Seeing God at Work in the Lives of Our Children

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.

April 12, 2024

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is with great joy I write you once more. It’s a privilege to share with you all God is doing here in São Paulo City.

First, I want to share about God’s work in our children’s lives. Sarah is graduating from High School on June 10th. We celebrate her accomplishments and a new phase as she prepares to go to college here in São Paulo. We are grateful for God’s work in Laura’s life, as she demonstrates daily her spiritual growth and knowledge about Jesus. We praise God for Benjamin’s life also. He gives us so much joy as he develops not only in stature and academics but also in his faith and love for Jesus. Melissa, from all four, is who has grown the most in every area of life. She really has improved in her learning abilities, her performance in sports, her social skills, her confidence, and interest in spiritual practices. It’s amazing to watch them becoming young adults, and Melissa becoming a teenager, with all that phase brings (LOL). I’m thankful for your prayers; we need it so much!

Second, I would like to share the results of our First TBRI National Conference, organized by ABBA (Associação Brasileira Beneficente Aslan). We had people from six states, and more than twenty cities. We had five speakers, three representing Texas Christian University – Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, one from Pontes de Amor, an Adoption Support Group, and me. This conference was done by faith. I’m thankful to partners like Nikki and Jason Estes (iCG Pay), who raised funds and supported us from the start. I’m thankful for Srini Sirigire, he owns Whiztek. I’m thankful for D & A Papéis, and FlySkyCare. Without their contributions it wouldn’t be possible. I’m also thankful for an amazing team, who worked non-stop to make this conference a success. If you would like to support our ministries with Foster Care, and children and adolescents in risk and social vulnerabilities, please make donations to BFM and specify “Jud & Raquel’s Foster Care Ministry”.

Prayer Requests:

Our family health. There is a dengue crisis going on here in Brazil.

Our kid’s last two months of school, and future education plans for Sarah.

My dad’s health. He almost had a heart attack on April 10th. He’s on the waiting list for a heart valve transplant. His heart is very weak, and he is having symptoms such as shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and stomach discomfort.

My mom’s health. She was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in September 2023. She’ll go through chemotherapy and radio therapy in the next months.

We have two babies in our foster care program. Please pray God will send us more foster families, it’s a challenge to recruit Christians families to receive these little ones in their homes.

Our TBRI trainings. Many non-profit organizations ask us to train their staff and team. Pray for wisdom, and funds.

Pray for our Agape Baptist Church. We’ll have a community outreach this upcoming Sunday. Pray for salvation.

It’s an honor to serve Jesus Christ through Baptist Faith Missions. We feel privileged to be part of this great mission. Thank you for all you do for our family.

Raquel Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
(872) 400-6522

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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Reflections from Jonathan Turner

I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father and to Baptist Faith Missions for the wonderful privilege that I was given to travel to Brazil on the one-hundredth year anniversary of the Great Commission work of Baptist Faith Missions in that great nation. Accompanying me on this trip was my sister, Kimberly DePalma. She drove from Virginia to meet me. We left my home in Kentucky on Tuesday, September 5th to catch our first flight out of Saint Louis. My father-in-law, Ken Greenwell, who lives in Saint Peters, Missouri graciously allowed us to leave my sister’s car in his garage and then drove us to the airport.

We boarded our flight bound for Houston with much excitement and some trepidation. We were excited because I had not been able to visit Brazil for eighteen years and Kim had not been back for thirty-seven years when she left at the age of seventeen. We were filled with trepidation because I had not been able to renew my Brazilian passport. I have dual citizenship and we were not sure what to expect when we would arrive in São Paulo and would be required to go through immigration.

We left Houston in the evening hours and after an approximately 9-hour flight we arrived in the São Paulo metro area at the Guarulhos International Airport Wednesday morning, September 6th. We went through immigration, and I showed my American Passport. The Federal Police officer looked at my passport, typed some information into her computer, and then asked if I had any Brazilian paperwork. Kim and I had spoken to a Brazilian friend who advised me to take all my Brazilian paperwork with me including my Brazilian birth certificate. I am thankful that I listened to his advice. I showed the officer my birth certificate. She entered more information into her computer and gave me the okay to proceed through. What a relief that was and an answer to prayer! Thanks be to our God who put a friendly face in front of us and who opened the door for us to enter the country legally and without any problems.

From the airport we took an Uber ride across the great city of São Paulo where we saw miles and miles of skyscrapers many of them filled with people who need the gospel of Jesus Christ.  BFM has one missionary family, Judson and Raquel Hatcher and their four lovely children, who are trying to reach those folks. They are worthy of your support. The Uber ride took about two hours due to the distance and the traffic.

