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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Major Adjustments in the Last Year

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

April 17, 2021

Hello, dear friends,

It has been just a little over a year now that our life routines were drastically changed. With several lockdowns and worship services online only, I had to make some major adjustments. Added to this, our region went through a yearlong drought and water was rationed. The supply was cut off every thirty-six hours for thirty-six hours and I had to schedule my cleaning routine such as washing dishes, laundry and baths.

Our outreach ministries were also affected. We had to discontinue our English classes and suspend our children’s Bible classes. What I had to do was to learn how to teach and counsel through the Internet. That isn’t really how I prefer to communicate with others, but I had to adjust to the new restrictions.

Our fortieth wedding anniversary came around during this period and we had planned to take a small special vacation, but because of travel restrictions we had to stay home and be creative. It actually turned out pretty nice. Bobby helped me prepare a very nice romantic dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed our special day together.

Our grandson, Jayce, is now three years old and we miss him greatly. We thank God for the technology that allows us to interact with him and our children, even though we can’t be with them as often as we’d like. At least he knows us and recognizes us by sight and the sound of our voice.

My main prayer request is that I will stay encouraged in and through these new challenges. I need the Lord’s wisdom to know how to be effective for kingdom work with a whole new set of circumstances. I am very grateful to you who pray for us and support us faithfully.

In Christ’s love,
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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Following God’s Will


The Hensleys have served the Lord in Brazil, South America since 1996. They have worked with orphanages, started mission points, established churches, and are presently conducting a seminary to train Brazilian pastors.

April 16, 2021

Friends and family,

It is getting close to the time to recognize the mothers and the women who have followed God’s will in following their husbands to the mission field. For those of you who know me, you know that I was a reluctant follower. And for those of you who are getting to know me, it was not that I did not want to follow God’s will, I just wanted to rearrange His will. You see, we were traveling to the mission field every year carrying things that the missionaries needed and also taking people to introduce them to mission works. This is what I was trying to tell God and my husband that this was His will for our lives. But as you know, after four years I came to the realization that there was much more to do for Him.

So, we spent 21 years in Brasil and I loved every minute of it. Then AJ got cancer and we had to come back to the States for his treatments, and the decision was made that the treatment would be a long and arduous one, and we needed to stay here, so we helped the church call a new pastor and we moved home to Kentucky.

Now as I told you, the moving to Brasil was a difficult decision—the moving back to the States was a million times harder. You see, we had made Brasil our home and were planning to live there until God called us home to our heavenly home. This time we had decided God’s will for our lives without consulting Him. He had other plans for our future and we are following them now.

God had prepared a job we could do for Him and stay in the States. AJ, with the help of others, had started a Seminary in our town of Caragua and God expanded the reach of this Seminary farther than we could have ever imagined. We are now in five states and seven cities and almost four hundred students enrolled. We travel to Brasil four times per year and teach for two weeks the intensified version. Then we leave the students with lots of homework. When we come back to Brasil, we repeat this again in another city. You see, we are a traveling Seminary because the students do not have the resources to travel to us.

Now you ask what do I do during this time in Brasil? Glad you asked—I get to visit the church we left in the hands of our son-in-law and daughter. And, OH YES, my granddaughters.

So now let me tell you about the last year and a half—I have packed our suitcases four times and unpacked them once. You see, we have not been able to travel because of the virus. I began to get smarter each time, so I just left them packed and in the middle of the floor waiting for the GO signal. We have had four tickets to travel to Brasil and lost the first tickets, but I also got smarter with each passing time and began paying for the insurance. My grandbabies have outgrown over half of the clothes that were in the first suitcases. The chocolate has gotten that white color on it and—oh well—you can imagine the rest.

We were all set for the April trip, but we had not told the grands because they have been disappointed enough. It was good that we did not tell them because you see Brasil got its second wave and we had to cancel again.

The seclusion, the fear and all that has gone with this COVID-19 cannot stop our God! He is on the throne and He is in charge so we will wait on Him and His infinite wisdom.

For He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not for evil to give us a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

In His service,
Barbara Hensley

CONTACT INFO

AJ & Barbara Hensley
592 Emery Court
Lexington, KY 40505
AJ: 859-539-2302 | Barbara: 859-539-1424
ajcaragua@gmail.com

Click here to give 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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News & Reports – May 2020 [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of May 2020 BFM News & Reports is available at the link below. Read how God is working through the lives of our faithful missionaries and continue to pray for them.

Note: You can also click on any headline to view the story on our blog. 


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Quarantined in Kenya; Concerns about MCHC

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 Kitale, Kenya!

I pray this letter finds everyone doing well and staying safe and healthy at home. Our board has asked the missionary wives to write the prayer letter this month as Mother’s Day approaches, in an effort to offer you a glimpse into our life from the wife’s perspective. We are thankful for the technology which allows us to remain in touch with our friends and family in the US during this time of quarantine and uncertainty. We are also able to watch the news and keep informed of events happening there and around the world. It is a blessing to feel connected with everyone.

