Trying Month of Bus Problems; Encouraged with Seminary

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.

May 13, 2017

Friends and family,

This month has been one that has been somewhat trying. Our church bus has had a minor problem with the air brakes. Well, we were told that all we had to do was take off the part and replace it with a new one. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, we were told by the mechanic what part to purchase, so we call the parts store in the next city and ordered the part. We go get the part on Tuesday and bring it to the mechanic (good—this is one day before we will need the bus for Wednesday night). But they call us on Wednesday to say that the part is the wrong one. So, Thursday we make the trip up to the other city to get the new part—which they don’t have—so we order the new part. So, this is the first week that we will not have the bus to pick up the children on Sunday. When we ordered the part on Friday, we were told that there would be a delay in the order because this is a holiday and there would be no mail to get the piece to the parts store. So, we would have to wait 5 days for the part to get to the store. This takes us past Wednesday again. When it arrived and we went to get it, it was for the wrong side. So, they ordered it again.

By this time, I have to go up north for the seminary in Orlandia and the part has not come yet. I was there for a week and upon my arrival, the part had not come yet. Now we are in the third week without a bus for the kids. We were called and told that the new part was at the parts place so Barbara and Edson make a trip up the hill to get it, hoping that this Sunday we will have a bus for the kids. Guess what—this piece did not fit either. Now we discover that someone has worked on the brakes sometime in the past and none of the pieces would have fit so we tell the mechanic to cut the new piece and make it fit the bus.

The blessing in this story is that the bus company that we use when we have big groups has generously loaned us one of their buses on Sunday morning to pick up the kids, but not for the people on Sunday night nor on Wednesday night. But on the last Sunday they could not loan a bus, so we made trips with 2 cars to pick up the kids. We have around 80 to 100 kids that attend Sunday School every week–so you can imagine the amount of kids we had in each car. We were so busy getting the kids to church that no one got pictures.

The bus was functioning on Wednesday night and we are looking forward to a full house on Sunday!!! Sometimes things so simple can become so complicated. Oh well, we are still so blessed that it is unreal. And even in all this mess we have had numerous visitors in the church each week.

Now on to more blessings. At this session of the seminary we had a group of students, 26 in number, 18 of which were pastors and 8 church workers. The classes were taught by Dr. D. Colman from Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dr. R. Edge from First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Texas. What a blessing these two men are to the seminary. The seminary now has accreditation given by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and this has helped us to gain more students. These students are now asking if we can add a Master’s Program to our original classes. You know that with God all things are possible! We are working on this as you read this letter and by God’s grace we will have the Master’s Program included for the classes that start in 2018. How AWESOME is the God we serve.

Pray for our Seminary: Caragua Baptist Seminary as we continue to train Pastors—specifically for us to be able to reach more Pastors to train them to take to gospel to Brasil. In 2018 we will be offering the classes in São Paulo City, Orlandia, São Paulo, probably in Manaus, Amazonas, and maybe in one other location. We are taking these classes to different regions to make them more available to the areas where the pastors reside. That way more pastors can attend and then take the teaching to their areas. This will be an AWESOME blessing to them and their churches.

We always ask for prayer for the Seminary everywhere we go so we now have 70-100  pastors praying for Caragua Baptist Seminary. Won’t you join with them in praying for the seminary also? For the pastors and the workers that participate in the Seminary, for the teachers and for the translators, and the churches that these Pastors return to after they finish the classes. Please include in your prayers Barb and I, our church here in Caraguatatuba, Pastor Walmir and all the works here in Brasil.

To end the letter on a note of a blessing, this month we have had one more soul added to God’s kingdom. Praise His Name.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Projeto Vida Gears Up for Winter Evangelism Opportunities, New Youth Volunteer

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

May 6, 2017

Dear Friends,

As you gear up for summer mode in the USA, our evangelistic teams in southern Brazil prepare for the chill and activities of winter. For example, the only school break between May and September is a two week “winter break” in the late part of July. The best thing about this is that, when the schools are in session, we have a much greater opportunity of taking the gospel to entire school assemblies ranging from 200 to 1500 at a time.