Upon arriving at the Hatcher’s Kim and I showered, changed our clothes, packed a few things into our overnight bags and drove with Raquel and her four Hatcher kids for six hours to the interior of São Paulo state. We arrived around 11:00 p.m. at the house of Pastor Sergio Balbo and wife, Cris. They were gracious hosts. We enjoyed our time with them, and I feel like we made some lifelong friends. He is the pastor of the Igreja Batista da Fe in the city of Garça. They will be building a new building soon, God willing. 

The next morning, we went with Pastor Sergio and Cris to the city of Lupércio to attend the one-day conference that Missionary Judson Hatcher had invited us to attend. It was well attended by several churches, their pastors, and pastors’ wives. I had the opportunity to preach that morning, Thursday, September 7th which happened to be Independence Day in Brazil. I was also privileged to sit on two different panels with Pastor David Pitman and several Brazilian pastors and answer questions from pastors and others in attendance. It was a very encouraging time with good music, good preaching, good fellowship, and good food. It was the first time this type of conference had been organized to bring the churches together. Many of these churches were started by faithful missionaries John and Alta Hatcher. The conference was organized to celebrate their shared heritage, to allow the pastors to network, and encourage each other. It was a well-organized event and they have already begun planning next year’s conference. I am so thankful to Missionary Judson Hatcher for the invitation to come and to participate. After a long day we returned with our hosts to their home where we spent the night again.

The next day, Friday, September the 8th, we were picked up by Raquel Hatcher and we made the drive back to São Paulo City. That night Kim and I were privileged to take the Hatchers out for a great meal and to enjoy some great fellowship. Saturday, September 9th, we left São Paulo and flew to Cuiabá. Cuiabá is the capital city of Mato Grosso, a state about the size of Oklahoma and Texas. Cuiabá is the place where Kim and I spent most of our childhood years. It is the place where in 1973 my dad, Missionary Richard Turner, traveled with Missionary John Hatcher to survey the city and to hold some evangelistic services. God blessed and land was bought, a church building was built, and God filled it with people. I would encourage you to visit the website and read the history of this Great Commission work under our Legacy Library where all the previous letters of faithful missionaries have been digitized. You can read the letters that Dad wrote from this time. That church, Igreja Batista Boa Esperança (Good Hope Baptist Church) is still in existence and several other works have been started out of this church in other locations in the city of Cuiabá and in the state of Mato Grosso. Kim and I had the privilege of spending five days with folks that were saved, baptized, and added to a New Testament church during the ministry years of my parents in Brazil. They shared their testimonies with us and their memories of our parents. This Great Commission work in Cuiabá and the surrounding areas was a great work of God through faithful missionaries, Richard and Wanda Turner, Bob and Betty Creiglow, George and June Bean, and Harold and Ursula Draper.  While we were in Cuiabá, we visited several churches. I preached Sunday morning, September 10th, at the Boa Esperança church. That was a real honor and privilege. It was also a very emotional time for Kim and me to return to the church where we grew up. I was baptized in that church after being saved at the age of seven during our furlough in Lexington. That Sunday night we visited the Igreja Batista Bereana (the Berean Baptist Church). I had the opportunity to speak for a few minutes and share a little of BFM’s history.

Tuesday, September 12th, our host in Cuiabá invited family and friends to his house for a fish fry.  There were approximately 30 people present. He asked me to speak, and I gladly accepted.  Then several others gave testimonies of what my parents meant to them and how God used them in their lives.  Mission dollars from churches and individuals in the United States were used to send my parents to Cuiabá, to buy land, to build a building, to financially support my parents so that the gospel could be given to people in that city.  Some of those people were at that fish fry recounting God’s blessings and their salvation in Christ. Those dollars were not wasted! Let’s be encouraged to support missions, to support missionaries in places like Cuiabá and São Paulo.  There is still a great work to do.  Christ has not yet returned which means that the Great Commission still needs to be the focus of churches. 

Wednesday night, September 13th, we visited the Igreja Batista Jardim do Pinheiros (Garden of the Pines Baptist Church). This was a church started by Missionaries Harold and Ursula Draper.  This church is without a pastor and has been for about two years now. Pray for them.

Thursday, September 14th we began the long journey back to the United States. Our time had flown by, and it was difficult to leave, but we also were missing our families back in the States. We arrived safely back in Saint Louis, Friday, September 15th. My hope is to return, God willing, in a year or two to visit Cuiabá again but also to visit some other works in Brazil. I would encourage everyone to make a trip to the mission field and visit one of our missionaries.

