Comfort Found in God’s Word

November 17, 2020

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.

Thank you for praying and supporting us and our ministry.

In the midst of the lengthy pandemic, I find myself rereading Philippians and listening again on my audio Bible as I wake up in the morning and while going to bed at night. Divine words of comfort bring healing to the heart and soul. Philippians is my default Scripture reading when my heart is heavy laden and seeks comfort. I often listen to Colossians, as my audio Bible continues automatically into the next book. We stand on solid ground. Christ’s supremacy supersedes and exceeds all, in all things. He is what holds everything together and brings it into reconciliation unto Himself. God’s fullness dwells in Him. Considering all the strife going on in US elections and now in Brazil elections for mayor and councilmembers, it can be very distracting from life’s main purpose – Jesus. I am reassured to know that in Christ´s new earth we will no longer have to deal with sin, pandemics, imperfect systems, and crazy elections. What Scripture brings you comfort and joy during trying times?

The ministry is moving forward with good progress. We’ve assisted many families over the course of the pandemic. Some of our gatherings are already back, but still several people choose to stay home. So, we try to minister to people individually as best as we can. We do a lot of meal care packages for our high risk sequestered families.

Our kids are coming along well in school. We are so blessed to have a school that was able to make online distance learning a reality back in March and continues to excel in these challenging times. The lockdown is still very present here in São Paulo as the second wave comes through. Public parks reopened 3 weeks ago, but with several restrictions. The economy suffers, but people suffer most.

My mother arrived today in São Paulo and will remain with us for 6 days. Our kids are elated that she was able to visit and invest time with our family.

If you’d like to say hello, send me an email at judsonhatcher@gmail.com or shoot me a message on FB Messenger. Would love to chat with you.

Grateful always,
Judson and Raquel

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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Positives in the Midst of a Pandemic

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

October 19, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from gradually opening Cruzeiro do Sul.

Last month we started having a Sunday morning service. These meetings have been limited to one hour. The state will not allow us to have childrens classes yet. In mid September we started having our Wednesday service again. Now in October we have added back our Sunday evening service. For all of September and half of October these meetings have been at 50% of what they were up to March 18th when we had our last service before the pandemic.

Even though the attendance has not been as good as I would like, we still have had some surprising results. We have had 3 professions of faith, 5 requests for baptism, 4 requests to become member by letter, 1 by statement and 5 members coming back into fellowship after being out in the world. Besides these, we have presented 2 babies in the last 2 weeks. It is no surprise that these babies are pretty big kids already!

Then last Sunday we had a 27% increase in attendance in both services. We had 346 in the morning and 350 at night. That was encouraging. I am praying that we will continue to increase.

This period has been beneficial in sorting out some things in our church. We have been able to find out who is courageous and committed. We have also found out who is timid. These have been quite a letdown. As things were before they were involved and seemed to be audacious, but now they are still home cowering because of the virus. These are the ones who don’t hesitate to run a red light, but now are shaking in their boots because there is a 0.05% chance they may die of covid-19. A couple of these have received a sizeable investment in their ministries by the church. Needless to say, I am not too happy about the situation of this rather small group. They are His children though and we will do our best to get them moving again.

There are some positive things going on in our work overall. We just put the trusses on the building at Centrinho. The pastor there resigned recently, but we have already found 2 good men to take over. We also started building an annex at Miritizal. They are needing classroom space and a nursery. I drew up the plans a while ago and now we are building. This week we started paving the second half of our parking lot at church, too. Even though the economy took a hit, still many things are in short supply because of the high demand. Building supplies are really hard to get.

Today I stepped out of my office as I heard a jet going over nearby. It was the first flight after over 6 months of isolation. The news reports say that we will have 4 flights a week. We used to have daily commercial flights. That went away overnight back in March. Now they are back and hopefully the isolation is over.

We are starting to have rain now and then. Hopefully the rainy season will kick in and the pandemic subside so I can get back out on the rivers. Can’t wait!

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

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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Life & Ministry During a Pandemic

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.

