Looking Past the Circumstances

Charlene Wacaser has served the Lord as a church planter in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil alongside her husband Bobby since 1985.


Hello praying friends,

I have to say that I am writing this letter in the oddest moment in my life. Coming to Brazil in my early twenties was a very different experience from what I grew up with. Adopting two children and raising them in two languages and cultures was exciting, but offered its challenges. Standing by my husband, Bobby’s, side as he helped to care for his aging father after his mother’s death and then returning to Brazil was an unexpected turn of events. But, living under quarantine conditions during a Pandemic is certainly the most thought-consuming event that I have ever experienced.

We received travel alerts from the U.S. Embassy in Brazil that we had to make a decision soon about returning to the States because all commercial flights would be stopped and there was no way of knowing for how long the travel ban would last. Both of our children and our only grandchild live in the USA and we don’t know when we’ll be able to visit with them again. But we do know that God has called us to minister here in southern Brazil and that He is using this pandemic to open doors of opportunity to share the gospel that we have never seen before. Besides, we thought to ourselves, what kind of a message of faith and love would we be giving if we packed up and left because of negative circumstances? We are so glad that we have stayed. Bobby has had to learn to “pastor” the congregation through social media only. That is quite a challenge for him because he loves to interact with people on a physical level.

There are three texts of Scripture that comes to my mind that comfort me in the middle of all this: Deuteronomy 32:10-12; Psalm 17:8 and Matthew 23:37. In all three, the image that is conveyed is that of a mother bird using her wings to protect her babies. In that, I picture God in His great love and power caring for and protecting us in all our struggles.

There is the struggle of being bombarded daily with scary news reports about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In fact, one member of our church’s daughter caught the virus and the member herself is in the group of high risk. She is her late sixties and she has been through chemotherapy. Several of our church members have lost their jobs and others have lost a significant amount of their normal pay. What is exciting and encouraging is to see how our people have stepped up to put into practice the principles of God’s word that we seek to teach and exemplify. Without having to tell them to do so, some have called to let us know that they are willing to buy groceries for anyone needing them. Some have had to continue working because their jobs are considered “essential,” and at the same time they are exposed constantly to the risk of the virus and have to come home to their families.

I am challenged constantly to look past these circumstances and focus on the promises that God has given to use them all for my good and His glory. I know He will continue to care for me, even more than a hen cares for her chicks.

I do ask that you would pray for us to be wise and faithful in ministering in this new “environment”.

Yours in Jesus’ love,
Charlene Wacaser
Contact Info:
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: The Radfords in Kenya [August 2013]

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.

Dear praying friends,

It is now the month of August, and the time this year has flown by. I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed. It seems like the older I get, the faster the time passes. I am sure you all can relate to this as well. How we need to be busy in service to the Lord while there is still time and opportunity. Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Since I write month after month about ministry, I thought this month I would write something different. I enjoy reporting on the ministries, and I plan to continue to do that throughout the months ahead. I thought this month I would report more on how life is on the mission field, or what typical living in Africa is like. I know that this is probably interesting, and since I have not reported much about it, I would like to this month.

Life in Africa. How do you describe it? It has daily challenges that only the Lord can help us through. Many times it really gets hard. Why? Separation from friends, family, culture, customs, etc. Trying to understand the Swahili language when someone is talking a mile a minute in the language and your brain has just “checked out.” I have been there many times. It is exhausting just to try to follow what is being said, especially if it is said at a very fast rate.

Maintenance. There is so much maintenance, both on vehicles, compounds, places to live, etc. I rarely drive long distances because of the conditions of the roads. When a road is fixed, it usually does not last long as the conditions deteriorate rapidly. I usually take public transportation in a van, called a “matatu” here. The matatus are usually jammed with people, with people sitting four in a seat that seats two. Chickens on the buses and vans at times. People preaching on the public vans and passing around their hats and taking up an offering. Yes, life here is certainly different.

What about the family? Typically my wife spends most of the morning schooling with the children. We are so proud of McKenna and her progress. She is a smart little girl. Camille is coming along closely also. Our daughters have friends here, although most are older than them. As I said before, we continue to pray for children their age to play with. God will answer in His time. Cooking for my wife takes twice as long here as cooking at home. All is made from scratch. Something that would take 30 minutes in America takes 2 hours here to make. These are just some of the things that teach us patience here, day by day.

Through all the challenges of daily life on the mission field, God is with us each step of the way. He will never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what we face, He is there. As the saying goes, “No matter how rough or smooth this day, He is with us each step of the way.” Hebrews 13:5b says “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Are you thankful for that? We sure are.

Thanks again for your prayers, sacrificial giving, cards of encouragement, and emails. They brighten our days here.

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

Click here to donate to BFM.

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