Finally, let me quickly share some other ways God used my sister and me while we were in Brazil. We had some God-ordained appointments to keep that we were not aware of when we got on that first plane in Saint Louis. On our flight from São Paulo to Cuiabá on Saturday, September 9th we sat in a row with a young man named Gladson. Kim was the first to strike up a conversation and he was more than willing to talk to us. After a while, the conversation turned to spiritual matters. He shared with us that he had been raised in some type of Assembly of God Church. However, he could not give us a good testimony of salvation. He also shared that he had been taught and still believed that one can lose their salvation. Kim and I both were able to share the gospel with him. We are now friends on social media, and I am planning on sending him some gospel material. Pray for God to bless those efforts.

Our second God-ordained appointment was with a young man from Sweden. This young man had never heard the gospel. He was staying in the house where we were staying. He was in Brazil doing some volunteer work with two brothers of our host. He went with us to the Sunday morning service at Boa Esperança where I was preaching, and the gospel was given. Imagine that! God brings an American/Brazilian to Cuiabá, Brazil to preach in a service where a Swede who has never heard the gospel will attend a Baptist church service for the first time. Who but God! 

Our third God-ordained appointment was with an Uber driver. He was a young man who also had been raised in some kind of evangelical church but was not currently attending. During our conversation he shared that his mom still attended church, and he tried to do good, and that he said his prayers every day. We were able to share a little bit of the gospel with him during our short ride. Only God knows how those interactions will be used.

I pray this recounting of our trip to Brazil will encourage you and be used of God in some way in your life to bless you and increase your love for missions particularly the work that God is doing through the missionaries of Baptist Faith Missions.

The young man, Gladson, we met on our flight to Cuiabá and were able to witness to.
A view of the church started by Missionary Richard Turner and that has been used to start other churches.
Just a few of our friends came to see us off from Cuiabá to return Stateside. These are folks that were saved years ago and are still serving the Lord.
One view of the attendees of the conference in Lupércio, São Paulo. It was a great event.
A view of the skyline of São Paulo City where Missionary Judson and family are serving. This place is immense. 

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Encouraging Pastors & Seizing Opportunities for Gospel Connections

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, at least 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

August 22, 2023

Dear friends and partners in the Gospel,

Greetings from sunny Brazil! As we draw closer to the end of summer, we reflect upon the multifaceted experiences we’ve had and the many blessings we’ve seen. Here are some highlights:

 1. An Italian Cuisine Evangelist Sunday  

We were delighted to receive friends and neighbors for a Sunday gathering where the flavors of Italy met the fervor of Brazilian connectivity. The fusion of Italian flavors served with the Gospel message (that not even Ancient Romans could contain), pointed people to a relationship with Jesus.

2. Pastors and Soup

Our monthly pastors’ gathering in São Paulo state happened in Alvaro de Carvalho on a Friday night with delicious soups, great conversations, and the boldness of the Gospel to keep us on track in leading our teams to stay focused on the cross. It started at 7:00 pm and finished at midnight. Intense, deep, spontaneous, funny, and inspiring.

3. Uraí, PR Pastors’ Meetup

The next morning, we drove three hours for our monthly pastors’ meeting in Uraí, SP. Our journey continued to a meetup of pastors & leaders gathered to share, learn, and pray together. I was humbled by the stories of resilience and commitment these pastors have in leading their local churches.

4. Community Event for Men

On a Thursday night some of our church leaders in São Paulo City attended a special event for men, centered on eating ribs. This was a locally organized community event. We went to establish new connections and make new friends.  It was inspiring to see men come together to eat ribs, our team of guys prayed throughout the whole night as we laughed and talked with the guys. We met a ton of men!

5. Foster Care Awareness Day at the Park

An event coming up is one organized by Raquel and her foster care leadership team. We expect several families to join us at a local public park to raise awareness for at-risk children, orphans and to share the Gospel. In bringing together families, children, and the community, emphasizing the importance of foster care. Pray for us as we set up the games, face paint the kids, serve popcorn and cotton candy, and jump rope, that each child will find the Father.

6. Celebrating Joseph Brandon’s Legacy

A century ago, Joseph Brandon stepped onto Brazilian soil through “Amazon Valley Baptist Faith Missions, carrying with him the message of the Gospel. This month, we celebrate his legacy with a grand conference. Our guest speakers for this centennial celebration include Pastor’s David Pitman and Jonathan Turner, both directors of Baptist Faith Missions and faithful local church pastors.

7. Family Time and Back to School

As the school break simmered down, Sarah, Laura, Benjamin, and Melissa geared up for the new school year. I have never seen them so enthusiastic, disciplined, and focused as I am seeing them now. All four of them are part of the after-school athletics and the tournament between schools is in full throttle.

