A Time of Renewal

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Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

May 5, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

…..“but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

One year ago this week, John and I returned to our home in France, after spending almost 2 years in the states with my sister, Peggy. We were thankful that we could be there to walk with her through the difficult days of illness. It was heartbreaking to watch as her body faded, yet found rest and peace in the knowledge that, as she faded here, she would rise perfected and whole in the presence of our Savior!

We returned to our home that was made spic and span by our church family here. How blessed can we be?! France was still in partial lock down from Covid, so our movements were somewhat restricted. However, our friends and family made our re-entry here warm.

Our year has been filled with “renewals”. Church meetings…after attending via Skype (for which we were grateful). What a blessing to sing together, pray together, share blessings, share heart needs, study together, in the skin! Our recent study has been on how to be the light in a dark world.

Youth meetings…how invigorating to meet, play, eat, and discuss God’s word with teens! Most are ones that have come over the years, so we are blessed to see their growth and commitment.

Bible study group in Mazères…we are encouraged and blessed as we see the quiet growth and expansion of the gospel in this little town, mainly through the dedication of a single Christian lady who lets her light shine. Several have been saved as fruit of the group that meets at her house. Last meeting our hearts soared as an 80…something year old friend just started sharing verse after verse that God had used to “carry her through”.

Old friends…after three times of being cancelled by Covid, we were able to share a meal and afternoon with a couple who are former neighbors. We count each other as dear friends. We continue to pray that they will commit to Christ.

New encounters…just out for a daily walk brought about a weekly English conversation meeting where we have been able to discern their spiritual needs and share Jesus.

The more I write, the more I’m reminded of God’s goodness to us over the past year, however, I’ll stop as I’m sure your eyes are tired!

The verse thought at the beginning of this letter is actually the conclusion of a declaration that begins in the preceding verse, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall… but…”.  Today, if you’re tired, weary, I want to assure you, renewal will come!

Thank you for being a part of God’s work here in France.

Judy Hatcher

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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Faith Strengthened Through Cancer Journey

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, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Wheaton, April 24, 2022

Dear friends,

It is with joy I write to all of you. I hope this letter finds you well.
Life in Chicago has been full of adventures. When God led us here last August 2021, we didn’t quite understand, nor did we know what was coming ahead. But our God is an omniscient God, He knows each one of our days, He knows our past and our future. Just a few weeks after we were settled in one of 24 missionaries’ apartments, Jud received the news of having lymphoma. I confess, it caught us by surprise. The days ahead were difficult, as Jud and I tried to swim in the waters of the unknown. We didn’t say much during those days, but we could almost read each other’s thoughts, one of them being: “It’s our turn to glorify God through pain and sorrow, and to continue to trust and love Him in the valley as on the mountain.” We didn’t question God. We chose to live one day at a time, without speculating into the future, or falling into the “what if” trap.

The most emotional time was when we shared it with our children. To see their tears and their eyes and their confused/sad faces broke our hearts, and we all cried together. But it wasn’t a cry of desperation, it was a cry of submission. During our journey, my faith was strengthened. Not because I had everything under control, quite the opposite, I had no idea what our future would be like, but I had someone, Jud, who modeled to our family what it means to be thankful in all situations. He showed us daily, what it means to trust God without asking “Why me?” or “Why now?” or “Why this way?”. He demonstrated to us what it means to have joy despite pain and uncertainties. In the middle of it all, Jud’s example helped me to have the same attitude. As Paul said in I Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” This verse has a personal meaning to me now.

We, Christians, are called to glorify God with our lives in everything we do, and, as we do, we elevate Jesus Christ high for everyone to see. When people see Jesus, they can’t help it but give Him glory also. That is why faith without works is dead. How will people see Jesus if we don’t show Him with our actions? James 2:16 –17 “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

More than ever, I understand it now. Before, I thought Paul could ask people to follow him as he followed Christ, because he was the chosen of God, he was special. But, we all, if we are Christians (disciples of Christ), we ought to do and say the same thing. We need each other on this journey. God knew we couldn’t make it without one another. We need to see in each other’s lives, what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Jud is cancer free now; God chose to heal him. We don’t have enough words to describe how thankful we are to have received the gift of life on this earth, but we are even more thankful to have received eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I want to say thank you for your prayers, your supportive messages, your cards of encouragement, your gifts, and your financial assistance. Everything you did for us; you did it for Jesus. We’re forever grateful for Baptist Faith Missions, and all our brothers and sisters who live this journey with us during sad and joyful times.

Love,
Raquel Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
(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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What’s a Missionary Wife’s Life Like?

