May 16, 2016
Dear Brethren and Friends of Baptist Faith Missions:
In the sixty years Alta and I served in Brazil there were many wonderful experiences and individuals who became a permanent part of our lives. None was more vital than the two sisters, Maria and Maria Helena, who became a part of our family life. The youngest, Maria Helena, wrote the poem at the bottom. I translated the poem. I know you will enjoy knowing and thank God for what He did in their lives through the Gospel taken by the work of BFM.
LAST WEEK OF FIRST MISSIONARY TERM IN BRAZIL
In the year 1958, during the last week of our first term, I was invited to preach a revival at the Calvary Baptist Church. Maria was a member of the small Church. During the week her father was saved. Her mother had died. During the year we were home, her father passed away. We learned this soon after returning from furlough.
We got in touch and it was decided they would live with us as members of our family, as daughters. Maria Helena was thirteen and Maria was eighteen. They finished High School and Seminary and became school teachers. In time, Maria Helena married a preacher and became the mother of three children: two sons and a daughter. Maria never married but gave her life as a missionary working with mothers and children. She is eighty-eight and still serving the Lord. She is one of God’s greatest servants. Maria Helena lost her husband and oldest son in a car accident. She never married again but is faithful in serving the Lord.
With this short story of what the Gospel did in these lives, I know you will enjoy the poem better and thank God for what He did in our lives and in the lives of Maria and Maria Helena.
Thank you, Lord, for the years you gave us in Brazil, for the changes in lives as these two sisters and for the friends who have been so faithful to support us with their prayers and financial help. Give thanks to our Lord for all He has done in Brazil!
Sincerely, In His Name,
John A. and Alta Hatcher
FOR PASTOR JOHN AND ALTA
Parana (State), beautiful and fertile land,
Where the sun shines with splendor.
In winter we warm ourselves
And hide from the cold winds.
Pastor and Sister Alta, beautiful and precious stones,
You, with your lives, brought us
New life, new vision, new light.
Stones, strong and brilliant,
That helped many persons
Recuperate their lives.
Many times it seemed that nothing went right,
You came, with great care,
And diminished the pain.
I remember in Garca (Garsa)
You worked in the city streets,
Spreading the Word of the Lord.
Many lives were changed;
Hearts were transformed;
By the outreach of your dear hands.
I ask God, our Lord
To protect you eternally!
You will always be a link
To bless sad hearts.
Thank you, soldiers of the Lord!
You, with all this love for souls and lives,
Have saved broken hearts
From danger and pain.
I ask God to keep you!
And you can be sure
You will always be greatly loved.
“With much love.” Maria Helena
John A. and Alta Hatcher
15905 Mercott Court
Clermont FL 34714