Looking Past the Circumstances

Charlene Wacaser has served the Lord as a church planter in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil alongside her husband Bobby since 1985.

 

Hello praying friends,

I have to say that I am writing this letter in the oddest moment in my life. Coming to Brazil in my early twenties was a very different experience from what I grew up with. Adopting two children and raising them in two languages and cultures was exciting, but offered its challenges. Standing by my husband, Bobby’s, side as he helped to care for his aging father after his mother’s death and then returning to Brazil was an unexpected turn of events. But, living under quarantine conditions during a Pandemic is certainly the most thought-consuming event that I have ever experienced.

We received travel alerts from the U.S. Embassy in Brazil that we had to make a decision soon about returning to the States because all commercial flights would be stopped and there was no way of knowing for how long the travel ban would last. Both of our children and our only grandchild live in the USA and we don’t know when we’ll be able to visit with them again. But we do know that God has called us to minister here in southern Brazil and that He is using this pandemic to open doors of opportunity to share the gospel that we have never seen before. Besides, we thought to ourselves, what kind of a message of faith and love would we be giving if we packed up and left because of negative circumstances? We are so glad that we have stayed. Bobby has had to learn to “pastor” the congregation through social media only. That is quite a challenge for him because he loves to interact with people on a physical level.

There are three texts of Scripture that comes to my mind that comfort me in the middle of all this: Deuteronomy 32:10-12; Psalm 17:8 and Matthew 23:37. In all three, the image that is conveyed is that of a mother bird using her wings to protect her babies. In that, I picture God in His great love and power caring for and protecting us in all our struggles.

There is the struggle of being bombarded daily with scary news reports about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In fact, one member of our church’s daughter caught the virus and the member herself is in the group of high risk. She is her late sixties and she has been through chemotherapy. Several of our church members have lost their jobs and others have lost a significant amount of their normal pay. What is exciting and encouraging is to see how our people have stepped up to put into practice the principles of God’s word that we seek to teach and exemplify. Without having to tell them to do so, some have called to let us know that they are willing to buy groceries for anyone needing them. Some have had to continue working because their jobs are considered “essential,” and at the same time they are exposed constantly to the risk of the virus and have to come home to their families.

I am challenged constantly to look past these circumstances and focus on the promises that God has given to use them all for my good and His glory. I know He will continue to care for me, even more than a hen cares for her chicks.

I do ask that you would pray for us to be wise and faithful in ministering in this new “environment”.

Yours in Jesus’ love,
Charlene Wacaser
 
Contact Info:
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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Teenage Girls Surrender to Christ

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

April 2, 2020

Dear Friends,

Fortunately, Charlene and I are doing well. As in most of the nations of the world, Brazil is also going through tremendous turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but no one from our works has been infected, so far.

Just before our schools were closed because of the virus, our evangelism team was ministering in a small town in the interior of our state. There were over 1200 students in the schools that participated in our evangelistic presentations. Of those who attended, 23 made public professions of faith in Christ and another 15 rededicated their lives to the Lord.

After one of our gospel skit presentations, a teen girl talked with one of the volunteers, telling her that she was seeing a psychologist because of depression and thoughts of suicide. The volunteer evangelist shared God’s word with the girl and she surrendered to Christ. Later that night, at a presentation in the town square, the girl and her mother came to talk with the same volunteer about how God had replaced her depression with joy. That same afternoon she had gone to her psychologist’s appointment and, there, she had shared with him how thrilled she was knowing that God loves her and had forgiven her of her sins. She said that even the psychologist got all choked up with the transformation that he saw in her.

On Saturday afternoons our team offers community services such as haircuts, blood pressure checks and family counseling. During these activities, a different teenage girl listened as the worker shared the gospel. She asked to speak privately about what was going on in her life. Both of her parents had died and she and her siblings were living in a children’s home. There, she had to take care of her younger sister and her niece because her older sister was involved in drugs. Although she had heard of Christ before, she had never come to know Him personally. She said that she felt abandoned in this world. The volunteer who was counseling her had a very similar life story and was able to share with her how true God is to receive those who humbly come to Him in faith and surrender. The teen girl did that and confessed that Christ was her Savior and Lord.

