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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Testing & Trusting

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.
June 27, 2020

Dear friends,

This season of COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a trying period. São Paulo City is a Coronavirus hotspot in Brazil. We went into an intense quarantine lockdown. Thankfully, we have a loving Father who cares for us and we can trust in His providence and sovereignty during uncertain times.

Our four kids began home online distance learning in mid-March. We only have two old computers, so we borrowed an additional two from friends. The first two weeks without all the necessary equipment was tough. In addition, the learning curve on how to use the educational platforms the school selected was rough, especially since the teachers were also learning how to use them and our internet speed did not cooperate. Thankfully, a technician eventually came to exchange the defective internet modem, the borrowed computers arrived, and teachers and parents learned the systems. Completing daily schoolwork assignments often took our kids 12 hours in a day. While this kept them (and us) “busy”, it was also concerning that it was so demanding on our time. Closing out the school year at home tripled our daily workload. As we reflect on all this, we are grateful for growing closer together as a family.

A couple months ago, Raquel suspected she had the coronavirus. She called the hospital to inquire if she had enough symptoms to go for a consultation and testing, or if she should remain in home observation. When she mentioned the hard time breathing the nurse said, “you need to come in immediately for testing.” The nurse went on to explain that difficulty in breathing was the requirement for going to the Emergency Room during the lockdown.

After arriving, completing the initial tests and waiting a couple of hours… test results returned positive… Raquel tested positive with a little baby. What? She didn’t have COVID-19, she was 4 weeks pregnant. Amid mixed emotions, we were overcome with joy and felt blessed with the gift of new life. We took a family portrait and celebrated the new family member with our children. Our four kids were elated with the news of a new sibling and family planning began for this next phase in our life.

At eight weeks of pregnancy, Raquel began to bleed… She went to the ER… The ultrasound detected no heartbeat. She had suffered a miscarriage. We were collectively heartbroken… 

Every life is precious and celebrated. We know we will see this unborn child when in glory. In the meantime, we rest assured knowing the Lord is faithful and true. We trust in Him.

Ministry wise, we continue to meet with our people in quarantine through video-conferencing apps, social media alternatives, delivering ready-to-eat meals, assisting people with physical and spiritual needs. Hygiene kits and groceries have been delivered to elderly and people in need, as financial means are possible to do so.

Trusting in the Lord is our strong fortress as we live through a pandemic here in Brazil. We are grateful to you for your prayers and support.

Grateful always,
The Hatchers

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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Glimpses of God at Work in São Paulo

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.

November 22, 2019

Dear friends,

FAMILY

All our children are doing well in school. Melissa (our youngest) is still working on catching up to her grade level. She has made great strides in comparison to where she was a year ago. Sarah and Laura just recently went on a trip to participate in the school’s junior varsity tournament camp with other schools. They returned home with the 2nd place trophy. A week later Sarah participated in the senior varsity tournament camp and her team returned with 1st place prize. Raquel and I are grateful and blessed by the academic, athletic and spiritual impact this school is having on our four children.

VISIT FROM A FRIEND

Several months ago, a friend asked if he could come to visit us in Brazil in October or November. We met Mike Secondino in 2000, during the time I served as youth minister at church in Norfolk, VA. Mike was in high school at the time. He was part of our ministry and twice traveled with us to Brazil in 2000 and 2002.

On this trip, Mike stayed with us for 5 weeks. Our children, Raquel, and I enjoyed his visit thoroughly. He ministered, sang and played the guitar at church and in our home, participated in ministry routines and activities. We were especially grateful for his time with us – as he ministered tremendously to our four children. Together, we have marvelous new memories for our family to cherish forever.

IMAGINE

During this last month, two new families invited us for dinner in their homes. The first family prepared a marvelous Brazilian BBQ (churrasco). Over the course of the afternoon, we shared a meal; talked about life, Skyped with friends, sang karaoke, swam in the pool and shared the love of Jesus. The second family invited us for a day at their fish farm, we toured the fish nurseries and the multiple lakes, played ball, went four-wheeling, visited a gorgeous waterfall and shared Jesus. It is amazing to see the doors the Lord is opening through friends.

Several other short visits to families in their homes and discipleship gatherings have brought a lot of enthusiasm amongst our steadily growing church plant. I also had a chance to take Benjamin (my son) to watch a professional soccer game with one of the guys I am discipling. Our team did not win the game, but the evening was awesome.

HOPE

Every week we get a chance to minister more deeply into the lives of the children and their parents. It is amazing to see how people love to come and participate in our Jesus gatherings. This weekend we have a guest ministry team coming to join us for some special memories, meals, and ministry. Everyone is excited.

