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
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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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Seminary Graduations; Stateside for Doctor’s Visits

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.

September 15, 2017

Dear friends and family,

This month has been a little different. We came to the States the first week of the month to be able to do the doctor things. We have had a good report from the cancer treatments and the psa is at 0, but that is to be expected as I am still taking the hormone shots–there cannot be a true number until I am off those shots for 6 months.

I also went to a heart doctor as I have been having some chest problems. We are waiting for the results of the tests. As per usual, it is always hurry up and wait. Your continued prayers are appreciated.

I am going back a month to tell you about some me of the great and AWESOME things that are happening in Brasil and the Caraguatatuba Baptist Seminary. In the last two months, we have had the first and second graduation of the seminary.

The first was in Caragua, as this is where the Seminary began. There in Caragua, we graduated 6 with 14 others receiving a certificate of participation with the hope of completion later. We thought it very appropriate to have the first graduation here in Caragua because the dream for a Seminary was founded here. Then the second was in Natividade da Serra where 24 people graduated. This is AWESOME because our purpose for having a Seminary was and is to train pastors to preach the Word.

Caragua Baptist Seminary is starting to make a major difference for the pastors located in the state of São Paulo, Brasil. The dream started 3½ years ago and is exploding into other regions. How AWESOME is the God we serve.

So with these two classes completed, we are looking to the future as we have another class in October that will also have a graduation ceremony. This is about 6 hours from Caraguatatuba.

It seems like we just turn around and the month is gone. I don’t know if it is really true or it has something to do with age. I’m thinking it is the first, what do you think?

We will be in the States for a little over a month and then back to Brasil for that next graduation, so maybe we will see you during that time, but if not, we will try to see you on the return trip.

Continue praying for my health and God’s work here in Brasil.

If you would like to see what God is doing with your Mission offerings to BFM, come on down. The lights are on and the food is on the table. In His service, Aj and Barb

In His service,
Aj and Barb

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Blessed by Group of Men from Durbin Memorial

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.

August 15, 2017

Friends and family,

I would like to write one letter without having to say that something has gone wrong with one of our vehicles but this month is not going to be that month. This time it is Barb’s car—it is the wheel bearings and it is running hot and leaking oil. The tropical climate could have something to do with the hot problem and the speed bumps are the culprit for the leak. Long story short, we will fix the cooling system, replace the wheel bearings, and repair the leak…just another month (old cars are old cars).

This month we have had a group from Durbin Memorial Baptist Church with Pastor Russell Zik. What a blessing these men were for us. The Indian ministry was greatly blessed by this group. They purchased food baskets for the reservation. This time, instead of putting the food in baskets, we just divided the food into stacks. This way thirty families could receive the same thing.

These Indians do crafts so sustain themselves, so they depend upon visitors to purchase their items. We did not disappoint them, everyone made purchases. This tribe, although they live near other people, they live very primitive. Some live in just simple bamboo huts, one room, with an open pit for cooking in the middle of the room. We were able to visit in two of these homes. Taking the food gave us entrance to the homes where we prayed with these families and personally gave them their food. This is quite an eye-opening experience. This always leaves everyone remembering just how truly blessed we are. This tribe serves many different gods—but over the past five years we have seen seven of them come to know the one and only true God as their personal Savior. AWESOME!!!! The chief is one of those who now knows Christ as his Savior.

Talking about the Chief, he had requested that we bring him a guitar and he specified the colors to be BLUE and YELLOW. With the help from the group from Central Baptist Church in Paris, they were able to get the guitar to this group and we took it to him. He was totally surprised when we presented this guitar to him. Now here is an amazing fact about this Chief: he is 116 years old. He is now moving around slowly and this time he had to sit in a chair while we were presenting the guitar to him, but he is still active in the tribe. He and the others around him loved the guitar. They were excited to receive the guitar as the one they had had only few strings and it could not be tuned for them to make presentations in the city.

This group was an all men group. I especially had a great time as three of this group were firemen and we had worked together for the Lexington Fire Department. We spent many late nights talking about old times.

