Challenges in São Paulo, God’s Faithfulness Through It All

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in São Paulo, 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.

São Paulo, 8 of April of 2019

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It’s with joy I write to you. God has done great things in our lives and around us. Since we arrived in São Paulo, on July 20, 2016 (almost 3 years ago), we have faced difficult challenges. But God is faithful and has given us wisdom in every step of the way. We thank you for your prayers and love demonstrated towards us in so many ways. Without you supporting our ministry, it wouldn’t be possible.

I want to share, even if in a nutshell, a little bit of our routine. When we first arrived, we were involved in starting/ministering at an English-speaking church and a Spanish-speaking church. Both were connected to a Portuguese-speaking church. Both churches were growing fast, and we were happy to be serving in that capacity. But God had other plans for us. Frustrated efforts in church plants in homes were discouraging. Through a turn of events, He redirected us to the other side of town. In the beginning, it was not easy. It was an unexpected change for all of us. There were questions in my mind at that time but never doubts about God’s faithfulness and love for us. As a wife, I learned I need to be prepared to follow my husband’s lead, and trust God. I think, this attitude of readiness (like Sarah – who had to pick up everything she had and follow her husband Abraham to a place where she did not know) was for me, the most difficult challenge as a missionary.

In August, we complete one year since the move. With God’s grace, we started two new churches. One meets on Saturdays – Hope Church. We have children’s church at 4:30 pm (they live in a very poor community, and they come by themselves bringing along their baby siblings; their ages average from 1-year-old to 13), and at 6:30 pm we have an open service to reach mainly adults. Another church meets on Sundays – Imagine Baptist Church. We have an English service at 5:00 pm and a Portuguese service at 6:30 pm. This church is an urbanized, more middle-class neighborhood. Jud is also mentoring a team of leaders from another Baptist church during the week (it is part of the network of churches Jud has started in São Paulo). But I stay home during the week. It is a tremendous joy to have the privilege to tell the good news of Jesus Christ to little ones, young and old. It’s an honor to serve Him.

Our children are very involved in both ministries – Hope and Imagine. They help us with children’s ministry on Saturdays, and in different ways on Sundays. It is priceless to see our daughters and son involved in church planting. I know the seed will grow in their hearts and be fruitful. They are a blessing to us. Sarah just turned 14 years old. Laura will be 13 in July, Benjamin is 11, and Melissa is 7 years old. They are attending an American Christian School. We are very happy. When we came to São Paulo, we brought material for me to home school them. Well, it didn’t work. So, they went to a public secular school. It was a mistake. Finally, we took a huge step of faith, and we registered them at Pan American Christian Academy, a well-known school for its strong biblical foundation and Christian worldview. They follow the US school calendar. With so many school changes, our kids had to adjust to the new school, which follows both curriculums: American and Brazilian. In other words, they have more disciplines in order to get both diplomas when they graduate. And 90% of their classes are in English.

During the week, I volunteer a few hours a week at our kids’ school. I also help families as a psychologist during the week. Next month, I’ll be guest speaking at a meeting for people who are thinking about becoming foster care parents, and families that already have a child under their care. This event is led by a Christian organization which has several ministry fronts in São Paulo. I also participate in a weekly, small group Bible study. It’s a blessing to study the Word of God with sisters in Christ. We are doing True Woman 201 – Interior Design – Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood. It’s fantastic. I highly recommend.

There are so many other things I could share, but I need to save it for another opportunity. So, I will end with prayer requests:

1. For our ministries – that people can be saved
2. For our children – spiritual growth and studies
3. Our health, but especially for Laura who had her left eardrum ruptured and lost 90% of her hearing (the doctor in Brazil declared it as permanent hearing loss).

We are so thankful for each one of you. May God bless you with His spiritual blessings.

In Christ’s love,
Raquel Hatcher

Judson & Raquel Hatcher
(859) 544-9040
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My Happy Place

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.

April 1, 2019

My life as a missionary wife in Brazil is truly my “Happy Place”. It is so evident that this is what God has called me to and He has blessed me more than I could have imagined. He gave me two beautiful children here and now we have our first grandson, named Jayce. Bobby ministered in Brazil from 1985 to 2015 when he had to return to the USA to take care of his ailing father after his mother passed away. We spent 3 years there until January of 2018 when we returned to Brazil to start all over again. It’s been a little over a year since we returned from the States. We had to sell everything when we left and having to start from scratch was quite a struggle. The Lord blessed tremendously, though, and we have seen our ministry flourish beyond our greatest hopes. The toughest part as a wife was to refurnish our house and make it feel like a home again. We were only able to bring a few suitcases on the plane with us and our house was in great need of many repairs.

3 generations Charlene has evangelized and taught.

These two men were boys of 8 and 9 years of age when Charlene was the their Bible school teacher. They have each become faithful leaders in their church work.

When we first came to Brazil, I struggled with the Portuguese language. I grew up in southern Georgia and had never even thought that I might need to learn another language. Since I came to Brazil as an adult, it has been impossible to completely lose my southern accent, but everyone says that I speak the language very well. It is probably just me that feels that my language skills aren’t the best. The Lord has used me, though, to share the gospel with thousands of women and kids through the course of our 33 years of ministry here. I am very grateful for this privilege. One of the most thrilling blessings to me is that I am in the process of discipling two girls who are from the third generation of people we evangelized during the course of our ministry. We had the privilege to lead a woman, her daughter and now, her granddaughter to the Lord and teach them the Word of God.

