Christmas Miracles

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

December 12, 2019

Friends and family,

What an AWESOME year this has been! The Seminary has and is going wonderfully; it is because of so many wonderful people like you. Your prayers and giving have helped us minister to the wonderful ministers and church workers in Brasil. So, it is with a heart full of gratitude that I say to you all: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

As we reflect back at this time of year it is good to think of the Christmas Miracle: none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the reason for the season. And He is the reason for the Seminary there in Brasil. If we can train more and more Pastors in Brasil, just think how many Brasilians can be reached.
Barbara and I would like to take this time to wish one and all a wonderful, AWESOME, and happy Christmas holiday and New Year. May we all use the new year to be better servants of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I would like to mention one more miracle of this year—my last exam this year showed a non-detectable on my PSA. That means that God’s miracle for me and my family is that I am CANCER FREE. How AWESOME is the Lord we serve.

Looking forward to the upcoming year and what God has in store for the Seminary and all who are a part of it.

Thank you BFM family for the encouragement these past two years as I and my family have gone through this time of waiting on the Lord to heal me. Thank all of you who prayed for me and the outcome of this time. God is faithful.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Goal of Caraguatatuba Baptist Seminary

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

December 15, 2018

Dear friends and family,

In this letter I want to talk you about Caraguatatuba Baptist Seminary. I have told you some of the results and some of our plans but never about the seminary itself. Our purpose is to take basic evangelical seminary to underserved pastors and Church elders in Brasil.

Our goal is to provide these saints with solid understanding of God’s truth in scripture and equip them to effectively evangelize, disciple, and build God’s kingdom in Brasil.

Our object is through the generosity and love of many Churches here in the States who allow their Pastors time off and help them financially to come and teach these pastors here in Brasil.

And because of all this the seminary has had an AWESOME year. I would like to take time right here to thank all our professors who graciously give of their time and energy to teach these classes. These professors are: Pr. Derek Coleman, Pr. Steven Scherer, Pr. Chris Dortch, Pr. Greg Waltermire, Pr. Raymond Edge and Pr. Russell Zik. Along with the professors, we have helpers in the regions where we teach and the translators and the interpreters.

The seminary offers a four-course certificate in Pastoral Ministries and a twelve-course Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministries.

HISTORY: We have conducted courses in five cities—in those, we have had 257 students total. There have been 82 Churches represented with a total of 9,149 members in those Churches. They have been from 5 states from the Amazon to São Paulo. There have been a total of 23 classes conducted encompassing 8 courses. The classes were Systematic Theology, Survey of the New Testament, Survey of the Old Testament, Pastoral ministries, Theology of Discipleship, Old Testament Elective (Dead Sea Scrolls), New Testament Elective (Fundamentals of New Testament Soteriology).

Two cities have graduated students with a four-course Pastoral Ministries. Another city will finalize a four-course series in the summer of 2019! Two more cities have ongoing courses leading to a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministries. We currently have 57 students enrolled in the Masters program.

A big THANKS to all who help in the United States and in Brasil. Thanks to prayer partners and BFM—without your AWESOME help and assistance, this would not be possible. Our plans for the coming year will be presented in the upcoming letter. We have a big prayer request: we need more Professors with Ph.D./doctoral degrees. Pray with us about this, and if you qualify, and are willing to donate your time and talent, let us know.

Barbara and I would like to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a God-filled New Year.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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 Opens Doors for the Seminary All Over Brazil

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

November 16, 2018

Dear friends and family,

I got back from Brasil on the 1st of November and went to the doctor right away. He did the needed tests and I just want to tell you what an AWESOME God we serve. My PSA was undetectable. What that means is there is no cancer cells detected in my body. I will have to go back to the doctor in three months, but as of now I am free of taking any medicine for three months. Just to reiterate, “God is AWESOME!!!”

While I was in Brasil, we had a lot of accomplishments and much traveling for me.

