Back to School & Continuing to Train Young Kenyan Men

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.

January 3, 2019

Dear praying friends,

Happy 2019! We wish each of you a happy 2019 as you serve the Lord this upcoming year. May we truly be busy serving God, as we don’t know how much time we have to serve. Time passes so fast, and how we need to prioritize and put His kingdom first. I am reminded of Matthew 6:33, which says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Please pray for my wife and daughters, as they will be going back to school this next week. My wife will be teaching on Thursdays and Fridays, and assisting where she can. I am thankful for her servant spirit and making herself available to serve. Our daughters have been getting bored as the break has been long, so we are thankful that they will be going back to school soon to be with their friends again. This school has been such a huge answer to prayer in regards to the much needed socialization for our children, and having activities to do. They will be studying the languages of Kiswahili and French, as well as staying busy with their studies. Please also pray for Julie Tate, my wife’s friend, as they both will be assisting with the new curriculum during the week.

I (Nathan) am continuing to disciple the younger Kenyan man in his home village of Rafiki. We have gone through many Biblical teachings together, and recently we studied about the need for daily devotions. We looked at how we need to spend time with God, praying, studying the Word of God, and entrusting to Him all the activities of the day. He seemed to appreciate the teachings and it challenged him in regards to his quiet time with God. I hope and pray that the teachings will be a blessing to him. He has told me that he has been growing spiritually, for which I am thankful. I feel that the men need to be grounded and pass through the discipleship course before they are sent out to start churches. This is the way I feel led at this time and I pray that you would pray that God would bless and provide the right men to train. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 3:6, where Paul says, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” Without His blessing, nothing will work, but I am trusting Him to give the increase. Praise God.

I am also continuing to train another younger Kenyan man in the area of Milimani, right outside of Kitale town. This young man also seems hungry to learn and be discipled, for which I am thankful. He has given positive feedback to the training, and I thank God for that. Please pray for both of these men, as they have jobs and are busy, but are desiring to be taught and trained in the Word of God. I will continue to wait, pray, and trust the Lord to provide the right men in His timing and plan. I appreciate your prayers for me as I continue to train and leave the results to God.

We appreciate each of you so much. May God bless you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and notes of encouragement. You are each a blessing and we thank God for you. We will keep you updated.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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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God is Blessing the Work in Kitale

Tate_profile

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

January 1, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is the New Year. As hard as it is for me to believe that statement, 2019 is now here and ready for us. I write this on January 1st so today is page 1 of 365 for the year. My new year has actually started with a little adventure. I was driving to town today to get some dog food and as I was driving down the road my car broke an axle and my front right tire broke completely off from my vehicle. Next thing I knew I was skidding down the road with metal on concrete. Metal on concrete is not a lovely sound or a lovely feeling. But I am completely unhurt, for which I thank the Lord. While I was waiting for a tow-truck (which arrived in just 10 minutes), three different Kenyan friends who were driving by stopped and sat with me to make sure I was OK. It was comforting to know there were people who cared and would assist me if they could.

We have closed out the old year at Upper Room Baptist Chapel on a positive note. Attendance at the Chapel has slowly gone up a bit and we averaged 17-18 people throughout the month of December. On the Sunday before Christmas we had 20 people in attendance, which matched the high attendance of our Inaugural attendance on October 21st. The work of Christ here in Kenya is not a numbers game but we are very glad to see that some people are interested in what we are doing here in Kitale. God really has been blessing the work so far in spite of my weaknesses. We have had other first-time visitors to the Chapel which has been encouraging to me as the minister of the work. In fact, one of the three friends who stopped by while I was waiting for the tow-truck was a man who has attended the services a number of times. He was talking with the tow-truck workers when they arrived and introduced me to them as “his pastor”.

