have an apathetic spirit about worship and service. Others offer lame excuses for not coming. I can’t even seem to get electricity and water at our new venue. 

I so much want this ministry to grow and thrive. I so much want the Kingdom of Jesus to grow in this place. I so much want Jesus to be loved and followed by those here who are called by his name. But every time it seems like we are heading in this direction it also seems like everything eventually falls apart.

So, yea, I’ve been asking God some of those kinds of questions, even though I know I am the problem and not him. But I am not alone in asking these kinds of questions. Various psalmists asked these kinds of questions. And most recently I noticed how Habakkuk asked these questions about God’s justice. Habakkuk looked around at his nation, Israel, and cried “ah, violence, iniquity, strife and wickedness everywhere. God, why won’t you do anything”? So God said, “I will send the unrighteous Babylonians to judge and destroy Israel”. Habakkuk responded, “Hey, wait a minute, God. That doesn’t sound right either. What are you thinking”?

See, others question God’s goodness sometimes too. So, starting this Sunday we will embark upon a study of Habakkuk at the Chapel – to see what God has to say to Habakkuk and to see what Habakkuk learns and how he responds to God. This study isn’t mainly for the three or four people who are attending the weekly service, but is mainly for me. If you haven’t read Habakkuk in a while, go check it out. It’s only three chapters long and has some good insight that you (and especially I) might need.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

CONTACT INFO

Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

Click here to give online.


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Good News about the Good News!

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.


Dear Friends,

Good news about the Good News! I truly love when someone under my leadership calls or writes to share with me that the Lord used them to win a lost friend or relative to Christ. I got that privilege again this week from Priscilla, one of the young ladies from my church. She told me that for several weeks she had been seeking to demonstrate the love of Christ to a coworker of hers who did not know the Lord. She wanted me to know that she had listened to the teaching from the pulpit about letting our light shine to those around us in order to open a door for sharing the message of the gospel. She had been seeking to do that with her friend from work and that friend finally asked what she must do to be saved. Priscilla showed her from the Bible how to surrender her life to Christ as Lord and Savior and her friend did just that. She brought her friend to the very next appointed church meeting and they both were overjoyed by God’s mercy and grace. God’s good news is still good news and He is still transforming lives through it.

Because of the COVID restrictions since early in the year, we had not attempted any of our special yearly church events that involve close proximity one to another. Finally, in September, those restrictions were somewhat lifted and we were able to put on our first married couples’ meetings of the year. It was a wonderful success. Many of our church members were so excited about being able to get involved in planning and executing a special event that they went over and above in the quality of the preparations. As a result, some of our couples were motivated to work on improving their marriage relationships. Some wives shared with Charlene that their husbands took the teachings to heart and made some clear efforts to be more romantic and considerate. I am grateful that we are getting the privilege of being able to meet and fellowship more freely, as well.

Our outreach team, Projeto Vida, has used the pause in public school classes to find other ways of getting the gospel out to people who don’t go to church, even by invitation. We discovered that many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have also lost their homes. Our homeless population has increased exponentially this year. The majority of them struggle to find enough to eat, so our team prepares hot meals and takes them to strategic locations where many homeless people gather. While serving their food, and afterward, we offer to pray for their needs and to sit down and talk about the issues that they want to share. We know that we can’t “fix” all their problems, but we do share the message of the grace and mercy of Christ and the power of God to change even the direst of situations. Almost all of them accept the food graciously. My hope is that our efforts have a double (or more) impact: 1) That those who receive our gift of a hot meal can see the love of Christ in us and behind our efforts and, 2) That our own members will be touched by the plight of those whose situations are worse than their own and will be grateful for God’s blessings and share them for the increase of His glory. 

Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support of our ministry here in southern Brazil.

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Contact Info:
Bobby & Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online


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Prepared for Furlough; New Young Men Interested in Discipleship Course

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

Dear praying friends,

We hope this finds you all doing well. It is hard to believe that we are in the month of October already. How time flies. This update will share our current plans as well as our upcoming time of furlough.

As I shared last month, there has been a big “to do” list before shutting down for furlough. You don’t really realize it until you start shutting down. You need to figure out how to pay bills in Kenya while you are in America, try to find someone to stay in your house while you are gone, get necessary work permit paperwork done before leaving, and the list goes on. I am very happy and feel we are in good shape and prepared for our upcoming furlough.