On Sunday, these men taught all the Sunday school classes except the small children. Then on Sunday night Pastor Zik brought the message. What a blessing!

These men came to work and work they did. They finished laying the floor tiles in the upstairs and it is beautiful. They were able to do some painting also to finish some projects that we had not been able to get to. The church building is really coming alive. How AWESOME is the God we serve!

Thanks Durbin Memorial Baptist Church and especially Pastor Zik, his father Bob Zik, Ron Logan, Charlie Davis and Bob Hendriks.

As always if you are thinking about a mission trip give us a call and come on down.

You will never know just how much Barbara and I appreciate your prayers and financial support. Without you and BFM, we could not do the things that we do here in Caraguatatuba, Brazil.

In His service,
Aj and Barb

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Trying Month of Bus Problems; Encouraged with 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.

May 13, 2017

Friends and family,

This month has been one that has been somewhat trying. Our church bus has had a minor problem with the air brakes. Well, we were told that all we had to do was take off the part and replace it with a new one. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, we were told by the mechanic what part to purchase, so we call the parts store in the next city and ordered the part. We go get the part on Tuesday and bring it to the mechanic (good—this is one day before we will need the bus for Wednesday night). But they call us on Wednesday to say that the part is the wrong one. So, Thursday we make the trip up to the other city to get the new part—which they don’t have—so we order the new part. So, this is the first week that we will not have the bus to pick up the children on Sunday. When we ordered the part on Friday, we were told that there would be a delay in the order because this is a holiday and there would be no mail to get the piece to the parts store. So, we would have to wait 5 days for the part to get to the store. This takes us past Wednesday again. When it arrived and we went to get it, it was for the wrong side. So, they ordered it again.

By this time, I have to go up north for the seminary in Orlandia and the part has not come yet. I was there for a week and upon my arrival, the part had not come yet. Now we are in the third week without a bus for the kids. We were called and told that the new part was at the parts place so Barbara and Edson make a trip up the hill to get it, hoping that this Sunday we will have a bus for the kids. Guess what—this piece did not fit either. Now we discover that someone has worked on the brakes sometime in the past and none of the pieces would have fit so we tell the mechanic to cut the new piece and make it fit the bus.

The blessing in this story is that the bus company that we use when we have big groups has generously loaned us one of their buses on Sunday morning to pick up the kids, but not for the people on Sunday night nor on Wednesday night. But on the last Sunday they could not loan a bus, so we made trips with 2 cars to pick up the kids. We have around 80 to 100 kids that attend Sunday School every week–so you can imagine the amount of kids we had in each car. We were so busy getting the kids to church that no one got pictures.

The bus was functioning on Wednesday night and we are looking forward to a full house on Sunday!!! Sometimes things so simple can become so complicated. Oh well, we are still so blessed that it is unreal. And even in all this mess we have had numerous visitors in the church each week.

Now on to more blessings. At this session of the seminary we had a group of students, 26 in number, 18 of which were pastors and 8 church workers. The classes were taught by Dr. D. Colman from Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dr. R. Edge from First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Texas. What a blessing these two men are to the seminary. The seminary now has accreditation given by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and this has helped us to gain more students. These students are now asking if we can add a Master’s Program to our original classes. You know that with God all things are possible! We are working on this as you read this letter and by God’s grace we will have the Master’s Program included for the classes that start in 2018. How AWESOME is the God we serve.

Pray for our Seminary: Caragua Baptist Seminary as we continue to train Pastors—specifically for us to be able to reach more Pastors to train them to take to gospel to Brasil. In 2018 we will be offering the classes in São Paulo City, Orlandia, São Paulo, probably in Manaus, Amazonas, and maybe in one other location. We are taking these classes to different regions to make them more available to the areas where the pastors reside. That way more pastors can attend and then take the teaching to their areas. This will be an AWESOME blessing to them and their churches.

