In São Paulo for Two Seminary Classes

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.

October 13, 2018

Dear friends and family,

The last two months have flown by so fast, as though they were only two weeks. I have made two trips to Brasil planning for and doing research for the next seminary classes. I will be returning to São Paulo on October 14 for the next two classes in the Seminary. These classes will be “Survey of the New Testament” and “Pastoral Training”.

What a blessing it is that we have pastors here in the States that are willing to give of their time to help us with the training of Brasilian pastors and church leaders. We would like to give a big THANK YOU to their Churches for allowing them to leave their pulpits to come teach here in Brasil. What an AWESOME God we all serve.

We will be welcoming two new professors to our Brasilian Seminary this Month. They are Dr. Chris Dortch of First Baptist Church of Mt. Sterling, KY, and Dr. Steven Scherer of Central Baptist Church in Paris, KY. Dr. Dortch will be teaching New Testament Survey and this course is designed to provide a basic introduction to each of the New Testament books. There will be special focus on the revelation of Jesus Christ in each book. Also, it will focus on providing keys to understanding each book in the context of the entirety of the scriptures. Pastor Scherer will be teaching Pastoral Ministries. This course is designed to equip the student for Pastoral Ministry by examining the various aspects of ministry required of pastors serving in local churches. It also includes identifying biblical absolutes, priorities and qualifications needed for effective pastoring within the local church.

I am working with some Pastors from Garça, São Paulo, planning our next Seminary classes in 2019. We have asked Pastor Russell Zik of Durbin Baptist Church to be the professor for this class. Also pray for us as we consider the locations for the next classes. Pray for our professors as they leave their comfort zone to help further the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Children in Sunday School Class at Pr. Ricardo Posca’s church in São Paulo

Pr. Ricardo Posca’s church in São Paulo

While I am in São Paulo, I plan to see Pr. Ricardo Posca from our previous class who Barbara and I chose to help support in his endeavors to start a church in São Paulo. At this time, he has 20 members and is starting a Sunday School for the children and there are about 15 children in attendance (photos included). Please keep him and this work in your prayers. Also, one of the other missionaries that we are helping that works with the Indians in Parati, Pr. Valdival, has had a heart attack and has to leave his work for four months for recuperation. Please keep him and his wife in your prayers as they have to leave their home and work to recuperate.

I am planning to be back in the United States by November 1st because of my cancer treatments and my appointments. I have an appointment with the cancer doctor on the 3rd and hopefully I will get a good report. Please pray with me and for me in these days ahead.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
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Group from Georgia Helps with Construction, Bible School, Food Baskets for Indians

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.

September 9, 2016

Dear friends and family,

Our last month at home in Caraguatatuba was a month of construction. We started by painting the house. You see, there, the homes require much more maintenance than here in the States. We finished the house and the group from Georgia arrived. It was a combined group from Centerville Baptist Church and Pinehurst Baptist Church. The Church had sent money for the new tile for the sanctuary, so we were ready and waiting when they got here. Our first task was to go shopping, and yes—the ladies were in charge of that part as they do it so well.

Then the next day, with no waiting, the tile work began. While the strong and able laid tile in the sanctuary, the rest put on their painting clothes. These tackled the high ceilings upstairs. While the painting job was just to put on the sealer coat, it was nonetheless important. The work continued for several days with little let up. But the end result is AWESOME!

This was an AWESOME week where we renewed old friendships and began new ones. We were able to do this because our friend Pastor David Grantham has assumed the leadership of the new church Pinehurst Baptist. So he led the group with two churches and everyone had a wonderful time.

Inside the new building in Caragua

Inside the new building in Caragua

We were also able to conduct a Bible School there at the Church and we had around 100 children in attendance. We had planned to do another Bible school at the Indians in Parati, but the group over tourism would not let the bus that we were using enter on the road where the Indians live. It was a great disappointment as we were not only going to do the Bible school, but the group had purchased some much needed food baskets for the Indians, and some repair on the swing set that this group had constructed in past trips. The missionary that works directly with the Indians was so upset because he told us that the Indians were in desperate need—so we made plans for him to come to Caragua to get as many baskets as his car could hold. He since has told us how much the Indians appreciated the baskets. You see, that was the only food some of them had for the month.

We got an email from the missionary just some days later with a picture showing us a tragedy that had occurred in a wind storm some days earlier. You see, the wind storm had uprooted a large tree and that tree had fallen on the swing set that the Americans had made for the children there. Well, when we get back to Brasil we will have to assess the damage and see what we all can do to set that swing set to right.