Now, with the Coronavirus pandemic disrupting all areas of activities and events, we are having to find creative ways to reach out to people and minister. I have never been too fond of tech stuff, nor appearing before a recording camera, but I am having to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to share the love of Christ through social media. As a pastor, I am also learning how to shepherd my own members through phone calls and social media. Since I am a “hugs and touches” person, this isn’t ideal for me, but I can also see the Lord doing some amazing things through these quarantine measures that wouldn’t have seemed possible just a few weeks ago. The people seem to be much more aware of their mortality and emotional frailty. We are so thankful that we have God’s word to guide us during these times of human uncertainty. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we do know Who holds tomorrow and we are resting in Him.

We have received several alerts from the American Embassy here in Brazil advising us to either get out of the country now or expect that the window of return will be closed for an indefinite period. Charlene and I were expecting to return to the U.S. later this year to give a report to supporting churches and also get to see our kids and grandson. We do not feel, though, that now is the right time to go, so that visit may be put on hold for a little longer than what we expected. We know that God has all this under control and that He will take care of us and those we love. We will seek to be faithful while we wait for His good timing.

We greatly appreciate your faithful prayers and faithful support.

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Sharing the Gospel with Disillusioned & Depressed Partygoers

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

March 4, 2020

Dear Friends,

Having finished our two-week missions training seminar, we now have four new fulltime volunteers working with our traveling evangelism team. The team went to work immediately after the seminar during Carnaval week here in Brazil. I’m sure you have heard of, or seen on TV, a taste of that awful “lust-fest.” Fortunately, our team was able to interact with many of the festival-goers, without having to be involved in their immoral practices. They shared the gospel with dozens and several people repented and surrendered to Christ. Our team formed groups of three volunteers to mingle with the people at large gatherings on the beach to pray and look for individuals who might give them a hearing. Contrary to appearances, quite a few of the party-goers were depressed or disillusioned with life and were open to discuss God’s plan for their lives. We train our missionaries on how to approach people outside of the walls of the church building with the gospel and, thankfully, the Lord saw fit to use them to bring several to Christ for salvation.

The Brazilian school year has begun again and so our traveling team will begin to go into the public schools where they were invited to share the gospel through skits and testimonies. Our newest volunteers haven’t had that opportunity yet, and they are excited about it. It is one thing to mingle in a crowd sharing the gospel one-on-one, but quite another to stand before groups of 300-500 people performing a skit or sharing your personal testimony. Please pray for all 15 of our traveling team members.

Charlene and I have started back our English as a second language classes. Between the two of us, we have 44 students between the ages of 8-17. All but five of these students come from the community around our church and are not church members. She and I give the English course free of charge so that we may have the opportunity to get to know them and their families and to share the gospel with them. We have been doing this for a couple of years, now, and we have people in our church who came as a result of this means of outreach. We are looking forward to being used to reach those that the Lord has sent to us this year as well.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support so that we might continue to share God’s love in our corner of His field of service.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Hopelessness Prepares Hearts for Eternal Hope

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

January 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

We just completed our first Missions Training Seminar of the year with 30 participants. Seventeen of those were from other regions of Brazil. The first week was spent in biblical studies and evangelical missions’ theory here in Curitiba. The next week the group traveled to Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, a 20-hour drive from our base.

You may have heard or seen on the news one year ago about the rupture of a mining dam in the town of Brumadinho. In that industrial disaster, there were 270 people who were killed. Though it has been one year since the disaster, the whole town is still badly traumatized. What adds to the townspeople’s sense of fear is that there are over 300 similar dams encircling the area and it is the rainy season there. Many people moved away, of course, but most do not have enough money to uproot, move and begin life somewhere else.