In São Paulo City, we taught two more classes. There was New Testament Survey taught by Dr. Chris Dortch from First Baptist Church in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. The second week was Pastoral Ministries taught by Dr. Steven Scherer of Central Baptist Church in Paris, Kentucky. Both classes and professors were AWESOME. Pictures included.

The first week there were 31 students and in the second class there were 34 students. In these numbers there were 16 pastors. Can you imagine how many Brazilians will be reached when these pastors and Sunday school teachers go back to their church and teach what they are learning?

While these classes were going on, Dr. Derek and I made a trip to a town called Campins. We had been invited by some pastors to come talk to them about having a seminary in their town. There were 9 pastors present and after two or more hours of telling them about our seminary, our credentials, our professors, our mode of teaching, and the work required after the classes, they were satisfied that our seminary was what they were looking for. So, we have scheduled 4 classes to be taught there from March to October 2019.

We made this contact from the recommendation of Dr. Thomas Gilmar from the Baptist Temple of Indianapolis in São Paulo. Also we will be going to Manaus, Brasil, to meet with Pastor John Salava in June to have the same kind of meeting about the seminary, hopefully to have the same outcome. So, you can see how AWESOME God is and how He is opening doors all over Brazil for Caragua Baptist Seminary.

You can see that praying really works because God has put all these opportunities in our path. Now I need you to begin praying for God to supply us with qualified professors. We know that our God is capable, so we are just waiting to see where He works.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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In São Paulo for Two Seminary Classes

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

October 13, 2018

Dear friends and family,

The last two months have flown by so fast, as though they were only two weeks. I have made two trips to Brasil planning for and doing research for the next seminary classes. I will be returning to São Paulo on October 14 for the next two classes in the Seminary. These classes will be “Survey of the New Testament” and “Pastoral Training”.

What a blessing it is that we have pastors here in the States that are willing to give of their time to help us with the training of Brasilian pastors and church leaders. We would like to give a big THANK YOU to their Churches for allowing them to leave their pulpits to come teach here in Brasil. What an AWESOME God we all serve.

We will be welcoming two new professors to our Brasilian Seminary this Month. They are Dr. Chris Dortch of First Baptist Church of Mt. Sterling, KY, and Dr. Steven Scherer of Central Baptist Church in Paris, KY. Dr. Dortch will be teaching New Testament Survey and this course is designed to provide a basic introduction to each of the New Testament books. There will be special focus on the revelation of Jesus Christ in each book. Also, it will focus on providing keys to understanding each book in the context of the entirety of the scriptures. Pastor Scherer will be teaching Pastoral Ministries. This course is designed to equip the student for Pastoral Ministry by examining the various aspects of ministry required of pastors serving in local churches. It also includes identifying biblical absolutes, priorities and qualifications needed for effective pastoring within the local church.

I am working with some Pastors from Garça, São Paulo, planning our next Seminary classes in 2019. We have asked Pastor Russell Zik of Durbin Baptist Church to be the professor for this class. Also pray for us as we consider the locations for the next classes. Pray for our professors as they leave their comfort zone to help further the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Children in Sunday School Class at Pr. Ricardo Posca’s church in São Paulo

Pr. Ricardo Posca’s church in São Paulo

While I am in São Paulo, I plan to see Pr. Ricardo Posca from our previous class who Barbara and I chose to help support in his endeavors to start a church in São Paulo. At this time, he has 20 members and is starting a Sunday School for the children and there are about 15 children in attendance (photos included). Please keep him and this work in your prayers. Also, one of the other missionaries that we are helping that works with the Indians in Parati, Pr. Valdival, has had a heart attack and has to leave his work for four months for recuperation. Please keep him and his wife in your prayers as they have to leave their home and work to recuperate.

