Encouraging Pastors & Seizing Opportunities for Gospel Connections

Jud and Raquel Hatcher are third generation missionaries serving 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, at least 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

August 22, 2023

Dear friends and partners in the Gospel,

Greetings from sunny Brazil! As we draw closer to the end of summer, we reflect upon the multifaceted experiences we’ve had and the many blessings we’ve seen. Here are some highlights:

 1. An Italian Cuisine Evangelist Sunday  

We were delighted to receive friends and neighbors for a Sunday gathering where the flavors of Italy met the fervor of Brazilian connectivity. The fusion of Italian flavors served with the Gospel message (that not even Ancient Romans could contain), pointed people to a relationship with Jesus.

2. Pastors and Soup

Our monthly pastors’ gathering in São Paulo state happened in Alvaro de Carvalho on a Friday night with delicious soups, great conversations, and the boldness of the Gospel to keep us on track in leading our teams to stay focused on the cross. It started at 7:00 pm and finished at midnight. Intense, deep, spontaneous, funny, and inspiring.

3. Uraí, PR Pastors’ Meetup

The next morning, we drove three hours for our monthly pastors’ meeting in Uraí, SP. Our journey continued to a meetup of pastors & leaders gathered to share, learn, and pray together. I was humbled by the stories of resilience and commitment these pastors have in leading their local churches.

4. Community Event for Men

On a Thursday night some of our church leaders in São Paulo City attended a special event for men, centered on eating ribs. This was a locally organized community event. We went to establish new connections and make new friends.  It was inspiring to see men come together to eat ribs, our team of guys prayed throughout the whole night as we laughed and talked with the guys. We met a ton of men!

5. Foster Care Awareness Day at the Park

An event coming up is one organized by Raquel and her foster care leadership team. We expect several families to join us at a local public park to raise awareness for at-risk children, orphans and to share the Gospel. In bringing together families, children, and the community, emphasizing the importance of foster care. Pray for us as we set up the games, face paint the kids, serve popcorn and cotton candy, and jump rope, that each child will find the Father.

6. Celebrating Joseph Brandon’s Legacy

A century ago, Joseph Brandon stepped onto Brazilian soil through “Amazon Valley Baptist Faith Missions, carrying with him the message of the Gospel. This month, we celebrate his legacy with a grand conference. Our guest speakers for this centennial celebration include Pastor’s David Pitman and Jonathan Turner, both directors of Baptist Faith Missions and faithful local church pastors.

7. Family Time and Back to School

As the school break simmered down, Sarah, Laura, Benjamin, and Melissa geared up for the new school year. I have never seen them so enthusiastic, disciplined, and focused as I am seeing them now. All four of them are part of the after-school athletics and the tournament between schools is in full throttle.

8. Kayaking Adventures

I recently took Melissa on a kayaking adventure. We had an incredible time exploring the island we went to visit, and it was a refreshing experience amidst nature, reminding us of God’s majestic creation.

9. A Birthday Celebration

Raquel’s aunt turned a graceful 78 this month, and it was a joyous occasion filled with stories, laughter, and memories with her extended family – some drove six hours to celebrate this moment.

10. David & Kym Pitman’s & Jonathan Turner’s Trip to Brazil

In just a few days we will receive David and Kym Pitman. They will be with us from August 26 through September 8. What an honor of hosting David & Kym Pitman. Their trip is filled with meaningful visits with pastors and their families, leadership gatherings, discussions, prayer, and culminating at the September 7 conference in Lupercio City. Jonathan Turner will join us on September 6 until the 8th. We look forward to every ministry opportunity with them.

11. One-on-One Evangelism Opportunities

We’ve been blessed with numerous opportunities for one-on-one evangelism, where personal stories and testimonies have paved the way for deeper connections and spiritual growth.

12. Gospel Partnerships

For two months I have prayed for the Lord to open an opportunity for us to partner with a soccer school. Just last week, the Lord opened the doors wide open. This week I had the privilege of meeting most of the young athletes. We will now have access to minister to 80 new families on a weekly basis!

13. Fundraising & Prayer Requests

We humbly reach out to you, our faithful supporters, with two pressing fundraising needs:

a)     Sound System, Stage, and Tent:

To enhance our church planting and network gatherings, we require a sound system, stage, and tent. The estimated cost for this essential equipment is 10,000 US dollars, considering the higher expenses for such equipment in Brazil.

b)     Second Car Purchase:

Due to the increasing demand and rising expenditure on transportation, we urgently need to acquire a second vehicle. The estimated cost for this much-needed resource is also 10,000 US dollars.

As we step into the new month, we ask for your continued prayers and support. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Let’s continue partnering in this Kingdom work.

Grateful always,

Judson Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
(872) 400-6522

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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Bro. Brandon’s Courage and Wisdom Brought to Fruition in Porto Walter!