Two of Projeto Vida’s teams will be heading out to minister in separate states for trips that will last for 3 weeks before returning to headquarters. Not only will they get the opportunity to share the gospel in public schools, but they will also assist some church-planting missionaries with evangelism in the neighboring streets and parks close to new church plants. The free health checks, haircuts, counseling and creative interaction with the children serve to open people’s hearts to listen to a clear presentation of the gospel, both one-to-one and through publicly preached messages.

One young lady from Brandon, Florida has recently returned from what is called a “Go Term”. The church where she attends in the USA has developed a program that encourages recent high school graduates to spend 6-12 months in a foreign mission field ministry before heading on to college. This program is to help them get a greater and clearer sense of how God can use them in life, beyond or through their eventual career choice. Hannah Baxter has just returned from a 10-month term of service and was greatly impacted by all the ways that she saw God use her in missions. Zoe Peeples will be the next youth embarking this month to begin a shorter term, but certainly she’ll have a tremendous number of experiences that will make a major impact on her life choices afterward.

We are thankful that our Projeto Vida teams always graciously adapt to these new volunteer members coming on board. There are always several learning challenges involved. The US students usually don’t speak Portuguese and very few of the Projeto Vida team members can speak English, so the communication level is an automatic obstacle in the beginning. Add to that the cultural differences and then the personality traits and you can imagine how 13 people living in an 18-passenger van and sleeping on mats in homes or church building floors for several months can test one another’s Christian character. We haven’t had any cases yet, though, where unity and love didn’t increase and abound. Presently there are more than 20 missionaries serving worldwide whose first mission experience was with our teams and nearly all say that this initial experience was a major tool God used to lead them into fulltime mission service. We are joyful and grateful to be used of God to have a part in that process.

We appreciate you continued prayers and support.

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Stateside Address:
3912 Casaba Loop
Valrico, FL 33596

Field Address:
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279-1
Sobrado 1, Bairro Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR Brasil
Phone: (813) 481-7007
Cell Phone: (813) 727-6405
Email: bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com
Give: Click here to give.

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Believers in France Step Up to the Plate; Opportunities in Evansville

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

May 2, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thanks to each of you for your prayers. Judy is progressing in her recovery from the broken patella. She is now in Physical Therapy twice a week along with daily exercises at home. The immobilizer is still in place around the clock, but Judy handles it quite well especially considering the fact that she is normally quite active. We are glad to be here and to be able to assist Peggy. She continues to be treated. Pray for the girls as they experience my cooking, housekeeping and driving.

God is providing fellowship and extra blessings through believers here in the Evansville area. It is a good time for us to remember and pray for those in a number of countries who cannot enjoy fellowship without risk of persecution and physical death. My brother Paul detoured to see us on the way from Florida to attend the Spring Missionary Conference at Thompson Rd. Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. We had a very enjoyable visit. My brother David should be arriving this afternoon to visit for a couple of days. He added us to a whirlwind trip from Manaus, Brazil to celebrate dad’s 92nd birthday. It is great to have family who love us and go out of their way for us. That is another blessing for which so many of us can be grateful.

News about activities in France is good. Sometimes our absence is good as it stirs some who are reticent to step up to the plate. We miss the interaction with folks who need Christ in France but there are opportunities for displaying the light of Christ wherever He places us. We have had doors of opportunity opened to touch lives here in Evansville. You can ask our Heavenly Father to enable us to see what He wants us to be doing here in the present.

Thanks for your prayers and faithful support.

Serving with you,
John and Judy

Stateside Address
John and Judy Hatcher
1901 Shepherd Dr.
Evansville, IN 47715
jmhatcher@aol.com

Field Address
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.

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Discussing Ministry Plans for Church Planting

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

May 1, 2017

Dear praying friends,

We are now near halfway through 2017 and time is passing so quickly. Thanks so much to each one who prays for us, writes or sacrificially gives to the Lord and His work. You are each such a blessing and we thank God for you.

Our daughters are near the end of the school year at Calvary Baptist Academy in Hurricane, WV. They have a month left of school. This has been such a good year for them and they have gotten the much-needed socialization that they have lacked on the mission field. They also have learned time management skills, responsibility, studying for tests, etc. This has all been very good for them and we are so thankful for this experience they have had. Please pray for them as they finish up this month, that they would finish well and strong in their studies.