I am planning to be back in the United States by November 1st because of my cancer treatments and my appointments. I have an appointment with the cancer doctor on the 3rd and hopefully I will get a good report. Please pray with me and for me in these days ahead.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Working on a Communication System for Seminary

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

July 12, 2018

Friends and family,

As I am writing this letter we are working on our system of communication through the computer for Caragua Baptist Seminary. For example, the students want to know what their grades are from the tests they have taken, the courses that are being offered, the locations where they will be offered and the time frame for the courses. Sounds easy, right? Well, put language difficulties and translation into the mix, add having to go through multiple people, the desire to have the correct spelling, grammar correctness and correct sentence structure……now you can see the problems. We are also hoping that my third language (hillbilly) won’t interfere much with what we are trying to do. SOLUTIONS: We are forming a group of pastors there and here, mixing them with several IT professionals and we are off and running. So here is a BIG prayer request, that we will be able to integrate all these different folks together to jump one more hurdle so that we can have an AWESOME Seminary.

One of our students has put the roof on the building that he and his members are building. They need the doors and the bathrooms to be able to occupy their building. But in the meantime, they are meeting in his home. As we continue to help these church starts we need two things: prayer warriors and financial help. As in any place, they encounter many problems when trying to do something for God. Workers for construction are few and the money for material is even less. So I know all of you are prayer warriors, so please put these Brasilian pastors on your prayer list and if you can spare some financial support, please send it to BFM and mark it “Church Starts in Brasil”. The seminary is helping three pastors who are starting mission works but our ability to help is small. But with many of us giving a little, it amounts to a lot. And we all know that a little is a lot with God in control.

My health issues as of today are good. I have a major appointment the first part of August. I request that you pray for me that I will have improvement in the cancer battle and maybe have a “vacation” from the medication. Over a year and a half ago I was told that the choices that I had were surgery with 38 radiation treatments with follow-up medication or expect 6 to 9 months of life. Well here it is almost 2 years later and I am looking forward to a vacation from meds. How AWESOME is the God we have!!!

One of the Pastors and his family that are planting a church in Brasil. He is a student of Caragua Baptist Seminary.

Our next Seminary classes are in October. On that date we will be having four classes: two in Orlandia and two in São Paulo city. Our plans had been to have classes in June but the trucker strike in Brasil almost paralyzed the country. In Caraguatatuba they went almost 3 weeks with no deliveries to their town. There was only gas for the emergency vehicles; the grocery stores and the farmers markets had very little stock—and what they had was price hacked. You know what I am talking about, the merchants raised prices because they could. Now the strike is over, but guess what…the food prices have not gone back down. Go figure!!!! So needless to say, Mary and Walmir and all the other Brasilian pastors are struggling to make ends meet. Keep them in your prayers.

Please continue to pray for our endeavors as we continue the work that God has provided for us as we live in the USA for my treatments and work in Brasil as Missionaries representing Jesus Christ because of your support through Baptist Faith Missions.

As we have the Seminary classes, we constantly watch for the men of God who are anxious to work for the Lord. These are the ones whom we will chose to be the next church planters. We cannot forget the Pastors and their churches here in the States. The pastors who give of their time to come to Brasil to teach in the Seminary for FREE and the churches that support them as they come. Without them our dream for a Seminary to help the Brasilian pastors would have never gone as far as it has. Praise God for all those who have a hand in this endeavor.

We are working toward establishing 3 permanent locations to have the Seminary classes. From these locations we can meet the needs of many Brasilian pastors. Please pray that God would lead our search.

Here is one of the Pastors and his family that are planting a church in Brasil. He is a student of Caragua Baptist Seminary.

In His Service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Two Wonderful Weeks of Seminary Classes

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

May 16, 2018

Dear friends and family,

These weeks have been some real AWESOME ones. Weeks and months of preparation have come to fruition. We have completed two wonderful weeks of seminary classes. These perhaps have been two of our most fulfilling up to this point.

The first class taught by Dr. Derek Colman of Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky, was Systematic Theology. This class started opening the eyes of the students and created an atmosphere of excitement about Biblical learning.