A few short stories from the Chapel. First, I noticed that the room across the hall from our room was being used by a school that meets in our building. Each week I noticed that the room was unlocked and unused on Sundays. I decided to approach the administrators of the school to see if it were possible to use the room on Sunday mornings. Without reservation they agreed to let us use the room since they had no use for the room during that time period. They even agreed to let me use the room for no charge. So, we are now using that room each week as a Sunday School room for some of the young children who attend. This was a blessing from God. Second, we had a teenage girl attend one of our services. She has a Catholic background and regularly attends a Catholic church with her family. After the service she mentioned to Julie how different our worship and services are than they are at her church. Specifically, she said “You all actually teach from the Bible. At my church we are there for three and a half hours and the only thing that happens is one politician after another stands up and talks about their own political agendas. Nobody ever talks about the Bible at all”. She said she really liked what she heard at the Chapel that week. We pray that she is able to come again and hear the gospel message proclaimed again in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. Third, it was exciting to see my son Josiah and another teenager, Jesse, ministering in our services. Josiah and Jesse took over much of the music duties during the month of December while Josiah and Amy were home from school. What a thrill to see these young men ministering unashamedly in the Lord’s Kingdom. The other benefit is that they are both better guitar players than me. I would be glad to completely hand the music responsibilities over to them. Unfortunately, Josiah and Amy return to school on Saturday.

Happy New Year to all of you reading this update. May God’s grace and presence bless each of you all through this year.

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

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

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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News & Reports – January 2019 [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of the January 2019 BFM News & Reports is 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 the BFM News & Reports – January 2019 edition!

 

 

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Priorities and Planned Changes in 2019

Odali and Kathy Barros served the Lord in Sao Paulo, Brazil together from 1987-2013. In late 2013, they transitioned to Manaus in Northern Brazil to start sharing the Gospel and planting churches in villages along the river.

December 31, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Well, we have come to the end of one more year. God has been faithful to us in every area of our lives. Ministry, health, protection and finances. We want to thank each of you that have been faithful in praying and supporting us and the ministry. May God richly bless each of you.

This end of year has been a time of evaluation of the churches we are working at and making changes for better results in 2019.

We invested a lot in music at the mother church Pedras Vivas the year and the results have been fantastic. We have six members that have learned different instruments and several members that are singing in the worship group. At the beginning of the year we only had one who played. Praise the Lord.

We are investing more time in reaching the teens and youth. This week Kathy and I and a group from church took some young teens and pre-teens to sleep in the jungle. What a great time. The kids loved it and at bed time were singing praises.

At the church of Iranduba we are making some changes. The main change is the change of address. The new place is in a neighborhood where lots of people live. We are going to change church hours to better reach each community. One of the problems we have here in these places is that many people do not have transportation. So, we try to work out the best way to reach the most people.

Reaching out to lost people is the number one priority for 2019 and along with that is to invest in getting more members involved in different ministries so we can better reach the communities. Please continue to pray for our ministry that God will lead us each step of the way.

Love in Christ,
Odali and Kathy

Odali & Kathy Barros
Caixa Postal 1
Iranduba, Amazonas 69.415.000
Brasil, S.A.
odali_kathy[at]hotmail.com

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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Goal of Caraguatatuba Baptist 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.

December 15, 2018

Dear friends and family,

In this letter I want to talk you about Caraguatatuba Baptist Seminary. I have told you some of the results and some of our plans but never about the seminary itself. Our purpose is to take basic evangelical seminary to underserved pastors and Church elders in Brasil.

Our goal is to provide these saints with solid understanding of God’s truth in scripture and equip them to effectively evangelize, disciple, and build God’s kingdom in Brasil.

Our object is through the generosity and love of many Churches here in the States who allow their Pastors time off and help them financially to come and teach these pastors here in Brasil.

And because of all this the seminary has had an AWESOME year. I would like to take time right here to thank all our professors who graciously give of their time and energy to teach these classes. These professors are: Pr. Derek Coleman, Pr. Steven Scherer, Pr. Chris Dortch, Pr. Greg Waltermire, Pr. Raymond Edge and Pr. Russell Zik. Along with the professors, we have helpers in the regions where we teach and the translators and the interpreters.

