December 10, 2013
Dear Brothers of the Blessed Lord and Sisters of the Savior:
Once again we greet you, not from the Amazon Valley of Brazil, South America, but from our permanent cold 30 degrees and cloudy Kentucky home where the sun is not shining bright right now. We thank The Lord for our new warm home in Lexington, Kentucky, in the Hamburg area, off Polo Club Blvd, close to the new Costco, which we have been in now for 11 weeks. Notice our new address below. We praise and thank The Lord from whom all blessings flow.
This Mission Sheets month began November 9 and finishes today. During this period I heard 21 sermons, or Bible studies, and had the privilege of preaching twice. Besides attending services at our home church, David Forks Baptist Church in Lexington, Bro. Mickey Hyder, pastor, we attended the 176th annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention in Paducah, Ky. Before that we had the privilege of having lunch in Owensboro, KY on Saturday the 9th of November with my sister-in-law, Jodie Bratcher, and nephew, Randy Bratcher. We then drove on to Morganfield, Ky, where on Sunday, I preached in the AM service and Asa Mark preached in the PM service, at the Northside Baptist Church. Please continue to pray for Pastor Jim Adams and his wife, Linda, as both continue to battle cancer. We have also each Saturday been able to visit and have brunch with my brother Charlie and his family in Frankfort, Ky.
Then two weeks later, on Monday the 24th, we traveled to Dearborn Heights, Michigan, with our excellent traveling companions, Bobby and Sandra Greene, to attend the 59th Annual Thanksgiving Conference. The preaching, singing, fellowship and food were all wonderful. Thank you, New Hope and Grace Church for making this a great conference. I had the privilege of being the second speaker on Tuesday morning, and spoke on the conference theme: Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It, based on Psalm 107, the complete chapter! On Thursday, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving, with my Brother Charles, and some 15 others of the Bratchers. On the 4th of this month, we had the privilege of receiving my granddaughter, Marcia Luciana Bratcher, from West Hartford, CT, for a quick Christmas visit. It was short but very sweet.
I hope that I have been a blessing to all of those that we have seen during this first year of my permanent furlough. I would like to thank each of you that have supported us with your prayers and love offerings during these past 55 years. If you want to continue to do so, just send it to our address here in Lexington, and it will be acknowledged and appreciated.
As I sing, “To God be the Glory,” for these glorious years, and the over 40 churches that we have started and helped during those years, and the over 4,000 Brazilians baptized, I also have to remember those two buried in Brazil. My wife of 56 years, Hattie Marie Moore Bratcher, who paid the ultimate price for these years of service, and my son, Joel Harold Bratcher, who 42 years ago, at the age of 6, drowned in the Amazon River, after a two weeks missionary trip on the Buzzard River. Because I know that I will see them and all those saved Brazilians again, I can also sing, as John Newton wrote almost 300 years ago:
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come,
Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
Yours in the Service of the Savior,
1950 Falling Leaves Lane
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 806-9827 cell