Four Seminary Classes in Three Weeks

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 14, 2019

Dear friends and family,

In March and April, I was in Brazil taking Caragua Baptist Seminary to the Brazilian pastors and church workers. This is our concept of how to reach more Brazilian pastors and, through that, spread the gospel throughout Brazil.

In these three weeks four classes were taught: Systematic Theology, Survey of the Old Testament, Greek and Hebrew. Then the students have two months of work to be done for each class over the internet. This constitutes two semesters for those who complete all four classes. For these four classes, two pastors from the United States, Pastor Derek Coleman and Pastor Raymond Edge, gave two weeks of their time to go to Brazil and teach. Each pastor taught one course in Campinas, São Paulo and one in São Paulo, São Paulo.

Class in São Paulo

The class in Campinas was our first one in this location and we never know how many students we will have. We were told to expect 20-21 students, but we ended up with 17 students. These pastors have problems that we don’t even think about here in the States. There were some pastors that could not afford the gasoline to come to class, others could not get off in time to get to class, but the 17 that were able to come were very pleased with what they learned. I made many new pastor friends in this class and I expect to make many more.

Each time we go we have many students interested in the courses and this time was no different in that respect, but there was some hesitance or fear with the two language classes. One of the students said that he had taken two semesters of Hebrew and had not learned anything. After some assurance from me that these courses would be taught in a different manner and with a different approach, we had 33 students sign up for the classes. After the classes were taught, that same student told me that he was grateful to have had the opportunity to sit under our professors and that he had learned his Hebrew alphabet and how to do basic translations. AWESOME!!

Pastor Thomas, Pastor Edge, and AJ with the Bibles

The retired pastor, Pastor Thomas, of our host church in São Paulo is the President of the Trinitarian Bible Society of Brazil. He called the Trinitarian Bible Society of England and told them about our classes in Hebrew and Trinitarian Bible Society of England wanted to be a part of the classes. So, they decided to send us Hebrew Bibles without cost. However, Satan saw an opportunity to interfere. When the Bibles arrived in Brazil, the customs charged 2,700.00 Reals to get them out of customs. So, Pastor Thomas and I talked it over and decided that we would pay the cost to liberate the Bibles, but God in His great wisdom had another plan. Pastor Thomas called his friends in England to thank them for the gift and in the conversation, he told them about the cost to liberate the Bibles. And wouldn’t you know that they would not let us pay anything. They also paid the customs charge. They wanted to bless the Brazilian students with a free Bible. Isn’t our God AWESOME!!!!!

Class in Campinas

As I look at these students in each of the four classes, I thank God—for through my cancer, He gave me another way to plant churches in Brazil, and I see in each of these pastors the opportunity for God to use them in a special way to further His kingdom.
I have a special prayer request for all of my prayer warriors out there. One of the students in our classes in São Paulo and a close friend of mine has a 19-year-old son, David, that has been in the hospital for over 120 days and there does not seem to be any improvement. So, when God brings David to mind pray for him and his parents please.

Also please pray for the students, the pastors in the seminary, and especially for the professors as they dedicate their time and money to teach these classes.

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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Preparing for Seminary Classes in Campinas & SPC

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.

March 12, 2019

Friends and family,

What a blessed day. Sometimes we don’t realize just how blessed we are here in America. While I’m thinking of our pastors—and especially in Brazil—I appreciate just how blessed we are.

The seminary is going great. I have been talking with our Brazilian pastors and planning our next seminary classes. We will be having four classes this year in two cities. We will have two classes in Campinas, São Paulo, and two in São Paulo City. These will be our first classes in Campinas and we are very excited to meet these new pastors and church workers. These pastors seem excited about the opportunity of having these classes in their respective areas. You see, they do not have the resources to travel far to go to Seminary, so Caragua Baptist Seminary takes the classes to them.

I also have been talking to the translator for the Campinas and he is excited about translating for the classes. You see, he has the desire to become a Missionary, and translating for this class will give him the opportunity to study along with the pastors for whom he is translating. This, in my opinion, is AWESOME!!! Pray for him as this is his first time translating. His name is Michael and he has spent several years in the States, but he is anxious about this opportunity. He says that he wants to pick our brains and to know our hearts in the time we spend with him. I’m really looking forward to meeting him.

Lots of preparation has been taking place over the last few months for these classes.
I made a trip to Texas to meet with one of our professors, Dr. Raymond Edge of First Baptist Church of Bastrop, Texas. Dr. Edge and I have become personal friends over the past couple years. We have formed a close bond as pastor and missionary. He is an AWESOME teacher and makes the Old Testament come to life. He speaks 5 languages and received his education at the Jerusalem University.

Last year he and I were in São Paulo City for a class and we had the opportunity to visit the Jewish Temple. Upon introducing ourselves, he discovered that he and the Rabbi had sat under the same professor at the University in Jerusalem. Sometimes it is just amazing how small this world really is. And what an AWESOME God we serve.

All my tickets are purchased and I will be in Brazil for March and April. Please pray for this year’s professors: Dr. Terry Leap, Dr. Greg Waltermire, Dr. Raymond Edge, Dr. Derek Coleman and Pastor Russell Zik as they minister with us Brazil for the Kingdom of God.
What I think is AWESOME also is the Churches that support their pastors as they minister with us in this endeavor to better equip Brazilians to reach their people for Christ.

