Missionary Update: The Wacasers in Brazil [March 2014]

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

March 9, 2014

Dear Friends,

It is good to hear someone say, “God is good, all the time.” It is a needy reminder to me to reflect on the fact that God isn’t good only when we get a surprise financial gift, or some good health report. He is always good, even when we are struggling financially or when we are suffering terribly from some sickness. I’m as human as anyone else, so it’s easier to recognize God’s blessings when they relieve some lack or ailment we have been enduring. My concern is that by saying that God is good only when these improvements in our situation come is that we dishonor Him before a world that is watching how we Christians live to determine if they are interested in what we have. But with this kind of gratitude and praise only when the extra benefits come, even they would be grateful then. It is when we praise Him for being good while we are still in the middle of our struggles that really magnify how strong our Lord is, in whom we place our faith. So I say it now, God is good, all the time!

That being said, it has been great to enjoy the goodness of the Lord recently in the saving of two more people through our work. Next week we’ll be baptizing a man and his teenage son who professed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. On the same weekend that these two men professed Christ, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a young man who has been suffering with deep depression for about 7 years. He came to offer to help as a translator for a team of youth from the U.S. who are spending their spring break evangelizing in the public schools in our city. His name is Eduardo. The friend who brought him told me that he was in a separate room crying and that he often would just start crying for apparently no reason. I sat with Eduardo and began to ask him what he thought made him sad and he said that he didn’t know, but that his depression began shortly after a severe auto accident when he lost the hearing in one of his ears. I had supposed that he was a Christian by his coming to volunteer to translate the sharing of the gospel, but in my conversation with him I learned that he had never surrendered his life to Christ. I used that information to let him know that he could not know true joy or overcome his sadness until he given his life to Christ. It was a simple thing for his friend to bring him to participate in our spring break evangelism, but the amazing thing that the Lord did was to send us a translator to hear the gospel when his interest was only in improving his emotional state of being. He had imagined that he could be happy if he could just get his hearing back, but the Lord helped me to show him that what he truly needed is a relationship with his Creator.

That team of youth who are here on their spring break brought us two very special presents, our kids, Jessie and Brennen! Jessie is the coordinator for the interaction between the American youth and the Brazilian translators who volunteer to help us each year. Brennen just moved to the U.S. this past December, so it was a treat to us for him to return again so shortly after leaving home. God is good, all the time! He showed His goodness again by allowing us the privilege of working together for a week with our kids in sharing the gospel to a people we love about a God we adore. We still have 6 days to work together with them side-by-side and this is truly a blessing to us.

Yesterday we took the group of youth with their translators to a large and busy park to share the gospel. We started out by handing out cups of water to the joggers, bike riders and walkers. Along with the water, we also gave out tracts that contained a clear presentation of the gospel. It was very encouraging to see some positive reception to our attempts. We saw several people who had accepted both the water and the tract still have the tract in their hand on their next lap around the park, even though they had finished their water and had thrown the cup away. The youth also shared the gospel through skits and testimonies on an improvised stage in the middle of the park to an audience of over 300. It was a great start to an exciting week. We will be in many public schools during the rest of the week where we’ll be able to talk to over 4,000 students and teachers about the love of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

In Christ’s love,

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279-1
Sobrado 1, Bairro Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR Brasil

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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [February 2013]

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is indigenous church planting.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hello, Beloved, and greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. A friend of
mine often ends her Facebook posts with the acronym GIGATT. It means “God is good, all the time.” For years at my home church in Bellbrook, Ohio, my pastor would say from the pulpit, “God is good” and the congregation would spontaneously respond, “All the time.” And one of our beloved deacons would even add “Rain or shine.” You know, this statement is true even though sometimes you and I don’t always realize it or recognize it. God is good to His people in America. And he is good to His missionaries in Kenya. This paragraph is an aside and a freebie. No extra charge.

Now, unfortunately, because of extenuating circumstances, I don’t really have anything very interesting to report this month (Hopefully that last statement didn’t cause you to stop reading this update right here). Why is that, do you ask? Well, it’s because I have spent most of the last month in Nairobi, 350 kilometers away from home and ministry [Editor’s Note: about 218 miles]. In fact, even as I write this I am again at a guest house in Nairobi. The first reason I’ve spent so much time in Nairobi is, strangely enough, because of my dog. Back in December I ran over his leg and broke it clean through up near his hip. Since there were no vets in Kitale or even in Eldoret who could take care of such a major break, I had to take him to Nairobi to be fixed up. Since that initial trip to the vet I think I have come to Nairobi five more times just for the dog. Each trip takes at least 2-3 days.

The other thing that happened was that Julie was ill. We came to Nairobi for a few days so that she could see a good doctor and get some real tests done. We ended up staying for 14 days. While here in Nairobi we went from one doctor to the next, from one hospital to the next and from one test to the next. I think we were about to give up hope of finding the problem until one doctor actually discovered something. Julie was finally able to get some care. She had an outpatient surgical procedure at the Aga Khan hospital here in Nairobi and a few days later we were finally cleared to go back home. She is feeling some better now and hopefully will continue to feel better for a long time.

Now, let me look forward a few weeks. By the time you get my next newsletter update Kenya will have held it’s presidential and local elections. After the last elections Kenya was a blood bath and thousands of people were killed in rioting and tribal conflicts. We pray that the situation will be different this time, however, no one really knows what will happen. To prepare for these elections we have been stocking up on some necessary items: I bought 60 extra liters of diesel for the car, bought two extra bottles of cooking propane for the stove, stocked up on rice, beans, pasta, flour, etc, got some extra malaria medicine and have basically prepared for what the US embassy calls a “zombie apocalypse”. We will stay in Kitale through the elections and try and ride out any storm and violence that may arise. Please be in prayer for God’s protection in our lives, in the lives of other missionaries here in Kenya and for the Kenyan people and their country.

So, if you didn’t stop reading after my earlier statement above, I congratulate you by
saying that I do have some interesting thoughts and perspectives on my current and
future ministry direction here in Kenya that I would like to share. I haven’t formulated
them all or worked them all out in my head yet, however. My aim is to start sharing
them with you next month.

Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.

For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Emily, Amy, & Josiah)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
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