The seminary offers a four-course certificate in Pastoral Ministries and a twelve-course Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministries.

HISTORY: We have conducted courses in five cities—in those, we have had 257 students total. There have been 82 Churches represented with a total of 9,149 members in those Churches. They have been from 5 states from the Amazon to São Paulo. There have been a total of 23 classes conducted encompassing 8 courses. The classes were Systematic Theology, Survey of the New Testament, Survey of the Old Testament, Pastoral ministries, Theology of Discipleship, Old Testament Elective (Dead Sea Scrolls), New Testament Elective (Fundamentals of New Testament Soteriology).

Two cities have graduated students with a four-course Pastoral Ministries. Another city will finalize a four-course series in the summer of 2019! Two more cities have ongoing courses leading to a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministries. We currently have 57 students enrolled in the Masters program.

A big THANKS to all who help in the United States and in Brasil. Thanks to prayer partners and BFM—without your AWESOME help and assistance, this would not be possible. Our plans for the coming year will be presented in the upcoming letter. We have a big prayer request: we need more Professors with Ph.D./doctoral degrees. Pray with us about this, and if you qualify, and are willing to donate your time and talent, let us know.

Barbara and I would like to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a God-filled New Year.

In His service,
Aj and Barbara

Aj and Barbara Hensley
ajcaragua[at]gmail.com
Like them on Facebook.

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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Evidence of God at Work in Believers in France

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.”

December 6, 2018

Dear Co-laborers in the service of our Saviour,

This is my last letter to you this calendar year. It has been an unusual year in many ways. Returning to the ministry in France at the beginning of the year brought us great joy.

My mother, Alta Hatcher – known to many of you, left this world to the presence of the Lord in March. Her departure was not complicated and her last words were repeatedly, “I love you, Jesus.” This year has been marked by the departure of several who had a special place in our lives. We miss them greatly.  But, to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” This thrills our hearts and encourages us as we seek to be a light where God has placed us.

Just after I sent my last letter, my nephew Odali arrived with his entire family.  He is married to Amanda’s sister, Carrie. Philip and Odali had worked out the details of this trip to surprise Amanda on her 40th birthday.  It was a surprise to us all and we certainly enjoyed our time with them. Odali is the son of Odali and Kathy Barros who are also supported by BFM as missionaries in Brazil.

This month has been one of good Sunday and weekday meetings. The evidence of God at work in believers is a cause of gratitude to God. Please pray for the service on the Sunday before Christmas when the children and youth of church will be presenting the Gospel in a special program.

Judy has had some good opportunities with a young lady who has come for years to the youth meetings. Her mother is muslim and her father, separated from her mother, is atheist. She is a school friend of our oldest granddaughter here, Abigail. Amanda, our daughter-in-law and co-worker here, has also had opportunities to communicate with this young lady about Christ. Please, pray for this friend of Abigail.

We enjoyed the live interaction that we were able to have with those of you who were at the Thanksgiving Conference at New Hope B.C. The faithful support we receive through Baptist Faith Missions provides for our needs and is a constant source of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner in France

I have included a photo of our Thanksgiving Dinner with Philip and Amanda. They had us in their home to celebrate Thanksgiving on the Saturday after the U.S. Holiday. Wendy, who works with us and four friends of our granddaughters were with us as well.

Abigail, along with another Christian friend, are organizing a fellowship group for Christians at their High School.  In a school of three thousand there are just a handful who profess faith in Christ.

You have probably seen news of the riots and disruptions that have been taking place in France this past month.  These began as demonstrations against the increase of taxes on fuels which already were about 80% of the price we pay at the pump. The manifestations have been an inconvenience but have caused us no real harm. Thank each of you who have prayed for us.

