January-February Support Letter - Dan Bratcher

Danny Bratcher
Rua Joao Dias Martins, 256
Apto 1001
Boa Viagem, Recife-PE, 51021-540
January - February 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Well, a couple of months have come and gone, and the work is beginning to take off. I apologize for not writing sooner. My plan is to give monthly reports, but I have let the time get away from me over the past two months. However, that can be taken as a good sign, because the only way that time can get away is when we are really busy! As you may have guessed, since I have not written sooner, I am combining my report for January and February.

As for the work here, there are a lot of ideas and plans on how to effectively reach the lost and to help the church grow. We are even talking about another church plant here in the Recife area! The exciting part is that I am able to be a part of the planning! All of the training that I have endured at the beginning of this journey is beginning to become a reality to me!

Before I get too carried away, there is still the issue of communication. Of course, I am still taking Portuguese classes. However, I do wish that I could communicate better, and at a much quicker pace. But everyone say that learning Portuguese just takes time. I pray everyday for God to help me with learning Portuguese, because without Him, I will never learn!

So what has been going on over these past two months? Well, in January, I have gone with Randy Short to several other church of Christ congregations in the Recife area, where he had been asked to preach. Even though I am still in the process of learning Portuguese, it was good for me because I was able to meet many other brothers and sisters in Christ in the Recife area.

Also, for a few days in January, I was able to travel with Randy to Maceio where he was giving a seminar. We went door knocking, handing out flyers and inviting people to the seminar. Again, though my Portuguese was not good enough to understand everything that was going on, I was able to help Randy set things up and meet the brothers and sisters in the church there.

Also in January, we began a new program for the families in the camp area. With the help of other churches of Christ and Ricardo, who is a police officer and a brother in Christ, we began the Proerd program, which is the equivalent of the D.A.R.E. Kids program in the United States. Basically, it consists of enrolling parents and other adults in a training program to help get kids off of drugs. It was a very successful day with over 20 adults enrolling!

In February, I had the opportunity to visit to the city of Garanhuns, which is 4 hours west into the interior of Brazil. For two weeks, mainly all I heard was Portuguese because there were not any English speaking people. Of course, there are always a few people who want to practice a few words in English. Sadly, while I was there, one of the gentlemen of the community passed away. I was able to attend a Brazilian funeral, which was a good cultural experience for me.
Some other exciting things that are going to be happening over the next few months is the arrival of many different groups from the states to assist in the work here. In April, there is a group coming to evaluate the possibility of starting an orphanage in the camp area. In May, there is a group coming from Let’s Start Talking to teach English. In June, there are 2 groups coming. In the beginning of June, TORCH Missions will be working here, and at the end of June, another group will be coming to have vacation Bible school with the kids. In July, a group from the Bellevue Church of Christ will be coming here to work. Those are just a few upcoming projects.

As for me and my search for an apartment, I finally found one. I have rented it and began to move in. I have been purchasing the things that I need to establish my new home. In case you have not noticed, my new address is at the top of the first page.

My next goal is the search for a vehicle. I would really like to purchase a truck because it is well needed for the work here, especially when going to work at the camp. However, both cars and trucks here are expensive because almost half of the cost is taxes. I had saved up some money before I left, but now I am waiting for my truck to sell in the states. Also, the exchange rate has really dropped. I am always open to contributions if anyone would like to help. Either way, please pray for my truck to sell and for the exchange rate to begin to rise.

Finally, I would like to share with you about a woman here that I have begun to date. Her name is Lee Barros. Well, she received the nickname “Lee” when she was a child. Her actual name is Maria Aparecida de Barros Correia. I like calling her Lee much better, as does she. Anyway, I would like to quickly tell you about her.

Lee and I met in the summer of 2006 on my very first trip to Brazil. We began to talk a little then only because Lee had already begun to study English. However, when I returned in the summer of 2007, we began talking much more. And when I returned to the United States in August, we kept in contact through e-mail until I returned to Brazil in November.

Lee has been a baptized Christian for 14 years. She was the first woman to go through and graduate from EBNESR, the school of ministry here. She is a very evangelistic woman and can often be found studying the Bible with non-Christian women in the school. She also plans many projects working with kids. She is currently involved with Pro-crescer, which is a program that works with children from the slum areas around the Boa Viagem church. She also works with the children who live in the area around the Bible camp.

The bottom line is that Lee and I have almost identical desires to work with children and the lost people of Brazil. With these desires, I honestly believe that God has placed Lee in my life knowing that together we can be a powerful force in the battle to spread His Kingdom. If you have any questions about Lee, please don’t hesitate to ask. Obviously, I am happy to talk about her! Please pray for us and for our relationship together to grow in Christ.

There are a few things that I would like to ask you to add to your prayer list.
1. For the lost people of Brazil
2. For the growth of the Boa Viagem church here in Recife
3. For the success of the Bible and preaching schools here in Recife
4. For the success of all the upcoming projects and visits
5. For God to help me in learning Portuguese
6. For God to help me in to sell my truck and find a vehicle here
7. For the exchange rate to increase
8. For Lee and me
9. For all the work done here to glorify God!

I apologize for this letter being so long. As you can see, there is a lot going on and I wanted to get everyone caught up. I will do better on writing monthly, especially since I am getting more settled in.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. I continue to thank God daily for placing you all in my life with your desires to see His Kingdom spread to Brazil. Thank you for your faith in me. May God continue to bless each of you in all that you do!

With the Love and Peace of Christ,
Danny Bratcher