Dear friends,

FAMILY
Praise the Lord, the six of us remain in overall good health during this pandemic lockdown. Not that we have not encountered a few occurrences during the last few weeks. About two weeks ago, Benjamin suffered a muscle trauma in his right foot while playing basketball. Based on the pain, we suspected he could have a hairline fracture in his foot, but the x-ray confirmed otherwise. The doctor prescribed painkillers, and no running or jumping until it heals. Melissa underwent an infected tooth treatment at the dentist. I have faced a couple of acute allergy attacks during this last month. The intense sneezing left me feeling mulched and beaten by day’s end – as if I had been through the meat grinder a couple of times. Thankfully, this was about it during this month.

As a prevention remedy to COVID-19, we are taking a what was once an “over the counter” medication. A childhood friend (who holds a doctorate in biochemistry and is a university professor) suggested we take this specific medication after his research team reached empirical research results indicating its efficacy against the virus. We truly are grateful to the Lord for caring for us. We have multiple encounters with infected people, but none of us have caught it (or, if we have, it has been asymptomatic).

EXERCISE
All of us have gained a few pounds during this COVID “stay at home” season. About 8 weeks ago, I was challenged by my son (Benjamin – 12 years old). He asked for us to wake-up an hour earlier each day to go running. I agreed to the challenge. We often take Maggie (our Golden Retriever) with us, as she is also needing the exercise. There is a large pond not far from our home that is a popular destination for runners and exercise enthusiasts. The first few days of running were the toughest, but we have gained momentum with the “new” routine. Benjamin and I get a chance to talk about all kinds of topics. He is not running now, at least until his foot fully heals.

SCHOOL
The new school year is up and running for all four of our children, albeit it continues as distance-learning via online classes. Sarah is a freshman in high-school, Laura is in 8th, Benjamin in 6th and Melissa in 3rd grades. Government authorities keep postponing the return dates for school to resume on-campus classes. Our kids are ready to get back to “normal” at school and regular activities. Unfortunately, getting back to “normal” may take its own good time.

MINISTRY
This last Sunday was a full one. I preached at the morning service at Maria Virginia Baptist Church and went to a luncheon/afternoon gathering at our home. Pastor Helder is doing a great job as the new lead pastor of the “Maria Virginia” Church. Just last month a couple surrendered to Christ. Everyone was excited with the great news! We definitely celebrate new life in Christ.

We continue to follow-up with people through social media platforms and personal in-home visitations with folks. There are a lot of high-risk people we minister to within our ministry. Although, a lot of people we connect with have already caught COVID and have returned from self-isolation.

PRAYER REQUESTS:
1.            Our children’s education.
2.            Ministry expansion and new leadership.
3.            Discipleship of new believers.
4.            Our health.

Thanks for reading, praying, and supporting us!

Grateful always,
Judson and 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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Challenging Times in Kenya

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

June 5, 2020

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are nearly halfway into 2020. Hard to believe.

What a year this has been, especially with the coronavirus. It has been challenging here the past few weeks, which I will explain shortly. May God bless each of you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and interest in work here. We know it is truly sacrificially giving at this time and we appreciate it so much.

To say that things have been abnormal the last few weeks would be an understatement. There are many police at the entrance to town, and there is a 7 pm curfew. Also, Nairobi, the capital city, is locked down and has been for the past several weeks. It is difficult to get entry, and from my understanding, you have to have special permission. International flights have also been restricted and are much more expensive to purchase than previously. Schools, churches, and other public gatherings have also been locked down the past few weeks.

From what we hear on the news, the virus is spreading rapidly in the slum areas, mainly Kibera in Nairobi. Of course, this makes sense as the people there live so closely together, making it difficult to restrict the spread of the virus there. Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa and has had many visitors over the years. I (Nathan) visited it years ago and found it really interesting to see the culture and lifestyle there. Kawangware is another big slum area in Nairobi.  As I said, the numbers of those infected with the virus are rising rapidly. The President will be making an announcement in the next few days about whether things may begin to reopen or not. Please be praying for us and all the other missionaries here at this time, as it stretching our faith, teaching us patience, and relying upon God. Nahum 1:7 says “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in him.” Also, Psalm 27:1, which says “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” These are comforting verses at this challenging time. 
 
I (Nathan) have tried evangelize and pass out Swahili tracts as I go out, and spread the Gospel message. Most normalcy is gone at the moment but that does not mean the Gospel cannot still go forth. Praise the Lord for the opportunities He gives us to serve. 