May the Lord bless your time together with your families this Holiday Season.

From France,
John and Judy

John Mark & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

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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Teaching and Training in Kitale

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.

December 3, 2018

Dear praying friends,

We are now at the end of 2018, with 2019 right around the corner. As I (Nathan) look back on this year, I am amazed at how quickly the time passed. I am reminded of Psalm 39:4, which says, “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” May we make the best use of the days that the Lord gives us, as each day is truly a gift. This letter will share ministry progress as well as prayer requests.

Please pray for us and other missionaries during this holiday season. It is not easy to be separated from family and friends at this time, but God gives grace. Christmas is such a special time of the year, and during the busyness, may we not forget the true reason for our celebration, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We wish each of you a very merry Christmas and a happy upcoming 2019. We are thankful for the missionaries who are here in Kitale now, who we will be getting together with during this holiday season, however, our hearts and thoughts are with our families as well. We have many exciting things to look forward to in 2019, one of which is the new school that God has provided for our daughters in Kitale.

We wish to thank anyone who donated to the shipping and set up costs for the new school. My wife and Julie Tate have been working hard to ensure that the right materials have been shipped into the country. Praise the Lord, some of the curriculum has already arrived and they plan to start training teachers this week. This curriculum is very new to the teachers and they are not familiar with it, so please pray for my wife and Julie as they invest their time and energy into training them. My wife has been praying about how to be more involved in the school, and she has decided to volunteer to co-teach the language arts block and history with Julie. Please pray for her in this endeavor as well, that God would help her and she would be a blessing. This has been a long break for our daughters, and they sometimes get bored, but they are looking forward to starting school with an international curriculum the beginning of January, Lord willing. We will keep you updated on these things and we appreciate your prayers.

I (Nathan) am continuing in the discipleship course in the village of Rafiki with a younger Kenyan man that I have been meeting with for the past several months. I have been encouraged in his spiritual growth, and I hope and pray the teachings have been a blessing to him. I want to give him a solid foundation before training him in church planting, as I feel there are many teachings the men need before being sent out to start churches. Recently we looked at a lesson titled “The Faithful God.” In this lesson, we saw many things about His faithfulness. We considered things such as God’s faithfulness has no limits, His faithfulness does not fail, and His faithfulness is great. Psalm 36:5 says “Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” In Psalm 37:25, David wrote “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” God will take care of us as we serve Him. He is a faithful God, and we can trust Him.

Please pray for me as I continue to disciple another younger Kenyan man in the area of Milimani, near where we stay. He has been busy with his job, but desires to continue studying and learning the Word of God. I am trusting God to provide the right men to train in His plan and timing. God is faithful and I will trust Him.

We will be sure to keep you updated and we appreciate so much your prayers, letters of encouragement, and sacrificial giving. You are each a blessing to us and we wish each of you a very merry Christmas and happy upcoming 2019.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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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News & Reports – December 2018 [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of the December 2018 BFM News & Reports is 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 the BFM News & Reports – December 2018 edition!

 

 

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Two Students Trust Christ in Minas Gerais

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

November 29, 2018

Dear Friends,

We followed through with our plans to have a Thanksgiving service with our Brazilian brothers and sisters this month and it was wonderful! That was a first for all of them, but they want it to be annual now. Charlene and I had a great time preparing several of the traditional American Thanksgiving recipes and, by the lack of leftovers, they were appreciated by all. The Lord has greatly blessed us and our ministries this year. We had an increase of 220% in our attendance and we were privileged to have our baptismal pool used again.

The English classes and tutoring that we offer for free continue to bring people from our neighborhood into contact with us during the weekdays and several people come to our Sunday services as a result as well. We are expecting to see quite a few attend our Christmas presentation where we will present the gospel through music, drama and preaching.

