Missionary Update: Harold Bratcher in Brazil [October 2012]

October 3, 2012.

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

Once again I greet you from the Amazon Valley of Brazil, South America. The 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 does not officially start until late November and most days have been very hot and dry. So this summer has been unusual with even a cyclone two weeks ago.

During these last two months, 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, will be questioned before the ordination council Saturday. Continue to pray for them and for us.

This Mission Sheets month began July 5th and finishes today. During this period I preached 25 sermons, all at the 24th of March Baptist Church where I serve as the pastor, with the exception of Monday night when I preached the 20 minute birthday sermon at the house of Bro. Francisco Chagas Braz, who was celebrating his 54th birthday. This dear brother is a great blessing to us as he is the watchman for the house on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. This is necessary in order to avoid unexpected, uninvited and undesired visitors. During this period I heard a total of 7 sermons preached at 2 different places. One was at the organization of the Church at Sao Pedro, where Jair Mendonca is pastor. The other was at the Communion Baptist Church on July 15th. On that very day, we were celebrating 53 years since arriving in Manaus for the first time with my family. Also, I was celebrating 65 years of being in the ministry.  Pastor Teodorio Souza preached to over 300 people present, 15 pastors and 22 churches represented. The church also gave me a 650 reais ($350) offering, 10 reais for each year in the ministry. Also, I was able to pray at Marie’s and Joel’s grave on Father’s Day and deposit a wreath of flowers at the request and due to the generosity of Bob Porter. As I stood there in the 100 degree heat, I thanked our Savior that both of them are safely home, awaiting us. As we count the days, Saudades abound.

I conclude this letter asking that you pray for my future plans. As of now, I plan to conclude my missionary efforts in the Amazon Valley in January, when I will be returning home for my regular furlough.  I don’t plan to return to the Land of Eternal Summer.  I have my home of 47 years on the market and when it sells, I would like to buy a small one there in Lexington.

May we all continue to heed the pleas of Pastor Dave Parks for more offerings for Baptist Faith Missions. I am thankful that during the remainder of this year of 2012 so far, he has not had to reduce the benefits and salaries that the missionaries of Baptist Faith Missions receive. I need the prayers of those we love, as well as those that love us.

I am doing well, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Thank you to all of you who have asked about us.  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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