We always ask for prayer for the Seminary everywhere we go so we now have 70-100  pastors praying for Caragua Baptist Seminary. Won’t you join with them in praying for the seminary also? For the pastors and the workers that participate in the Seminary, for the teachers and for the translators, and the churches that these Pastors return to after they finish the classes. Please include in your prayers Barb and I, our church here in Caraguatatuba, Pastor Walmir and all the works here in Brasil.

To end the letter on a note of a blessing, this month we have had one more soul added to God’s kingdom. Praise His Name.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Praying for Sunday School Teachers & Helpers; Planning 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.

April 12, 2017

Dear friends and family,

What an AWESOME God we serve. As we left the States I completed my last shot (I thought); however, when I received that “last shot” my doctor said, “SORRY, but I would like you to have TWO more shots.” Oh well, life has turned around. I am so thankful for all the prayers for me during these cancer treatments. I would also like to exalt my God for the GOOD reports from the doctor. So, these TWO more shots will be on August 3, 2017, and the LAST one on February 3, 2018. God is AWESOME!!! So, thanks one more time for all the prayers that have been sent on my behalf. With Him all things are possible.

The ministry here is going wonderfully. Pastor Walmir and Mary K. are working very hard and the Sunday School has doubled. Worship service is also growing. They have started a Children’s Church on Sunday nights and this is going good. One of the kids came for the first time last Sunday night and the first thing he asked was, “Is there children’s church tonight?”

We have been in planning mode for next year’s classes for the Seminary. Two classes have been planned and we are just waiting to have the dates confirmed for two more. Here we need lots of prayers because this is an AWESOME way for us to reach Brasil. Training new Pastors and helping old ones to be more grounded in the Baptist doctrine.

Along with the ministry there is lots of maintenance and construction going on. The work on our new building is going very good, but as always there is more work to be done. We can always use more help in this. Are you thinking about a mission trip? Put us on your list of places to go. We are praying for more financial aid for the completion of the building. Maybe you or someone you know would like to be a part of this.

We started a training program for us to have more Sunday School teachers and helpers. This is one of the areas where we are lacking as some of our teachers have upwards to 40 students in their class and only one helper. So, we are in great need for more qualified teachers. God is great and He will supply our needs. Of this we are sure.

As usual car and bus maintenance are an everyday job. You can get one thing fixed and turn around and there are two more to fix. The urgent need for the bus at this time is new tires. We have noted since our return this time that everything has gone up–not only things for the vehicles, but food, Sunday School supplies, electric, water, and the list goes on and on. I would like to say thanks to Grasp International for help on the bus maintenance. Thanks Jason and family, you are greatly missed here in Brasil.

We would like to ask for special prayer for our granddaughters, they both have been having health issues. The doctors are not discovering what the problems are and, on top of that, they both have been suffering with a virus. The healthcare here is not like the States. If nothing else, I can tell you that “social medicine” is terrible. Treatment is minimal if at all—don’t let me get on my soap box about that. Just remember Chelsea and Ashley in your prayers please.

Like I say, come on down and see what your mission dollars are doing here in Caraguatatuba, Brasil. We will leave the light on and put some more water in the beans. As Barbara’s dad always said, we will treat you so many different ways, you will have to like one of them and come back.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Blessed with 50 Years of Marriage

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.

June 9, 2016

A month that is moving quickly!!!

Friends and family, Well, for it not to be a busy month we have not had time to breathe. First we have poured cement for the pulpit area. We formed it up and had lots of help mixing the cement by hand. With over 12 men working we made fast work of it. It only took 6 hours or a little more. God is AWESOME!!!!!!! This area along with the floor of the sanctuary is now ready for the tile workers that will come in July.

We want to say a special THANKS to those of you who helped with the cost of the stuccoing of the walls. They are now done and sealed and painted. The man who painted for us is a recent convert. You see, we had a vision campaign and Jerry came to have his eyes checked and got more than he came for. Pastor Walmir talked with him while he was waiting for his eye exam and he came to church the next week. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior and is now being discipled by Pastor Walmir. Along with a new heart, he got new glasses to help his vision. He, along with 3 others, will be baptized in July. How AWESOME is the God we serve!