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

October 15, 2018

Dear Brethren,

Our founder, missionary Joseph F Brandon, arrived in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre in 1926. He was the first man to bring the gospel to the Juruá valley. Just 3 years later he organized First Baptist Church with 13 members. He continued to share the Good News in the villages along the river with his new converts. To reach these distant villages he had a boat built and named it “The Pilgrim”. Many of the members of first Baptist traveled with him.

About 100 miles upstream he came to a little town called Porto Walter. At the time, Porto Walter was the biggest village other than Cruzeiro do Sul. It was a major hub for the collection of native rubber and distribution of merchandise to the rubber workers. The nuns and priests put in their biggest schools there. Children came from all around to go to these schools, which had dorms for the kids. The Catholic religious leaders were actually more powerful and influential than in Cruzeiro do Sul.

When Brother Brandon arrived there and was getting ready to land, the head priest, a stern and cruel German named Dom Henrique, sent a mob down to the river’s edge. As one of Brother Brandon’s new converts grabbed the rope and got ready to jump ashore, one of the men in the crowd, brandishing his machete, said, “If you try to tie up here I will cut the rope and cut you up, too!” Brother Brandon backed away from the confrontation. “The Pilgrim” moved on up river to a little village called Campo de Santana. There he preached and many were saved. We still have a congregation there to this day.

After the threat by the most powerful man on the Juruá River, Dom Henrique, it seemed as if Porto Walter was put off limits to the gospel. When we first visited Campo de Santana in the early 60’s I found it strange that we would pass this big town by to visit a little congregation further upstream.

Later on I was called to be a missionary and I too would pass Porto Walter and continue spreading the Gospel all the way up the Juruá and into Peru. It just wasn’t right. Then in the early 90’s I made a special visit to the town to “case the place”, you might say. In 1992 I made a strong appeal for a missionary to Porto Walter in our annual missions and pastors conference. Two years later First Baptist Church sent Brother Mário and family. I took them up, rented a house and started looking for property. The Catholic church was not at all happy that these “crentes” (believers) had dared to invade their territory. It was really hard and the persecution was nonstop, although they were no longer able to use bodily harm as a tool to try to stop us.

Nine years ago, we sent Mário to a new field. In his place we sent Alexandre and Rejane. They had just finished seminary and had spent several months in our own internship at First Baptist Church to complete their training.

Last week I went up to visit the work and celebrate our 24th anniversary of the first steps of our work at Porto Walter. We now have a parsonage and a new 2 story building. The building is still under construction, but usable. We had 3 days of teaching and preaching. Three more people were saved and on Sunday morning I baptized 21 new members.

Here is the best part though: On Sunday night, October 14, 2018 we organized First Baptist Church of Porto Walter with 158 charter members. The church already has 4 congregations that they visit every weekend. They bought 2 boats and motors to take their missionaries to their fields.

The cruelty of those priests and nuns of years past is now just a faint memory in the history of Porto Walter as hundreds flock to First Baptist Church every week to hear the Word of God.

As for the priest Dom Henrique, all that is left is his name on a school here in town. He eventually became the bishop over the whole Juruá Valley parish, but left no lasting legacy. Jesus Christ is leaving a vivid lasting mark on all of this region by way of his churches and servants.

Brother Brandon, “The Pilgrim” and her precious cargo didn’t live to see what I have seen. However, his courage and wisdom have come to fruition. His legacy is eternal.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [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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The Power of the Gospel Prevails in Porto Walter!

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

August 12, 2016

Dear Brethren,

Two years ago I made one of my visits to our work at Porto Walter. I took plans for a new church building. The congregation was growing, but was still mostly children and teens. They were already needing to move out of the old wood frame building that we put up in 1993. Our missionary, Brother Alexandre, was dismayed when I showed him what we were going to build. He said, “We have nary a chance of building a 2 story building for 500 people.” That night we gathered the congregation to present the concept drawings and the plans. I had to get tough with Alexandre in front of his folks. I let them know, in no uncertain terms, that God is the One who would provide and make it happen. Then I just told them that this is what we are going to build and with little help from First Baptist Church of Cruzeiro do Sul. At that point I am pretty sure that I was the only one who thought that it would be possible.

Last week I spent 4 days with them for the dedication of the lower floor of the new building. We had over four hundred present for all the services and many not able to get into the building. We couldn’t get to the 500 prediction because they are on the lower floor with all the columns down the middle that take up quite a bit of seats. During the meeting, the congregation commissioned a couple to take over the mission point at Vitória. We had 3 professions of faith, too. Then on Sunday morning we hauled 4 truckloads of people down to the beach for a baptism service. I baptized 41 new members.

