Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [August 2015]

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

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

August 1, 2015

Dear Fellow Servants,

We hope that you are enjoying the Lord’s blessings this summer. Many of you are busy with Vacation Bible School and Youth and Family camps. The effort invested in these summer ministries is well worth it. During our lifetime we have seen many come to Christ and mature spiritually through Christian camps and evangelistic outreach to youth.

The month of July was quite busy which makes me happy. On the 4th of July, the annual neighborhood dinner was held. We are very grateful for this gathering because it gives us the opportunity to build relationships, get acquainted with folks and witness. These usually start at about 6pm and continue to 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning. And at the end there is the clean up.

This year I had the opportunity to communicate our reason for believing with two neighbors. One of these is a professed atheist and the other is an agnostic. This is not the exception in France. Our yard is bordered by four other yards. Three of these four immediate neighbors are atheist. However, we have a cordial relationship with all of them. We sow in hope. According to Christ, our behavior is essential in communicating the gospel to these folks. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Good works in this context does not seem to refer to church activities, but serving others for Jesus sake. Daily, we must ask ourselves, “How can I show the love of Christ to this (or that) individual in my actions?” The apostle Paul seems to mean this in the counsel to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Several years ago a new neighbor informed us that she was an atheist. A little while later she said, “You know I don’t believe in God, but we feel so good when you and Judy are around.” And…we did share meals together quite often. These usually included at least one other family. Often, this lady’s husband would say to everyone at the table, “I have just about come to agree with John” and then to me, “John, tell them what you believe.” About four years after meeting them, she invited us to help her celebrate her 50th birthday along with about 70 or 80 people from all over France. Just as everyone was getting ready to dig in, she stopped them and pointing to Judy and me, said, “These are some of our best friends. He is a pastor. John, please say a few words.” Unexpectedly, she called on me to share the gospel with her friends. Not too long before they moved to a neighboring town, she came running over, knocked on the door to tell us, “I want you to know that I now believe in God and that He has worked personally in my life.” From atheism to this point in her life was a stretch of about 10 years. We love what we are doing in France.

Evidence of God at work in new disciples has also been a part of the blessings this month. Many years ago Judy and I started driving weekly to the city of Mazere which is a bit over an hour’s drive each way. The purpose was to have a weekly Bible study with Douceline, a young Christian lady who lived there, and who was very discouraged because she was alone and over an hour’s drive from any church. She has grown in the Lord. She started to invite people she met to the Bible study. Some of them are now saved. She now sees herself as a missionary to this spiritually needy area. About a dozen persons come to the Bible study and she has individual Bibles studies with others. While she was gone on vacation this summer, a couple that has been coming for about two years invited us hold the Bible study in their home. Then another lady who has been coming for about a year invited us to hold the next one at her home and to stay for dinner afterwards. This is one of the individuals with whom Douceline has been having Bible studies investigating the Gospel. This lady who invited us is married to a likable young man who is an atheist. I will include some snapshots of the evening.

Well, I will save the rest for another month. This letter is beginning to look like a journal. Thank you for your regular participation in what God is doing here. We thank God for you daily. May His richest blessings fill your life.

Joyfully sharing the Good News in France,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France

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