BOBBY CREIGLOW | MISSION REPRESENTATIVE | FEBRUARY 2011
What I consider to be the main event of January 2011, was The Winter Missions Conference, hosted by Park Ridge Baptist Church. Brother Ben Glover is the present pastor of this church, that has had only five pastors since its organization in 1959. I and my family and one other family were used of the Lord to start that church, and therefore it has been a faithful supporter of Baptist Faith Missions for these many years. It was Park Ridge Baptist Church that sent me, and my family to Brazil in 1960. The conference there has been an encouragement to many through out the years, so it would be a good idea for everyone to make plans to get away from the cold weather, that will come next January, get away to attend; you will be glad you did.
The Spring Missions Conference is just around the corner, April 11-13, And Brother David Parks is hard at work making plans for this to be the very best conference ever. David has permitted me to think that my contribution to the planning is being helpful, and I am thankful.
It has been, and still is a joy, to work along the side of David, so we all here at Thompson Road Baptist Church are looking forward to all of you being with us on April 11-13.
It has been a long time that our missionaries have been needing and are worthy of a good raise in pay, but due to the lack of funds, they have had to learn to tighten their belts, and get by with meager fare, and I have heard no complaint from any of them. I remember, many years ago, at one of the conferences, that the President of Baptist Faith Missions, made a promise to the Missionaries saying, “As long as we have, you shall have.” At that time there were several hundred people people in attendance, and we all said, Amen to that, so I ask all of you to help us keep that promise, by giving more and more to the General Fund of BFM.
In His Name,
Bobby D. Creiglow
615 Lane Allen Rd.
Lexington, KY 40504
JOHN AND ALTA HATCHER | FEBRUARY 2011
John & Alta Hatcher | Caixa Postal 112 | Urai, PR – Brazil 86280-000
Dear Fellow Workers
Greetings in the precious Name of Jesus. Here in Brazil where we live there has been lots of rain and hot weather. Alta and I have been well for two eighty-five year olds. We praise the Lord for His goodncss in His help with the slowness of step and less ability in hearing. Our joy is to be able to tell the old, old story.
“I love to tell the story Of unsecn things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love;
I lovc to tell the story, Because I know ’tis true.
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
“I love to tell the story, For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting To hear it like the rest;
And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song,
‘Twill be the old, old story That I have loved so long.”
OUR REASONS FOR REJOICING
I. We are still working in our Mission in the city of Assai, forty miles from our home. We go there every Sunday morning. There has not bcen any progress on the new building but the pre-fabbed pieces are supposed to be finished, so we hope we will soon have better news.
2. Every day I walk for my health, but for the chance to meet people whom I can evangelize. This week I was able to witness to three women who are opening a small saloon. These are women of the world and they listened well as I told them how Jesus transformed my life. Make a note to pray for them Two days later I witnessed to three men who work for the city.
3. The Chapada Baptist Church, our first church plant in Brazil, now pastored by David, our son, baptized sixty-four persons last Sunday. The attendance at the service was 2,700 4. Our son, John and grandson, Philip are missionaries in France with extensions in Portugal and Spain.
5. Our son, Paul, pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Manaus, has led the church to start new works in four States in northeast Brazil.
6. Our daughter, Kathy, married to Odali, who is pastor of a new church they started in Garca have special work with children and needy people.
7. Our granddaughter, Lidia, who with her husband work with a church in Chicago, had a ncw child born on Saturday, January 29. Her name is Margaret Helena.
Well, those are a few of the reasons we are rejoicing in the goodness of our Lord. Space and time would not permit to name all of you dear wonderful friends who have faithfully prayed and supported through our fifty-five years in Brazil.
Thank you in Jesus’ Name
John and Alta Hatcher
MIKE AND BEV CREIGLOW | February 2011
Michael D. Creiglow | Caixa Postal 24 69980 | Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre | Brazil
February 7, 2011
The rains have finally begun in Cruzeiro do Sul. All the way to mid January the river has been very low. In the 50 years that I have been here it has never been this hard to travel this late in the rainy season. Hudson and I are back on the rivers again, now that the rains have picked up.
The most important trip this month was down stream. Hudson and Eliésio went down a few days before I was able to get away. They visited several of the regular preaching points on their way down. They had big crowds in all the villages. At Nova Esperança (New Hope, yes, that is the name of the village) the two main patriarchs were saved. At first they had been very opposed to the gospel. The guys were really surprised when, after the services were finished, they came right out and said that they were trusting Christ as their Savior. We will have to wait and see what the Lord will do in this village, but usually when the authority figures in a village get saved, many others come to Christ in the weeks and months that follow.
