Today, April 10, is Presidential Election Day in Peru and there are no church services anywhere in Peru during the morning hours. Elections are always on Sundays and one of their election laws prohibits any type of public meetings during voting hours, so we have church services in the evening after the polls are closed. The voting process requires that they dip the tip of their index finger into a bottle of permanent purple dye; this avoids allowing people to vote more than once (very practical) and for a week or so after the election everyone walks around with a purple finger! Another election law is that all Peruvians of voting age must vote or pay a heavy fine. As a result of this law the Peruvian people take their politics seriously. Peru has numerous political parties ranging from the far left to the far right and all sorts of ideologies in between. This also creates a lot of travel for these dear folks because they have to vote wherever they were last registered. Since registering to vote in a new town is a bureaucratic process and takes money, the majority of the people just travel back to wherever they came from in order to vote. The bus lines always take advantage of this and raise the price of bus tickets; so is life during election time, heavy traffic on the roads and purple fingers! Anita and I have lived in this country for twenty-eight years and it has always been this way; life is interesting on the mission field!
Each month I ask you to continue to pray for our son, Capt. Joshua Stanton USAF. He proudly serves our country as an Air Force pilot overseas. He has a wife and two small, precious, little girls waiting for him back home. We also ask you to continue to remember my father, Ralph Stanton, in your prayers; he is battling with prostate cancer, and is back in the hospital again in Dickson, Tennessee with a kidney infection. He is also having test done for Alzheimer and dementia while being treated for the kidney infection. This ordeal has been understandably hard on my mother, she needs our prayers also. Mom and Dad have been married for sixty-three years now, truly an example and inspiration to all of us. Anita and I will be traveling back to the States for four weeks from the middle of May to the middle of June. We plan to see our grand-kids (one we’ve never seen and she will soon be a year old!) but we plan to spend most of the time with my mom and dad. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Do you all remember the young lady, twenty-three years old, Dany Luz Presentacion? Many of you helped her financially back in the fall of last year when she was going through Chemo Therapy for ovarian cancer. She also had open heart surgery when she was sixteen years old. Well, she is doing great now; finished her college degree in elementary education and recently got a job teaching in a private school here in Huánuco. Danitza is one of many young folks that are like sons and daughters to Anita and me. She came by the house the other day to visit and show us how much her hair has grown back; so I had to take a picture and show you this radiant trophy of God’s mercy and grace! We thank all of you again that had a part in helping us to help this fine and faithful young Christian woman.
Sufficient funds have come in to help the Cayumba Grande Baptist Mission with the purchase of their property in Tingo Maria. Thanks to those of you that had a part in this project.
We still need more funds to help with construction for the Calvary Baptist Mission I pastor here in Huánuco. Anita and I hope to have something built and secure by the time we leave for the States the middle of May. This work has grown numerically and matured spiritually during this past year and it is time for us to move to a larger location. The property has some old, adobe mud structures that will be torn down so we can build to suite or needs. We know our heavenly Father will provide the funds; maybe He will use you to help with this project.
Another matter of prayer is the need to increase giving to the General Fund of Baptist Faith Mission. BFM has financially aided Anita and me since 1983. We work under the authority of our home church, Jordan Missionary Baptist Church, of Sanford, Florida, but Jordan Baptist is not large enough to support us full time, and thus, BFM helps our home church with the funds to keep us on the field in Peru. The Mission provides excellent medical insurance, monthly stipends for housing, transportation cost and other expenditures necessary to live in a foreign country. The directors of BFM have calculated that if each household and church that supports the General Fund of BFM could increase their giving by $10.00 more per month, the financial needs would be met. Pray about it and give as the Lord leads you. If you would like more details of the financial workings and situation of BFM you can go the webpage: www.baptistfaithmissions.org or the BFM blog at: www.faith-works.blogspot.com
Thanks again for all the prayers and support. We look forward to seeing everyone next year (2012) when we come to the States for furlough. Until next month.
We’ve had a lot of rain in the mountains recently, but today, the sun is shining in Huánuco! Anita has been fighting a case of the flu that has given her a terrible cough, but she seems to be on the mend, for which we are thankful. We love and appreciate all of you and thank you for your continual prayers and support of our part in the Lord’s work here in Peru.
Please continue to pray for our son, Capt. Joshua Stanton USAF, as he proudly serves our country as an Air Force pilot in Afghanistan. He has a wife and two small, precious, little girls waiting for him back home. We also ask you to remember my father, Ralph Stanton, in your prayers; he is battling with prostate cancer and not doing very well.
