Grace for the Next Generation

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

August 7, 2020

Dear Fellow Disciples of Jesus,

Let me share a piece of correspondence Judy and I received.


Welcome to my first newsletter!
     Thank you again for your commitment to pray for me during my preparation time as well as during the 3 months I will be spending in Austria. The dates are set, I’m leaving in 2 weeks (!!), from Wednesday August 5th to Friday November 6th.
     The Austrian borders are currently open to France, and I should be able to enter without problem. The organization where I will be volunteering is called the “Oasis”. It is affiliated with “One Collective”, an international Christian ministry. The Oasis is located in Traiskirchen, Austria, the town with the largest asylum seekers center in the country. These refugees, of which over 90% come from an Islamic background, are welcomed by the center, which aims to “reflect the heart of God to refugees and offer them the hope, life and refuge that can be found only in Jesus”.
     As a part of the team, I will mainly be working with women and children to build relationships, help provide for their needs, accompany them in their adjustment to life in Europe and share the Gospel. This letter was intended to provide some background information; hopefully the next one will be a little less short and a little more interesting 🙂
Hope you have a nice day,
Nathalie Hatcher


Nathalie’s letter to her prayer partners explains itself. She is our second oldest granddaughter. Amanda, Philip and their family have been serving with us since 2001.  This is a picture of Philip and their daughters, taken by Amanda. Nathalie is in the center. She is not exactly sure which direction God wants her to go in her next step of training and decided to take a year before college to serve and visit her worldwide family. She began serving in this refugee camp this week.

Philip Hatcher & daughters (Nathalie, center)

I decided to include this letter after reading Josiah Tate’s letter on the BFM site. He is also seeking God’s will for his life. The greatest investment we make in this life is in the lives of our children and grandchildren (natural or adopted as the Apostle Paul’s “son” Timothy.) This investment is in teaching, example, attitude, prayer, sustenance …

We continue to worship with our church family in France via Skype. They are now able to meet as a group, but those who are on vacation also join us. We receive encouraging news from other disciples outside the Toulouse region that we have served during the years of ministry in France.

So, may all of us keep on investing in the natural and spiritual offspring God has placed in our lives. To Him be the glory for the grace He allows us to pass on to them!

Your brother and sister in Christ,
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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Coronavirus Update from Kenya

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.

August 5, 2020

Dear praying friends,

It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August for 2020. Where has the time gone? Normally there would be so many summer activities, yet with coronavirus, so many things have been postponed or cancelled completely. I don’t think any of us have seen such an unstable time in years, if even in our lifetimes. God has been faithful through all the challenges and changes. This update will share current prayer requests as well as an update on the coronavirus in Kenya.

I (Nathan) need to give a little background on the decisions made on the coronavirus in the past few weeks. Last month, after a lockdown period of three months, the President of Kenya made the decision to reopen the country for a three week period, with the idea of assessment at the end of July to see what needed to be done, if anything. This was a welcome change, as we have been on lockdown since the month of March. So many things were different, with everyone wearing masks in town, having to sanitize all the time, getting your temperature taken, having limitations of passengers while traveling, etc. Nairobi, the capital city, was also on lockdown, and flights, both domestic and international, were cancelled. It was quite a challenging time, to say the least.

After the government decided to reopen the country, with fewer restrictions, the cases have increased dramatically. Some days there are nearly 700 cases just in a single day, and the total tally of cases as of the date of this letter is over 23,000 countrywide. Most of the cases are in Nairobi, as there are slum areas where people live so close together and it is difficult to social distance. Kitale has been spared the brunt of the cases, with just a few reported. We are so thankful for this, but we take nothing for granted, and are taking all necessary precautions, with keeping the family out of town as much as possible and away from crowded areas. We know you all are taking the same precautions in America.

The concern is that the cases will overwhelm the healthcare system and there will not be enough beds in the hospital wards to take care of the sick. This is a valid concern, especially in a third-world country with lower healthcare options in the best of times. Please pray for the doctors and the nurses as they are dealing with this new virus, and for the sick that need medical care.

Given all the current circumstances with the virus, we feel led to begin closing down for this term and begin planning for our upcoming furlough. We will have been here three years next month, so we feel our time has come. Please pray for us as we are in the process of closing down, as there is so much to do. Any missionary who is closing down for a term understands how overwhelming it can be and the need to make a large “to do” list to check things off. We are trusting God to keep us safe and in His care as we are in the process of closing down.

I will share more next month about some of the things the Lord taught us this term, and for the ministry progress that was made. I have been pleased and feel God has definitely led us this past three years. In regards to the global pandemic, may we take comfort in some verses from the Scriptures. I think of Psalm 57:1b, which says “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Also Psalm 119:114, which says “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy word.” May we trust God always, not just in times of a global pandemic. We will find that He is faithful each step of the way.