Our Project Life evangelistic team was in two states this month: Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. The workers had the opportunity to share the gospel with over 3000 students and their families in the schools and town squares. There were many professions of faith in Christ, so I can’t share them all. I do want to tell you about two students in Minas Gerais, though. As our drama teams were presenting the gospel through a skit, these students were able to identify themselves in the characters of the drama and the Holy Spirit opened their eyes to see their great need of Christ. They saw how much sin had ravished their families and their own lives and they wanted a new life in Christ. They had been living in hopelessness for too long and saw that Jesus bought them salvation and purpose through his blood. One of these was a young lady who had begun to slash her wrists regularly and was constantly depressed. She had been sexually abused by her stepfather and felt like she was worthless. Our evangelist showed her through the Scriptures the Heavenly Father’s love and care for her and she was thrilled to surrender her life to Him. She asked the Lord to forgive her for her hatred and bitterness. The other youth had begun using drugs and alcohol to numb his mind to the sense of despair and lack of purpose. Instead of taking away his depression, it only increased. Another one of our volunteers sat down with him for quite a while to present the gospel of Christ and to point out how meaningful one’s life is when it is surrendered to the Lord. That young man also repented and trusted in Jesus.

We are getting ready for our long-anticipated Christmas presentation in a couple of weeks where we hope to see several people come to know Christ personally. Our church members have been hard at work for a couple of months now practicing dramas and music. We ask that you pray with us that God will bless and save souls through this event. Charlene and I are grateful to you for your prayers, concern and generous support for our ministries here in southern Brazil.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you.

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1[at]hotmail.com

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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Faithful Attendees and Newcomers at URBC

Tate_profile

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

November 27, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Wow, it seems so much has happened since I wrote last month about our inaugural service at the Upper Room Baptist Chapel. I was excited when I wrote to you all last month describing our first service. But I didn’t know who might return and who wouldn’t. Now I have more that I can report.

Since our inaugural service, we have been averaging right around 12 in our attendance each week. I am very happy that we have had that many in our weekly services. Especially since those who are attending seem to be truly interested in receiving teaching from the Bible and in knowing and following Jesus. The next four weeks after our first service saw pretty much the same 12 people attending the services. I think that they are definitely getting something they do not experience at other churches here in Kitale. Here’s a couple reasons why I think that.

First, I set up a time to visit one of the families in their home. Elphas, Ann and their daughter Esther haven’t missed a service since we started. I meet with Elphas every week to disciple him but I wanted to visit him at his home.  While I was in his home (a small, one-room apartment), he told me that he has gone to church for a long time but has never had a pastor visit him in his home. He didn’t know that was a thing pastors did. This week Elphas and I will visit a man named Joseph in Joseph’s home. Joseph was a first-time visitor last week.

Second, I’ve been told by others who have been coming that the teaching is simple, easy to understand and straight from the Bible. I say, “Praise God,” because that is exactly what I am striving for! This is definitely a rare element in Kitale churches.

Last week I was really excited because we had four first-time visitors to the Chapel.  Each of these four-first time visitors came as a result of being invited by other regular attendees of our services. Two of these four I know to be very new believers. After the service and the “informal pastor” time and fellowship they stayed around and talked with me for nearly an hour. They told me that what they heard and experience at the Chapel that day was not like anything else they’ve experienced elsewhere. They said the teaching was Biblical as opposed to, in their own words, “Motivational speeches about succeeding in business” or “sermons about making money and getting ahead in life”. They also said that when I confessed I was not a good guitar player and that they should expect to hear mistakes, that they knew then and there that the Chapel would be different. This is because they said a Kenyan pastor will never admit to doing anything wrong. Finally, they appreciated hearing what the Bible actually says instead of hearing a list of rules and man-made laws about how they can be acceptable to God.

Dear Lord, Oh, how we would like to make a difference in the lives of these new believers and in the lives of the others who are attending and in the lives of many other Kitale residents.

Please make this your prayer for us as well.

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

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

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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