Doors of Opportunity Unlocked Amidst Lockdown

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

May 20, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

It’s still all Corona, Corona, Corona around here. And as a result of that not much has been altered since the last time I wrote a report.

Schools are all closed so the kids are all at home. Josiah is at home doing on-line schooling. He is finishing his final term as a senior at Rift Valley Academy. He has missed his interim trip, his senior trip has been canceled and his graduation ceremony is probably canceled as well. It is unlikely he will ever see any of his friends again before they all head off to their home countries and home continents. Chloe is home too. Julie is homeschooling her and I am assisting by teaching math.

Churches are all closed. I haven’t been able to meet with the folks at Upper Room Baptist Church for many weeks now except individually. Everyone I talk to wants to get our worship services started back up again but to do so would be against the lock-down orders. At what point do we say we have to meet anyway?

Nairobi is locked down. Nobody is allowed in or out.

At least we still have access to food, water, and medicines. Our supply lines are operating as normal and all the necessities of life are still readily available.

The one thing we are desperately trying to avoid is Kenyan quarantine. People who test positive for Covid19 AND everyone they come into contact with are quarantined in official Kenyan quarantine centers. We all hear that these places are nightmares – No care, crowded, Corona-contracting centers. Healthy people get quarantined and are not allowed to leave. They end up coming down with the virus. I was in town today and saw a sign at the store: “Help contain Covid19 – Donate here to send street kids to quarantine centers”. I had to shudder. 

But not all is bad news. There are opportunities as well. The other day I was in town picking up some supplies and I was at the store of a Hindu proprietor. He started talking about Corona and I said, “All I can do is pray, and trust God, and leave the rest in His hands”. The Hindu store owner stopped and said, “Yes, thank you. I guess we should be talking more about God than about Corona Virus”. Now I know that the “god” in his mind is different than the God in mine but we have small opportunities to talk to people these days in a way we might not be able to during a normal time.

Another opportunity is to invest in the lives of other people. As a result of the schools closing, we have two Kenyan teenagers studying here at our house and Julie is overseeing their education and I am teaching them Geometry. One is staying with us around the clock, including boarding here and the other comes every day for school purposes and then leaves at the end of the day. Yesterday, during their morning break, the four of us (myself, Josiah and the two Kenyan teenagers) sat on the veranda while they drank their chai and we just talked. And the most amazing questions and discussions came out. We talked about salvation, heaven, missions, f=ma and e=mc2, the movements of planets, English idioms, biological taxonomy, sin, grace verses the law, Jesus’ interpretation of the 10 Commandments in Matthew 5, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what happens to morally upright Muslims who have never heard about Jesus. It was all done in a casual way and I didn’t lead them to any of these topics. We just talked about whatever came up out of their brains. What an amazing time to try and make sure they heard wisdom from a Biblical perspective on all of these topics. 

Let’s ask God to give us more of these kinds of opportunities during this chaotic and unnerving time of uncertainty. 

Blessings to you all, Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

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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Sharing the Gospel on Mountain Hikes and in Public Parks

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

July 3, 2019

Dear Friends,

Our winter weather has arrived here south of the equator. We aren’t having snowstorms, but the upper 20s without indoor heat or insulation feels frigid for almost anyone. Fortunately, I thrive in cooler weather and this is my favorite time of year. One of our ministry efforts during this time of year is to take teams hiking in the nearby mountain range. The cooler weather makes the physical exertion more invigorating and that makes it easier for us to invite unsaved friends to go with us. The hikes give us opportunities to get to know new friends better and show them the love of Christ through our actions and words. We have had several people come to our church services for the first time after having participated with us on a mountain hike. Just recently there were 36 of us who climbed a local peak and one of our members had 2 workmates and their wives go also. We always have prayer before we begin the hike and, during it, we intentionally point out God’s greatness in the creation of the natural beauty around us. When we stop to eat our packed lunches, we give thanks for His provision. I have spent time teaching our people how to use opportunities like these to find open doors for sharing the gospel with their friends and family members who accompany us. We also teach the entire group to consider how they behave and treat our guests so as to reinforce what the one sharing the gospel has to say. These hikes are also a great way to get some physical exercise while being distracted by the beautiful scenery around us.