We plan to be in the West Virginia area starting in December 2020. If anyone knows of any housing in the area between Charleston and Huntington, that would be very much appreciated. Finding housing on furlough is one of the biggest challenges, and we are trusting God to provide something in this area within our budget. If anyone has any leads, please email me at naterad@yahoo.com and we can discuss more of the specifics. We know God will provide in His time and plan. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” Also, Philippians 4:6, which says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” We are trusting God to provide for this need and we appreciate your prayers with us for housing.

Coronavirus has really disturbed things here in Kenya. Schools will not reopen until January of next year. So many things were closed down, for about a five-month period. There were no international flights for some time. You had (and still do have) to get your temperature taken before entering supermarkets, etc., as well as washing of hands. Thankfully, we praise the Lord that Kitale has been spared the brunt of the cases and not that many to date have been sick. Please pray for Nairobi and other large cities that have borne the brunt of the cases. We know it has been difficult in America as well. We remember you in prayer as you please remember us as well. It has been a challenging year to say the least. Obviously, I (Nathan) have not been able to continue with the prison ministry, as it is a hot spot for the virus. Please pray for the prisoners and their health, all over Kenya.

I did receive some encouraging news about the ministry in Taito, a village located right outside Kitale. One of my students has been very encouraged and built up spiritually through the discipleship course, and he has gone to his village himself to invite other young men to the trainings. I have been informed there are around four other young men who live in the area who have seen some of the teachings and are excited to come, study, and learn. I understand that they are independent-minded and want to learn the Word of God. This discipleship course is so foundational as so many of the men have lacked these teachings from the start. They need to get grounded before they go out and teach others, eventually leading to planting churches, Lord willing. The course has received very positive feedback and I am thankful for this. Obviously, with preparing for furlough, I am not able to start with them now, but this will be a good lead for next term, Lord willing.

One of the things that has been emphasized to me over and over is to get youths to train, usually around 20 to 25 years of age. They should have some form of employment, as this will help them to be independent thinking and not depend on the missionary. Also, they should have a heart for the Lord and a true desire to serve. After receiving the trainings, they should start groups in their respective areas, with people they know, such as friends, neighbors, and family. This should be the start and they can build off that. I have been pleased with the results I have seen with this model this term and ask that you would pray with me that God would provide this type of men from the start. We are trusting God to provide this type of men and ask that you would pray with us for this.

One of the big prayer requests that has been answered is friends for our daughters. The mission field can be a challenging and very lonely place. Homesickness is a constant battle, and it is increased with there is a lack of friends, especially for children. There is a new family in Kitale that has a girl that has been such a good friend and blessing to our daughters. They have so much fun playing together. What a wonderful provision for our daughters and an answer to prayer. Please pray for the new family and their adjustments, as well as for our girls, in regards to friends for them. God has been so good to provide and we trust Him to provide for them for the future.

We appreciate each of you so much. Your prayers, sacrificial giving, and encouragement are always such a blessing. Please pray for our upcoming furlough, as we want God to receive the glory for all that is said and done. I am reminded of Isaiah 42:8, which says, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Also, 1 Corinthians 10:31, which says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” May this be our true desire, to bring honor and glory to God in all that we do.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Contact Info:
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200
naterad@yahoo.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Services Back to Normal; Opportunities in Cacau

Odali and Kathy Barros served the Lord in Sao Paulo, Brazil together from 1987-2013. In late 2013, they transitioned to Manaus in Northern Brazil to start sharing the Gospel and planting churches in villages along the river.

July 21, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

We hope and pray that each one of you are doing well. So many times we think that we are in control of our lives and we discover that a little invisible bacteria can change how the world moves! Thank God, who is invisible and the most powerful and loving, who gives us strength and wisdom to move forward and not give up! We are doing well and getting back into the swing of things. God has been wonderful to us and kept us safe. We do our part in keeping safe and encouraging others to stay safe and protect each other.

Our services are all back to normal. People come as they feel safe. Through all this we have had a number of visitors to come to church. Pray that God will lead us as we minister to these newcomers.

The work we have in the community of Cacau is gradually growing. Many of the people from that church had left when the pastor who was there stopped and quit having services. Since we took over the ministry, the ones who had quit are gradually coming back. The church building is not in a real good location. We had been thinking about buying somewhere else and building a new church. But this week a man came and offered a building, and a businessman is interested in the old church building. Pray that God will lead and give us wisdom in this decision.

The work in Ubim is coming back almost to normal. The kids from the Indian tribe have not been coming because they have to cross a lake. But this week some of the older ones came! I had fun playing with the kids before the classes started. Since there is nothing for the kids to do in the village, we always take things for them to play with.