CHURCH REVITALIZATION

This next Sunday, we have a day camp with 65 people. We are excited to see how the Lord is preparing this church as they prepare to receive a full-time pastor in January. I have served as an interim pastor since August 2019. I recommended a pastor (and friend) from Manaus for this church to consider as a candidate. After much prayer and getting to know him and his family, they called him as their pastor in September. This church has been without a pastor for 11 years and almost closed the doors twice. They have proven to be very generous as they prepare for him and his family’s arrival.

SEMINARY MOBILIZATION

In December, I will be in the city of Garça, São Paulo at the church my grandfather John Hatcher started in the ’70s. There will be a gathering with several local church pastors from the region. Pastors mentored by John Hatcher and Odali Barros have asked for months for me to come and invest time with them so we can dream about the future together. I am delighted to be with them. During my weekend there, we will participate in the graduation ceremony for “Centro de Garça” Baptist Seminary and hold meetings regarding seminary training at each church in the region.

Thank you always for your support and prayers.

Jud Hatcher

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


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Seminary Stats for 2019

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.

November 20, 2019

Dear friends and family,

It has been an AWESOME month and one half for our Seminary. First of all, we have a new name. Because of the accreditation process there in Brasil, we have to have an American name. So, we are now Bluegrass Baptist Seminary. The students are having a good time discovering what bluegrass is.

I want to use this letter to give you a yearly report on our work in Brasil. The cumulative report provides impacts for the Seminary and preview of the upcoming work.

Here are the Seminary statistics through the Fall of 2019:

  • 32 classes, delivering 9 courses in 6 different cities since our beginning.
  • Total enrollment is 277 students including pastors, church leaders and missionaries.
  • Students are from 90 churches who have memberships of more than 10,011 people total
  • These Churches are located in 34 cities and in 5 States
  • 84 students have graduated with a certificate in Pastoral Ministries. This includes the first 4 courses: Systematic Theology, Survey of the New Testament, Survey of the Old Testament, and Pastoral Ministries
  • 51 students at 2 locations are enrolled in our Masters Program. We have students in São Paulo and Orlandia that are in the middle of their Masters courses and will continue these courses in 2020. There has been an increased interest in the Masters Program. HOW AWESOME is the Lord we serve!!
  • We have 3 new locations for classes in 2020: Ribeirao Preto in the state of São Paulo, Manaus in the state of Amazonas, and Porto Velho in the state of Rondonia. In Rondonia, we will be working with missionaries who work in missions established in the high jungle or North Western Brasil.

As planned in 2020, we are expecting to have an AWESOME year! It would be good to have you, our prayer warriors, praying for me and our Professors: Derek Coleman, Raymond Edge, Russell Zik, Terry Leap, Steven Scherer, and Greg Waltermire, as there will be much traveling this upcoming year. Also pray for the Churches of these pastors who send their pastors to help in this ministry. Without these Churches and these pastors, we would not have Bluegrass Baptist Seminary.

This ministry, Reaching Brasil, is made possible because of caring people like you giving to Baptist Faith Missions. Thank you for your generosity and your prayers.

Happy Holidays!

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Seminary Classes in São Paulo

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 27, 2019

Dear friends and family,

This month has been fast and furious. Barbara left on the 1st of the month and I and Pastor Russell Zik from Durbin Memorial Baptist Church left on the 10th. We went to Caragua to visit the grand kids and Pastor Zik preached at Caragua Baptist Church.
We left Caragua Monday morning, driving to Garça, São Paulo. We got there around 6:00 and the first class started at 7:30. We were expecting 5 to 8 students and God sent 20. There are so many times that we sorely underestimate the Lord. The class that was taught was Pastoral Ministries. Out of the 20 students there were 8 pastors. The rest were church workers. This class was to be the last class taught in Garça but God had other plans for this area. We now have 21 students interested in continuing the seminary there in Garça. Again, we underestimated the Lord. During this week, one of the students called us to ask if we could come to his work to present the gospel. We found out that he works at a prison and the warden wanted us to preach to the prisoners. We did not hesitate nor think twice. Pastor Russell brought a salvation message and there were 12 inmates that made commitments. These inmates were getting ready to be released so God’s Word will be going home with these 12 people. There are many ways to spread the Word and we do not think of not even half of them. We serve an AWESOME God!

Pastor Zik and Barbara came back to the States and I met Pastor Greg Waltermire and Pastor Derek Coleman at the airport. And with this, we begin another week. Pastor Coleman of Gardenside Baptist Church is headed to Campins where he will be teaching Survey of the New Testament. And Pastor Waltermire of Heritage Baptist Church will stay in São Paulo to teach History of Christianity.