This was our introduction to São Paulo City. I have been somewhat reluctant to go to this city because of its enormity. It is a challenge just to get from point A to point B. You see, the city itself is only 57 miles across. Yes, I said 57 miles. So, the challenges that the students had was not only studying, they had the challenge to get to class and—on time. The students have regular daytime jobs, so they had to face getting to the classes from their job sites, to face the congestion at quitting time, and all the other difficulties that Satan could throw at them. This alone made these students very special. Even facing these challenges their desire to learn has been AWESOME!!! Their questions have been great.

Then came Dr. Edge from 1st Baptist Church in Texas—he taught the Old Testament Survey class and just mesmerized the students.

Let me tell you about some of the students. There was this one very special lady in the class (among many others) and her story caught our attention. She was in her late 60s, still working—she is a medical doctor in São Paulo City. What brought her to our attention was her statement about our Seminary. She told us that she had been praying over 40 years for a Baptist Seminary where she could attend and learn more. Her desire is to know the Scriptures better so that she could be a more effective witness for Him. We all need more of her enthusiasm and dedication for learning more about our Lord and Savior.
Another student said that he was helping in a mission Church and had studied the Old Testament very little but after the class on the Old Testament Survey he was very enthusiastic to learn more and more.

As we were preparing for the class I was praying for 20 to 25 students. We had 23 pre-registered students, but come the night of the first class, we had 44 students. Oh me of little faith! I simply forget what an AWESOME God we serve. Sixteen of these students are Pastors. This fits right in with our desire to train Pastors and church workers to be more effective and better prepared to take the Word to their respective areas.

As we have shared with you in previous letters we are keeping our eye out for that one that God would have us help in their endeavor to start a church. Well I am happy to tell you that we have selected one from this class. He is a young man that is trying to start a mission in a needy area. His Pastor who is also in this class has high regards for this young man. We will be gifting him his books and seminary costs and will help him monthly. This help will be for one year to give him time to build God’s work in this area. He says that he has around 20 in his mission at this time and all are needy. Not only physically (very poor) but also spiritually. His name is Ricardo Posca he is married and has a little girl. Please keep them in your prayers. If you would like to be a part of his ministry, please send donations to BFM marked in his name in care of Aj Hensley.

Continue to pray for the Seminary, the professors and the continuing students and the future students. I will be returning in June or July to look into more sites for the seminary, but when I find them we will need God to send more qualified professors. Please put this on your prayer list.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Headed to Orlandia, São Paulo for Seminary Classes

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

Dear friends and family,

What a beautiful day today is and to just to think that three days ago it snowed over one inch. And just to add a little interest it is predicted to snow this coming Monday. I heard someone say the other day—this is the ace I know of where you can experience all four seasons in the same week. Our Lord is AWESOME!!!!!

Going back to Monday, it is supposed to be 32 degrees with snow—and Tuesday Barbara and I are traveling to Brasil. I don’t know how this will affect our departure from Kentucky, so pray for us as we are traveling to Brasil.

This trip is going to be very exciting as we are planning 2 seminary classes in the capital of São Paulo.   The classes that will be taught are Systematic Theology and Survey of the Old Testament. They will be taught by Dr. Coleman from Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dr. Edge from First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Texas. Both of these Pastors are mission minded and are AWESOME servants of God.

One of the pastors working on the new church building

The next classes will be in Orlandia, São Paulo. These classes will be for the master’s program and then we will have two more classes in São Paulo. These will be New Testament Survey and Pastoral Ministries.

I would like to request “special prayers” for our professors who give of their time and their Churches who permit them to leave their pulpits for the time to teach our brothers in Brasil.

Our Professors are:

  • Dr. Derek Coleman, Gardenside Baptist Church, Lexington, KY
  • Dr. Raymond Edge, First Baptist Church, Bastrop, TX
  • Dr. Terry Leap, William Storm Baptist Church, Williamstown, KY
  • Dr. Greg Waltermire, Heritage Baptist Church, Lexington, KY
  • Dr. Steven Shear, Central Baptist Church, Paris, KY
  • Dr. Dustin Coleman, Brainard Ave Baptist Church, Countryside, IL
  • David Stokes, Director of Missions for Central KY Network of Baptists
  • Russel Zik, Durbin Memorial Baptist Church, Lexington, KY

We have selected four students from the Caragua Baptist Seminary graduates to help as they are planting Churches in Brasil. I am inserting a picture of one of them. In this upcoming class we will be selecting one or more students to sponsor for planting churches.