My wife continues to homeschool our daughters. She is enjoying it and the girls are doing well in their studies. This has been a challenging and anxious time for them, as we simply don’t have the answers at present and have to trust the Lord.

We are thinking of and praying for you all in America as well at this challenging time. 

May we trust God each step of the way, as He is in control. We will keep you updated and appreciate each of you so much.

In Kenya,
Nathan and 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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Helping Those in Need

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,

I pray that all of you are well. The world is going through hard times but we know that our Lord and Savior is in control.

We are all doing well and adapting our life to the times in which we are living. Through this situation, we have been able to help different people with some of their needs. We stay in contact with our people by internet and send messages and Scripture to the people.

We went and gave fish to many people. And also we went and delivered some basic foods that were given to a member of the church to donate to whoever needed the food.

I really miss going to Ubim and having my time with the kids and having our studies. The other day when we went to take some food to the Indian tribe, I saw the kids from a distance. The chief was the one who came to receive the food. The chief asked, “Who is Kathy?”  I said, “It’s me.” He said, “The kids are over there calling you. They said to say ‘Hi’.” The Lord willing, we will be back to normal soon. 

I have been working with some of the young girls from the church and training them to work with the kids at church. It has been great to be with them. Pray that God will help them to grow more and more each day. They are new converts and were not brought up in church, so I work with them with their spiritual growth and with developing their abilities with working in Sunday school.

One of the difficulties in this area is the distance that people live. So everything takes time to make things work. Not everyone in the church has transportation, which makes things a little harder at times.

I thank each of you for your prayers and support. Pray that God will continue to allow me to serve Him and open new doors in new communities. We are still planning to do mission trips on the river. When I was a child I went on many trips with my parents. It was fun! I can’t wait for us to be able to go on our first trip. Pray for this also.

God bless each of you!

Kathy Barros

Contact Info:
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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Looking Past the Circumstances

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

 

Hello praying friends,

I have to say that I am writing this letter in the oddest moment in my life. Coming to Brazil in my early twenties was a very different experience from what I grew up with. Adopting two children and raising them in two languages and cultures was exciting, but offered its challenges. Standing by my husband, Bobby’s, side as he helped to care for his aging father after his mother’s death and then returning to Brazil was an unexpected turn of events. But, living under quarantine conditions during a Pandemic is certainly the most thought-consuming event that I have ever experienced.

We received travel alerts from the U.S. Embassy in Brazil that we had to make a decision soon about returning to the States because all commercial flights would be stopped and there was no way of knowing for how long the travel ban would last. Both of our children and our only grandchild live in the USA and we don’t know when we’ll be able to visit with them again. But we do know that God has called us to minister here in southern Brazil and that He is using this pandemic to open doors of opportunity to share the gospel that we have never seen before. Besides, we thought to ourselves, what kind of a message of faith and love would we be giving if we packed up and left because of negative circumstances? We are so glad that we have stayed. Bobby has had to learn to “pastor” the congregation through social media only. That is quite a challenge for him because he loves to interact with people on a physical level.

There are three texts of Scripture that comes to my mind that comfort me in the middle of all this: Deuteronomy 32:10-12; Psalm 17:8 and Matthew 23:37. In all three, the image that is conveyed is that of a mother bird using her wings to protect her babies. In that, I picture God in His great love and power caring for and protecting us in all our struggles.

There is the struggle of being bombarded daily with scary news reports about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In fact, one member of our church’s daughter caught the virus and the member herself is in the group of high risk. She is her late sixties and she has been through chemotherapy. Several of our church members have lost their jobs and others have lost a significant amount of their normal pay. What is exciting and encouraging is to see how our people have stepped up to put into practice the principles of God’s word that we seek to teach and exemplify. Without having to tell them to do so, some have called to let us know that they are willing to buy groceries for anyone needing them. Some have had to continue working because their jobs are considered “essential,” and at the same time they are exposed constantly to the risk of the virus and have to come home to their families.

I am challenged constantly to look past these circumstances and focus on the promises that God has given to use them all for my good and His glory. I know He will continue to care for me, even more than a hen cares for her chicks.

I do ask that you would pray for us to be wise and faithful in ministering in this new “environment”.

Yours in Jesus’ love,
Charlene Wacaser
 
Contact Info:
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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