We appreciate each of you so much and will keep you updated.

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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God’s Providence in an Unexpected Delay

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

August 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

Charlene and I got to experience a strange, but not-too-bad situation last month. We traveled to Florida to visit with our children and grandson for an eight-day stay. Well, that was the plan anyway. The COVID-19 surge caused our return flight to be delayed by over three weeks! We didn’t receive any messages from the airline about the cancelled flight, either, until we drove four hours to the departure gate at the airport. We had to return to our son’s house and wait the next 23 days with his family until an airline provided another flight. At first, we were concerned that we would cause ministry problems back in Brazil by our unexpected extended absence, but the Lord knew about this in advance, of course. It so happened that the city’s mayor decreed that churches couldn’t hold in-person services for several weeks and I was able to preach to my church via live Facebook programming.

We have returned to our work and we are thankful to the Lord that we have also been able to return to in-person services. Our members are thrilled to be back together again for fellowship and worship of the Lord as an assembled body of believers. 

There was also a surge in COVID cases in our city here in Brazil when we got back. In fact, we still have about 10 people who are sick with the virus. Most of those are from our traveling evangelistic team, Projeto Vida. A couple of them had to go to the ICU at the local hospital, but are showing signs of recuperation. We are extremely thankful to God for this.

We aren’t sure how much longer the public schools will be suspended, so we can’t plan to use that venue for our outreach, but we have been able to minister to some families in need who have suffered financial setbacks due to losing their jobs from the shutdown. We will continue to use the social media outlets that are available to us also, and we see a constant increase in our viewership.  

Charlene and I have both been well physically. The Lord is gracious and kind and has blessed us with protection. We hope we don’t contract the virus at all, of course, but we also know that God is greater than any sickness and is able to heal us even if we were to get it. 

We are so grateful to you who pray for us and make the sacrifice to contribute toward our ministries. We ask that the Lord would also bless you for your faithfulness and generosity. 

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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The Wild, Wild West of Brazil

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

July 22, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Four months and counting. Cruzeiro do Sul is still two months behind the rest of the world as far as the evolution of the virus is concerned. Last month the city and state went crazy doing all kinds of traffic stops requiring masks even inside your car. In one of these stops the city official opened the door to my jeep without my permission and the lady cop already had her hand on her gun and I was resisting or didn’t even have a chance to resist. MY MASK WAS ON! It has gotten really scary here in the wild, wild west of Brazil. The state has finally rushed to finish a new wing of the hospital. There are 100 new beds, including 10 new intensive care units and 20 more semi-intensive care complete with all new respirators and equipment. All beds in all medical facilities are full. They have quit publishing data. No test materials are available, so no new tests are being run. The death toll continues to rise. We are New York (of 2 months ago) times X factor of chaos.

 

Then 2 weeks ago they let all the stores reopen and churches to meet. Well that ought to work out really fine! I called for a special meeting with the pastors to discuss what we would be doing. We are not opening any time soon. Other churches started meeting, but with empty buildings. The people aren’t as stupid as the bigwigs think. The rules for reopening were draconian. The most troublesome was the presence of government monitors (spies) to check for compliance. In the past we have seen that the media do not show up to cover our mission programs, social programs, rehab programs or even our big Christmas or other events. I am sure that they would have been crashing the doors to check out our reopening. We don’t intend to give them or the state the satisfaction. We will come back when we feel that the Lord has led us to, in His time and in His way. The church is solid and doing well. We have actually seen an improvement in our giving. Our missionaries are being taken care of in a timely way and we are still able to do some minor work on our buildings.

 

We have authorized our small groups to meet and the band/praise groups to practice. Hundreds of our people have had the virus already. Supposedly many are already immune. We sadly did lose Brother José Nunes to this disease. We have many hospitalized.

 

Given the situation, most people don’t even go to try to find a doctor or the hospital. Most are just self-medicating based on what they see on TV and the internet. Those medications that are most highly recommended are not available here.

 

As for the Creiglows, we are trusting the Lord. We are being careful. We are still working though. In fact, I have been keeping my grandsons busy working for me. Just a couple of weeks ago, Alec (one of Andrew’s boys) got a full-time job. Andrew’s wife Eline is still employed. She works for GOL airlines, but since there are no flights she is at home with the little ones. Andrew continues to work. Crissy’s school is shut down for now. Dauro and I continue to work at camp. Actually, I have several construction projects going simultaneously. These are providing work for my grandsons and a couple of our church members. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep this up. Staying busy helps me out, too.

 

We have had quite a bit of really good family time and this, too, has been helpful.

 

Well sorry to bring such a gloomy report, but it is how things are right now. I sure hope things are better for all of you. We pray for you all the time and hope that you will remember us often in your prayers. Thank you again for praying for us and continuing to support us financially.

 

In Christ,

Mike Creiglow

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig@hotmail.com
Personal Site

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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