Our mission team found quite a wide spectrum of attitudes among the citizens of Brumadinho as they sought to share the gospel. On the one hand, there were many who are very angry; angry at the mining company that allowed the disaster to happen, angry at their loved ones for leaving them alone and even angry, blaming God for letting the disaster happen. On the other hand, the sense of loss and hopelessness helped to prepare the hearts of several to listen to God’s word of eternal hope and salvation. Our volunteers rejoiced to have a part in leading many to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. They themselves were moved emotionally by the sight of such devastation, but more so by the joy that God used them to bring hope and salvation where only sorrow dwelt before.

Hilda, their neighbor who recently passed away.

When Charlene and I moved to our neighborhood a few years ago, we thought that it would be helpful in getting to know our neighbors if we visited each home and introduced ourselves. When we visited, we would ask if there was something that they needed that we could pray about for them. No one was outright rude with us, but there were a few who evidently weren’t interested in spiritual things. One elderly lady, though, was very cordial to us and invited us in for a cup of coffee. She not only asked us to pray for her then, but invited us to return as often as we liked. Through that one lady, we met many members of her extended family and often prayed for her and them. During the recent Christmas holidays, we were out of town and received a message from one of her daughters that she had been admitted into the hospital with lung cancer and that she was gravely ill. We wouldn’t be arriving home for a few days, but her family told us that she really wanted to see us before she died. After we returned home, the very next morning, Charlene and I went to the hospital to visit her. She seemed to be unconscious, or in a coma, but still Charlene and I bent near her ear and reminded her of our Savior’s love for her. There was no evident sign that she heard or took in anything that we said then, but in less than a half hour after we left, we got a message from her granddaughter that she had passed away almost immediately after we left the room. I don’t pretend to know all, or even much, of what the Lord is doing in the unseen realm of this world, but I am certain that He was orchestrating the details of this dear lady’s life and death for His glory. As a result of that lady’s love for Charlene and me, her oldest son asked me to speak at her funeral service. During our years of visiting with her we had shared the gospel and she had assured us that she knew she was a sinner and in need of Jesus as her only Savior. She told me that she trusted Him and Him alone to save her. I shared that news with nearly 100 people from her family and friends and let them know that they too could have the certainty of their own salvation if they surrendered to Christ. By the Lord allowing that dear lady to “hang on” for just a few more days and minutes, a door of opportunity arose for us to share the gospel with her family.

We can see that God is at work all around us in huge citywide events, as well as small individual circumstances for us to make His love known to those who are lost. We want to be attentive to His guidance to step in and share the message of grace.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Two Profess Christ at Christmas Presentation

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

January 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We were blessed by the Lord so much last year, but we are already excited about the new opportunities and blessings in store in 2020. We know that there is always the possibility that trials and loss may be awaiting us, but we also know that God will be with us in any struggle and that He has already promised that He is working all things together for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Our Christmas presentation at our church was very well attended and at least two individuals professed Christ as Lord of their lives at the invitation given at the end of the message. At least 30 of our church members were involved in the presentation in one capacity or another and they were very faithful for 3 months going to practices and putting together the stage and sound and lighting system. We are thankful that the Lord has blessed us with such dedicated servants.

Our traveling evangelistic team is taking a short break because Brazilian schools are on their summer break. Around the second week of January we will start our first missionary training seminar of the year. We will teach Missions strategy and theology for the first two weeks and follow that up with practical evangelism, both to crowds and one-on-one. We are expecting about 20 new students from four different states. At least two of these students will stay on to work with our teams for six months after the seminar and, possibly, for a year or more if God so leads them to do so.

Charlene and I have also given a break to our English students until the end of January since there are no regular school classes going on and most families travel on vacation anyway. We will start back up again in February and we are looking forward to how the Lord will use this ministry this year.

Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to carry the gospel to as many people as the Lord places before us.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Two Teens Turn from Hopelessness to Christ

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

December 2, 2019

Dear Friends,

At our English as a Second Language classes I got a wonderful opportunity to share my testimony with the students. One of them asked what brought us to Brazil and that question opened the door for me to share with the class how God had called us to come to Brazil to share the gospel of Jesus Christ which had transformed our lives. The students were emotionally moved by my testimony and I pray that the Lord will use it to bring them to salvation.
Our last couples’ meeting of the year exceeded our expectations quite a bit. We had about 20% more people turn out than we had been having at previous meetings. I just love this kind of a surprise. I brought a message from God’s word that I pray He will use to help the married Christian couples grow in their love and respect for one another. It is also our intended purpose through these couples’ events to attract families that don’t know the Lord so that they can hear of God’s love for them and be saved. At all four meetings this year we had several unchurched couples present and we saw most of them return to church to our regularly scheduled services.

Last month I reported how that our traveling evangelistic team met with strong resistance from the administrators in the public schools in Rio de Janeiro. The exact opposite was the case this month in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The team was given total liberty to share whatever message God had for the people. There were over 5000 people they were able to share the gospel with, between students and staff. More than 300 indicated that they were surrendering their lives to Christ. At the end of the hour-long presentation, the audience was invited to come and speak personally with our volunteer evangelists. One teenager had come to school that day with a pocket knife in his backpack and was planning to end his life at school because he felt that he was unloved and unlovable. After hearing of God’s love for him and how Jesus had given his life to save him, that young man gave the guidance counselor his pocket knife and said that he wouldn’t be needing it anymore because he knows he is loved by God and has trusted in Jesus. A different teen had been cutting himself and several of his friends told our team about him and how worried they were that he would take his life soon. His friends led a volunteer to talk to him about Christ’s love and forgiveness. The young man was so touched by how God showed His love to him through his friends, and even a stranger, that he believed on the Lord and handed them the razor that he was carrying to cut himself. He confessed that that very day, he intended to cut an artery and bleed to death because of how hopeless he felt.

I am so thrilled that the Lord has provided us with this amazing strategy for sharing the gospel where so many unreached people are starving for the lack of God’s word.

Our next major evangelistic thrust will be during our annual Christmas presentation. We have a team who has been planning and practicing a drama presentation for a couple of months already. We will be doing a two-day presentation at our church building the weekend before Christmas. Last year at our presentation we had the largest attendance to date in our building and this year we expect even more. There were also 15 professions of faith at the conclusion of that event and we pray and hope for even more this year. Pray with us that God will use us and our efforts to make His gospel clear and persuasive to the lost who will be in attendance at these presentations.

Charlene and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year of 2020.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

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

November 3, 2019

Dear Friends,

Let me tell you about the good, the bad and the ugly. We are so blessed of the Lord in more ways than I can fully share, but one of them is that almost all of our evangelistic efforts in the public venues are very well received by civic leaders. This past month we were ministering in several neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. All of the schools received our team with open arms, except one. They did allow us to come in and to talk in front of the student body about avoiding illegal drugs, about suicide and depression, etc., but they warned us not to teach “religion” or to mention Jesus while using the microphone. That was the bad, but we were allowed to do our dramatic skits, which are done in mime, where Jesus was clearly portrayed as coming from the Father and giving his life as a sacrifice for man’s sin and resurrecting again. So, we still got to “preach” the gospel publicly and after the presentation ended, we were able to speak one-on-one with those who came to us privately to know more about what was presented in the dramas. That situation also helped to remind us that we are truly ministering in a world that is hostile to the Lord, but ultimately under His command. On the human level it is always a little disheartening to confront this type of resistance, but the Lord strengthened our faith by touching hearts even where our enemy sought to close the doors.