I finally caught up with Hudson and Eliésio at Ipixuna. Although I am not supposed to travel by myself anymore, this was another of those times when it couldn’t be avoided. The folks I invited were all already traveling elsewhere or too busy. The trip was a breeze though and, needless to say, my Lord was with me and took care of me.
I preached at Ipixuna and the next night we called for a meeting with the local pastors and leadership to talk about missions. There were about 25 present for this meeting. The pastor of the biggest church is from Mâncio Lima (west of Cruzeiro do Sul) and was baptized by me many years ago. Later he left for seminary and ended up being called to pastor at Ipixuna. His name is Elieu. For those who have been around long enough to have followed the work in this region through the Mission Sheets you may recall hearing about the “old Patriarch”. He was saved under Miguel Ibernon’s preaching back in the Late 40’s or early 50’s. Well, Elieu is one of the “old Patriarch’s” great grandsons.
The meeting was very productive. We have been trying for over 2 years to get the churches there to partner with us to do missions along that section of the Juruá River. It looks like they are finally going to come on board with us. In fact, they are excited and have already set dates for us to do our first joint trip. This will happen in April. At that time we will be turning over several of the works that we have started. This will free us up to go even further. The plan right now is for one of the Ipixuna churches to take care of 100Km of river upstream and the other church to take care of 100Km downstream. We already established at least 6 preaching points and have good numbers of solid believers in these 6 villages. If the churches there will continue and expand the mission work in that region it will help us out a lot. Remember that Ipixuna is their base and these villages are close to them. Ipixuna is almost 250 Km down river from where our base is!
This month I would like to send a special thanks to Park Ridge Baptist Church. In January 2007 (exactly 4 years ago) the church gave me a special offering during the winter conference. The offering was $2,000.00 to buy a satellite phone. I put that money in a savings account while I researched and waited for one of the companies to make their service reliable. Eventually I went with Iridium. The offering paid for the phone and the first year service plan. I threw in $150.00 of my own to buy 100 minutes of air time and Baptist Faith missions paid for the shipping. The phone arrived here just a month ago. On my return from Ipixuna I was able to call in from way out in the middle of nowhere to let the family know about when I would arrive back in town. It took me a long time to settle on this purchase, but I wanted to get it right. When you give me an offering for a specific project, it may take some time for the project to come together but, rest assured, the money will go to that project. Thanks Park Ridge for the peace of mind that the new satellite phone brings to our family. By the way, I don’t recommend that you call me on that phone, but just in case, my number is 881622467608 and don’t forget to start with 011. One more little detail: you will be paying for the call to the tune of about $15.00 a minute! You might just want to stick with email.
Our furlough is just 3 months away. Please pray that it will be good for the Kingdom.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.
In Christ, Mike Creiglow
NATHAN AND CARRIE RADFORD | February 2011
February 8, 2011
Dear praying friends, Another month has come and passed, and we thank the Lord for His blessings and care for us. What a great God we serve, and what a blessing it is to be involved in His work. Although we can face various trials and tests through our lives, what a blessing to know that our Lord is there with us each step of the way, wherever He has called us to serve Him. Joshua 1:9 states “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” This update will share current prayer requests, as well as a very important time in the life of our family.
Lord willing, my wife will give birth to our second child later this month. She is due February 12th, and the time is quickly approaching, so we would appreciate your prayers so much for her, the baby, and the upcoming delivery, that all would go well. We got it confirmed recently that we will be having a daughter, and we are so thrilled with this. We plan to name her Camille Sophia Radford, and we are so looking forward to having her as a part of our family soon, Lord willing. What a blessing children are, and we thank the Lord for the great medical care that Carrie has received thus far and for the health of our baby. Psalm 127:3 states “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” We plan to send pictures of Camille soon, so you can see her. Please continue to pray that all would go well in the upcoming days.
Please also continue to pray for the ministries in our absence. Please pray for the ministry in Rafiki, the prison ministry, and also the hospital ministry, as we are away from the ministries at this time. Although it is hard to be away from Kenya and the ministries there, it is also a good time for us to be able to report on the ministries, as well as spend time with friends and family. I am still in the process of contacting churches, so if you would be interested in contacting us, we can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> or my phone number, which is 814-688-4703. Please pray for us as we travel, that we would be safe, and also for the vehicle to be dependable as we travel. We appreciate your prayers so much, as prayer is such a vital part of the ministry. Adrian Rogers said “Prayer is the greatest Christian privilege.” What a privilege indeed it is to be able to talk to the Lord, and to trust Him as we pray.
