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,

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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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Four Generations of Missionaries Together in Manaus

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve 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.

February 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

We are grateful for your prayers and generosity. Our family and ministries are blessed by you!

Our four children are in good health and doing well in school. Sarah is practicing softball, Laura is playing volleyball, Benjamin is engaged in soccer and basketball, and Melissa enjoys playing everything.

At the end of the year, we had a very special Christmas time at Maria Virginia Baptist Church. The neighborhoods near the building received a door-to-door Christmas cantata during the two weekends prior to Christmas.  Several guests visited us during services and attendance is increasing. Last week we received a couple that searched for us online and came to the main worship celebration.

Pastor Helder and family arrived in Sao Paulo on January 8th to assume leadership at Maria Virginia as the new senior pastor. Within the first month he visited most of the members at home and everyone is excited to have them in the fellowship and his encouraged by his leadership.

Our gatherings with Imagine are always full of laughter and filled enjoyable moments. People enjoy sharing life stories around our meals and prayer requests during small group meetings. We continue to gain momentum as more people arrive to do life together with us.

The children at Hope are always full of energy and excited to see us every time they see us. Contact with parents through the kids is ever increasing as the adults learn to trust us and seek our help in emotional and physical needs and on how to raise children.

For two weeks at the beginning of January, we traveled and stayed with my parents (Paul and Wanda Hatcher) in Manaus. (My parents were in Manaus for a short season to assist Tabernacle Baptist Church with transition.) We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. This visit also gave us time with my grandfather John Hatcher (he is cared for by my parents).  We were also able to invest time with my uncles and aunts: David and Penny, and Odali and Kathy. We scheduled a photo op with a professional photographer to take our family portrait, with parents and Grandpa John. We took a great picture of four Hatcher generations in Brazil.

While in Manaus we visited several friends and churches. I had the privilege of preaching at Ativa Baptist Church in Manaus where Pastor Neto is pastor and at Pedras Vivas Baptist Church in Iranduba, where Odali Barros is pastor.

Please, continue to pray for us.

Grateful always,
Jud Hatcher

Judson & Raquel Hatcher
(859) 544-9040
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Click here to give now.

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Revitalizing Churches and Reaching “Paulistanos”

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve 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,

Thank you for your faithful prayers, engagement and financial investment. Read about a pastor who travels 6 hours to preach, a Digital Magazine on YouTube channel and “don’t come in, we are too high”. Intrigued? Please, read on.

Church Revitalization
Four months ago, Pastor Fabiano from Lupercio Baptist Church (started by my grandfather – John Hatcher) contacted me asking for help. We meet at a coffee shop and spoke for 3 hours. He explained “two years ago a church (that is now 47 years old with and average attendance of 25 people) here in São Paulo asked me for assistance, they were without a pastor for 8 years and were considering closing the doors. I agreed to travel 6 hours into the city to minister to them once a month. The church really wants and needs a full-time pastor, but they don’t have enough funds to sustain one.” He went on to ask me to help them in revitalization, growth and eventually bring in candidates for a new senior pastor. I agreed. I do training there on Wednesday evenings. We’ve worked through several series “Letting the Philippian Joy become Yours”, “Taking an X-ray of this Church”, “How to Effectively Share Christ”, and now we are walking through “How to Disciple a New Believer”. The church is considering a pastoral candidate I indicated, Helder Castro. Helder accepted Christ through my father’s ministry. I served as his mentor for several years and officiated his wedding ceremony. He has pastored in Manaus for 12 years. He visited the church twice for interviews and preaching. They will vote in the end of August for him to start in January 2020. In the meantime, I will step up my role to serve them as an interim pastor until December 2019. Helder will move with his wife and two sons to serve in making disciples through “Igreja Batista em Jardim Maria Virginia.”

