Walking the Path God Has Set for Us

 

 

Judy Hatcher has been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France with her husband John since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

April 14, 2021

Dear Friends,

How thankful I am to be given the opportunity to share a bit of my heart today. April is a special month for me…my birthday month! I feel blessed to have a Spring birthday because the whole creation emerges after a cold, hard winter to be reborn with color, new life, beauty!

I’m also reminded of my new birth in Christ. As an innocent ten year-old, I had no idea of the wonderful life that was beginning. I also had no idea of the rocks or curves that would be in my road. I did know, however, that the One who gave His life for me would hold my hand, guide me in the dark, share my joys, never leave me and that His ways were above my ways and better than my ways.

Would I have predicted that the year 2020 would hold pandemic (as I child I didn’t even know the word!), unexpected blessings, death, new opportunities, frustration? Not a clue! But I knew the Savior and He has been more than enough! Being locked down physically did not cut me off from my Lord…rather gave me opportunity to focus more on Him. I have had the privilege of standing in awe of my Father as He has rained down unexpected blessing after blessing. He has placed people in our path to help us each step of our way. I have felt His comfort and peace as I watched my sister pass from this old earth to glory. In rather mundane ways, God has given us opportunities to share Him with people that we would have never met if it weren’t for coronavirus. But oh, the frustration! We desire to go home and yet it seems as we pass each step the next sign reads, “two more weeks!” So, once again, I must rest on His chest and realize that, just as in the past, He knows what He is doing! It’s my place to wait, to love, to walk with Him and share His love with those He puts in our path.

So, together, let’s walk the path He has set for us with joy, sharing His love with those who we encounter each step of the way.

Yours because of Him,
Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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Return to France on the Horizon!

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

March 14, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

What a full month the past one has been. We have covered many miles on roads in seven different states since we last wrote to you. God has enabled us to spend wonderful moments with family and friends some for the first time in over a dozen years. Thank you for your continual prayers and support.

Meeting regularly with believers on three different continents via internet for prayer, study of the Word, worship of our LORD and Savior and counseling is a continuing blessing. And, the best news, our physical return to France appears to be on the horizon! We are hoping to complete the remaining task this week that will free us to return to Tournefeuille.

Judy and I celebrated 48 years of marriage on the third of March with a sirloin steak lunch and a nice walk along Lake Michigan. Paul (my brother) and Wanda Hatcher, missionaries to Brazil you helped for over 40 years celebrated 50 years of marriage yesterday… taking care of Dad… missionary helped by you for over 60 years in Brazil. They have all three been sick with the infamous Covid virus. Paul and Wanda are now well on their way to recovery and Dad is doing better. Our entire family is very grateful for the diligent care Paul and Wanda have provided for our parents. Paul tells me, “We are just contributing to your ministry so that you are able to serve where you serve.” Their contribution often includes sleepless nights.

We do not know all that you are going through, but our Heavenly Father, Eternal God and Creator of all does. He is reachable day and night … without internet. Feel free to email us using the address posted on the BFM site if you would like for us to pray for you.

May the blessings and peace of God be with you,
John and Judy Hatcher

PS – When you email indicate in the subject line some things that will help us know that it is not spam (church, or location, etc.).

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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Fellowship with Family

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

February 10, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

You are a source of encouragement and joy and to Judy and me. We are presently in the home of Paul and Wanda enjoying fellowship with them and Dad. David, our brother from Manaus, surprised us by arriving just a few hours after us earlier this week. The time together, so rare, is a blessing.

These have been trying times. A number of people we know in Manaus have died from Covid-19. The church that David pastors has been losing about 2 people each day as they pass from this world into the presence of the Lord. The church has been active in acquiring and distributing oxygen to the sick and supplying needs for the ill and families that are left with no living wage earner.

The Hatcher Brothers with their Dad
(David, John Mark, Paul, and John A.)

Judy and I have been working hard to wrap up things in the Evansville concerning Peggy’s estate so that we can return to France. There have been many complications, but God supplies abundantly and has displayed His love and grace in marvelous ways. Our spiritual and physical families have helped enormously in this process. All of our children have come to help for several days and we have enjoyed fellowship with them in the midst of intense activity.

We met twice physically with Resurgence church in January. It is very encouraging to witness the desires of this relatively young Baptist church. They want to reach the lost and help the saints. As with all of you, the meeting numbers are limited and many participate by means of the internet. It is a great blessing to have this medium available which also enables us to participate actively with our assembly in France.

Though there are many restrictions in France due the effort to minimize the spread of the Corona Virus, it appears that we can meet the requirements to return in the near future. Thank you for your prayers and support in every way. May God bless each of you as you seek His will in serving Him during these difficult times.

