Missionary Update: AJ & Barbara Hensley in Brazil [July 2013]

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.

Dear friends and family,

How AWESOME is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we start talking about plans (ie: for our Church construction), I’m thinking I see a year’s worth of work to make this building presentable…then miracles start taking place. After 4 groups come and go (over a month and a half), our church building is absolutely beautiful. What should have taken a year got finished in a little over a month and a half. AWESOME!! And I am thinking Jeremiah 29:11—For I know the plans I have for you—–it just reminds me that my God is watching out for me and my small Church here in Brasil. He knows what He has planned for us and we just have to let Him work His miracles. Just one more display of how AWESOME magnificent, all powerful, all knowing our God is.

So thank you to our groups: Pastor Foy and group from Mount Eden Baptist Church, Pastor Allen and Pastor David from Centerville Baptist Church, Pastor Dan Russell from Immanuel Baptist with the group from Central Baptist in Paris, Ky, and two firemen from Atlantic Shores Baptist Church in Virginia Beach. Our Church wants to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

So you ask, what got done in these short weeks: well, the Church was painted inside and out, one bathroom remodeled, one bathroom constructed, two mobile cabinets constructed, cabinet for the kitchen made, kitchen sink area remodeled and a new countertop added, dorm room at school painted, windows at our home painted, the floor in the Church tiled (200 sq meters), waterproofed the roof of the bathroom, water fountain installed, sound system installed, and electrical work done in several areas.

And now what is yet to be done: repair our overhead doors, install screens on the windows, install metal fence in the front of the Church building for security, remodel the balcony area for Sunday School rooms, and make cabinets for storage. In comparison, this list is very small.

But these groups did not just do manual labor, they also did Back Yard Bible Schools. We were able to do four. Two of these were in public schools. While the team for the Bible School was busy in the classrooms teaching God’s Word, another team was busy outside painting the concrete fence all around the school. We like to do some work project at the schools where we go because they do not expect us to. This shows them the love of God through the actions of Americans that not only come to their country to spread the gospel, but to help in anything that they can. One of our Bible Schools was at our Church and the children loved it. We also used this to gather more children into our new Church. Then we took the gospel to the Guarani Indians in Rio. There we also took food baskets to each family. You would have to see this tribe to know how much a food basket means to them. And while we were ministering to the Indians, we also ministered to the missionary that works with them. We took an offering on the spot to buy new tires for his car. The road he has to travel to get to the tribe is very bad and his tires were showing the fiber from the inside.

Some of their Sunday School children with a banner made for their church by some children in the states from Pellville Baptist Church.

During this time we have had two people move their membership so we are growing a little at a time. We are having on average 32-37 children on Sunday morning and we are fluctuating on Sunday night between 40 to 80. We are having Bible Study in the home of one of the newest members, English classes on Saturday evenings, and then Youth meetings after that. When the balcony is ready, we will divide the children into two classes and they will go into these classrooms. Then we will be able to have two adult classes in the auditorium. We continue to serve breakfast to the children on Sunday morning and we have several adults that join in. As we have said before, you need to feed their physical hunger before you can feed their spiritual hunger.

Needless to say, all of this activity has left us tired so I ask that you pray for our health to continue to be good and that God continues to give us strength to complete everything that He wants to do.

Our Sunday School children would like to give a shout out to the children in the States who made this banner for our Church. Thanks Kim Mitchell and Pellville Baptist Church. The children love their banner!!! And thanks to the other Churches who made banners as well. They are beautiful in the Church.

As you can see by this letter we have the room to host many groups. So if you and your Church would like to experience mission work up close and personal just give us a call and we can start planning your mission trip. We will treat you so many ways that you will have to like one. Come on down!!!

In His service,

Aj and Barbara Hensley

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