Our outreach team went to three interior towns this month sharing the gospel. We were amazed at how many teens and children are being abused, both sexually and physically. Sadly, many times it is the very family members that should be loving and protecting them that are doing the abuse. It is enough to break your heart hearing 8 to 18 year-olds tell about suicide attempts and feelings of being unloved by their parents. Most of them live in fatherless homes and often the stepfathers and step-uncles are the sexual abusers and aunts often abuse them physically when they are called upon to “babysit” their nieces and nephews. On the one hand, these youth are distrusting of nearly everyone, but on the other they are very hungry for the good news that God loves them. Our teams are almost overwhelmed with sadness for their situations, but often are thrilled with joy when these youth come to Christ as their Lord and Savior! Our team was privileged to share the gospel in public parks and schools to over 2,000 students, teachers and adults this month. Only eternity will reveal how many of these truly surrendered their lives to Christ, but dozens openly confessed that they are now trusting in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We are grateful for the opportunity to take the good news to them and we want be faithful in doing it while we still can.

Next Sunday we will begin worship and Bible study in English for the first time in our church services. We don’t know what kind of attendance to expect, but we are hoping that it will be a ministry that will only increase our outreach in the community. Many Brazilians want and some need English for their jobs and education, so there are quite a few who, we believe, will come to improve their language skills. It is our hope that God will use this strategy to communicate His word to them even if their aim is only secular. Please pray that God will save many through us.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Missionary Update: Bobby & Charlene Wacaser [February 2015]

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

February 8, 2015

Dear Friends,

When I went to renew my Brazilian driver’s license recently, I got an unpleasant surprise. Before I could renew it, I would have to go through a 30 hour defensive driving course. This punishment was the fruit of a good deed to a needy friend. I had loaned my old spare pickup truck to the husband of one of my church members. He had recently arrived from Germany and didn’t have a job and needed transportation to get out looking for work. He wasn’t aware that our city has speed radars scattered about and in just a few weeks he had accumulated enough violations to have his driver’s license suspended. Except it wasn’t his that got suspended, it was mine. Usually the driver is responsible for these fines and the ensuing points against one’s driving record, but in our case, the fines were sent to my old address and the time frame allowed to transfer those points to his license had already expired before we even knew that he’d gotten them. So, off I went to defensive driver’s classes. Apparently a bad thing, but not with God. My time spent in lock up, I mean, defensive driving class, put me in contact with some people that the Lord wanted me to share Gospel with that I would not ordinarily come into contact with. Through the class interaction and discussion, several opportunities arose that allowed me to share my testimony of coming to know Christ and also to present the Gospel to our teacher and other classmates. Without even asking them to come, the teacher and one other fellow inmate asked me for our church’s address and the times of services. I hope and pray that they go, but I already thank God for the opportunity to share His word and love.

I had a meeting this week with Alysson, the young man who will be going to _____________ on a two-month missionary journey this spring. He is in intensive training for how to evangelize in a Muslim nation. I will have to leave the name of his destination blank for security purposes. I may have already said too much in the past, but I pray for his safe journey and prosperous efforts to share the Gospel there. He is extremely bold and courageous and trusts the Lord completely. Please keep him in your prayers as he seeks to honor the Lord where He is not preached.

Projeto Vida is starting its public school outreach ministries again next week. That is, if public schools start back up. Between state and national politics and misappropriation of funds, the public school teachers and administration haven’t been paid for months and are threatening to strike if they don’t get paid soon and with raises. Most private schools will start on schedule, but our main venue is in the public school system and it’s also where we reach many more people. We know that the Lord is in control of this situation and we’ll be praying that He’ll open the doors when He sees fit.

Keep us in your prayers.

In Christ’s love,

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279-1
Sobrado 1, Bairro Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR Brasil
(813)481-7007
bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com

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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [December 2014]

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

December 8, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for your faithful support and prayers. God is at work here in France and He is using you in the Great Work that He is doing. As you support us, we try to live here as children of the light walking circumspectly.

We were on schedule to start a new Bible study in the city of Pujaudran. This would have been our first Bible study in the department of Gers. Continental France is divided into 94 administrative departments. Each department is about the size of about 8 Kentucky counties. This would be the 3rd department where were have meetings. However, these plans are temporarily on hold. The wife in the couple who were to host these meetings in there home just gave birth 3 and ½ months early. The baby’s situation is touch and go. As you read this, please pray for this young couple, Darren and Eva, and their newborn child.

Youth in France November 2014

Youth in France November 2014

The Sunday meetings in Tournefeuille and the various weekday Bible studies are going well and we are encouraged by what we see. Believers are sharing the gospel with people that they know. This is how the kingdom of God works. Our Lord and Saviour uses those that He has redeemed to be light to those who are walking in darkness. This is happening on several fronts and we are delighted with each occurrence.

