Missionary Update: Harold Bratcher in Brazil [December 2012]

Harold Bratcher has served the Lord in the Amazon Valley since July 15, 1959. His dear wife Marie, faithfully served with him for 52 years until her death in February 2011. The Bratchers organized over 20 Baptist churches and many other missions in Brazil, and he currently serves at the 24th of March Baptist Church in Manaus.

Dear Brothers of the Blessed Lord and Sisters of the Savior:

Once again we greet you from the Amazon Valley of Brazil, South America. The 1 million 832 thousand and 423 residents of Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas are enjoying the pleasant weather of not-quite-so-hot, due to the frequent rains. The rainy season is in full force, with windstorms, flooding, blackouts, and even whole roofs being blown away.

During these last two months, each Sunday morning and evening, Wednesday evening, and some Saturdays, I have left my house and home and gone by the taxi of one of our members, Bro. Raimundo, or the car of Bro. Mario Jorge, to the 24th of March Baptist Church, where I either preached or heard a sermon by another preacher. My assistant pastor, Bro. Williams Mendes, was ordained to the gospel ministry on Saturday, November 10th. After the ordination sermon on: “The True Man of God”, I led the ordination prayer and over 20 pastors participated with an overflow crowd. Also, two Saturdays before, I attended in the wedding ceremony of dear Bro. Raimundo and Maria de Nazare Braz. It was a joy to witness this event after 25 years of living together. It was also Bro. Raimundo’s birthday. Continue to pray for them and for us.

This Mission Sheets month began October 5th and finishes today. During this period I preached 12 sermons, all at the 24th of March Baptist Church where I serve as pastor.

During this period I heard a total of 4 sermons preached at 3 different places. One was at the Second Baptist Church of Manaus where the pastors of the Amazonas chapter of the Brazilian Baptist pastors were offering a service of honor and celebration for my 53 and a half years of ministry here in the Amazon Valley. Pastor Norton Riker Lajes of the First Baptist Church of Manaus brought a most appropriate and inspiring message. Then we enjoyed the fellowship afterwards. The other 2 were at the Communion Baptist Church on November 17th, and 18th. On those nights, we were celebrating the ordination to the gospel ministry of Bro. Arao Alves Damasceno dos Santos. On Saturday night, I led the ordination prayer and over 30 pastors participated with many standing. On Sunday night, Bro. Arao was installed as pastor of the Communion Baptist Church in Manaus. Also, I was able to pray at Marie’s and Joel’s grave, on November 2nd, the “Day of the Dead” here in Brasil and hear Bro. Aurindo Folha preach at the grave site of E.A. Nelson, the Apostle of the Amazonia.

I conclude this letter asking that you pray for our future plans. At this time, we are seeking to purchase a house and car in the States. Our home of 47 years has sold, but I haven’t received the money yet due to many complications transacting the legal documents here. We appreciate the help of Bro. Paul Hatcher and Dave Parks in this matter and hope everything will be concluded by next week.

May we all continue to heed the pleas of Pastor Dave Parks for more offerings for the Baptist Faith Missions General Fund. I am thankful that during the remainder of this year of 2012 so far, he has not had to reduce the benefits and salaries that the missionaries of Baptist Faith Missions receive, and also for the good news of the raise, given and received by faith!

The Bratchers in Brasil need the prayers of those we love, as well as those that love us. I am doing well, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am looking to conclude my mission here, and continue it in my new Nineveh, as He sees fit. To God and Him only, be the Glory, for what He has done, is doing, and will still do through His humble servants.

Until next month, I am yours in the Service of the Savior,

Harold Bratcher
Rua Francisco Jose Furtado No. 2
Bairro de Sao Francisco
69.079-200 Manaus, Amazonas
Brasil, S.A.
harold_bratcher[at]yahoo.com

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