We are having some get togethers, but in small groups. It’s been hard for some people who can’t get around to have fellowship. In this area, so many people live far away from each other. This next Saturday we are going to have pizza night just to have fellowship. The way we are going to do it is this: Kathy and I have a small pizza oven which we are taking and making the pizza dough ready to use. Each family has to take what they want on their pizza. It is going to be interesting to see what their tastes are! We already decided that our pizza is going to taste like fish!

Pray for us as we get back into safe situations, that we can go back to visiting people in the communities around the churches.

Love in our Lord and Savior,
Odali and Kathy

Contact Info:
Iranduba, Amazonas
Brasil, SA
odali_kathy@hotmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Paperwork & Planning for 2021

The Hensleys have served the Lord in Brazil, South America since 1996. They have worked with orphanages, started mission points, established churches, and are presently conducting a seminary to train Brazilian pastors.

July 18, 2020

Dear friends and family,

I have told you before how it is sometimes hard to get a letter started because I don’t know where to start. Well this is one of those times.

I have been totally blessed in that I have been to all my doctors and done all the tests. So now all the results have been sent back to the doctors and here are the AWESOME RESULTS. My PSA is undetectable (for those of you who have not dealt with prostate cancer, that is excellent), my heart is good, just working a little slower because of my age, my sugar diabetes needs me to eat better, lose a little bit and add one pill that I had been able not to take earlier. Oh well, over all I am good. I am going to blame the weight gain on the virus (being cooped in and eating everything I see, how can a poor boy win?). But I am blessed.

We are using this down time to get a lot of paperwork and planning done for the Seminary. Our goal is still the same for Blue Grass Baptist Seminary: providing the saints of Brasil with a solid understanding of God’s truth in Scripture, also equipping them to evangelize, disciple, and build God’s Kingdom in Brasil. We have been on the phone, the internet, and zoom with the pastors in Brasil looking at the schedule for 2021.

We had a couple in São Paulo who missed our first class there because of their first child. They asked when we would be giving that class again so that they could graduate with their original class. We had been looking into virtual classes, so we will be using this as an experiment for doing just that. We are hoping to do this soon, but that means that we have to have our Portuguese website up and running so this can happen. Will you pray with us for all the hurdles we are having to jump through at this time will be scaled with ease? The other concern is to not do anything to impede our accreditation status there in Brasil. Just lots more RED TAPE. Praise God we got the word that we can have 1/3 of our classes virtual this upcoming semester.

We have been working on the specific dates, assigning professors, and lining up the sites for the classes for this upcoming 2021 year. In doing this, we have run into a few things that we ask for your prayers for: two of our regular professors have accepted calls to new churches and they do not know if they will be able to teach in 2021. Pray these new churches will have the same hearts for missions that their previous churches had. If not, pray that God provides other Pastors to fill their places.

We have been able to accomplish all this planning with the great technology that is out there today. We have communicated with and have seen all those involved in this ministry through zoom and FaceTime.

Our greatest need right now is to be able to get to Brasil to teach those faithful Pastors, Sunday school teachers and Church workers. Pray with us as we work for Gods Kingdom through Bluegrass Baptist Seminary and Baptist Faith Missions.

In His service,
Aj and Barb

Contact Info:
AJ & Barbara Hensley
Cell #s — AJ: 859-539-2302 / Barb: 859-539-1424
ajcaragua@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.




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Seeking a Place to Meet; Update on Josiah

The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

July 20, 2020

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,

As you read through my newsletter for this month you will probably say to yourself “haven’t I heard this before”? Well, even to me some of the things I will write about in this newsletter sound like a broken record – skip, skip, skip. I definitely feel like we have been through this newsletter before.