Our little part of the world has seen some drastic changes during the past month. Our school, as schools in the US, had to close mid-March due to quarantine. Our family is coping with this by homeschooling. We are enjoying this time as a family and the girls are thriving as they continue their studies with mom as their teacher. However, we are concerned about our little school, MCHC. Private schools here operate through the school fees paid by the parents each term. Very few schools are ever able to “get ahead” and have money to cover in case of emergencies. MCHC is no different. Unless they are able to open for second term beginning in May, there are concerns that rent and teachers will not be paid. Please pray that MCHC is able to restart in the future when the quarantine ends. The school is so important for many families in the area that otherwise do not have access to quality education and hearing the gospel each and every day. 

Our family is handling the quarantine admirably so far. Nathan and I try to remain optimistic and upbeat around the girls, as I’m sure families in the US are doing as well. In addition to homeschooling, we are teaching the girls new board games and they are learning “life skills” in the housekeeping department.

A huge prayer request is for the spread of coronavirus to be limited as the medical facilities here are not adequate or able to treat this disease. While Kenya may be a more developed country in regards to other African countries, it is still third world and the lack of medical care is a major concern. There are very few actual trained doctors and the facilities and medicines available are extremely lacking. We don’t have access to ICUs or other specialized treatment centers here. And travel between cities and towns is very restricted now due to the quarantine in place. Please pray for Kenya, and Africa as a whole, that the disease will not spread as feared.  

In other news, we learned today that our favorite grocery store is closing. This particular store is the most convenient for us, as parking is available and safe. They also had the largest selection of food available. Parking in town at the other stores is much riskier due to crowding and security issues. We are disappointed in the store’s closing and we are concerned it’s just one of many stores that will probably close throughout the country as employment dwindles and people have less money.    

In closing, we ask that you keep the people of Kenya in your prayers. The spread of coronavirus here is a very real and dangerous threat due to inadequate medical facilities and unemployment. Many people here live day to day. They work for a day to feed their families. Many have no income beyond what they earn daily. We pray for all of you in the US as you continue through your quarantines as well.  

A verse that comes to mind for this time is 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We are thankful for each of you who prays for us and the people here.  God bless you all! 

In Christ,
Carrie Radford

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

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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A Month of Quarantine with 4 Kids in Brazil

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope this letter finds you well and joyful, despite the circumstances. As you can imagine, we also are facing the threat of this new virus. The city of São Paulo has been in quarantine since March 20th. All schools, public and private, were closed, as well as non-essential businesses. Those who can are staying at home as much as possible. Our kids transitioned from traditional schooling to online home schooling. That in itself has been a major challenge. I thank God for my husband, who has helped them adjust to distance learning, and daily assists our four children in their studies. We had two computers, now we are trying borrow two more in order to accommodate their needs. Overall, they are doing amazing. Laura had all A’s this past quarter, Sarah and Benjamin also had A’s and B’s. Melissa has more difficulties, as she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and memory problems, although she was also placed in the superior range for IQ. We ask your prayers regarding this subject. We do our best to find strategies and didactic approaches to teach her, but we notice that, in many ways, it has affected her self-worth. But we are blessed. Sarah turned fifteen on May 30th and Ben turned twelve on May 24th. Laura will be fourteen on July 20th, and Melissa will be nine December 1st. During this time of social distance, they have not left the house, so we try to keep them busy with different fun family activities, tasty meals and treats. They also enjoy videoconferencing with friends and family.

Hatchers at Home

Regarding myself, I have been substituting for a missionary friend in his coordination position of a Christian Fostercare Project. He asked me to replace him temporary, as he needed to be with his family. He and his wife have five children and one of them, a 10-year-old boy, has battled leukemia for almost two years. A few weeks ago, he received a bone marrow transplant, but he is in critical condition. He has been hospitalized for the past seven weeks. There are hundreds of people interceding for his life and for his family. Please, pray for them also.

Our church, like most of them here in Brazil, has been meeting online to pray and encourage each other. One of the ladies who meets with us also has cancer and she does chemotherapy. Pray for her, and her husband and daughter.

I would also like to share about another friend of mine; we were neighbors during my graduate school, and since then we have been best friends. One year and six months ago, she was diagnosed with cancer in her pancreas. During this time, she did all the treatment she could at John Hopkins Hospital. For some months it was in remission, and it seemed to be fine. But now, she is sick again, and with little hope any treatment will help. I have been supporting her during this long journey, and I feel very sad. She adopted a little boy just five years ago. I ask you to please pray for my friend, her name is Vanessa Martiny. She lives in Pennsylvania, she is a believer in Jesus, she has a strong faith, and she holds on to the hope she has in Christ.

We sure live in difficult times. But we remember what the apostle Paul said in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are the happiest people in the world because we know there is so much more ahead of us. Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying, thank you for supporting us with your finances, thank you for caring. May God give you peace and joy.

Much love,
Raquel Hatcher

Raquel teaching kids at church

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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