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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Touched Through the Least of These

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

August 14, 2020

Dear Friend,

This is a second letter in just a few days. My cup is overflowing…like a geyser!

Today was a bit unusual. Judy and I went trekking much later than usual. Due to the heat we have been getting out earlier. Just a few minutes into our walk God touched us by “one of the least” of His. We had just done a loop through the shady end of a school parking lot we cross nearly every time we trek. I heard a loud voice at a distance and assumed that it was a student somewhere in the vicinity.

Then Judy twisted around trying to determine the source of the voice. Just as we got back on pace a loud voice called our names. We turned around and saw Susie. We walked back to her and noticed on approaching her that she was nearly breathless and quite excited. This special lady about our age says, “You have to come back this way. There is something you got to see.” I don’t know what Judy was thinking, but I was trying to figure out what kind of disaster needed our attention. As we approached the rear of the yard where she lives with family, Susie apologized for not knowing our last name. Now I was totally confused!

“Where have you been?” Susie asked. We explained that we had been getting out earlier. Just then we arrived at what she wanted us to see. Here, you can see it for yourself:

She said, “I made the first-time sign weeks ago and then I didn’t see you anymore. I took it in when it rained and at night so it wouldn’t get wet. It got to looking bad so I made another one.”

I had been talking to God this morning, but I declare, my Heavenly Father was now talking to me through the “least” of His. Judy and I were in a glorious daze. You know the passage, “If you do it to the least of these … you do it to me.” But, Eternal God, Almighty, my Heavenly Father was speaking to me through “the least of these”.

I first met Susie nearly three and a half years ago when here caring for Judy (remember…broken kneecap) and her sister, Peggy. Sometimes this unknown lady would be mowing the large yard behind the home where she lives when I was out trekking. The first time we spoke she was confused about what was happening behind her house. I explained to her about the church and school parking lot being expanded and assured her all was well.

A few months ago, she came running out as Judy and I trekked under the trees behind the backyard she often mowed. She pointed out that she always loved seeing us and therefore had trimmed (extensively) the tree branches that would be in our way. We were touched and thanked her. When we passed and she was out Susie always greeted us exuberantly. And, this morning God spoke through this little one. I will remember His voice eternally!

So, maybe you are upset. Maybe, you are in a quandary about the future or the value of your life or actions. “I don’t know about the future, but I know Who holds the future…” and He often speaks through the little ones on our pathway!

Hearing the Father’s Love through the little ones,
John and Judy Hatcher

CONTACT INFO

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


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Grace for the Next Generation

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

August 7, 2020

Dear Fellow Disciples of Jesus,

Let me share a piece of correspondence Judy and I received.


Welcome to my first newsletter!
     Thank you again for your commitment to pray for me during my preparation time as well as during the 3 months I will be spending in Austria. The dates are set, I’m leaving in 2 weeks (!!), from Wednesday August 5th to Friday November 6th.
     The Austrian borders are currently open to France, and I should be able to enter without problem. The organization where I will be volunteering is called the “Oasis”. It is affiliated with “One Collective”, an international Christian ministry. The Oasis is located in Traiskirchen, Austria, the town with the largest asylum seekers center in the country. These refugees, of which over 90% come from an Islamic background, are welcomed by the center, which aims to “reflect the heart of God to refugees and offer them the hope, life and refuge that can be found only in Jesus”.
     As a part of the team, I will mainly be working with women and children to build relationships, help provide for their needs, accompany them in their adjustment to life in Europe and share the Gospel. This letter was intended to provide some background information; hopefully the next one will be a little less short and a little more interesting 🙂
Hope you have a nice day,
Nathalie Hatcher


Nathalie’s letter to her prayer partners explains itself. She is our second oldest granddaughter. Amanda, Philip and their family have been serving with us since 2001.  This is a picture of Philip and their daughters, taken by Amanda. Nathalie is in the center. She is not exactly sure which direction God wants her to go in her next step of training and decided to take a year before college to serve and visit her worldwide family. She began serving in this refugee camp this week.

Philip Hatcher & daughters (Nathalie, center)

I decided to include this letter after reading Josiah Tate’s letter on the BFM site. He is also seeking God’s will for his life. The greatest investment we make in this life is in the lives of our children and grandchildren (natural or adopted as the Apostle Paul’s “son” Timothy.) This investment is in teaching, example, attitude, prayer, sustenance …

We continue to worship with our church family in France via Skype. They are now able to meet as a group, but those who are on vacation also join us. We receive encouraging news from other disciples outside the Toulouse region that we have served during the years of ministry in France.

So, may all of us keep on investing in the natural and spiritual offspring God has placed in our lives. To Him be the glory for the grace He allows us to pass on to them!

Your brother and sister in Christ,
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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Connecting with God’s Children and Those He is Seeking

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

July 9, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Isn’t it great to know that Jesus, the King of Kings, will one day retake and re-create the earth as the New Adam, head of a reborn humanity made twice in His image? Meanwhile, I find myself, a child of the King, in a world that is broken, still under the influence of the old man. All too often, I too, find myself living the old Adam instead of the new Adam.

One of the many daily delights I enjoy is watching the amazing birds, squirrels, rabbits and other creatures that testify to the creative genius, outstanding power and love of our Creator. It is a source of thanksgiving from my heart to God in my conversation with Him. The question arises in my heart, “Do I represent the Redeemer’s beauty and voice as well as the beautiful birds and that little one, about the size of a thimble, whose melodious song I can hear a good block away, represent their Creator?”

I am including a picture of the past Sunday meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom we are worshiping using Skype. It is a delight to be able to participate actively with our church from across the Ocean. We do not always understand what God is doing, but it is wonderful to know that even as He restrains the activities He has placed in the hands of humanity, He has allowed them to discover and build in His creation things that can be used for the movement of His kingdom in a fallen world.

The Hatchers this past Sunday joining the meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom they are worshiping using Skype.

 

So, we are able to shepherd, encourage, pray with, counsel, witness to, teach, learn from, and commune with God’s children and those He is seeking on three different continents. This week like the entire past month has already included several meetings with God’s children and those He is seeking using internet, social distancing and masks. The circumstances of our world may discourage us, but our Father is all powerful and uses for good what is meant for evil.

Thank you for your participation with us in what God is doing. May God use you in the present circumstances to be His witness to people with whom you can connect.

Seeking to connect for Jesus,
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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