I baptized five young people into the fellowship of the Calvary Baptist Mission-Church a few weeks ago. They ranged from twelve to twenty. Two of them were a young couple just recently married. Our attendance at this mission continues to grow and we literally filled our rented place to capacity twice during February. The folks are getting anxious about moving to the new property we hope to buy in the next few weeks. We have been trying to buy this piece of ground for months, but the owner has had to comply with numerous legal requirements in order to get the property legally up to date. It looks like we will be able to make the purchase around the last week of March. After we obtain the property we have an urgent need to build. The folks here are poor, but I have seen them give sacrificially many times. We could really use some help toward this project; it’s the Lord’s work and HE will provide, but maybe HE will lead some of you to be HIS means of provision. We are also hoping that we could have a few churches send some mission teams down late this summer or early fall and help us with some of the construction.
My Monday night pastor’s class continues to be a blessing. These men study the Word during the week and bring me some very challenging questions each Monday night. Their questions keep me on my knees in prayer and compel me to dig ever deeper into God’s Word for the answers. It is a privilege and honor to work with them.
Roosevelt Hermitaño, one of our national missionaries needs help with funds to buy the property for the Cayumba Grande Baptist Mission near Tingo Maria. The owner wants to sell the place so they either have to buy or vacate by the end of April. They have already raised over half of the cost but still need $1500.00 in order to have enough. Please pray and give as the Lord leads.
In HIM by HIS grace,
Sheridan and Anita Stanton
sestantonperu [at] hotmail.com
“…’Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'” -Matthew 25:23
Marie Bratcher, one of our beloved missionaries to Brazil, peacefully entered into the joy of her Master at 10:39 p.m. on Friday, February 4, 2011. Hattie Marie Moore Bratcher, was born in Richmond, Kentucky, and married Harold Foley Bratcher on December 27, 1954. The Lord blessed them with three sons: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher, Pastor Stephen M. Bratcher, and Joel Bratcher, who drowned in the Amazon River at the age of 6.
On February 5, 1919 Dr. Lewis Malen Bratcher arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This event began a 90 year love ministry of the Bratchers in Brazil that continues to this day. For the next 35 years, Dr. L.M. Bratcher would labor faithfully in the cities and on mule trails preaching the “good news” (as boas novas) of the saving Gospel of his Lord Jesus Christ. In June of 1939, he traveled to the Amazon Valley to begin a long awaited and planned Amazon River missions trip with the pioneer Baptist missionary Erik Alfred Nelson. Soon after the trip began, on June 15, 1939, E.A. Nelson, 76 years of age, went home to be with his Lord. He served in Brazil for 48 years. After assisting at the funeral at the First Baptist Church of Manaus that Nelson founded in 1900, Dr. L.M. Bratcher decided to continue the river trip, this time having to inform the Brazilian people of E.A. Nelson’s death and “home going.” He stated in his memoirs, “Just Longing,” (Saudades) that he would never forget the reaction of the villagers at each stop. Tears would come to their eyes, and the sorrowful question would be asked “Now who will come and tell us about Jesus?”
The Answer to the Call
Exactly 20 years later, almost to the day, Harold and Marie Bratcher answered that question. They arrived in the Amazon Valley on July 15, 1959, to begin a 52-year love ministry with the people of Brazil. In their nearly 52 years of service together, the Bratchers organized over 20 Baptist churches and many other missions in the Amazon Valley.
Marie once stated that she “never received a specific call to be a missionary,” but always strongly affirmed her call of being a faithful loving wife to Harold, therefore following him as he followed the Lord.
Muito Obrigado, Sister Bratcher, for faithfully giving 52 years of your life to Brazil for the sake of the Gospel.
[“Muito Obrigado” is Portuguese for “thank you.” Adapted from their son’s write-up in celebration of their 50 years of service. Read the full version at Bratchers’ Ministry.]
Arrangements: Marie’s funeral will be Sunday, February 6 at 3:00 p.m. Her son Asa Mark will be conducting the service. She will be buried next to her son Joel in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery of Manaus, Brazil. Missionary E.A. Nelson, “The Apostle of the Amazon” is buried close by as well.
Please pray for her husband Harold and their family.
Any designated love offerings for Brother Bratcher will be deeply appreciated. You may send them through Baptist Faith Missions at Baptist Faith Missions
c/o George Sledd
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe FL 32771
[Be sure to designate your personal gifts for HAROLD BRATCHER LOVE OFFERING]
“Disse-lhe o seu senhor: Muito bem, servo bom e fiel; sobre o pouco foste fiel, sobre muito te colocarei; entra no gozo do teu senhor.” –Mateus 25:23
“O my Strength, I will watch for You, for You, O God, are my fortress. My God in His steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies. –Psalm 59:9-10
Instead of the normal “Scripture at Sunrise” post today, we wanted you to be aware of a serious situation in Iran. Please take time to pray today for 70+ Christians who have been arrested because of their faith. Josh Harris has more details on his blog.