May God bless each of you for your prayers, support, love, and encouragement. It means more to us than you will ever know. We will keep you updated.
In Him, Nathan and Carrie Radford
315 College Street | Youngsville, PA 16371
For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd | Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
BOBBY AND CHARLENE WACASER | February 2011
February 10, 2011
Rua Manoel Valdomiro de Macedo, 2281
81170-150 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Ph: (813) 436-9980
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
As I was growing up in the rural south I sometimes heard the phrase used, “hurry up and wait.” At first, I thought the speaker was confused, but later I came to understand not only what it meant, but also that I would experience the reality of that expression many times in my life. It happened again these past few days.
Our leadership team wanted to begin to hold services at the site of our new church plant, even before we built our structure. Because of much recent rain, we discovered that the lot was a little low and that the type of soil there retained water. We needed to haul in some fill dirt to raise the property and have a tractor spread and level the fill dirt. We wanted to get this work done before our meeting scheduled for the second weekend of January. The big problem was that, with daily rains, the trucks with the dirt and the tractor could not drive in the wet lot without getting stuck. Each day we were trying to hurry and get the property prepared to hold services, but we had to wait for the rain to slack off and the land to dry out. Then, when the rains quit, I had to hurry and schedule the trucks to bring in the dirt and have a tractor leveling it as it was dumped because the tractor work is charged by the hour. Now, after rushing to get the leveling done, we are waiting for the architect to get our building permit ready. Again it is, “hurry up and wait.”
We are not sitting idle, though, as we wait. We have been having our meetings on the open lot next to our property. At our first service we had 18 persons present. Visitors from our first meeting invited another family to our second meeting. Presently, we are still meeting in the open air, but we hope to begin construction very soon and be able to move indoors before our cool weather arrives in April.
Though none of our team members are builders by profession, they all enjoyed working together to drain off excess water and fencing the lot to keep out thieves. We want the thieves to come, but we prefer they come when we’re there so we can share the gospel with them.
Our school year begins this month and so Project Life, our traveling evangelistic teams will be heading out to the public schools all over the country again. The four teams which travel and live in busses converted into motor-homes are excited to be back in action in the public schools. Each team has the privilege to share the gospel to as many as 3000 students and faculty per week. God has used and blessed this ministry in an amazing way in the past and we are expecting great things again this year.
Thank you for praying for us and for your faithful support.
In Christ’s love, Bobby, Charlene and Brennen Wacaser
JOHN AND JUDY HATCHER | February 2011
February 8, 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing this letter from Chicago. On arriving here last week we were greeted by a record breaking blizzard. We are here so that Judy can help Lydia after the birth of our 8th grandchild, Margaret Elena Reece. By the time you read this we will be back in France, the Lord willing. Children are a heritage from the Lord that we have the privilege of holding and molding for a short time leading them to a relation with our Heavenly Father and all that entails. What a joy to us to observe our children walking in the truth.
Speaking of families and children, leads me to the topic of our Sunday meetings in Tournefeuille at the present. At the end of 2010 we concluded a study through the Gospel according to Mark. Yoann and his wife have been attending regularly for several months although he has not a profession of faith. As they were leaving on the day that we concluded Mark, he asked me, “How you determine what to teach on next?” I asked if he was interested about something in particular to which he answered, “What does the Bible teach about rearing children?”. Praying and discussing with others in leadership we decided this would be a good series. The response has been very encouraging. Yoann and his wife Annaelle, have a three month old child. Their interest in spiritual matters is a cause for thanksgiving. They accept the Bible as God’s Word, a rarity among French.
Marc, one of our unsaved neighbors was also back in January. We have prayed for him for years. Last summer, after the death of his father he began coming regularly and seemed very interested. After a few months he stopped coming. During the Holiday Season, his mother died. The next Sunday he was back. As he left, he remarked to me, “I will probably see you next Sunday. Well…I guess next Sunday never came for him! How many show interest for a while and then drop out both in France and around the world. We do hope that Marc will recognize his eternal need of Christ.