Loading the missionary's car with bags of food for the Parati Indians

Loading the car with bags of food for the Indians in Parati

Here I want to interject something: without YOU and people dedicated to missions, none of this can happen. Groups, financial support, prayer warriors, Baptist Faith Missions and other friends make this ministry here in Caragua able to do God’s will. We want to thank everyone for your contribution however it might be. Thanks sometimes does not seem enough—you all are AWESOME!!!

This does not let you off the hook, we still need lots of help. There is still work going on on the school property and so much more. See where God might use you in Brasil and let us know what He is calling you to do. We do have an apartment for those who want to stay longer than the normal 8 to 14 days.

Barb and I got to the States on the 26th of July and began the long journey of the radiation therapy to take care of the prostate cancer. We had been told that I would have 30 radiation treatments, but when we met with the oncologist, she wanted to add 7 more treatments. She also wants me to stay in the States for some follow up after the treatments are finished. So the trip that was to be over and we were to go back to Brasil on the first of November has been prolonged. But we are in God’s hands and we know that He is taking care of every aspect of my life. I have had about one third of the treatments today 9/9/16 and God has been faithful. I have had so few side effects they are not even worth mentioning. I take treatments Monday through Friday with the weekends off. So maybe I will see you in Church. Continue to pray for great results and good tolerance.

We hope to be in Brasil for Thanksgiving so if you need someplace to go to get out of the snow then come on down! We will put some more water in the beans and treat you so many different ways that you will have to like one.

Lord bless,
In His name,
Aj and Barb

Aj and Barbara Hensley
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Missionary Update: The Hensleys in Brazil [June 2014]

The Hensleys have spent nearly 15 years serving in Brazil. They run a vocational school and orphanage in Caraguatatuba and have also established a church and mission points throughout the city.

Friends and family,

This month has turned into a wonderful time of ministry in our area.  We have, with the help of our friends from 1st Baptist Centerville Georgia, completed another drywall project in our Church building (this area we will be using as a storage room). What a blessing. We were also able to do a Bible School at our Church and there were 53 kids more or less. We also painted the lower half of the Church building dark blue, and it completely changed its appearance.

We put many months of planning into the projects that were accomplished and when the group arrived we hit the ground running.  Everything turned out wonderful.  After the work here at the Church building, we went to the Indian reservation in Parati to build a playground for the children.  Now this playground area as it turned out was a monster of a project. It took three days of intense, muddy, hard work.

As we were working the children started to work with us. Helping carry logs, set up our tools and building their own things with our scraps. Needless to say the work slows down when children appear on the work site. But it was just AWESOME!!!  Now you might ask,  ‘Why did we build this playground for these children?’ The answer is simple, we want to reach that village for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Chief of this tribe is 95 years old, and on our other visits, he shows up to greet us and receive the presents that we bring him (usually I take a knife or a baseball cap or something personal for him) and he goes back to his home. This time as the construction began to take shape, he climbed up on a rise and began to watch (either the work or the children playing and us interacting with them). I think for the first time he began to see us   differently. This tribe has a missionary working with them and we just work with him in these endeavors.  We and he are allowed to witness to these Indians only in their homes, but this time that was different also.  As we gave them their food baskets (there were 25), we were allowed to pray with them where we were working.  As we were taking the group picture, the Chief disappeared and then returned with the most beautiful bow and arrow. He then presented it to me as the group leader from him and his tribe.

Now that might not seem like much to you.  However we were told later that this is the first time the chief or the tribe has given a present to an outsider.  We are working toward the goal to open this tribe so that the Gospel can be preached there freely.  In the 3-5 years that we have been going there, we only know of 5 people that have accepted the Lord as their Savior. That does not seem like much, but that is 5 that will not go to hell.

It is our prayer that you pray for them and the work that goes on there.  There are around 250-300 people that are in this tribe. They ALL need to know our Lord and Savior as their personal Savior.

It has been just an AWESOME month of work here in Brasil.

On the other side, our truck has just gotten out of the garage getting the motor overhauled and back on the road.  Thanks to Pastor Todd and Church for the financial help.  Our bus got out of the garage last Saturday but went back in on Monday.  As they were removing some parts to do some minor work, the brake drums fell our in their hands.  So we will be without a bus until these repairs can be done. We have had the shocks replaced, broken springs replaced, and the drive shaft support was hanging on by one screw, and now the brakes.  But God has protected us through all this. We could have had a big accident if any one of these things had finished breaking on the road.  But God protected us.  Is He not AWESOME!!!  And through all these expenses, He is supplying our daily needs.

