Missionary Update: Harold Bratcher in Brazil [April 2012]

April 10, 2012

Dear Brothers of the Blessed Lord and Sisters of the Savior:

Once again we (Asa Mark and I) greet you from the Amazon Valley of Brazil, South America.  The 2 million residents of Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas are enjoying the pleasant weather of not quite so hot, due to the frequent rains.  The rainy season continues, but we have had no more blackouts and floods, for which we are thankful.  Tuesday there was a city wide bus strike, and the city turned into chaos.  The mayor was conveniently (for him) traveling, and confusion reigned, but that is the present reality of Manaus.  Manaus and the Mayor desperately need our prayers.  During the month of March, each Sunday morning, evening, Wednesday evening,and some Saturdays, I have left my house and home and gone by the taxi of one of our members ,Bro. Raimundo, or the car of Bro. Mario Jorge, to the 24th of March Baptist Church, where I either preached or heard a sermon by another preacher.  My assistant pastor, Bro. Williams Mendes, 49 years old, and his family, have been a blessing to me and the church.  Continue to pray for them and for us.

This Mission Sheets month began March 5th and finishes today.  During this period I preached 10 sermons, all at the 24th of March Baptist Church where I serve as the pastor.   I have during this period heard a total of 5 sermons preached at 2 different places.   Also, I  was able to pray at Marie’s and Joel’s grave, on Thursday the 5th of April, which would have been Marie’s 85th Birthday.  It looks real nice, with a granite marker, pictures, and a bench in front.  Besides the names, dates of birth and death, it is engraved with the words God is Love in portuguese and english, and the word SAUDADES (Remembrances and precious memories).  We sure have a lot of those, and the pain of temporary separation is great, but as I prayed, we are thankful they are already safely home.

May we all continue to heed the pleas of Pastor Dave Parks for more offerings for Baptist Faith Missions. I am praying that during the remainder of this year of 2012, he will not have to reduce the benefits and salaries that the missionaries of Baptist Faith Missions receive.  The Bratchers in Brasil need the prayers of those we love, as well as those that love us. Until the 10th of May,at least, that includes Stephen who arrived last month, to continue his ministry here for 6 weeks. Please pray for him, that he may soon have his boat totally ready for the planned river trips.  He had to cancel the first one to Olinda, because of problems with the new motor.  He has already been a Big blessing to us personally and the work here, as he always is. Continue to pray also for Asa Mark, that his right eye may be completely healed, of the retina surgery.  He is about 50 percent better.  I am doing well, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  On the 24th of March, I turned 85 years of age on this old earth.  In August, the Lord willing, I hope to celebrate 65 years of ministry, 53 of those in Brasil and with BFM.  To God and Him only, Be the Glory, for what He has done, is doing, and will still do through his humble servants.  Until next month.

Yours in the Service of the Savior,
Harold Bratcher
Rua Francisco Jose Furtado No. 2
Bairro de Sao Francisco
69.079-200 Manaus, Amazonas
Brasil, S.A.

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