Our hearts go out to the Bratcher Family. We know that the recent weeks have been difficult as they watched Marie Bratcher suffer so much. She is now in the presence of the Lord and has rested from her earthly labors and suffering. Nevertheless, those who love her will certainly miss her. I have many fond memories of Marie. When I was six years old, we returned to Manaus, Brazil as my parents began their second term there. The Bratchers, Harold, Marie and Asa traveled along with us to Manaus and stayed with us for a few days as they began their ministry in Brazil. For Mrs. Bratcher, everything was so strange and difficult; she shed many tears. However, she stuck is out and over the years it was wonderful to see her love for the people and work with the ladies. Many will miss her.
May the Lord bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you.
In France for Christ,
John and Judy
ROGER AND JULIE TATE | February 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Things in the States are going well. We have rented a house in Dayton, Ohio where our home church is located. The kids are settled into home school. Most things are back to normal now. I have finished with my pre-traveling tasks: My prayer cards are printed, my DVD is prepared and most of my supporting churches are scheduled on the calendar for us to visit. All of this having been completed I was able to present our work and preach at our home church, Emmanuel Baptist in Bellbrook, OH this past Sunday. What a joy is was to stand in front of my own people again and share our struggles and work of the past three years. There is no greater church in all the world than my home church. Oh, and being able to preach and teach in English was a joy as well. I thought I might have forgotten how to do that but once I got started it was hard to stop. I look forward to being with many of you all in the coming months. I start next Sunday with a church that is dear to my heart: Union Baptist Church in Union, OH.
As I have stated in my last couple of letters, while I am home on furlough I want to explain some of my ministry methods and principles, or, in other words, some of my thinking and my approach to church planting in Kenya. Last month I explained why I CAN’T buy property and build buildings for new churches. I speak about this issue in my DVD as well. This month I want to briefly explain why I CAN’T pay the pastors of any of the churches. To some people it may seem logical that I NOT pay pastors of churches a salary each month. To other people, the logical decision might seem to pay them. These peoples thinking might go something like this: You have to pay the pastors because they otherwise would have to get income from outside sources (jobs) and this would distract them and prevent them from spending the time that is needed for them to pastor and shepherd their flocks. There obviously is some wisdom and truth in this line of thinking. However, let me explain why I cannot do this in Kenya. The main reasons, randomly stated, are these. First, paying pastors a salary builds dependency into the pastors and the churches from the very beginning. By starting to pay pastors in the first place it makes it extremely difficult to ever stop paying them any time in the future. They will always think they need that western money or they will not be able to continue to minister. Second, I want men who are willing to work for the Lord because they love the Lord and want to see His kingdom spread, not because they are getting paid or getting a salary. If I pay pastors a salary, it would be impossible to determine the difference between the two. Many men would be willing to become a “pastor” simply because they want a job, an income, a salary. Third, the congregation itself will never see or feel the responsibility of taking care of their pastor themselves because there is no need for them to do so. Their thinking from the beginning would be “I guess that’s the missionary’s responsibility”. Fourth, the whole concept of paying pastors is not reproducible. If a church were to try and evangelize its neighboring village and start a church there, what would they want and expect to do? They would want and expect the new pastor to be paid. And since they wouldn’t have the means to do that they would either 1) Look to the missionary to pay the new pastor as well or 2) They would give up trying to start a new church in their neighboring village because they know they cannot pay the new pastor. Paying pastors is not reproducible. Fifth, paying pastors makes them puppets on strings. This is a true statement. If they are receiving salaries from the missionary they will always be trying simply to please the missionary out of fear of losing their salary and source of income. This gives too much power to the missionary and takes power away from the Holy Spirit, the pastor and the local church. Don’t take this analogy too far but it builds a master/slave relationship between the missionary and pastor. It removes freedom and liberty from the pastor. It breeds nepotism and paternalism. This is obviously a huge problem. The sixth and last thing I will mention is this: Paying pastors ties me indefinitely to those pastors and churches. What if I wanted to leave those areas and start other churches. It would make it very difficult for me to leave because I would be tied to paying those salaries indefinitely. The missionary is no longer as free as he would like to pick up and move to another area.
I hope you can see the many problems inherent in paying Kenyan pastors. It is not because I don’t love them or because they are not worthy. It’s just one of those things that prevents the spread of the gospel, the spread of the kingdom of Christ, and the spread of churches across the land. And may God do all three of these things in the land of 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 Emily, Amy, & Josiah)