Last week we were able to go to the BFM missions conference in Lexington, KY. It was good to hear solid messages from the Word of God, discuss with others the challenges we face on the field and get advisement from our mission board. It was good to see each one who attended and to fellowship with them. Thank the Lord for Godly men and advisement that we receive from them.

I (Nathan) am in the process of discussing ministry plans on church planting with an experienced missionary who has done church planting for several years in Kenya. I am very open and receptive to advisement from Godly men who have faithfully planted churches, whether in the US or abroad. Proverbs 11:14 says “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” May we seek wisdom from above, trusting Him to lead and guide each step of the way. God bless you all.

Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
Furlough Address:
56 Lobo Lane
Culloden, WV 25510

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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Why Can’t I Be More Like Jesus?

Tate_profile

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is indigenous church planting.

April 26, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I’ve been practicing for a long time now. So, why can’t I be more like Jesus?

I was standing in line waiting to go through the metal detector and into the supermarket. The line is long and moving slowly. A man walks up beside me and then deliberately steps right in front of me in the queue (“line”, for you Americans). I am infuriated and say some snide comment to him about his rude and inconsiderate behavior. What is he thinking? How could he be so rude? A better question is why did I get so mad so quickly? I’ve been practicing for so long now. So, why can’t I be more like Jesus?

It’s been a long day. Julie and I decide to order chicken and chips (“fries”, for you Americans) from the only place in Kitale that claims they can deliver. We’ve done this before and thus we don’t expect any difficulty. An hour and a half later there is still no food. I call the delivery guy and ask him, Where are you? He tells me. He’s about a mile from my house. How long have you been there? About an hour. What?!?  Does that mean my food is cold? Yes. Why didn’t you call me? He has no credit on his phone. Were you ever going to call me? How could he, as he has no credit on his phone. Why didn’t you bring the food to my house? He doesn’t know the way. I’m telling you now how to get here. He doesn’t seem to understand. I’m telling you now how to get here in Swahili. He doesn’t seem to understand. Stay where you are and I’ll come to you to get the food. He grunts something unintelligible. I go to where he says he is. He isn’t there. I drive around the neighborhood looking for him. I finally find him. Why didn’t you stay where you were? He says he was looking for my house. I try and pay him and take the food. He has no change and I am not at my house so I can’t go in and get change either. I refuse to pay for the food because of his incompetence. I am angry and tell him to take the phone back to his manager so I can complain to her about him. How can he be so incompetent? A better question is why can’t I be more like Jesus? I’ve been practicing at it for a long time now.

I’m at a little roadside restaurant drinking a cup of coffee and doing some work on my laptop. The man standing before me is the seventh person in the last half an hour that has stopped to talk to me. Like all the others before him he is begging for money. Like all the others before him he starts by being kind. Who am I? What am I doing here? How long have I been here? Where am I from? What is America like? Can I give him some money? I’m looking at him. He’s not poor or destitute. He’s not starving or sick. He’s not naked and cold. He was just passing by and saw an expat (“foreigner”, for you Americans) and saw his opportunity to possibly get a free handout. I sigh and groan. Should I go into the “dependency spiel” I went into with the 6 previous guys. No, I’m out of patience. I tell him to “get lost”. How can he be so shameless, so audacious, so brazen, so insolent, so impertinent? A better question is why can’t I be more like Jesus? I’ve been practicing at it for a long time now.

Yes, all of these things happened in just the last week alone. Yet, all of these people are the people I am trying to reach here with the love of Jesus. How am I supposed to reach them with the gospel if I’m not loving them like Jesus? How can I start a church and be their pastor (hopefully more on that next month) if I can’t be more like Jesus? Lord, help me to be more like Jesus so I can love your people in Kenya more. Help me be more like Jesus so the gospel here in Kitale can be more effective in people’s lives. Help me be more like Jesus so that I can start a church that shines like a beacon in a dark world. Help me be more like Jesus for your glory in Kenya.

Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

Click here to donate to BFM.

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News & Reports – May 2017 [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of the May 2017 BFM News & Reports is now available at the link below. Read how God is working through the lives of our faithful missionaries and continue to pray for them. [Click here to read BFM News & Reports – May 2017]

 

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Praying for Sunday School Teachers & Helpers; Planning for Seminary

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.

