Jesus is the Only Hope!

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.

August 24, 2020

Dear friends,

From one of our latest visits on the street:

On one of the coldest mornings of the year (39o F—it is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere), under a drizzle characteristic of São Paulo City, I woke up early to meet downtown with a team. I was received at a friend’s home with a warm smile. I feel right at home; we started talking while he finished preparing the hot chocolate to take, along with cake, sandwiches, juice, and water. After a few minutes, other volunteers from the team arrive, making the environment even more cozy. After taking the donations (large bags containing handmade wool caps, clothes, shoes, warm clothes, socks, and blankets), we went out towards the viaduct bridge where young people and children stay. We parked the cars, shared the bags and sacks among the team, and walked to the location. Once there, we were received with joy and plenty of hugs amid loving greetings. It’s strange, but I feel very comfortable there, as if it’s not my first time. People come out of their tents, get up from their mattresses or sleeping bags, others get closer, and in a few minutes, everyone is enjoying a delicious breakfast. I hear many “thank you”, and I look at the faces, as if saying: “What would become of us without you?”. Finishing the coffee, in other words, the hot chocolate, we started to distribute the blankets, warm clothes, wool caps, socks, and kits. The place is again full of gratitude and satisfaction. Joy is evident in the faces of everyone there. Two young men then address us and say that they would like to leave the streets and go to a shelter. One of them says he really wants to go to a place where there is a church so that he can get close to God and leave that life. In the next few minutes, an attempt is made to find a place to welcome these two young people, many calls are made, messages are sent, and contacts are made. To our delight, both were received in a shelter. Meanwhile, the team members talked to each of them, listening to their stories, their complaints, offering understanding, empathy, care, and hope. One of the stories I heard was of a young man telling about his adventures and travels. He talked about when he took a ride on the freight trains, and so he got to know various tourist spots and how he had fun in those days. But he also told about sad moments, like when a friend jumped off the train, but when he fell, he left his leg on the track, which resulted in a leg amputation. Others talked about books they had read, about places they had been, others laughed and messed up with friends who tried to put on the mask they had just received, others asked for something to take to a friend in the other tent, in short, there was a mood cheerful, as if for a few hours, they forgot their sad reality.

In one of the tents there was a girl with a cough and fever. She didn’t go out, she stayed inside all the time. She was being taken care of by her boyfriend who took to her everything we gave. Another girl was doing the same thing with her pregnant friend, who also did not leave her tent, which was further away. Despite the friendly climate, I couldn’t help but notice the precariousness of the place. Garbage everywhere, a strong odor, pigeons feeding on the remains, rats passing by, in short, a human being should never be in a place like that. I wondered how much they had suffered within their families that would lead them there, living in those inhuman conditions. Talking to one of the guys, I asked if he had a family. He said he did, and that his family lived in Guarulhos. So, I asked if he wanted to go home. He replied that if he returned, he would kill his stepfather. So, I thought, how much pain, how much trauma, how much suffering this young man has already experienced to have so much hatred within himself. In the end, it was time to say goodbye. We shared Jesus, prayed with them, blessed them as best we could. As I walked back to the car, my heart was filled with mixed emotions. I was happy to have experienced that moment, but at the same time it was unsettling to know that I would be going home, with my family, with a warm meal waiting for me, but they would not. That evening, a cold night would fall upon them. Next morn, sunrise. It would be dusk, dark dusk, dawn, and they would be there. I arrived home, and as I had imagined, a table set, a hot soup prepared on the stove, spouse and happy children talking, happy to see me back.

Jesus is the only hope!

Grateful always,
Judson & 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.

Read more