There were 29 students in the São Paulo class. One of the students got to class late on Monday and he told us that he had left home at 4:00 in the morning and only got to São Paulo after 7:30 that night. How many of us would travel that far to study God’s Word? He is staying with local pastors for the week. Another of the students is the Doctor that was in the class last year. The students hosted a birthday party for her 83rd birthday. In this class there are 7 different denominations represented. Each of them will be taught Baptist doctrine this week and if they stay for next week’s classes, they will also hear the same Baptist doctrine. Again, God works in wondrous ways His miracles to perform.
In Campinas we were looking for 20 students and there were only 11 students that showed up. But like the preacher who preached his whole sermon when only one person came to church, when he was asked why, he explained it this way: if you went to feed your cows and only one came you would not go home without feeding that one. So, the students received the whole class even though only less than half of the students showed up.
In these two weeks we will have had 5 classes in three cities to 60 students. More than 25 of these of these are pastors, serving 22 churches. It is hard to say how many people will be reached through these men.

I told you last month of my doctor’s appointment. Well I have had that appointment and the report is as follows: the test for the PSA is non-detectable, which means the cancer is not showing up on their test. What an AWESOME God we serve. I will have another checkup in 6 months and I am expecting to hear the same news.

Here are some pix.

In His service,
AJ and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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PalavraFest, Sharing in Schools & Parks, Headed to Rio

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.

October 1, 2019

Dear Friends,

You may remember that I wrote how Charlene and I teach English as a second language in order to gain an opportunity to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily come to a church service. We continue to do that and we are truly getting those opportunities. She and I teach different age levels and we both have English students who now come to our church services as a result. One of my students, a twelve-year-old girl, has also started bringing her entire family of six to church on Sundays. Our art teacher has also been able to draw several of her students to our worship services. This ministry is time consuming and requires effort, but the results that we are seeing make it worthwhile.

In our discipleship efforts at our base church we engaged in what we call, “PalavraFest,” translated, “WordFest.” This three week long event is pretty challenging for anyone, but especially for new believers. To complete the challenge, each person must read the Bible books of 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 2nd Kings and 2nd Chronicles completely. Also, they must memorize the 4th and 5th chapters of James and, additionally, they must study and fill out a prepared Bible study guide that requires approximately 30 minutes of study per day. We are in the middle of our third week of “WordFest” right now and I am very thrilled that around 60 percent of the congregation has kept up with all the challenge’s requirements. One of the greatest joys to me is to see how excited everyone is at our meetings as each one recites the verses they memorized to one another and discuss the details of the Bible texts that they read during the week! Our aim, above all, is to encourage our church members to study and practice God’s word so that they will be better equipped to love and serve Him.

Bobby Wacaser shared his testimony in a public school in Tatuí, São Paulo.

This past week I traveled to the interior of the state of São Paulo to meet together and minister with our team of evangelists. We shared the gospel in several public schools as well as in two city parks. I can’t think of any activity in life that gives me a greater joy than to share the gospel in a venue like a public school or park. In the town of Tatuí, I spoke to a group of around 300 high school students and shared my testimony of how I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. As I spoke, I looked around the crowd and could see many who were crying as God used me to communicate His love and mercy. I believe that several of those who heard the gospel also surrendered their hearts to Christ. In the schools, we aren’t permitted to ask the students to come forward to proclaim publicly their faith, but very often, some of the students come to talk to us individually to share how they felt God speaking to them through us. Like I said, I can’t think of any greater joy than that!

Bobby Wacaser shared his testimony in a public school in Tatuí, São Paulo.

In a week, our team will be packing up to head out again to 2 different states of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. Both locations offer some daunting challenges. In Rio de Janeiro, the drug use and crime rate are very high and our team is at constant risk. We are confident that God is sending them and that He will protect and use them. In Rio Grande do Sul, there is a very high percentage of demon worship and ritualistic sacrifices of animals, grains and alcoholic beverages in nearly every public square. It is sad to see how blind the people in this state are to the grace of God. They are desperately in need of the gospel and we are praying that the Lord will use our efforts there for the salvation of many. Please remember to pray for our ministries.
Thank you for your faithful prayer and support.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]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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Bluegrass Baptist Seminary Spreads in Brazil

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 21, 2019

Friends and family,

This month has been more than busy. I will start with the end of the month and reconstruct it backwards.

Pastor Derek and I were invited to a Pastor’s conference in Goiânia, Brasil, where I was able to represent Bluegrass Baptist Seminary. This was an opportunity sent from God because we were trying to incorporate a visit to this area this year to spread the word about the Seminary. As a result, we were able to talk to representatives from six different churches. They are now going to send students to the Seminary in our location in Rebeirao Preto. This will be our first classes in August of 2020. This city is projected to be one of the permanent locations for Bluegrass Baptist Seminary. This is a very large city with an airport and in a central location to many cities. Pray for these new locations we are planning for the 2020 Seminary year.