April 12, 2017

Dear friends and family,

What an AWESOME God we serve. As we left the States I completed my last shot (I thought); however, when I received that “last shot” my doctor said, “SORRY, but I would like you to have TWO more shots.” Oh well, life has turned around. I am so thankful for all the prayers for me during these cancer treatments. I would also like to exalt my God for the GOOD reports from the doctor. So, these TWO more shots will be on August 3, 2017, and the LAST one on February 3, 2018. God is AWESOME!!! So, thanks one more time for all the prayers that have been sent on my behalf. With Him all things are possible.

The ministry here is going wonderfully. Pastor Walmir and Mary K. are working very hard and the Sunday School has doubled. Worship service is also growing. They have started a Children’s Church on Sunday nights and this is going good. One of the kids came for the first time last Sunday night and the first thing he asked was, “Is there children’s church tonight?”

We have been in planning mode for next year’s classes for the Seminary. Two classes have been planned and we are just waiting to have the dates confirmed for two more. Here we need lots of prayers because this is an AWESOME way for us to reach Brasil. Training new Pastors and helping old ones to be more grounded in the Baptist doctrine.

Along with the ministry there is lots of maintenance and construction going on. The work on our new building is going very good, but as always there is more work to be done. We can always use more help in this. Are you thinking about a mission trip? Put us on your list of places to go. We are praying for more financial aid for the completion of the building. Maybe you or someone you know would like to be a part of this.

We started a training program for us to have more Sunday School teachers and helpers. This is one of the areas where we are lacking as some of our teachers have upwards to 40 students in their class and only one helper. So, we are in great need for more qualified teachers. God is great and He will supply our needs. Of this we are sure.

As usual car and bus maintenance are an everyday job. You can get one thing fixed and turn around and there are two more to fix. The urgent need for the bus at this time is new tires. We have noted since our return this time that everything has gone up–not only things for the vehicles, but food, Sunday School supplies, electric, water, and the list goes on and on. I would like to say thanks to Grasp International for help on the bus maintenance. Thanks Jason and family, you are greatly missed here in Brasil.

We would like to ask for special prayer for our granddaughters, they both have been having health issues. The doctors are not discovering what the problems are and, on top of that, they both have been suffering with a virus. The healthcare here is not like the States. If nothing else, I can tell you that “social medicine” is terrible. Treatment is minimal if at all—don’t let me get on my soap box about that. Just remember Chelsea and Ashley in your prayers please.

Like I say, come on down and see what your mission dollars are doing here in Caraguatatuba, Brasil. We will leave the light on and put some more water in the beans. As Barbara’s dad always said, we will treat you so many different ways, you will have to like one of them and come back.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara Hensley

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
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Snapshots from works along the Juruá River

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

April 10, 2017

Dear Brethren,

March Madness? I missed most of it since I was up river on a long mission trip. You won’t hold that against me, will you?

The river is very high right now, so travel is a bit easier. My bigger boat has a top and windshield, which make things much better, too. Three of our men went with me. Zico (our missions director), Rondisson (one of our chapel pastors) and Sisnando, a young man who just got to go on his very first mission trip. Our visits were to Porto Walter, Triunfo, Foz do Breu, Thaumaturgo and Tipisca in Peru. All of these locations are on the Juruá River. We travelled 625 miles. We used 95 gallons of gasoline at $6.70 per gallon. The trip cost just under $640.00. Gasoline here in town is a little cheaper, but I can now gas up at 2 of the towns upstream. That makes it possible to travel lighter, but pushes the cost up. The weather was perfect. We didn’t have any muddy river banks. There weren’t too many bloodsucking insects. Best of all though is that all the works are doing well. We had one profession of faith. I also baptized 6 at Foz do Breu on the border.

