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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Reaching More People in Ubim

Kathy Barros has served the Lord in Brazil her whole life. Daughter of missionaries John & Alta Hatcher, she married Odali Barros and they 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.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Hope all of you are doing well through these different times in our lives. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed so fast. We are doing well, thank God! Things in our area have gone up and down. At the moment, the virus is slowing down, but not controlled. Through these times what calls my attention is the fact that as human beings, so many times we get so busy with our everyday lives and we think we have everything under control. Then all of a sudden, life changes. Something invisible to human eye changes the whole world. In my life what came to my mind was a verse we all know but so many times it stays in the back of our mind.

Mark 13

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

These verses are what I use in my life to keep me focused on what God wants for me to do. What my purpose on earth is! Sharing God’s message is so wonderful and so powerful. 

The ministry that I work at is in a small village on the edge of the river and now a road goes through there. When I was a child living in this area the only way to get to these places was by boat. Today we are blessed and can reach more people faster. The village of Ubim has many young people. Also part of it is an Indian tribe. This is a real blessing. You can’t just go to the tribes. You would have to have special permission. God was so wonderful that He sent a mother by there one day and she asked what that place was. I told her it was a kids club from the Baptist church. Then she asked if the kids from the tribe could come. I said sure that would be wonderful. They have not stopped coming since. Actually, more and more of them are coming—from 2 year olds to teenagers! Praise the Lord! The average attendance we have is 55 kids. I start this work at 3:30 and it goes to 8:00 pm. We had to split the time frame into 3 groups because of their ages. That way we can better work with each age group. Two years ago I had t-shirts made for them and many of you gave for this to be possible. I would like to make new ones. If you would like to help, make your donation to “Ubim T-shirt”. May God bless each of you. We are planning on working with the mothers also. Things got a little slowed down because of the virus problem but things are starting to get back in the swing.

(An example of the t-shirts.)
You can give online!
Just designate Ubim Tshirts in the memo field.

I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and support! We could not do what we do without your partnership!!

Love in Christ,
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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Homeschooling & Raising Chloe

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

April 9, 2021

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I can’t believe another year has come and gone…it reminds me of the phrase in the Bible, “…and it came to pass….” Just like many other euphemisms — “what goes up must come down,” and  “what goes around comes around”— it is also true that all things which come will also pass. Sometimes we feel stuck in current circumstances, but that’s only our limited perspective. As the Alpha and Omega, God sees the beginning from the end. Not only do all things have a set time, they have set purposes as well.

Milimani Christian Homeschool Community’s time has passed. This was both a relief and something I grieved deeply. People here in Kenya who know me well know that I poured 150% of myself into MCHC. I loved (and still love) the children and the teachers deeply, and I found great joy in helping all of them academically and spiritually. I loved discipling the teachers, not only in teacher training and opening their hearts and minds to children with learning challenges and differences, but also in their walk with the Lord. I loved talking about and demonstrating the love of Jesus to children from different walks of life – children from Christian homes, nominal Christian homes, and even a Hindu home. I loved watching children who were bitter bullies blossom into caring friends. I loved watching our neuro-diverse children find joy and confidence in a learning environment that treasured them and helped them find their strengths without belittling their challenges. I loved watching children learn to accept one another’s differences while finding their commonalities, even among different ethnic backgrounds. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was. I don’t understand why it had to end the way it did; I can only say that it was a good and beautiful thing, and I trust God will continue to use that time in the lives of the people who were touched by it.