The missionary conference in Goiânia, São Paulo.

Also this month we have put Manaus, Amazonas on our projected schedule for seminary classes. The invitation to Manaus came from the classes we are having in São Paulo, as some of the students had contacts in Manaus and spread the word about our classes. I have many friends there from language classes and work that I had done there for Pastor Paul and Wanda Hatcher.

This coming year promises to be a busy and productive one for the Seminary. Our plans are for being in Ribeiro Preto, São Paulo and Manaus, Amazonas as the new cities, and Campinas, São Paulo and São Paulo, São Paulo as the ongoing classes. With these four cities we will have eight different classes. Pray for all our professors and helpers. As you know our professors are Pastors here in the United States with their Dr’s and PhD’s and they are doing an AWESOME job. Because of their qualifications, they will help with our pursuit of accreditation for the Seminary. This is an AWESOME blessing.

My health issues continue to improve and I have an appointment in the coming weeks. Be in prayer for the latest results. I know that, as in all things, God is in control.

As you know, when you are trying to serve God, there are road blocks. My roadblock this month was on the road. Not literally, but I had an accident and totaled my car. The AWESOME news is that I escaped injury. Just a few bruises and minor scratches. Our God is an AWESOME God.

Just following up with Mary’s oldest daughter Chelsea, she went for a check-up last week and the Dr said that her spina bifida is getting better and she will not have to wear a brace. Prayer works!!! Continue to keep them in your prayers.

Please pray for Barb and I as we are going to be in Brasil for the month of October. Barb will go first to visit the grandchildren then to Garça with me for the first of three Seminary classes. Then I will finish the month in São Paulo and Campinas.

Thank you for your continued prayers for this endeavor for the Kingdom.
In His service,
Aj and Barb Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Making New Friends, Introducing them to the Very Best Friend

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.

August 21, 2019

Dear friends,

Here are a few key phrases to encourage you to keep reading and find out more: “Did she break her ankle?”, Darkness falls in the metropolis, Ministry explanation

I have been fighting a throat infection for the last few days. The strong antibiotic is taking a toll on my stomach. Sarah (8th grade) was invited to play in the Sr. Varsity basketball team this school year. She was surprised by the coach’s invitation. Even more surprised when he put her in to play twice during the first game of the season. Her coach is impressed by her development and drive. Unfortunately, she sprained her ankle this week. One of the coach’s first questions once we returned from the hospital was “Did she break her ankle?”. Thankfully, it was just the ligament. So, she may not get to play in the next game at the end of this week. We are thankful for no broken bones. Sarah & Laura adapted well with using braces. Melissa will be using special braces as some of her baby teeth fell out too early and the spaces for the teeth need to remain open until the new teeth drop. Benjamin is loving school and soccer – he is one happy dude. Raquel is doing well, whilst staying busy.

The last couple of weeks we’ve had very hot days followed by very cold days. The weather gets extremely melancholic during this time of the year. The day before yesterday was an even more bizarre day. Due to all the fires in another part of the country, the wind brought in a dark smog and by 4 pm it was dark as night.

Over the last month there was a lot of discipleship with new believers and planning with leadership. We had an evangelistic event this last Sunday. We had a “Friends Barbeque” at the church in Jardim Maria Virginia. We had an icebreaker before lunch began where people used a whole two minutes to talk about themselves to another person (some found it easier than others). Then, the person who listened had 30 seconds to introduce their new friend to another. It is interesting to see you people interact with having to talk about themselves and then listen to their introduction, yet they loved it. Making new friends is important, but meeting Jesus – hey, He is the best friend anyone can have. Almost 100 people turned out to the event. There were 6 decisions in all – 4 salvations, 1 reconciliation and 1 for baptism. I love interacting with the unchurched. They often don’t know what to expect and don’t know how to do the “church thing”. After we finished the altar call, one lady raised her hand and blurted out “Hey, I surrendered to Jesus several years ago but was never baptized. What do I need to do to get baptized?” I gave a brief explanation so that all could hear, and we scheduled a follow-up meeting to talk about baptism and what we believe.

This next Sunday we begin a new children’s ministry campaign to reach young children and their families. Raquel did the curriculum training and planning for the kick-off day (this coming Sunday). We are inviting families with children left and right, through social media and face-to-face. The team is excited, and the parents are encouraged that people want to invest in their children.
Grateful always,
Judson Hatcher

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


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