Tipisca is still a tough place, but showing signs of getting better. One of Damiana’s brothers, Bibiano and his wife Eva have been saved and are being trained by our missionary José Maia and his wife, Silvânia. Bibiano’s family is from the Kaxinauá tribe (pronounced kah-shee-now-ah). This name was given to them many years ago by the white folks. It means “bat people”. Nobody remembers why. The real name amongst the tribe is Hunikuim (pronounced hu-nee-ku-een) which means “the true people”. They see themselves as the “real” humans and then there are all the others. They see themselves as the “Jews” and all the rest of us are the “Gentiles”. Anyway, there have been 15 of the “real people” saved over the last few months. We now have a new missionary from their own people, who we brought from the Purús region to work with them. We now have regular preaching points at 3 of the 5 villages on the Breu River. The other 2 villages are now open and inviting Fredi and José Maia to preach to them, too. Fredi has worked very hard to win his own people and the results are coming in. He has also worked with the other tribes in and around Tipisca to get the gospel to them. As I walk around the small town of Tipisca I hear a little Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, but mostly 5 other Indian languages. The town has grown to about a thousand people. However, the cultural, moral and linguistic jumble is a huge barrier to the gospel.

The work here in Cruzeiro do Sul is thriving. The construction of our rebuild and expansion is progressing slowly. The finish work on the annex is moving along in its final stages. The building continues to fill up every week. Our children’s services, both morning and evening have grown. Since we have added extra rooms in the annex, this has given more space in the main building for adults and youth. It will soon be overflowing again, by God’s grace. We will need the new balconies that are in the project very soon. The economic crisis in Brazil has really held us back, but God will supply. Several more have been saved. Others have come back to church. We even have had several new members by letter, which is rather unusual here.

My son-in-law, Pastor Dauro, has malaria again and some of my other pastors have been off on other projects. That means that I have been doing much of the preaching and teaching. I work on the buildings by day and teach at night. Long hours, but fun. My health has been great and have been feeling fine, so all is well here in our tropical paradise. Keep praying, though. Need it always.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

Click here to donate to BFM.

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25 Years Later, Fruit of Labor Produced to the Second Generation

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

April 7, 2017

In my last letter I shared that Charlene, our daughter Jessie, and I would be going to Brazil to work with Projeto Vida in the public schools. I want to tell you about how amazingly the Lord blessed that trip and the efforts of all those who were involved. On the first day of outreach we were able to go into three very diverse locations. One group went to a public park in downtown Curitiba to serve a hot meal to nearly 200 homeless people. Not only did we give them physical food, but we also shared the gospel in different ways. Our youth performed gospel skits using pantomime. One of them also shared their testimony of salvation through a translator and then their leader preached an evangelistic message from God’s Word. There were several individuals who professed Christ as their Savior. All this was done to assist a missionary who follows up on these conversions to get these homeless people into a discipleship program and, often, rehab to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. The missionary operates a halfway house that helps these converts get into productive lives and leads many of them to begin assisting others who are still struggling with their vices.

The same group who ministered to the homeless in the morning went to a different neighborhood in the afternoon to assist a local church in sharing the gospel to the folks who were out and about in the streets. The teams again performed skits and shared their testimony, but here they were working in a middle-class neighborhood. Even here there were several who surrendered to Christ through the Word shared.

Ministering with Projeto Vida in Brazil

Over the next few days of outreach the teams were working in some public schools. The opportunities there were just thrilling! I want to share one wonderful blessing that God gave Charlene and me the privilege of experiencing. About 25 years ago, we began offering classes of English as a Second Language in order to get opportunities to meet lost people and share the gospel with them. One of our first students was teenaged boy who wanted to learn English in order to understand the words to Heavy Metal rock music bands. That wasn’t my intention, of course, but when he asked me to translate the lyrics to one of his albums I realized that it was a Christian Heavy Metal group and the lyrics gave me the chance to share the gospel through a medium that he himself was interested in. He came to know Christ and almost immediately began bringing many of his “metal-head” friends to our church. One of those friends trusted in Christ, surrendered to preach, got married to another converted rocker and became a Baptist Pastor to another state in North Brazil. Though I have not seen them for over 25 years, they have become the parents of 4 wonderfully dedicated Christian children now ranging from 15-22 years of age. When our group was ministering in one of the local high schools, I translated the message of the main speaker. At the end of the meeting, a 17-year-old girl came up to me and asked if I knew a Nilson Bispo de Jesus. Immediately I remembered my old disciple and I told her that I did. She told me that she was his daughter and that their family had recently moved back to Curitiba. That night we got to meet the entire family and we rejoiced to know that they all serve Christ and have been used by Him to spread the gospel through their talents and gifts. The Lord truly blessed us to see some of the fruit of our labor in Brazil, even to the second generation.