I am excited as this church has also agreed to participate in sending people for church planting with us and will also be a part of our “Life Together Network” of churches in São Paulo. Helder and Renatha will be a great contribution, as they are also church planters and we’ve worked together for many years. If the Lord lays on your heart to contribute in prayer and financially assisting Pastor Helder during his first year in this church revitalization, please do so by designating to “J.H. – Pastor Helder / Church Revitalization” through BFM.

Imagine, a Baptist Church
Church planting is intense, especially with multiple fronts. Over the last year, we are enjoying the most fun we’ve ever had as a family in doing what we have always loved doing. Imagine is focused on reaching out to the unsaved/unchurched urban São Paulo city dweller. “Paulistanos”, (as they are called in São Paulo city) are typically well informed, well-educated and cultured. If they are not “church going people” type, they don’t plan to go… Period. We have done a lot of strategy customizing to finally reach our target audience. “Paulistanos” are known in Brazil as “workaholics” and in their down-time they want to hangout with friends and family, not go to “some religious meeting”. So, we, the Church are going to where they are and doing what we know will gain credibility and trust in their hearts. We have our weekly evangelistic gatherings in parks, sports stores, malls, hospitals and through home dinners. As people surrender to Christ, we schedule basic discipleship in their home. We have a “Celebration Gathering” once a month. In addition to this, we are currently working on our “YouTube” Channel to produce a Digital Magazine with episodes of 5 to 8 minutes, with Biblical teaching, insights for living and music. A “Paulistano” won’t listen to a 40-minute sermon while in the subway but will listen to us for 5 to 8 minutes at a time. I have invited a spiritually solid team to help develop the content, including my father – Paul Hatcher. I’ve consulted with well-known Brazilian YouTubers on how to get it all started. Video production takes a lot of time, but the library of content with easy access for anyone and anywhere is priceless.

Hope, a Baptist Church
This church is situated in the middle of three ghettos, the families we minister to are very poor. My heart breaks every time I walk into people’s homes and see the precarious conditions they live with their children. People’s hearts are very hardened and without hope. Here we have weekly Bible teaching, evangelism and home visitation. When we first started here, I wasn’t sure how we would be received by the people, but as a rule (when the adults aren’t high or drunk) we get invited inside their homes to pray and we receive a listening ear. Adult women tend to be infantile, as most of them never had a real childhood, due to becoming mothers at a young age. Men are stern and often irresponsible with their families.  We do a lot of “Life Together” with people so they can see the light of grace. We’ve had pasta nights, pizza parties, hamburger meets. Kids attend well in the children’s ministry, adults are tougher, but we have made way in their hearts.

If you’d like to invest time in prayer for these and future church-plants, please do. Consider also in investing financially, you can do so by sending your contribution through Baptist Faith Missions, please designate “Jud Hatcher – Church planting”.

Sarah and Laura started their new school year on July 30th, Benjamin and Melissa started on the 31st. They had a 6-week break between school years and were excited to start back. Stateside, the school year beak is in the Summertime and is synonymous with “Fun in the Sun”. Well, in the Southern Hemisphere, July is the coldest month of the year and homes do not have central heating systems. Electricity is so expensive that space heaters are not commonly used. Hence, our school year break is synonymous with “Eat your soup before it gets too cold.”

We are truly grateful for the school the Lord provided for them. A year ago, Melissa (7 years) had not learned to read or write at the school in which the kids were enrolled. After a year (and much hard work) at this new school, Melissa know how to read and write in English and Portuguese. We are elated with joy as our kids are inspired by their teachers to study hard.

Recently, Baptist Faith Missions (through the leadership of the directors and Bro. Dave Parks’ administrational skills) changed the health insurance provider, and all to the better. The plan gives us access to the best hospital in Brazil, located in São Paulo. As a result, we will be able to get more efficient treatment for Laura’s left ear severe hearing loss, that was caused by a punctured ear drum.

As always, thank you for loving us and praying. We love you. Want to visit us in São Paulo? We’d love you host you. Come on down (Just let us know before you arrive at our door).

Grateful always,
Jud & Raquel Hatcher

Judson & Raquel Hatcher
(859) 544-9040
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Click here to give now.

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