Your fellow servants,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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Exiles in Our World; One Now at Home

January 10, 2021

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

Dear Fellow Exiles,

We just finished the Sunday meeting with our church in France, morning here but evening there. Being able to meet electronically with them is a great blessing. Today was the beginning of a new series of messages from God’s Word, “Exiles in our World”. Philip suggested that we make this our next series as God’s people are clearly presented in the Old and New Testament as pilgrims in exile.

This morning we looked at the outstanding encounter of Elijah with Ahab, Jezebel, the prophets of Baal, and Yahweh on Mt. Carmel and Mt. Horeb. You might like to reach I Kings 18 and 19 and meditate on the wonderful lessons we learn about God’s love and interaction with us in the midst of the calling we have received. It is very applicable to the times in which we live.

And, speaking of times in which we live. What a year 2020 was globally and personally. Judy’s sister Peggy left us to be in the presence of the Lord in the wee morning hours of December 24. Our children and grandchildren who live in the USA were here for an early Christmas celebration on Tuesday, December 22. This was the last day that Peggy was cognizant of her surroundings here on earth. Our family in France had Zoom time with us singing Christmas carols to Peggy. A little later, all who were here sang hymns to Peggy for about an hour. Peggy would join us singing a word or two in her breathless state. She is now singing in perfection.

Peggy Foster

Peggy had a passion to help the needy and loved reaching out to children. She actively served in these areas. Her life touched many who she is now with and others who will join her in the presence of the Lord because she was a witness to them of Jesus Christ.

Thank each one of you who have expressed your concern and love in many different ways. We are now working hard at wrapping up the physical and legal matters so that we can be back in France soon. It is our to hope to be there within the next couple of months. God has manifested His presence in many different ways and things are going well.

Thank you for your prayers now and during the past months.

May God display Himself in all of us during this year and until our Lord and Savior returns for us.

Your fellow pilgrim exiles,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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An Influential Shepherd: Remembering the Life of Jim Evans

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

December 8, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May this find you enjoying the Lord’s blessings despite the painful, difficult and restrictive times in which we find ourselves. A couple of weeks ago a brother in Christ who was a great friend passed from this world where death reigns to the presence of our Savior. I had the privilege of speaking to his immediate family at the service. But, I just reverberated the glorious message of Jim Evans’ life.

Jim Evans is in the very top portion of the people God used to enable me to understand better how to follow Christ. He was a great friend for 49 yrs. I had the privilege of being his pastor for 25 years. Yet, by example, he was a wonderful shepherd to me and our family and many others. Like “Barnabas”, the Son of encouragement, Jim “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.”

Jim came from a dysfunctional family, but you never would have known it. While still a teenager, he trusted Jesus, and found a new family. He became an exemplary father and husband. What a team he and Carolyn made, a match made in heaven. His life touched many, especially kids. There was a big treasure of compassion in Jim’s heart for those who were needy as he had been. He loved to “bus them in” or go to steer them toward the Lord when they got in troubled. Over a period of twenty years, Carolyn and Jim invested thousands of hours reaching and teaching children about the Savior. Later, working with kids who were legally in trouble to bring them to Christ became his passion. God used Jim to teach all of us!

About three years before I met them, Jim and Carolyn lost their oldest child, a boy in fourth grade, in a car accident on an icy road. However, I have never known anyone who was more filled with the joy of the Lord and faith than Jim. Carolyn, and Jim have a big place in Judy’s heart and my heart. While extremely respectful to us as their leaders, they loved us like their own kids and were the on-site grandparents for our children.

The great reunion in the presence of our Heavenly Father has already started for Jim…Jesus, David, Gayle (daughter who died 4 years ago), and all the ones his life touched. They will keep on arriving. I can see him bouncing forward on his feet smiling from ear to ear as he greets them…and one day us!

Jim Evans

Jim’s life was “faith expressing itself in love”. He loved to serve. He loved the needy. He loved projects…especially when they could be used by God to touch the needy. The reality, “We live by faith, not by sight. ” (2 Corinthians 5:7), was so evident in Jim’s life. “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’” (Rev. 14:13)

Jim often started a conversation with a great biblical passage which was on his mind. Today I think he would say,

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

Thank you, dear Heavenly Father, for giving us Jim.

And, speaking of giving. Jim and Carolyn were ardent supporters of missionaries for over 60 years, especially through Baptist Faith Missions. They requested that people honor Jim by sending offerings in his memory to Baptist Faith Missions. Some of you knew Jim. For all, if my narrative of Jim’s life touched you, maybe you would like to give a gift in his memory or in memory of someone God used to shepherd you!

God is at work in France and through the lives of folks from our church. I will save that for another letter.