God has also continued to give us new contacts. This past Friday, Judy and I were able to visit, for the first time, a couple that is a few years older than us. They live less than a ten minute walk from us. We have set a time to meet them in our home this coming Friday. The husband in this couple was born in this town when it was about one tenth of the size it is today. We were introduced to this couple by a lady who just moved away from here after living here for two years. She met them in a laundromat. She is a believer that we met just before she moved out of our city. She is concerned about their spiritual condition. They need Christ. Did you follow this sequence? We are all important components in the ministry of reconciliation.

This contact is just one of several promising opportunities. Some of them have developed after years of friendship and prayer. To encourage us we have many different kinds of examples in the New Testament. The Philippian jailer trusted Christ after just a few hours of a cataclysmic encounter with Paul and Silas. Paul came to Christ after kicking against the goads of God for years.

So, be encouraged. God is at work. You are an eternal component in what He is doing.

Until next month,
John and Judy in France

John and Judy Hatcher

4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [May 2014]

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

May 5, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for participating in what God has called us to do here. I thought that it might be good to share with you the latest Good News buzz in our town. Perhaps, the question has arisen in your mind, “How does one go about reaching people in a place where there is not already a church?” Actually, it is not terribly different from the way you reach people where there is already a church.

From scriptures you might remember the training from the Lord, “I have come that you may have life….Go…seeking…the kingdom of heaven is like…” The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”. About Paul in Athens, Luke writes, “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.” Peter writes, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”.

In a country where 50% of the people are atheists you can invite people to “church” until you are blue in the face and you will get little if no results. In their mind, anyone who believes that God created the world is an idiot, and any intellectual arguments to the contrary will convince them that you are an idiot. Blind people to not see and deaf people to not hear. Spiritually, they are willingly blind, deaf or have been programed by their environment to think this way. They are positive that they are right. Any Christian arguments on the internet to the contrary is to them simply a display of close minded stupidity. But, God has placed us here as light and salt. We are living letters and God has chosen to use his people as an instrument through which He, the Great Physician works to remove the veil and give a hunger and thirst for living water, just as Jesus demonstrated by the well in Samaria. His love, active in us, is the primary means that the Holy Spirit uses to make people receptive to the Gospel.

So, you are saying what is the latest buzz in Tournefeuille? Please cut to the chase.

About 6 months ago new neighbors moved in across the street. To greet and befriend them, Judy took a platter of homemade blueberry muffins. They loved them and so, a new relationship started. I will not try to detail everything that the Lord has used in the last 6 months, but the latest event happened on Friday afternoon two weeks ago. The neighbor knocks on our front door and asked if I had anything they could use to cut a branch. As I went to get what I had, he said, “Come over. I want you to see why we need it.”

Bees in FranceA bit earlier in the day, his wife was struck with terror when a large swarm of bees buzzed over her head and took up lodging in a branch of a tree in their back yard. She called the firehouse. They told her call a bee keeper. She found one in the phone book and called him. He needed the branch cutters to be able to cut and maneuver the giant swarm to his hive box.

I trusted the Lord to keep me and for the first time in my life worked among the bees with the keeper while the neighbors took pictures. A three hour interaction took place as the bee keeper urged the bees to the box and as we waited for them to all move in to their new abode. During this time we talked about the marvels of God’s creation and a number of important subjects. We forged a new friendship with the bee keeper and cultivated the friendship we already have with the neighbors. This is similar to the way we have made friendships with others who now regularly attend or have professed faith in Christ.

Bees in France 2In summary, God placed us here and uses your support to keep us here. He brings events that open doors. We pray for God to open doors, touch the hearts of our acquaintances and enable us to see what He is doing as we open our eyes and look on the multitudes who are wandering around us like sheep without a shepherd. Through these contacts we are able to move from physical human needs to spiritual needs and the Living Water. Everyday is exciting, especially if you have thousands of bees swarming around you.

Please, pray for our neighborhood dinner which takes place on June 7th. Also, some of our new neighbors have asked us to host a regular “English Club” for their children. Friendships with the families of several of the teens now coming to youth meetings were cultivated through a similar “English Club” for young children. And, watch with eager eyes for the latest buzz from God in your area!

[And after reading, you will definitely want to see these bees in action and hear them buzz! Click the link to see the Bees in France Video!]

With you in the service of the Lord,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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