Our planned seminary classes for 2018 are:

  • April- Systematic Theology, Old Testament Survey. These will be in the city of São Paulo.
  • June- we are planning an exploratory trip to scout out new locations for the coming classes
  • October – Expository Preaching 1 and Apologetics. These will be in Orlandia, São Paulo.

As you can see the Lord is really blessing and to Him all the glory and honor belongs.

As always, we have many prayer requests: our health is the first one and a good prognosis in July with the cancer treatments, the mission work in Caragua, church plants, Indians, the new locations for the Seminary, more professors for the seminary, and Pastor Walmir, Mary, Chelsea and Ashley.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Training Pastors to Reach Brazil

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

February 16, 2018

Friends and family,
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I started praying and searching for a way that I could continue to serve my Lord in Brasil because I did not feel that God was finished with me and my service in Brasil, knowing that the main emphasis for Baptist Faith Missions is to open new churches—so I began to think in that area. You know that sometimes the answer to your question is right in front of you and you just have to open your heart and eyes.

For several years now, we have been working with seminary training for local pastors. This Seminary training began in Caragua because we saw the need for the local pastors to have more Bible training. So, we began in our church and invited some of our sister churches to join with us for the first of many seminary classes. Before we knew it, other Pastors were calling us to see if we could do the same in their areas. With Dr. Coleman, myself and Pr. Jason, we organized the Caragua Baptist Seminary. Our first distant classes were in Orlandia, São Paulo, with 35 students. Although our goal was to train Pastors, we also included church workers in the classes. We did a lot of trial and error at first, making the occasional mistakes, but with the Lord’s leadership we have evolved. This year not only is Caragua Baptist Seminary accredited, we have also added a Master’s Program.

Although our objective is to train Pastors, it has grown even beyond our dreams and expectations. Training pastors is an AWESOME way to reach Brasil.

The way God revealed to me that I can continue to serve Him in Brasil is to continue to work with the Seminary training Pastors and sending them out to begin new works all over Brasil. You see, it was right under my nose—it just took God to reveal it to me.

So, I will continue to work in the Seminary, just from a distance. Each year I will go to Brasil 3 or 4 times for the classes to help with them and also to seek out other areas that need our Seminary.

As we teach these Pastors I am keeping my eyes out to see those Pastors who show a desire to begin new works. I meet with them and listen to their hunger to serve the Lord. Then I will encourage them during the time that we spend together to follow God in whatever they do. At this time, we have begun to help three pastors in their endeavors to start new Churches. One is in another country: Paraguay. His church start is in a rural area where there is no electricity. They have around 7 to 9 in attendance. The next two are in the state of São Paulo. The first of these two is having their services in the garage of their home with about 7 adults and 12 children. The other has a foundation dug for the Church building and they are having services in their home. To be able to get started they stepped out on faith and borrowed the money for the land and are building as God provides. How AWESOME! The Pastors we select to help start a church, we will give them an offering for the first year. We also pay for their seminary classes at Caragua Baptist Seminary.

The foundation for the third work

Talking about this calls back memories of how we started our last work. It began on the front porch of a widow’s home. After four years that work now has its building and a Brazilian pastor. What a blessing. AWESOME is the God we serve.

So, this is what God has laid before me as my way to serve Him in Brasil as I live in Lexington, Kentucky. This is so I can be close to the doctors. I have been to the doctor this month and the blood test that they did showed undetectable counts for cancer. Praise Him! The doctor said that if everything continued the same that I might be able to take a vacation from the injection that I am taking every 6 months.

So please pray for the Seminary as we are expanding into other cities and continue to pray for my health to continue to improve. HOW AWESOME IS HE WHO WE SERVE!!!

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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