“By this we know love, that he laid down His life for us…” -1 John 3:16
This is the Gospel. The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the Resurrection so that all who trust in Him will be reconciled to God forever. -David Platt in Radical
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21
This is the design of God among His people. He is giving unlikely people His power so it is clear who deserves the glory for the success that takes place. -David Platt in Radical, pg. 53
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
Making disciples is not an easy process. It is trying. It is messy. It is slow, tedious, even painful at times. It is all these things because it is relational. Jesus has not given us an effortless step-by-step formula for impacting nations for His glory. He has given us people, and He has said, “Live for them. Love them, serve them, and lead them. Lead them to follow me, and lead them to lead others to follow Me. In the process you will multiply the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
“…’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