Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher in Brazil [February 2012]

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the "SeedFactory" church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Dear friends,

In this issue is a testimony of how the Lord saved a hopeless teenager from suicide and into new life in Christ. You will also be encouraged about a new church plant and get a quick update on our family.

A couple of weeks ago I received a desperate phone call from a mother who pleaded for help. Her 17-year-old son had attempted suicide and was in dire condition at the hospital.  According to his Facebook post, it was approximately 3:00pm when he swallowed 70 muscle relaxants in the attempt to take his life. His mother arrived home from work at 6:30pm unaware of what happened earlier that day. She found him in convulsions laying on his bed.  Quickly she called a neighbor with a car & rushed him to the nearest hospital. Only to discover there was no room & to look for another hospital. They stopped at multiple locations in search for an available ICU bed. It was only at the fifth hospital where they were able to find an available bed. At this point, with his vital signs virtually null, fluids in his lungs & with possible neurological damage the doctors informed the mother his chances of survival were slim to none. In hopelessness, she was instructed to give her last farewell to her son.  Shortly after she called me for help. I have visited them daily at the hospital. The good news is that the Lord was merciful and allowed him to live, leaving the doctors confused by his comeback with no neurological damage. A few days ago, he surrendered to Christ and found new life. Unfortunately, many people live without hope. Our Messiah is the only hope. I am so grateful this teenage boy finally found a reason to live. Pray for him and his mother.

Church Planting Innovation
In August of 2011 the Lord laid on my heart to take on a new challenge. The previous four years of my ministry were focused on supervising construction/remodeling of buildings, in training & equipping pastors, while guiding them side-by-side (mentoring & coaching) as THEY led the church plant as senior pastors. Leading dedicated men in a “pastoral team in training” was fantastic and worked great!

Unfortunately, the Brazilian legal system is changing. Many new laws are already in place against churches, and more are on the way. So, upon our return to Brazil the Lord led me to do something different – to be the senior pastor of a new church plant & to train pastors in a slightly different fashion. In late 2011, I began church-planting conversations with two other couples the Lord laid on my heart. God is incredible. He confirmed our prayers and this is what happened:

On the second Sunday of January we had our first team meeting. We began with a prayer tour in a van throughout our city. We asked God to lead us where to start a church. Since then, we have met once a week for 5 hours at a time each Sunday. We decided not to focus on a church building, but instead invest more time on the people and meet in homes. Three weeks ago we started a weekly home prayer meeting on Wednesdays and now have 16 people attending. Last Sunday we had our first pre-evangelism cookout. We had 5 unsaved first time guests at the barbecue. We plan to have these cookouts every two weeks until May and reassess. Each event is hosted  & sponsored by a different couple of the team, who are in charge of inviting friends and colleagues to their house. At the cookout we all mingle and connect with the new friends. The prayer before eating is a crucial moment for the guests to identify us as Christians, pave the way for the Gospel presentation and connect them into the Wednesday prayer meeting. March 25th will be our inaugural Sunday service.  The new work will be called “Active Baptist Church”. Pray for us. It sure has been a lot of fun.

Family Life
Sarah, Laura and Benjamin are enrolled in school and doing well. Melissa Nicole was born December 1, 2011. She cries a lot due to gases. Sarah has shown to have a good ear for identifying instruments in songs as she hears them play on the cd player. Laura loves to tell stories and jokes. She has a charming laughter. Benjamin is a fast runner and likes to go with his daddy to the store. Raquel is lovely, as always. I am doing well. I’ve lost 5lbs since January.

Please, continue to support, challenge others to invest into the Kingdom through Baptist Faith Missions and pray for us. And, if the Lord leads, speak to your pastor, reach out and start a church! America still needs church-planters.

Jud & Raquel Hatcher
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