One of Charlene’s English classes with children from the community around their church.

Besides being Bobby’s life-partner, I also have a few activities that aid in our ministries. During the week I teach English as a second language to children from the community. This is a way for us to come into contact with families that wouldn’t ordinarily come to church. At present, I have 20 students from ages 8 to 12. I am also involved in our church’s couples’ outreach ministry.

A couples event that Charlene decorated for.

We put on 4 couples’ events each year to attract unchurched families where Bobby preaches the gospel and I help with planning the event, such as decoration and food preparation. On Sundays I teach the children ages 8 to 12. In fact, my assistant now is a woman who used to be one of my students and her two daughters are in our class.

There are a few prayer requests that I would like to share with you who would be interested in partnering with me in this ministry:

  1. My son, Brennen, and his family – his present job doesn’t pay enough and his son, Jayce, has struggles with his health. This is especially tough because we live so far away.
  2. My daughter, Jessie – She has a great job at her church and she wants the Lord to use her greatly for the growth of His kingdom.
  3. Bobby and I need wisdom to guide the church in the direction the Lord wants us to take it.

Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333

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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Missionary Update: Roger & Julie Tate in Kenya [May 2013]

April 26, 2013

When Dave asked us ladies to write the newsletter this month in honor of Mother’s Day, I struggled with what to say…because there is too much to say. So, let me share just a couple of joys and struggles that I face here in Kenya as a missionary woman/wife/mother.

One of my absolute favorite things about living on the mission field here in Kenya is being among a multitude of people groups and nationalities. In the States, I knew a few isolated people who were not native to our country; but, in Kenya, my family has had to learn to co-exist peacefully and respectfully with people of many diverse ethnic groups: South Korean, Pakistani, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, Swiss, Swedish, Jewish, French, English, Danish, Indian, Tanzanian, not to mention the different tribes of Kenya with their unique cultures. There is so much beauty in living among these different cultures, because it’s just a little taste of Heaven. Don’t get me wrong; I love America. I love our American heritage, and I want my children to treasure it as much as I do. But, America is not all there is in this world; we are really only a small portion of it. I am so thankful God has given Roger and I – and our children – the opportunity to learn to love the diversity of people and cultures God has put on the earth. I am also thankful for the occasion it brings to grow, stretch, be humbled, and learn to extend mercy and grace in the midst of many challenging differences. It’s amazing how people can be so alike and yet so different at the same time! One of my favorite memories was when all our friends here in Kitale gathered around to wish Emily well as she left to go to boarding school for 9th grade. In our cozy living room were people from 5 different countries – including our Muslim friends from Pakistan and our Jewish missionary friends from Israel…peacefully together in the same room.

There are also many challenges. It is difficult living in a culture where finding trust-worthy people is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is difficult sticking out like a sore thumb, being stared at, and being seen as a potential resource rather than as a real friend or even as a fellow human being. It’s difficult watching my children try to develop friendships only to have the Kenyan children bribe them and use them. It makes us all deeply thankful for the few real friendships they have. But the most difficult challenge for me right now is getting ready to send Emily off to college. Here in just a few months, we will leave for furlough as a family of five knowing that when we return, there will be only four of us. In the middle of July, Emily will graduate from high school and then will have only a few weeks at home with us. Those weeks will be filled with a lot of “lasts.” She may never be here again. She won’t come home for Christmas, Spring break, or summer break. She can’t come for weekend visits – she’ll be 8,000 miles away, and a round-trip ticket is over $1,000.00. Grandparents and other family and friends will be doing all the things for her that we, her parents, should be doing. We’ve already had some lasts: this past Christmas was likely the last Christmas she’ll have with us at home – the last time decorating the tree together, the last time taking silly family pictures in front of our own tree, never getting to hike on Mt. Elgon again, never staying at Hampton House in Nairobi together again, never again seeing people who have come to be like family to her, not having family game and movie night together…and it goes on. There is high likelihood of not getting to know her future husband well, not being able to spend time with grandchildren and getting to know them. So many things I don’t feel quite ready to sacrifice. Actually, I don’t feel ready at all. And she is only the first; this will be the path for all of my children. In fact, it will start almost as soon as we return to Kenya because Amy will then – Lord willing – begin attending Rift Valley Academy (another challenge in Kenya is schooling; Kenyan teachers cane children, beating them even over the head and shoulders with rods) which means she will be away from home 9 months out of every year. It is suddenly very clear to me the degree of sacrifice being a missionary will entail in this area, and my mother’s heart hurts.

But God…He is good. He is faithful, and He is true. He is my all –in-all and the treasure of my heart. He is my comfort and my stay. When all the props are stripped away – the malls, the entertainment, the distractions of Western living…I see all the more…He is my strong tower, and He is the Lover of my soul. He is the Lover of my children’s souls. Ultimately, it is He, and not I, who ensures their lives and their paths. This is an area you can really pray for us right now; all of us, Emily, Amy, and Josiah included. We’re all hurting a bit right now.

~Julie Tate

Roger & Julie Tate (and Emily, Amy, & Josiah)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
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