8. Kayaking Adventures

I recently took Melissa on a kayaking adventure. We had an incredible time exploring the island we went to visit, and it was a refreshing experience amidst nature, reminding us of God’s majestic creation.

9. A Birthday Celebration

Raquel’s aunt turned a graceful 78 this month, and it was a joyous occasion filled with stories, laughter, and memories with her extended family – some drove six hours to celebrate this moment.

10. David & Kym Pitman’s & Jonathan Turner’s Trip to Brazil

In just a few days we will receive David and Kym Pitman. They will be with us from August 26 through September 8. What an honor of hosting David & Kym Pitman. Their trip is filled with meaningful visits with pastors and their families, leadership gatherings, discussions, prayer, and culminating at the September 7 conference in Lupercio City. Jonathan Turner will join us on September 6 until the 8th. We look forward to every ministry opportunity with them.

11. One-on-One Evangelism Opportunities

We’ve been blessed with numerous opportunities for one-on-one evangelism, where personal stories and testimonies have paved the way for deeper connections and spiritual growth.

12. Gospel Partnerships

For two months I have prayed for the Lord to open an opportunity for us to partner with a soccer school. Just last week, the Lord opened the doors wide open. This week I had the privilege of meeting most of the young athletes. We will now have access to minister to 80 new families on a weekly basis!

13. Fundraising & Prayer Requests

We humbly reach out to you, our faithful supporters, with two pressing fundraising needs:

a)     Sound System, Stage, and Tent:

To enhance our church planting and network gatherings, we require a sound system, stage, and tent. The estimated cost for this essential equipment is 10,000 US dollars, considering the higher expenses for such equipment in Brazil.

b)     Second Car Purchase:

Due to the increasing demand and rising expenditure on transportation, we urgently need to acquire a second vehicle. The estimated cost for this much-needed resource is also 10,000 US dollars.

As we step into the new month, we ask for your continued prayers and support. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Let’s continue partnering in this Kingdom work.

Grateful always,

Judson Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
(872) 400-6522

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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God at Work in Garça

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The Hensleys have served the Lord in Brazil, South America since 1996. They have worked with orphanages, started mission points, established churches, and are presently conducting a seminary to train Brazilian pastors.

July 18, 2023

Dear friends and family,

As Barbara and I are traveling here in Brazil the climate is very different. In São Paulo City it is somewhat warm, in Caraguatatuba it is a little bit cooler but comfortable; however, in Garça…woah! — it is very cold! So, we had to find jackets, 2or 3 shirts, and other clothes that helped with the cold, and we are not yet done with our traveling. I was just not ready for this cold weather. We are planning to go to Rio de Janiero where we will present our Seminary. We will encounter a different part of Brazil, so we do not know how the climate will be.

While in Garça we were able to renew some old friendships and acquaintances. Boy how some of them have changed. (ha ha). However, the biggest surprise was when I preached Sunday night. This was the first “almost full” church I have been in since COVID. God is still at work and on His throne. Pastor Surgeno is the Pastor of the Church on the site of the Orphanage where the Alpha and Omega Home was located. Now for another blessing in this meeting: I encountered 7 of the young men who were in our charge while we worked in the Orphanage. Talk about changes! These young men were…beautiful (for lack of a better word)—and I am talking about inside and out. In their midst were some who were married with families, some were professionals, but the most gratifying was that all of them were active in the church, leading the music, playing instruments, and bringing their family to church. These young men all had jobs and were going about the business of raising a family and serving God. Just how AWESOME can things get! These were “our boys” at the orphanage and they still called me “Pa”. You can’t imagine the pleasure that this brought to my heart.

And then I get to preach and I am on a cloud. This was probably one of the most pleasurable messages I have had the pleasure of preaching and one of the pleasures was that my granddaughter Chelsea translated for me. You talk about the Holy Spirit working—what a night. Forget the cold, God is at work!!!

Not all is wonderful—I got the “grippe”. For those of us who don’t live in Brazil, that is a cold. So I got cold medicine and cough syrup, and got back on the road. It is an all-day drive back it Caraguatatuba.

Planning several meetings and another message or two after Garça. I am still on a cloud—between preaching and telling about the Seminary, I feel 48 years old again. God is AWESOME, WONDERFUL, AMAZING; there are just not enough adjectives to describe our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!

Pray for us as we travel, for our health and safety.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Chelsea translating for her grandfather AJ


AJ & Barbara Hensley
30524 Mimi St
Sebring, FL 33870-0530
AJ: 859-539-2302 | Barbara: 859-539-1424

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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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