Thankful for people God has used to shepherd us,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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 at Work in the Lives of His Children

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

November 8, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Two days after I wrote the last newsletter our lives met a steep curve in the road. The day before Judy and I planned on going to Florida to care for Dad while my brother Paul had surgery we received news that Dad had been taken by ambulance to the hospital. Within a couple of hours we were on the road south. Several other pieces of bad news pierced the next few days. But, God is in control.

Many of you are also faced with difficulties, often unexpected. But, as the eighth chapter of Romans assures us we will be delivered and in that hope we continue the race set before us. Dad is now in a Rehab facility. Paul, who is recovering well from surgery, is hoping Dad can return to his and Wanda’s home in a couple of weeks. Judy and I returned early to Evansville to care for Peggy. We are so grateful for the care given by Marilyn, Janet and Lisa during the days we were gone. The sisters in the Lord manifest God’s grace abundantly.

Meanwhile, France is back under heavy restrictions and our church can no longer have in person meetings. This morning our members met electronically from 9 different locations. Our text this morning was Romans 8:18-27. You might find encouragement in this passage! We are very encouraged by the fellowship with our French brothers and sisters and the work of God in their lives.

Four years ago, Jan, a lady with whom Peggy was having weekly Bible studies trusted Christ. We, along with Peggy, continue to meet for Bible studies with Jan and her husband. We are now doing this via Zoom. Two days ago, Tony professed faith in Christ and is to be baptized this coming Sunday.

Douceline, in whose home in Mazere we held Bible studies for many years, has Bible studies regular with a lady whose husband has vocally professed his atheism for years. This past week she very encouraged because she was able to witness to him and he was receptive. She also had some great opportunities to communicate the gospel at work.

Nathalie, our second granddaughter and member of the Tournefeuille Church, had extended her time of ministry in Austria. The mission project to refugees with which she has been serving has asked her to stay on until just a few days before Christmas. She is planning on doing so. She may also return to work there in the Spring.

So, along with the unwanted surprises we have many wonderful surprises. We are able to give thanks in all circumstances. Where sin abounds, God’s grace over-abounds.

Gratefully God’s children with you,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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The Bigger Picture

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

October 12, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We would like to encourage you today as we review a speck of what God is doing. The bigger picture is beyond our ability to comprehend in the present and the future. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Who, a year ago, would have predicted that we would now be in a Covid pandemic? But, God knew and is greater than all.

The Tournefeuille church meeting yesterday was a blessing. We have been examining the encounters of of Jesus with individuals. This Sunday we looked at the seaside interchange between Jesus and Simon Peter concluding with “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:1-11). Early in the morning, in the middle of his net washing after a tiring night of failed fishing, Peter obeyed in pushing back the boat from the edge and later by casting once more the nets. Awed by the miraculous power of Jesus, Peter “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. Jesus, instead, took Simon Peter with Him.

Do you, like Peter, feel tired and overwhelmed by the circumstances? Jesus, our friend, Savior, almighty God, has entered our boat. He is still telling us to “Fear not.” He is in control. He will never leave you or forsake you and along the way you will experience His joy as He touches others through you.

One of the Tournefeuille church members (and our second oldest granddaughter) is beginning her last month of serving God by serving refugees who are being held in Austria. Among these are followers of Jesus who have been persecuted for their faith and others who need to know Christ who overcame everything that is against them. What a delight to see how God is using Nathalie and working in her life as she follows Him. Your prayers for her are much appreciated.

You may remember the August letter about Suzie (which I wrongly spelled Susie). Judy and I thought you might like to see the latest sign that surprised us a few days ago. So, here it is.

May the Lord bless each of you,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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Worldwide Worship

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

September 13, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praise the Lord with me. My heart overflows. During our walks the last couple of days Judy and I have chatted about the Beatitudes. We are blessed!

Our church meetings during the past month have been quite a blessing. The church is able to meet again in person with masks. The Sunday before last there was a houseful including four or five visitors. One lady, a relative of one of the church families, was there for the first time. Judy and I have known her for many years.

Today the house was full and the attendance was from Indiana to Austria. Besides the group meeting in Tournefeuille, there were members in 5 other locations in three countries participating. These are young people from our congregation who are working or studying elsewhere. Two of them could not be around others because of their contact with people who have tested positive with the Covid virus. What a joy to sing, study God’s Word and fellowship with the folks from our church family in France.

We thank God for your faithful support and partnership with us in the Kingdom of God. We thank God for the ability to fellowship with our home church. We thank God for the way He is working in the lives of the young adults who have come to Christ and grown up in our fellowship of believers. We thank God for many opportunities to minister (at a social distance) to folks in our temporary neighborhood. We thank God … and our hearts are overflowing.

Praising God from Whom all blessings flow,

John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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