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

April 22, 2022

Dear readers,

When I’m asked what a missionary wife’s life is like, I guess I have to say that it is as varied as there are missionary wives. This is true because every missionary wife has her own personality and her own set of skills and struggles that shape her. I’m certain that there are many circumstances and experiences that we missionary wives have in common just by the nature of our calling to leave our families, our home culture and language. But how we adjust to all of these is different in many ways because we are different in many ways.

Before anything else, though, I want you to know that I do not consider my life on the foreign mission field a sacrifice or a burden. I am thankful to the Lord for the life He has given me. Yes, I have my struggles and hardships, but I know that each and every one of you do too. Some of mine are completely different because of my calling, but many are very similar to yours. I am both happy and fulfilled in what the Lord is using me to do here in Brazil. I thank Him for the privilege to serve Him where I am.

It is hard for me to put a title on my role, so I will just share some of the things that I do and not worry about titles. I help our couples’ ministry team leaders prepare for our outreach events. We usually hold 4 to 5 of these events per year. They are basically two-hour banquets, each with a different décor theme and different marital issues in focus. My husband, Bobby, usually brings a message addressing the marital principle in focus and always shares the gospel with the lost guests. My part is to help plan the décor and set up the auditorium for those who attend.

I also work with our children’s teaching ministry. We have put together a great team of volunteers who are gifted teachers and I assist them now. Through the course of our ministry and with each new church plant, I am usually the first and main children’s teacher as we begin to discover and develop new teachers from among our new converts.

Maybe one of my most important roles, though, is to assist Bobby in whatever he needs me to do. When he has to counsel women, he always has me with him, both for my female input and for ministerial integrity.

Our home life is one of the strongest illustrations of what we teach and of what he preaches, so I realize that I must give great attention to making it both pleasant and solid. We have raised our children and we now have an “empty nest,” but I want it to still be full of joy and love.

The hardest part for me as a woman is the absence of our children and our grandson. But I would rather be 5,000 miles away from them doing what the Lord wants me to do than to be in the same city with them when that’s not His will for me.

My prayer request is that Bobby and I will always be attentive to the Lord’s leading. We want to be in fellowship with Him so intimately that we will know when and where He is leading us to new opportunities to share the gospel and plant new churches.

I am really grateful to all of you who pray for us and for the faithful support to maintain our ministries.

Yours in the love of Jesus,
Charlene Wacaser

Contact Info:
Bobby & Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1@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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Ladies from Church Taking the Gospel to Villages

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Odali and Kathy Barros served the Lord in Sao Paulo, Brazil together from 1987-2013. In late 2013, they transitioned to Manaus in Northern Brazil to start sharing the Gospel and planting churches in villages along the river.

April 21, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Pray and hope that all are doing well. We are doing great. This year has been unusually rainy. The virus problem has stopped, and we have been able to reach out to more communities. The work in the village of Ubim is growing more and more. I still have the work with the children during the afternoon and then at night, Odali is doing a service for adults. This has really been a blessing. 

We are working more and more with the church members to get involved in the different ministries. I try more and more to involve the ladies in different ministries and try to help them find the area they can help in. More and more are starting to get involved. 

Our plan is that as more members get involved, we can go to more places to have services in the villages. Thank God, more ladies in the church are getting involved. The greatest difficulty here is that most of the women do not drive and lots of the families do not have cars. So, this makes it harder for some. We want to make teams that can work together. Since I work with kids and teens, from time to time, I take some of the ladies and girls of the church to help me.

My request for prayer is that God open the eyes and hearts of the members of the church to see the need to take the gospel to these villages. Pray that the women see the need to get more involved and minister to the kids and young people. Most of them have never done things like this. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support! 

God bless each of you ladies and your families.

Love in our Savior,
Kathy Barros

Contact Info:
Odali & Kathy Barros
Iranduba, Amazonas
Brasil, SA
odali_kathy@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 Biggest Challenges: Not Baboons in the Kitchen or Flying Termites

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The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

April 21, 2022

Happy May to you all!

I don’t know about you, but my head is absolutely spinning! It seems as if the whole world is changing, doesn’t it?

I think for me, with everything in the world seeming to be upside down, my brain is struggling even more with the fact that everything in my personal life seems upside down right now, too. It’s not the rainy season bringing on millions of flying termites (thousands of which ended up in my house last night including in Chloe’s bed…); it’s not the monkeys and baboons finding their way into my kitchen to steal food; it’s not the electricity going on and off that makes my brain hurt…. No, it’s transition, chaos, colors, sounds, waiting, not being able to talk about things, and sometimes not feeling heard that short-circuits my brain. Bring on the baboons, the monkeys, and the termites…but give me familiar surroundings; colors that don’t hurt my brain; and people who hear me, know me, understand me, and will pray with me. In the midst of total chaos, this is what my soul longs for.

As you probably know, Roger, Chloe, and I are not currently in Kitale. But if you read Roger’s newsletters, you already know that; so, instead of reiterating all of that story, I’ll share with you how Chloe and I are doing in all of this.