Having said that, it seems obvious that in the passing of MCHC, God had another great adventure planned…homeschooling and raising Chloe. Homeschooling and raising children are not new to me. Doing it for Chloe, however, is unlike anything we’ve ever done. Not only are we parenting and working with her academics, I find myself in the position of being her ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist, her OT (Occupational Therapist), her emotional co-regulator (teaching her to regulate her own emotions by doing it physically with her), her advocate (and our own), and even a researcher to understand her and what she needs. This is more daunting than MCHC ever was, but everything I learned at MCHC, I am now applying at home. In fact, without my experience at MCHC, I would be quite ill-equipped. This is beautiful to me. You see, God is never doing only one thing at a time in any one circumstance. One of the things He was using MCHC for in my own life was training me to teach my own very special needs child. All this has pushed Roger and me beyond the limits of anything we feel capable of doing…or surviving. We’re learning more about ourselves and our own hearts than we want to know, but even that is beautiful to me (usually…).

We can often feel stuck in our challenges, but from time-to-time God reminds me to step back and see all the struggles that have come…and have now passed. There is so much hope and growth. Chloe’s academics have really taken-off in her homeschooling environment. A friend of mine from the US with a Master’s degree in Special Education is here and has done some evaluations with Chloe. She’s told me that Chloe is actually quite intellectually gifted. She loves to read, her math facts are like muscle memory (when she’s relaxed and can access them), she has an amazing memory both verbally and visually, and she loves music and cooking. In fact, she just loves learning and has a super cute sense of fun and humor to boot. I am so thankful to have her in an environment that won’t squash that.

She does have challenges though, and I would ask you to pray for us as we research and find help for her in these areas. Autism often comes with other issues…a lack of ability to regulate her emotions (thus the scars up and down my arms), difficulty with social communication despite an extensive vocabulary, and severe anxiety due to sensory processing disorder and nervous system overload creating flight or fight reactions (usually fight…). In Chloe’s case, her neuro-developmental psychologist has told us she also has attachment insecurities and food insecurities (from babyhood before she came to us), as well as dysgraphia, mild dyslexia, and dyspraxia. This a condition in which the communication between Chloe’s brain and her muscles gets mixed up causing fine and gross motor skill difficulties. Basically, her muscles don’t know how to do what her brain tells them to do. This also affects her speech.

I really appreciate your love and prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for our kids in the US as well:  Emily and Igor, Amy, and Josiah. It’s hard to be “stuck” in Kenya with no hope of being able to see them anytime in the near future. We miss them terribly, and though we love the gift of being able to have video calls with them once a week, it’s just not the same as a hug.

In Christ,
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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Life and Ministry at Home

Beverly Creiglow has served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil, together with her husband Mike since 1971.

Hello to all.

These past weeks have been very different, not to say “weird.” It has been just a little over three weeks that Brazil has called for the “stay at home” quarantine. That has not been too difficult for me since I do not go out much anymore. My life is centered around church activities, but now that this has been taken away, I have a hard time remembering what day it is! I do a lot of crafts and reading to occupy my time. I do not get to see my grandkids as much as before. I miss the hugs.

Mike and I usually start our day with a cup of coffee, sitting in our comfortable chairs in the living room. Each individually read the Bible and then we share and pray together. I enjoy this time.

We have no more flights in and out of Cruzeiro do Sul. The only way in or out of here is by road and they wanted to even shut that down. Thankfully, the federal government would not allow it. We would have been completely shut off from any kind of food supplies. We had not had any positive cases of the virus here until a couple of days ago. Hopefully it will not spread. The media here is doing as in the States, making people panic.

People have asked what my ministry here is. For the last several years, it has been taking care of Mike. That in itself is a big job!! Kidding. He tries to live his life as he did twenty or so years ago. His mind wants to do it, but his body just is not as young as it was then. Mike is still very active and it is a struggle to get him to slow down. He records several videos a week to keep our church fed spiritually. My mind and body have a hard time cooperating with each other.

Mike and I always have spent a lot of time together. At this different time in the world, we have taken advantage of watching some movies together in the evenings. He hardly ever had time to do that before. He always lets me have his new recliner to sit in. He is a nice guy.

We are praying for the presidents of Brazil and the USA. Please help pray for them both. They both have so much in common. The opposition has made both their lives very difficult.