Thanks for all your prayers for my health. We meet with the doctor this month to hear about what God has done in my fight against cancer. Also, thanks in advance for your prayers for this mission project as we equip Pastors to better educate their people, and for those who attend preparing to open new works in Brazil.

In His service,
Aj and Barb

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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Thanking the Lord for His Awesome Blessings

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 6, 2018

Dear friends and family,

To say that we have an AWESOME God is an understatement. I went to the cancer doctor Friday and the first to come in the room was the nurse. She took blood and my blood pressure and left me with a big ice bag. This was for me to put on my stomach where they give me the shot for the cancer treatment. This injection by far is the is the most painful injection I have ever taken. I am thinking, “Shucks looks like I am going to have to take the meds after all.” It is not that I am against the cancer treatment, but I was looking forward to a vacation from these treatments. The doctor comes in the room at this time and says that the results of the blood test have come back and, after some discussion, he tells me that if I would like, I can take that vacation from the meds because the PSA numbers are undetectable.

Well, for me and others who are in cancer treatment, this is (after almost 2 years enduring surgery, 38 radiation treatments, and follow-up meds) an indication that things are improving. God is AWESOME!!!! And that night I had the best night of sleep that I have had in about 2 years. I even overslept. (ha ha)

Now to talk a little about the ministry: this past week Gardenside Baptist Church sponsored a Singspiration to help with the finances of the Caragua Baptist Seminary. There were lots of great local talent in singers and musicians and God was glorified in song.

We are in the planning phase for our classes in October this year and for the classes in 2019 with several of our new professors. I am still in amazement at the success the seminary is having, reaching many national pastors who would otherwise be unable to participate in an accredited seminary, for them to improve their biblical understanding and reinforce their skills to better reach their people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. With this Seminary to date we have had approximately 250 students from 83 different churches. These represented churches have a total of around 9,180 people in their congregations, so Caragua Baptist Seminary has impacted that total of people in Brasil. How AWESOME is the God we serve!!!

Barbara is going to Brasil August 6th and then in September, I will have to go for some personal business and to do some planning with the national pastors for the upcoming classes in October in the city of São Paulo. Lots of back and forth traveling right now. I will be meeting with 3 pastors in São Paulo, so I covet your prayers for these meetings and these pastors as they are an integral part of the seminary. Without their help along with many others this ministry would be impossible. So again, AWESOME, the message gets out and our God is glorified.

So, in all this I can only say, “Thank you Lord for your AWESOME blessings both physically and spiritually.” And I ask of everyone—Don’t stop praying because It is working.

In His service,
Aj and Barb

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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Planning for More 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.

June 14, 2018

Dear friends and family,

Sometimes you think you don’t have a lot of things happening and then you turn around and see all the things that have happened. We have finally gotten all the results of the two classes mailed out. It takes some time to translate and grade these tests and then get them to the students. The professors of these two classes were AWESOME. We can tell because the test scores were high.

Now we pray for the students (pastors and church workers) as they start putting their training into practice. I have already heard from three pastors and they are very appreciative of the class and are asking if they may help us find more locations for more classes. They want to help us find more locations in larger cities so that we can reach more pastors and church workers. I think this is AWESOME. The more help we receive the faster we can have established seminary sites in regional locations and this will help facilitate our class schedules. We have already been in São Paulo two times this year and have two more planned.

There are times when in spite of all of your planning, praying, and doing schedules—things happen. That is the case for this month. I had my plane reservations to go to Brasil to do some research for locations for the next year’s classes, but I got a call from my daughter Mary Katherine to inform me that the truckers had gone on a strike. So, all the plans I had made went up in smoke because without the truckers there is no gas and no food being delivered. So within days, there was no transportation, food or cooking gas in Caraguatatuba and many other religions of Brasil. They advised me not to come because the traveling I was planning could not happen.

In the church there in Caraguatatuba we had families helping other families. So God was glorified in all. During this time people rode bikes and those who did not have a bike walked, but the Caragua Baptist Church did not close its doors. The strike ended in two-and-a-half weeks and things are slowly getting back to normal, so please pray for Brasil and its people. Also pray for the planning session that I missed as I do not have another date to go do this.

We are praying and planning for two more regional locations for the Seminary in 2019. Pray with us for God to give us the places where He wants us to go.

This year’s class schedule is full to overflowing because we had to cancel one class last year and are scrambling to put them into this year.

So please pray for the Seminary locations as this means more pastors reaching Brasilians with the gospel. And as you well know, praying is so important but so is your financial commitment to missions. So please pray for BFM and the missionaries that are on the field reaching people for our Lord and Savior.

Just a reminder why we started Caragua Baptist Seminary: I saw that there were many Pastors that did not have Bible training. So with this seminary, we are filling that gap. This way we can help these pastors to become more biblically trained and to be able to “preach the Word”. And for those who have had seminary training to add to their Bible knowledge. As you know we pick one of the students and help him with his expenses and one year in his starting a new church. So with that in mind, we at Gardenside Baptist Church are planning a Singspiration and silent auction on Saturday, August 4th. If you are close, come over and enjoy the singing and some Brasilian appetizers and bid on some unique items.

I have been to the doctors this past month and have another appointment in August. I am anxious for this appointment as I am praying that the exams will give a positive result and MAYBE I will get a vacation from the meds for a short time.

Our God is an AWESOME God!! So all we have to do is look around, count our blessings, and say, “Thank you God!”

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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