The reason for the broken record this month is because, once again, we are definitely looking for a new location to worship in for Upper Room Baptist Chapel. We started the Chapel in 2018, meeting in a room on the top floor (the “Upper Room”) of a building in town. In August 2019, while I was in the States taking Amy to college, we encountered problems with another church that had moved in across the hall and greatly disturbed our services with their amplifiers and speakers and loud music and screeching preaching. Not being able to resolve the problems with this other church we decided to move out.  In September of 2019 we moved into a house, sub-renting the place from a school that also met there. It was an excellent venue for the Chapel, and we all enjoyed meeting and worshiping there. The Chapel began to grow numerically and spiritually. Then, in March of 2020 the big boom hit – Covid19. The Kenyan government shut down everything as I mentioned in previous newsletters – schools, churches, government offices, etc. This shutdown ultimately caused the school from whom we were sub-renting to financially implode and subsequently go belly-up and shut its doors for good.The shutting down of the school left URBC in a quandary. Now we again needed a place to worship.  Because we liked the location so much, we considered taking over the entire rent of the premises and just using it entirely for the Chapel. We approached the landlady proposing the idea. It would cost us a lot more money, but it would cause the least disruption to the Chapel and since the Lord’s work is more important than money, we thought it was a deal worth pursuing. It turns out, however, that the owner of the building is a Somali lady. Now, I am not disparaging Somalis or putting them down at all, but the end result was not surprising. Somalia is 99% Muslim and the Somali owner is a Muslim. She was not mean about her decision and she was not discriminating against us because we are Christians but she felt like renting her place to a “Jesus church” was against her Muslim beliefs. She thought that her Somali community here in Kitale would persecute her if they found out she was renting her property to a church and decided not to rent it to us. That is her prerogative. But this did leave us in a familiar position – once again looking for a place to worship.

Since then I have been looking for a new place to worship but the available places are severely limited and expensive. I just looked at a place today that could meet our needs and be an OK place to meet but I feel like the property is overpriced.  I hope to look at another place tomorrow but I’m not sure how that will turn out either. Please be in earnest prayer that God would lead us to the right place, a place that would meet our needs at the right price and that could be used to glorify His Name, spread His kingdom here on earth, and provide spiritual and physical growth for the Chapel.

In other news, we were able to get Josiah on an evacuation flight out of Kenya and to the States. He needed to get back to the States in time to quarantine for 14 days before school starts but there have been no international flights out of Kenya since March, and none scheduled until sometime in August.  This didn’t give Josiah enough time to make it to school. Then on Friday, July 10th, we received an email from the embassy about the evacuation flight leaving on Monday, July 13th. Julie and I thought about it for two minutes and decided to get him on the flight. We booked the flight that day, Friday. Saturday, we spent getting everything ready for him to leave Kenya and get back to the States. Sunday, Josiah and I drove to Nairobi. Monday afternoon I put him on a plane leaving Kenya forever. This all happened very, very quickly, much too quickly for his mama and me. One day he was here at home with no idea of when he would be leaving and the next day, literally, he was gone – Flying from Nairobi to Qatar to the United States, flying for the first time by himself, and heading to America to start his new life without the help of mom or dad. Very hard for Josiah. Very hard for mom and dad. Please pray that God would be with him in a very special way, strengthening him, giving him courage, and filling him with His Holy Spirit.  Pray for mom and dad too.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Connecting with God’s Children and Those He is Seeking

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

July 9, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Isn’t it great to know that Jesus, the King of Kings, will one day retake and re-create the earth as the New Adam, head of a reborn humanity made twice in His image? Meanwhile, I find myself, a child of the King, in a world that is broken, still under the influence of the old man. All too often, I too, find myself living the old Adam instead of the new Adam.

One of the many daily delights I enjoy is watching the amazing birds, squirrels, rabbits and other creatures that testify to the creative genius, outstanding power and love of our Creator. It is a source of thanksgiving from my heart to God in my conversation with Him. The question arises in my heart, “Do I represent the Redeemer’s beauty and voice as well as the beautiful birds and that little one, about the size of a thimble, whose melodious song I can hear a good block away, represent their Creator?”

I am including a picture of the past Sunday meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom we are worshiping using Skype. It is a delight to be able to participate actively with our church from across the Ocean. We do not always understand what God is doing, but it is wonderful to know that even as He restrains the activities He has placed in the hands of humanity, He has allowed them to discover and build in His creation things that can be used for the movement of His kingdom in a fallen world.

The Hatchers this past Sunday joining the meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom they are worshiping using Skype.

 

So, we are able to shepherd, encourage, pray with, counsel, witness to, teach, learn from, and commune with God’s children and those He is seeking on three different continents. This week like the entire past month has already included several meetings with God’s children and those He is seeking using internet, social distancing and masks. The circumstances of our world may discourage us, but our Father is all powerful and uses for good what is meant for evil.

Thank you for your participation with us in what God is doing. May God use you in the present circumstances to be His witness to people with whom you can connect.

Seeking to connect for Jesus,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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News & Reports – July 2020

The Online Edition of the July 2020 BFM News & Reports is available at the link below. Read how God is working through the lives of our faithful missionaries and continue to pray for them.

Click to view PDF

Note: You can also click on any headline to view the story on our blog. 


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