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
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Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher in Brazil [May 2013]

May 11, 2013

To all women and heroines, happy Mother’s Day!

I’m so glad to share with you the many blessings God has poured out on us. Let me start by saying that I’m the happiest mother on the planet. I have four children: Sarah Isabel (8), Laura Elizabeth (6), Benjamin Judson (5) and, Melissa Nicole (17 months). I feel like I’m unwrapping a present every day, always finding a nice surprise. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me even scream some times; they make me do silly things, like dancing with them and playing with dinosaurs.

There is nothing like being a mother… some of my favorite moments are when they get home from school and I can hear them coming up the stairs, (you would think it was an army); they open the kitchen door and give me the best hug of all, like they have not seen me for days; or they hand me a special picture they have drawn (two hearts with our names in it, or two smiling people holding hands). Or maybe it’s when, as I’m leaving their bedroom after saying good night, they say something like: “Mom, I love you as the size of the sky!” And it just melts my heart.  Another special time is when I lie in bed with them; this time is as sweet as honey, because they really open up and share their deepest thoughts; and sometimes they say very funny things, but I don’t dare laugh, because they mean it. For example, one time Benjamin asked me, “Mom is it true that Jesus is everywhere?” I responded, “Yes.”  He asked, “Is He in my bedroom right now?” “Yes, Ben, He is here.”  Then he said, “He must be a nice ghost.”  I also recall telling the girls that they didn’t have to worry about being in their room by themselves because Jesus was always with them. One night Sarah said, “Mom, can you stay with me? I’m tired of being just me and Jesus.” And Laura, she loves talking about heaven. One night she asked me, “Mom, what is the fastest animal?” I guessed, saying that it was the leopard. Then she said, “then I will pick the leopard to go everywhere in heaven.”

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, 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.

You know, being a mom is not always easy. There are moments I feel like entering in the wardrobe, hoping to appear in a faraway land; or sometimes I feel like screaming from the top of my lungs for a minute or two. Isn’t it amazing how those little angels can, in a blink of an eye, transform themselves into little uncontrollable animals? And they usually do that magic trick show when there are lots of people around. During those moments I think, “What am I doing wrong? Will she/he ever learn?” But, despite those frustrating situations we mothers experience from time to time, I know God is faithful and will keep His promises to us. My heart becomes peaceful when I trust God’s words. He said that we parents should teach our children in the right path, and even in their old age, they will not deviate from it. That is why I don’t get tired of telling my kids about God. I’m proud to say that they know all the main Bible stories, and they could tell you very well. My mom came to visit when Melissa was born. She liked to read them stories from the children’s Bible every night. But she was amazed by the fact that when she would start reading it, they would say: “Oh! We know that story…” and they would start telling her all about it.

Raising kids in a lost world is the most difficult task we parents have. And we have to be in constant prayer, asking God for wisdom, and asking Him to protect our kids from the evil around them. But at the same time, we have to teach them about who God is as they wake up, as they eat, as they play, as they go to bed. We have to tell them about how much God loves them and how much God cares for them, and how much God has blessed them by sending His only Son Jesus to die in their place so they can have eternal life with God in heaven. Sarah and Laura understood the message of salvation and they have accepted Jesus and have been baptized. Hallelujah! Now, please, join us in prayer for Benjamin, who is five years old, and needs salvation desperately, like anyone who doesn’t know Jesus. When a child gets to that place of understanding right from wrong, and chooses to do the wrong thing, he or she is responsible for that decision; meaning that he or she needs to accept the gift Jesus has to offer them: salvation. There is no other way but Jesus. No matter if you are five, fifteen, thirty, or sixty years old, Jesus is the only one who can forgive sin, and give you eternal life.

So, as I end this letter, I want to invite you to get to know Jesus. You will find that He is everything and the only thing you always needed. Just trust Him with your life, and He will do the rest. God bless you, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Raquel Hatcher

Jud & Raquel Hatcher
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