We were needing some upgrades on our sound system, so this past week we purchased a snake and outlet box with 20 outlets. We were able to use it this week. It will need lots of refining and we need lots of prayers. We have had lots of help getting this system together and especially lots of help in the purchasing part. God is good.

Our Sunday School areas upstairs are being readied for painting and we are completing two bathrooms also. We are at a standstill waiting for the money for the fixtures for the bathrooms. Just another month here on the mission field. You have to decide which of your projects are the most pressing and wait to see which one God provides the money for. Speaking of money: our church sits on the very edge of the road and when we open the overhead doors we get lots of road noise. This creates the need for glass doors to cut some of this noise so we can have a service with less distractions. We have priced these types of doors and the cost will be $1,500.00. Pray with us for this need and if God leads you to help with this need we want to thank you in advance.

The Hensleys surprise presentation for their 50th wedding anniversary at Igreja Batista Caraguá.

The Hensleys surprise presentation for their 50th wedding anniversary at Igreja Batista Caraguá.

Well, for Barb and I, the 4th of June was a milestone—an AWESOME milestone. We celebrated our 50th wedding Anniversary!!! We are totally blessed. The Lord has blessed us tremendously: raising a family, working, retiring, serving the Lord as missionaries here in Brasil after retirement. God is totally AWESOME!!!!!

For those of you who are nearing retirement, or are retired, talk to me about how you can be a bigger part of God’s work on the mission field. It could be full-time or part-time. God can always use you in His work.

I think I am recovering well from my surgery and I think that I will be ready for the radiation treatments in August. Continue to pray for this to be the case. We are trying to get tickets for the last of July or the first of August.

Vacation time has gotten here and if you don’t have plans for yours, we are always looking for some idle hands to put to work. The bed is turned down and I will turn the light on on the front porch. Come on down.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Missionary Update: AJ & Barbara Hensley [August 2015]

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.

August 10, 2015
Dear Friends and Family,

The month of July has been one full of many things. This month we have had two groups: one from Georgia and one from South Carolina. With them we did Bible schools at the Church and with the Indian children.

While at the Indian village, we were able to deliver food boxes to each family. With one group we were asked by one of the children to pray with him as he felt that he was demon-possessed. So we all gathered ‘round and each one of us prayed for him. When we went back at the end of the month we talked with him again and he said that he was better.

Barbara also had the opportunity to witness to the wife of the Chief. This was the lady who was never receptive to our being there, let alone hearing the Gospel. She did not make a decision for the Lord but at least the seed was planted or watered.

We have been telling you in past letters about how much our Church is growing. Well, we have been looking for a way to accommodate this growth. We had made all the arrangements to cover the driveway beside our building so we could use it for Sunday School classes. The very day that we were getting ready to start the construction, the owner of the building appeared. He informed us that he did not want this construction done on his property. I asked him if he would like to sell his property and he said that he would not. He was with a friend and this friend owned the land behind so I asked if he would like to sell his land, but he did not. What I was not aware of was the owner of the building next door was close by and when these two men left, he approached me and said, “My building is for sale.” And through the AWESOME grace of God, we are now the owner of a new church building!

God has provided a new building for the church in Caraguatatuba with lots of work to be done.

God has provided a new building for the church in Caraguatatuba with lots of work to be done.

We have used the visitors to tear down walls, beat up concrete, smash down windows, and all the other demo jobs that you can imagine. We are looking forward to having church in our new building shortly. We may have to move in on concrete floors, unpainted walls, and many other things in the process of being finished, but God is so good – no, He is AWESOME!  When you see where He is working, go join Him – you will be amazed at what He will do through you.

In the midst of all this, Barbara has had to go to the States. Her mother, Reba Baker, fell and broke her hip. She is now in a nursing home doing physical therapy and Barb will stay with her through September. Pray that all goes well with the therapy and Mrs. Reba can get back home to her house.

If you have not been to see what God can do with your mission dollars, well come on down. We will treat you so many different ways you will have to like at least one of them. Come see what God is doing in Caragua.

In His Service,
AJ & Barb Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com

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