Chloe has both really struggled with this transition and greatly benefited from it. She is seeing an American occupational therapist here in Kijabe who is absolutely wonderful with our whole family. The first couple of weeks we were here, Chloe fell down the steps in the house (not all the way) three times, she threw something out of anger and shattered a large, beautiful bathroom mirror (which doesn’t belong to us), she began wetting the bed nightly, and she regressed to a lot of mal-adaptive behaviors because everything was new and scary to her. Three months later though, her core strength has noticeably improved; she’s able to take long walks with us; she’s playing outside more; she’s showing a lot more maturity in her conversations with me, and she is trying her best to regulate her emotions and reactions to things (something Luke – the OT – said would likely happen as she becomes more capable and independent as a result of OT).

But OT takes years of work, and it is only one of many things she needs. We are asking God to provide a support worker (preferably from the US) who can come for a year and work with Chloe on a daily basis – which would also provide Roger and I with a break from being her caregivers 24/7/365. As brilliant, funny, sweet, and compassionate as she is, it’s a well-known fact that of all the special needs which children face, autism is one of the most difficult on the family as a whole. The marriage failure rate of families with autistic children is 80%. That’s scary high. So, it’s really important to be in a location where not only is Roger able to minister and do church planting, but also where our whole family can get the support and care (physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally) we need.

The transition hasn’t been easy on any of us. It’s difficult (though much appreciated) to live in someone else’s home surrounded by unfamiliar things and colors…having to be even MORE hyper-vigilant that things don’t get broken or ruined. It’s difficult learning how to manage a household with the nearest grocery store an hour away…learning new people and new people learning about us and Chloe…figuring out how to fit into a new community. But truly, any difficulty is worth getting the help Chloe and we need, especially since we can’t bring her back to the US.

But there is also amazing beauty and peacefulness here. The view of the Rift Valley and the surrounding mountains (including a beautiful dormant shield volcano called Mt. Longonot) has always been a visual balm to my soul. The streets are quiet without the traffic and the motorcycle taxis of Kitale. I feel safe to walk, am surrounded by the Kijabe forest (I grew up wandering around woods for hours at a time), and love watching the antics of the local Colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, and even the baboons.

As far as how you can pray for us, you can pray for the following:  1) A support worker; 2) respite for Roger and me; 3) peace in Chloe’s heart and soul and mind; 4) the medical/mental/spiritual/emotional support our family needs; 5) transitions to end sooner rather than later; 6) parental patience; 7) acceptance of Chloe by the community; 8) comfort as our second daughter is getting married in May and, though we will be there for the wedding, we can’t participate in the festivities the way we could if we were there…and we have to leave Chloe behind with hired help. Please pray for them and for her. She struggles mightily with abandonment issues and Mama’s heart hurts deeply for her; 9) Adoption to open up; 10) For me to find a quiet place to work on my art…a past-time I discovered last August that really helps me cope.

Thank you all,
Love,
Julie Tate

CONTACT INFO

Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.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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Enjoying Time on Furlough

Carrie Radford has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya, with her husband Nathan since 2004. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

Greetings from WV!

It’s so nice to greet everyone from this side of the US! We are all doing well and are enjoying our time on furlough. I hope and pray this letter finds everyone else doing well and enjoying the spring weather. It’s certainly been a lovely time of year for us. We miss the deep green that surrounds us here during the spring and summer months. Kenya is beautiful and has many gorgeous plants and flowers, but the leaves and grass aren’t as green as they are here. We are looking forward to the warm weather of the coming months.

Our time at home has been a blessing to all of us. It’s hard to believe that in a few months, another school year will be finished. Kenna is currently in 7th grade and Cami is in 4th. Next year is the last year of middle school for Kenna, and the first year for Cami. They are growing up so quickly! I’ve been busy trying to figure out Kenna’s curriculum for next year, knowing that she is approaching high school and that everything then “counts,” so to speak. We are trying to enjoy each day and not get bogged down in the details.

Nathan is working hard to keep up to date with everyone and coordinate the travel plans and present the ministries to churches. He is doing a great job trying to meet all the needs of our family with all the transitions involved in missionary life. The girls, while enjoying their time on furlough, have also been lonely and miss their friends and pets in Kenya. Nathan does all he can to support and encourage them.  He is a great father to our girls.

This year has been different for us, as it has been for all of you as well. Covid has changed many of our “normal” furlough activities, but we are thankful to be home during this time. The people of Kenya are experiencing a return of lockdowns in at least 5 counties, including Nairobi, as Covid is spreading very rapidly there. While we can get vaccinated here, vaccines are very limited in Kenya and there are few ICU beds in the country. Please continue to pray for the country of Kenya during this time.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and wishes and prayers for our family. We appreciate them more than you know! We are so thankful to everyone who has invited us over to chat or offered for the girls to join in activities with your churches and groups. We pray everyone stays safe and healthy during this time. Blessings.