09 September 2016 MBC Baptism1 09 September 2016 MBC Baptism2 09 September 2016 MBC PortoWalter Building 09 September 2016 PortoWalterThere was a new experience for me, too. At the dedication of the new building the members were so excited that they went out and spent a bunch of money on fireworks! Then to top it off they set off another bunch during the baptism service on Sunday morning down by the river. It was actually a very pleasant surprise to see how they really were wanting to celebrate these events in the loudest and flashiest way possible! It had never occurred to me to commemorate a dedication of a building or a baptism with so many big bangs, but it was actually pretty cool. The world ended up seeing how serious God’s people are about their Christian service and what He can do.

That is the news. Now a little background. Porto Walter is 100 miles upriver. Not long after missionary Joseph Brandon arrived in Cruzeiro do Sul (1926), he had a launch built to make mission trips. He named it the “Pilgrim”. On one of his first trips he took some of the young converts from First Baptist Church to share the gospel with the folks along the river upstream. When they arrived at Porto Walter one of the members grabbed the rope to tie up the “Pilgrim”. By this time the local priest knew of their arrival and sent a mob armed with machetes and shotguns with orders to not let the “believers”, as we are called, even get off their boat. One of the mob stepped forward and said, “The first believer that tries to step ashore with that rope will see the rope cut and the person, will be chopped up, too.” To avoid bloodshed Brother Brandon decided to not stay there, but go further up river to a place called Campo de Santana. Eventually a church was organized there. That priest later became the bishop of the whole region of the catholic parish in Cruzeiro do Sul. For years the Catholic church controlled the town with an iron fist.

In 1992 the towns at Marechal Thaumaturgo and Porto Walter were incorporated and became 2 of the 22 cities (county seats?) of the state of Acre. At the same time, I decided that enough is enough and we were going to start churches in these towns no matter what the Catholic church, her bishops, priests and nuns think about it. That same summer I took my cousin Paul Creiglow and one of our local missionaries to check out the field and procure property. The river was low and it was a long hard trip in a dugout canoe.

That same year God raised up the 2 missionaries. The church approved and sent them out in 1993. It has been long hard work, but now we have the biggest congregations of any denomination in both towns. In fact, while I was in Porto Walter I checked out the attendance of the Catholic church, Adventist and 2 Pentecostal churches. The Pentecostals have about 30 or 40 each. The Adventist have 15 at most. Here is the real shocker though: only 10 to 15 people attend mass these days! The Baptist church averages over 250. Thank you Lord. The power of the Gospel has prevailed.

The river is VERY low this year. You can wade across the Juruá just about anywhere and we could see the sand bars and bottom all along the way. Pastor Rondisson went with me. My trusty 25HP jet drive outboard took us right through all the shallows. Many hours navigating through all the stumps and shallows. Bright blue skies, beautiful, brilliant white sand beaches and exuberant green jungle all around. People being saved and baptized, the work growing by leaps and bounds and cruising through God’s creation: This is pretty much a big slice of heaven on earth. Am I having fun, or what?

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

Click here to donate to BFM.

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Founder’s Day Offering 2013

For many years, we have remembered and honored our principal founders, Hafford Overbey and Z. E. Clark, by giving special offerings for the missionaries during the month of June. We call it our FOUNDER’S DAY OFFERING.

But, the Founder’s Day Offering not only memorializes our original founders in 1942 – we are also honoring our twelve faithful missionary families who are currently serving the Lord in Brazil, Peru, France, and Kenya.

Their support needs are great – and the supplies are low. We use the Founder’s Day Offering to help supply our missionaries’ monthly essential living and ministry support. And, these offerings will also help prevent our having to reduce the monthly commitments we have made to them due to a lack of General Fund supplies.

Here’s what each of us can do:
PASTORS – we encourage you to observe a special Missions or Great Commission Emphasis Sunday and give your church the opportunity to give to the BFM General Fund. Emphasize Jesus’ command to preach His Gospel to all nations. That is what our missionaries are doing. That is the original burden and vision that inspired the founding of BFM. We are continuing to perpetuate that vision and burden. That is what we are supporting when we give to BFM’s General Fund. We will use these offerings to continue to supply our missionaries’ on-going needs.

GIVING FRIENDS – if your church is not participating in our Founder’s Day Offering, we encourage you to support your missionaries by giving a personal offering. You can visit our Donate/Support page to easily contribute through the options we have made available to you.

Of course, you can give as the Lord enables you to give, and no offering of any amount is insignificant. But what if every one of our missionaries’ Giving Friends gave at least a $70 offering in honor of the 70+ years our missionaries have been faithfully preaching the Gospel? But – please do give as the Lord impresses and enables you.

Here are a couple of PDFs that might be helpful as you promote Founder’s Day:
BFM Founder’s Day Offering – Bulletin Insert
BFM Founder’s Day Offering – General Letter
BFM Founder’s Day Offering – Letter from Our President

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