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
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
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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
bobbymichael_1[at]hotmail.com

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: The Radfords in Kenya [May 2013]

May 2, 2013

Greetings to all our friends and family!

We pray you are all doing well! The missionary ladies were asked to write this month’s prayer letter to share some of our thoughts and insights as moms and wives on the missions field. To write all that’s on my mind would take too much space, so I will try to be concise!

Living on the missions field has its share of joys as well as times of struggle and heartache. One of the nicest things of living where we do is that we have a wonderful missionary community, especially with the Tates here as well. We support each other, cry with each other, care for each other and pray for each other. Nathan and Roger are a great team working to minister to the Kenyan people. They both bring different strengths to share with each other and learn from each other. Julie is like a sister to me and I treasure her. I’m so very thankful that we are able to all be here together.

As a mom raising our girls on the mission field, I’m very thankful that our girls will grow up with a large world view. They will have experience with other cultures (not just Kenyan culture, but insight into Indian and other European cultures as well) and flexibility to adapt to different circumstances. I pray they will develop hearts to serve the Lord and other people. I pray they will have thankful hearts for all the Lord has done for them.

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

One of the biggest blessings I have personally is to be home with the girls and care for them. I started some homeschooling with McKenna this past year for preschool and am looking forward to ordering her kindergarten curriculum. I count it a huge privilege to homeschool both McKenna and Camille. My prayer is that I will be vigilant to use the opportunities the Lord gives for teaching and discipling both girls.

However, along with these many blessings also come some definite struggles and heartaches. For the girls to learn flexibility and adaptability means they have to experience great changes in their young lives. The missionary community here is always changing, people always coming and going. Sometimes there may be a family here with younger children for our girls to play with for a few months and then they leave and our girls are left without playmates again until someone new comes. The girls are always saying “hello” and “good bye,” which is difficult for little ones to understand. Most days they are home with me all day with little interaction, if any, with other kids their age. One of our biggest prayer requests is that families with young children would move to our area. But the Lord knows what we need, and especially what our girls need, so we trust in Him to provide. Not always an easy thing to do!

Another difficult thing for our girls (actually, our whole family!) is separation from family at home. Family at home misses the girls. They miss seeing the cute things the girls say and do, they miss the milestones the girls have here, birthdays, Christmases and other holiday celebrations. Our girls miss relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. McKenna tells me almost daily that she misses family at home. And that breaks my heart. One thing that has helped with this is the opportunity to skype. It’s amazing how much technology has improved the lives of missionaries! We are very thankful for this service. But while it opens a window between our family here and family at home, it is just a brief window that closes when the session is done. We are really looking forward to furlough and being able to spend time with our families in the States.

Well, I could continue sharing my heart and thoughts for several more pages, but I must close for now. Thank you for allowing me to share with you some of my joys and struggles as a wife and mom here in Kenya. May the Lord bless each of you and your families as you serve Him wherever you are.

In Christ,
Carrie Radford

P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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