Please continue praying for us here.
Love to all, Beverly

Contact Info:
Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@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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News & Reports – May 2019 Issue [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of our May 2019 BFM News & Reports is available at the link below. This special edition features letters from our missionary wives in celebration of Mother’s Day!

Click here to read the BFM News & Reports – May 2019 edition!


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Prepared in Advance for What God Would Have Her Do

The Hensleys have spent nearly 20 years serving in Brazil. They have established a church in Caraguatatuba and mission points throughout the city. They have also recently started a seminary to train pastors.

This month we missionary wives have been asked to write the letters for the mission sheets, so here I go with the many memories.

This year we will be completing 22 years in Brasil. It seems as though it was just yesterday that AJ started his campaign to convince me to go with him to be missionaries to Brasil. As many of you all have heard, in the beginning I was hard to convince, but God is faithful, and He worked on my heart. So, when AJ told me that he was going before the Church on Sunday night to tell the Church he was surrendering to be a missionary, God put these words in my mouth, “I am ready”.

I have not regretted—not once—that response. Our first place of service was in Garça, Brasil, with Odali and Kathy Barros. I helped Kathy with the children and AJ worked with Odali. There I used all the various skills that I had learned in Owsley County, Kentucky, as the daughter of Pastor H. W. Baker, who was a mission pastor. We stayed in Garça for 6 years being parents to up to 21 boys. There are many stories that could be told of those years. Needless to say, we have many children who call us Mom and Dad there in Brasil. We share that honor with their biological parents and with Odali and Kathy. Of all the boys that went through our care, some have their own businesses, some are lawyers, others are in the business world, and another is finishing his studies to become a veterinarian.

Me and some of the girls with the pillowcase dresses that the American ladies made.

Have you ever washed clothes on a wash board? I did as a teenager and again in Garça. Have you ever had to heat your water on a stove or in a big tub outside? I did as a teenager and again in Garça. Have you ever had to walk to Church? I did as a child and again in Garça. As I said before, God prepared me early for what He would be having me do later. In the words of AJ, “God is AWESOME!”

This is me with children at Jacareí.

After Garça, we moved to Jacarei, Sao Paulo, where we had plans to open another orphanage. As we worked through the paperwork, we started a mission church and there I continued to work with children. We had several families in the neighborhood who did not have transportation to get to a Church. They also had children, so I worked with them on Saturday and Sunday in Bible schools and Sunday schools. But after two years we realized that we were not going to be able to get the approval from the mayor for the orphanage, so AJ began to pray for a sign to stay or move on.

Maybe you have heard this story, but God answered these prayers with a sequester. You see, we were living on a farm way out in the country and were a target for theft. This gave AJ his answer, so we moved to Caraguatatuba. There we worked with Pastors in two churches and then we opened a new work there.

This is Matheus the young man who influenced our location for Caragua Baptist Church.

My service for the Lord continued to be with children. With the help of one of the boys from the orphanage in Garça who came to help us in Caraguatuba, we had Saturday Bible school in the homes of various members.

As we began to look for a place to open a new work, one of the children from these Saturday Bible schools, who started as a babe in arms in these Bible schools, stopped us on the streets. He stopped us on the street and said, “Mrs. Barb, when are you coming back to our neighborhood to teach us?”  So, guess what that sealed our decision as to where to start our new church.

Caragua Baptist Church came to life in this young man’s neighborhood. There again my job was with children. God sent many, many children to our location and we love them all.

So my time in Brasil has been an adventure where I have sat up all night rocking a sick boy, planned a wedding for one of the boys in our care, taken in people who are down on their luck, women who have been abandoned by their husbands and grandmothers whose homes are being flooded, and counseled women in their day-to-day problems…to name a few of the things that God has let me do.

I just want to say, “Thank You, God,” for working in my heart to make me willing to go on this adventure with AJ Hensley. We serve an AWESOME God. Thank you for all these memories and we look forward to many more.

In His Service,
Barbara Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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