In Christ,
Carrie (and Nathan, McKenna and Camille)

Contact Info:
Nathan and Carrie Radford
naterad[at]yahoo.com
Furlough Address
1126 Smith Street
Milton, WV 25541

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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Depending Entirely on God’s Grace

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Raquel serves the Lord with her husband Jud and their family in São Paulo, Brazil. Their main ministry is church planting.

April 18, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am glad I can write you in this special month, when we all take a special time to recognize and thank our mothers for who they are in our lives, for everything they taught us, and everything they did for us. My mother is someone I treasure very much; she has been an example of a faithful servant, a woman of prayer who depends totally on her Savior. I am so thankful for her life.

I am also thankful because in the last two months we celebrated four birthdays: my dad turned 80 years old, I turned 46, Sarah turned 16, and Benjamin turned 13. Now we have officially 3 teenagers at home, a little bit crazy at times; but in general, they are wonderful kids 😊.

The bad news is that Jud tested positive for COVID-19 on April 12, and I tested positive five days later. Our kids did the CPR test today, and we should receive the results in 48 hours. We are doing relatively well; we do have symptoms but nothing we cannot treat at home. The interesting thing is that for us not to develop severe symptoms, we must medicate ourselves, since here in Brazil most doctors only prescribe fever and pain meds. We suspect that is the reason so many people are losing their lives. In my appointment yesterday, when the doctor asked me if I was taking medication, and I answered, she got mad, told me to throw it all in the trash can because it would not do any good for me. But, my oxygen saturation was 100% and my lungs were totally clear, and I had no fever. We know, even among doctors/infectologists there are distinct opinions about prevention and treatment. Honestly, I believe we depend entirely on God’s grace and mercy and plan for our lives; we have no control about our outcomes, it is in His hand, and we must trust Him that no matter what happens He is going to be with us and provide for us and for our family.

One good news is that in the past year, God has opened doors for me to be part of an organization which works with Foster Care in families. Foster Care in families here in Brazil is something relatively new. It was only in 2004 – 2006 that it became a national public policy, and it was made a priority over institutional care. However, only 4% of children and adolescents are living with families, 96% are institutionalized. In 2018 there were 33,146 children and 8,686 were between 0 -6 years old (26%). In countries like US, Canada, and England, the statistics are the opposite, 96% of the children are placed in families, and only 4% are placed in institutions. Our desire is to change this sad reality, and open new services to offer kids the chance to have a family and to participate in community, since it is one of their most basic civil rights. Having said that, my prayer requests are a) that God give us human and financial resources to start new services in our city, b) Our family health c) and our children’s online education and all it involves.

I am so thankful for BFM, for all the churches involved, and for you who are reading this letter. Thank you for your support, for your prayers, your love, and your financial contributions. It means a lot to us, and it means a lot more for Jesus Christ.

Love,
Raquel Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
judsonhatcher@gmail.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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Walking the Path God Has Set for Us

 

 

Judy Hatcher has been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France with her husband John since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

April 14, 2021

Dear Friends,

How thankful I am to be given the opportunity to share a bit of my heart today. April is a special month for me…my birthday month! I feel blessed to have a Spring birthday because the whole creation emerges after a cold, hard winter to be reborn with color, new life, beauty!

I’m also reminded of my new birth in Christ. As an innocent ten year-old, I had no idea of the wonderful life that was beginning. I also had no idea of the rocks or curves that would be in my road. I did know, however, that the One who gave His life for me would hold my hand, guide me in the dark, share my joys, never leave me and that His ways were above my ways and better than my ways.

Would I have predicted that the year 2020 would hold pandemic (as I child I didn’t even know the word!), unexpected blessings, death, new opportunities, frustration? Not a clue! But I knew the Savior and He has been more than enough! Being locked down physically did not cut me off from my Lord…rather gave me opportunity to focus more on Him. I have had the privilege of standing in awe of my Father as He has rained down unexpected blessing after blessing. He has placed people in our path to help us each step of our way. I have felt His comfort and peace as I watched my sister pass from this old earth to glory. In rather mundane ways, God has given us opportunities to share Him with people that we would have never met if it weren’t for coronavirus. But oh, the frustration! We desire to go home and yet it seems as we pass each step the next sign reads, “two more weeks!” So, once again, I must rest on His chest and realize that, just as in the past, He knows what He is doing! It’s my place to wait, to love, to walk with Him and share His love with those He puts in our path.

So, together, let’s walk the path He has set for us with joy, sharing His love with those who we encounter each step of the way.

Yours because of Him,
Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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