The Lord blessed in so many other ways during this mission journey, but I will save some for my next report. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support.

In Christ’s love,
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Stateside Address:
3912 Casaba Loop
Valrico, FL 33596

Field Address:
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279-1
Sobrado 1, Bairro Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR Brasil
Phone: (813) 481-7007
Cell Phone: (813) 727-6405
Email: bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com
Give: Click here to give.

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Events May Be a Surprise to Us, But Not to God

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

April 3, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

You may have noticed that my return address on this letter is in Indiana. Sometimes we are surprised by events that suddenly arise, but our heavenly Father is never surprised and uses all for our good and to display His glorious love to folks around us.

I mentioned at the close of my March letter that Judy had remained in the US and to be with her sister Peggy. Peggy, who has outstandingly displayed the light of Jesus in ministry to others, has been diagnosed with cancer in various parts of her body. The oncologist and radiologist quickly began radiation treatment on one tumor on her spinal column to keep it from causing paralysis. Judy had mentioned to me that they might go out for lunch to celebrate the end of these treatments on March 17. About 7pm France time March 17, I called Judy to ask her where they were going to celebrate and received shocking news.

“I am at the emergency center. I broke my kneecap. I am scheduled for surgery on Monday. My leg is immobilized at the knee and will be for 6 weeks after surgery.” Judy had accidentally fallen as she went to get the car following the last treatment. This, of course, meant that Judy could not drive and care for her sister. She needed assistance herself. She did not say a word about me returning to the States. A few minutes later our youngest daughter called from Chicago having just spoken to her mother on the phone. “Mom said to not jump up and buy a ticket to the US.” This is a true reflection of Judy’s attitude. She never wants to complicate anyone’s life or interrupt the Lord’s work. However, at that moment, it was obvious to me that the Lord’s work was for me to care for Judy and Peggy.

Within an hour, our son Philip, who works with us had bought a ticket for me to fly to Evansville early the next morning. I left the house at 4:45 am the next morning having spent the few hours before leaving in contacting folks, making arrangements for replacements and packing my bags. I missed the the 8:30 am men’s breakfast at our house that morning and a first-time counseling session with a couple from our church scheduled at 11 am. Philip, Amanda and the folks from church who have really stepped up to the plate have left our mind at ease. A man that for several years we discipled several hours each week early in our ministry in France is leading the Bible study in Mazere. I am including a picture of that Bible study the week after I left taken by Douceline. She is the lady with whom we started there who now leads a couple of evangelistic lady Bible studies. The man on the left is the replacement leader. He is also in the process of planting a church with another pastor on the south side of Toulouse.

 

Bible Study in Mazere: The man on the left has been leading this Bible Study since John has been in the States. He is also in the process of planting a church with another pastor on the south side of Toulouse.

God uses events that are a surprise to us to move us and others around us along the race that is set before us. In the process, we see God’s amazing grace. He displays His love toward us through Himself in us and through His children. Our lives have been touched by the help of many around us here in Evansville. The Lord has also already opened doors of service for us here. My personal life has changed. Suddenly being removed from our usual place of ministry and facing an opaque future has a somewhat stunning effect. But, I have found that there is great joy in cleaning house, washing dishes, taxiing and giving personal assistance to those you love.

Our youngest daughter and her family are in Tournefeuille to visit us! They had bought tickets months ago for this epic visit. So, they are staying at the house we rent and call home. They are having a great visit with Philip, Amanda, Abigail, Nathalie, Camille and Emily. The house is also the church meeting place which means that the space has double usage and needs to be set up for each meeting. However, in order to make Lydia and family’s stay less stressful, various church families have volunteered to host church meetings during these three weeks.

Amanda and Philip have given raving reviews of the services in the last two weeks and the evidence of God’s people there growing in Christ as they read and apply His word to their lives. We are grateful beyond words for what God is doing.

Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for Judy’s sister Peggy who is now undergoing target medical treatment for her renal cancer. Ask God to display His glory and love through all of us.

Until the next surprise,
John and Judy in Evansville

Stateside Address
John and Judy Hatcher
1901 Shepherd Dr.
Evansville, IN 47715
jmhatcher@aol.com

Field Address
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

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