Another month has come and passed so quickly, and we are now near the end of the year 2010. It seems that time goes so quickly, and Lord willing, soon we will be in the year 2011. May we ever be mindful of the opportunities that the Lord gives us to serve Him and to be mindful of the time we have to give our lives in service to Him. This prayer letter will give a current ministry update, a family update, as well as share prayer requests.
It is great to be back in our home country of the United States of America. Although we miss the people of Kenya and the ministries there, we are also happy to be home and get to spend valuable time with friends and family, as well as those who pray for us and sacrificially give to support us. Each of you are such an important part of the ministry in Kenya and we thank the Lord for you. We could not do it without your help. The Lord has provided a place for us to stay in West Virginia beginning in January, as well as a vehicle and the majority of the furnishings. We wish to thank each of you for your assistance, as it has really helped us in the transition back to our home country and getting settled in for our furlough. May God bless each of you who have assisted us in any way with our furlough needs. Thank you for being so mindful of the needs of missionaries. Philippians 4:19 says “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” What a precious promise from the Word of God this is, that we can trust Him to provide for our needs.
Please continue to pray for the ministries in Kenya in our absence. The ministry in Rafiki is continuing presently through a Kenyan that was trained in the Bible Institute and who had gone repeatedly to Rafiki to minister there, so we ask you to pray for him and the people there. They are continuing independently of me in any way, and I am sure this is a test of faith for them, so we ask you to pray for them, that they would be indigenous and stand on their own in my absence. This is a challenge, as the country is dependent, but prayer would be much appreciated for this ministry as I am now in the States for an extended period of time.
Also, please continue to pray for the other ministries, both the annex prison and the hospital ministry, in our absence. We wish to thank anyone who has come personally to see these ministries firsthand, sent supplies to be given to the ministries, prayed for or financially supported the works. May God bless each of you so much. We will keep you updated.
Please also continue to pray for Carrie and the pregnancy, as she is due the second week of February 2011. So far,
all is progressing well, for which we thank the Lord. What a blessing children are and we ask you to pray that this new one would also continue to develop well in the womb. 1 Samuel 1:27 states “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:” We thank each of you for continuing to remember the new little one in prayer as well as for Carrie and her health during the pregnancy.
Please also pray for us and our health as we have both individuals and churches to visit while are home. Please also pray for the vehicle, that it would do well traveling and not have any major maintenance issues. Please also pray for me as I begin to contact churches and pastors, that the Lord would lead and guide us in these endeavors. I plan to send a dvd of our ministry out soon, so please also pray that these will all arrive well without any problems where they are designated to go.
In closing, during this Thanksgiving season, may we ever be mindful to be thankful of the many blessings that God has given us.
There are so many things to be thankful for, such as family, health, the Lord’s provisions, and opportunities that He gives us to serve Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We wish each of you a great Thanksgiving holiday as well as Christmas holiday next month. May God bless each of you.
Another month has come and passed so quickly, and we thank the Lord for His blessings to us. We would appreciate your continued prayers for us here, both within the ministries, and also for our safety and health. We appreciate so much each person who prays for us, as this is much needed. We also wish to thank everyone who sacrificially supports this ministry with finances. You are a great blessing to us. This update will share current ministry progress as well as prayer requests.
We would appreciate your continued prayers for the ministry in Rafiki. I have been teaching and preaching the Word of God, and would desire prayer for this work. The Word of God has power and we trust it will bring the desired effects and changes in people’s lives when they hear and receive it. Hebrews 4:12 states “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I have been teaching on many aspects of the church, and one major prayer request I have is that the Lord would provide faithful followers who look to Him and trust Him for their needs. D.L. Moody once said “Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.” We would appreciate your continued prayers for this ministry.
The Annex prison is continuing to go well. We are now over half finished with the course “Firm Foundations – from Creation to Christ.” The men seem to be really getting much from the teaching and growing spiritually. We want to thank each one of you who prays for, supports, and assists the ministry there. It would not be possible without your assistance and we thank the Lord for you.
Carrie and McKenna are both doing well. They both have birthdays this month, Carrie’s on the 15th and McKenna on the 26th. Lord willing, McKenna will be two years old, which doesn’t seem possible. What a joy it has been to have her in our family, and we would appreciate your continued prayers for each of us as we serve here in Kenya .
Please continue to pray for us and the many challenges here. We desire to be faithful to the work here, and faithful to the calling. 1 Corinthians 4:2 states “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” May we each be faithful to the work that God calls us to do, wherever that may be. God bless each of you.
Until next month,
Nathan, Carrie & McKenna Radford
Kitale, Kenya, East Africa