Two weeks ago, we launched a Jiu-Jitsu class at our church facilities on two days of the week. We have a very dedicated church member who is a black-belt instructor of Jiu-Jitsu and he has been asking me if we could provide these classes as a way to draw people from the neighborhood to the classes where the martial art is taught, but also to share Christ with the students. I thought it would be a great opportunity and we have 16 students already participating. We begin the classes with a time of devotional teaching and prayer, and we end with a reminder of the lesson taught. I joined the class myself, hoping to stay better fit and also to encourage others to participate.

Charlene is working with several of our volunteer ladies getting ready for our final couples’ event of the year. She always works hard and does a great job of preparing the environment for a meeting where the couples can enjoy themselves, relax and focus on listening to biblical marriage counseling and an evangelistic message. We are expecting a good crowd this month and we hope to leave the couples with a strong desire to be better mates and better fitted for serving the Lord as families.

Thank you for praying for us and for your faithful support. We know that God’s blessings will rest on you who seek to serve Him. Please know that He is using you beyond your own sphere of influence.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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PalavraFest, Sharing in Schools & Parks, Headed to Rio

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

October 1, 2019

Dear Friends,

You may remember that I wrote how Charlene and I teach English as a second language in order to gain an opportunity to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily come to a church service. We continue to do that and we are truly getting those opportunities. She and I teach different age levels and we both have English students who now come to our church services as a result. One of my students, a twelve-year-old girl, has also started bringing her entire family of six to church on Sundays. Our art teacher has also been able to draw several of her students to our worship services. This ministry is time consuming and requires effort, but the results that we are seeing make it worthwhile.

In our discipleship efforts at our base church we engaged in what we call, “PalavraFest,” translated, “WordFest.” This three week long event is pretty challenging for anyone, but especially for new believers. To complete the challenge, each person must read the Bible books of 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 2nd Kings and 2nd Chronicles completely. Also, they must memorize the 4th and 5th chapters of James and, additionally, they must study and fill out a prepared Bible study guide that requires approximately 30 minutes of study per day. We are in the middle of our third week of “WordFest” right now and I am very thrilled that around 60 percent of the congregation has kept up with all the challenge’s requirements. One of the greatest joys to me is to see how excited everyone is at our meetings as each one recites the verses they memorized to one another and discuss the details of the Bible texts that they read during the week! Our aim, above all, is to encourage our church members to study and practice God’s word so that they will be better equipped to love and serve Him.

Bobby Wacaser shared his testimony in a public school in Tatuí, São Paulo.

This past week I traveled to the interior of the state of São Paulo to meet together and minister with our team of evangelists. We shared the gospel in several public schools as well as in two city parks. I can’t think of any activity in life that gives me a greater joy than to share the gospel in a venue like a public school or park. In the town of Tatuí, I spoke to a group of around 300 high school students and shared my testimony of how I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. As I spoke, I looked around the crowd and could see many who were crying as God used me to communicate His love and mercy. I believe that several of those who heard the gospel also surrendered their hearts to Christ. In the schools, we aren’t permitted to ask the students to come forward to proclaim publicly their faith, but very often, some of the students come to talk to us individually to share how they felt God speaking to them through us. Like I said, I can’t think of any greater joy than that!

Bobby Wacaser shared his testimony in a public school in Tatuí, São Paulo.

In a week, our team will be packing up to head out again to 2 different states of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. Both locations offer some daunting challenges. In Rio de Janeiro, the drug use and crime rate are very high and our team is at constant risk. We are confident that God is sending them and that He will protect and use them. In Rio Grande do Sul, there is a very high percentage of demon worship and ritualistic sacrifices of animals, grains and alcoholic beverages in nearly every public square. It is sad to see how blind the people in this state are to the grace of God. They are desperately in need of the gospel and we are praying that the Lord will use our efforts there for the salvation of many. Please remember to pray for our ministries.
Thank you for your faithful prayer and support.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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


Read more
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