Missionary Update: AJ & Barbara Hensley in Brazil [February 2012]

The Hensleys have spent nearly 15 years serving in Brazil. They run a vocational school and orphanage in Caraguatatuba and have also established a church and mission points throughout the city.

Dear friends,

Aj and I have been in the States for a while and have traveled to various Churches. We will be here through March so if we have not seen you yet, maybe we will see you in the next month.

During our travels we realized that many people have never heard my testimony. So we thought that this would be a good time to let you hear about Barbara Alaine Hensley. I was born in Owsley County, Kentucky to Hubert and Reba Baker. I grew up in a Christian home. Before we had a car we would pay a taxi to take us to Church, but because we could only afford a taxi once, we would walk back home. That walk was about seven miles. At this time I was small,  so my dad would carry me on his shoulders and my mom would lead my sister Ada Marie. It was after this period of my life that my dad was called to be a Pastor. We lived in the Appalachia where almost all of the homes had no indoor pluming and their potties were on the outside. We were no different from those homes. As we grew my dad opened many mission points and we, as a family, helped him in those works. Our week was very busy as we were were in Church 4 times on Sunday and every night of the week except for Monday night. In these times most of the people did not have transportation. We would pick them up and take them to the services. We were blessed with an old panel truck and dad had made benches in the back. That way we could take lots of people.This truck was always full to the brim. Our home was always open to visitors and sister and I were always giving our bed to visitors. Mom could whip up a meal in a little time and she could take the little that we had to make it stretch to fit the numbers.

When I was 9 years dad accepted a Church in Owensboro. It was there that I accepted Christ as my savior.We only stayed there for two years and then moved back to Booneville,Ky. Back in Booneville we continued the work that we had been doing before. I remember on Sundays we did not even have time for lunch as we did a relay getting to each of the mission points. We would have Sunday School at Elk Lick Baptist Church then dad would take mom me and my sister to the first mission where we would have Sunday School and dad would go preach at the other mission then he would come preach at the mission point where we had just done Sunday School and then we would go back to the main Church for night services.

I met Aj when I was in my junior year of high school. We dated for 2 years and married in 1966. It was not til 1996 that Aj surrendered to be a missionary and Baptist Faith Missions sent us to Brazil. Many people ask me when I received my call to become a missionary and I tell them that it was when I was born. Because you see God knew my life and knew each step that I would take and He knew that he had prepared Alex Hensley to be my husband and He knew that Aj would become a missionary. He prepared me from birth with each and every thing that I was doing with my parents because He knew that I would go through all these same things in Brazil.

At one of the Churches that we were visiting these past weeks I had a pastor ask me to forgive him and I said that I would but would he please tell me why. He said that when Aj came before BFM to be sent out he had told someone that we would not last on the field. The reason he gave for his opinion was that I would not make it on the mission field. He did not know of the rigorous training that I had went through to get me where God wanted me to be.

The one thing that I know is that God equips those that He calls. And here we are 16 years later and still going strong in Brazil. To God be the glory.

We would love to have you come down and see what God is doing there in Caraguatatuba, Brazil. Our home is open to visitors and the light is on and the mint is on the pillow. So come on down.

In His service,
Barbara Hensley

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