Keep praying for the Church as it is growing each week. Sunday night we had 82 in attendance. There seems to be 5 or more visitors each week. To God be the glory!

Keep in your prayers the seminary in September, the Indian village, the prison ministry, the rehabilitation center and the orphanage and our health.  Thank you in advance for your prayers. And if you want to help with the expenses for the bus you can contribute through Baptist Faith Missions.

This month has also been one of celebration: Barbara and I have had our 48th anniversary and I am having another birthday. Thanks for all the well wishes.

In His service,

Aj and Barbara Hensley

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Missionary Update: The Hensleys in Brazil [March 2014]

The Hensleys have spent nearly 15 years serving in Brazil. They run a vocational school and orphanage in Caraguatatuba and have also established a church and mission points throughout the city.

March 10, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Well, with our church only a little over one year old, we have had our 1st revival. It was lead by Pastor Mike Dorough from 2nd Baptist Church in Warner Robbins, Georgia. Even being a young mission, we had many re-dedications and commitments. While he was here, we had a baptism, the second of the year, and now we are planning another on the 16th of March. How AWESOME is the Lord we serve.

While Pr. Mike was here, his church sponsored many food baskets. First, we were able to minister to the people in our church and then to the Indians in Parati. Many of our church family have physical needs, needs for food and clothing, and also spiritual needs. We are located in a very populated area. The city government has constructed many houses and are planning more. These are for the families that couldn’t afford to buy a home for themselves. They, the government, are planning more, and this is good for the residents as this is one of their greatest needs. This reminds me of the 70’s and 80’s there in the States when the government built the 235 homes. We are hoping that many of our members will be selected to receive one of these homes. But we are also looking forward to being able to evangelize in these new neighborhoods.

Now for an update on the Indians in Parati – we don’t realize what poverty really is until we make a visit to these Indians. There we see profound poverty. After a visit to these people, we, as a Church, realize that we can and are making a difference in the lives of these people. We always take something when we visit. Sometimes it is food, clothing, and other times we take Bibles and Bible studies. But as you have heard me say many times, we can’t help with their spiritual need until we help with their physical need. This month we took some of our youth and they came home with a different outlook. They realized that they are truly blessed. And they were encouraged to do more for the Lord.

Hensley_March2014Now for the rest of the story about this particular visit. On the way to visit these Indians, Barbara was sitting with one of the youth and was witnessing to her about our Lord and Savior, and this young lady accepted Christ as her personal savior. AWESOME!!! How great is our Lord!!! And just to think that this happened when we were going to visit with a people group that serve many gods. Our God is alive!! So, as you pray for our work here in Caraguatatuba, don’t forget to pray for these people. And pray for the missionaries that work with them. Their labor is hard as they have seen maybe only 6 come to know the Lord.

These Indians are not the only group here who need our prayers. We work and minister with a group that are in recuperation from drugs and alcohol. They are really special for me as they are wanting to change their lives. And in this group, the only medicine they receive is Jesus Christ. We pick some of them up on Wednesday night and take them to Church. This is the ones that want to go, and there are about 15 to 23. When they go, they are our responsibility. There in the recuperation center, they live under a very strict routine. While at Church, we have to monitor them so that they don’t leave the building. But all that is worth it when you hear them praising the Lord in song.

This week we had a going home party for one of men. We served cake and ice cream, and we presented him with a study Bible. This was a gift from our Church as he has been one of the faithful ones. He broke down and cried. He also gave his testimony and it was AWESOME.

We have been doing lots of work on the Vocational School this month also. The dorm house and the shop where lots of training will happen. The group in rehab are anxious to start classes here. This week they volunteered to clean and maintain this property.

We have been working on the papers to make our school and our church legal in the eyes of the government. We are jumping through many hoops. Pray as we are submitting our paperwork this week. We know that God is in control, but He loves to hear from His servants, so PRAY.

It would take lots of paper to tell you everything that God is doing here in Caragua. So it would be a good idea to come on down and experience the many blessings and miracles we get to experience on a daily basis. We are not saying we do not cry sometimes or that we do not experience problems–that is just a part of life–but seeing lives changed–that is what it is all about.

Find out where God is working and get involved.

Keep us and our work in your prayers.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara Hensley

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