Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [March 2012]

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The tornadoes and storms through which many of you are going have been in the news here. We think about you and pray that the Lord will protect you from harm. This relates indirectly to one of our Bible studies this week. This study is in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The judgments on the lost world symbolized by the blowing of the 7 trumpets draw our attention to the folly of human behavior.

Many people are concerned about protecting themselves from climate changes and the effects that these might bring on them. It is debatable whether we can do much to avoid these disasters. However, anyone can avoid the greatest disaster of all by trusting Christ and being eternally saved from all physical disasters. This is something that anyone, anywhere in the world can do. Yet, few are willing to surrender to Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, our mission here, and your mission there is to bring to the attention of folks around us that Jesus is the only sure hope. May our Lord help us to do the job effectively.

I want to mention three individuals for whom I am very grateful as we study the Word of God with others. The first two are my parents who are still serving as missionaries in Brazil at 86 years old. They taught me and, by example, encouraged me to read through the Bible and then continue reading through the Bible. This lifelong practice has helped me to see God’s revelation of Himself in a more complete and well rounded fashion than what is appropriated by reading most books and theological treatises and by listening to many well known preachers. Please, do not receive this as a condemnation of books or preachers. I am simply underscoring the value of knowing God’s word thoroughly and reviewing it regularly in its full scope. Thanks, mom and dad.

The other person who has had a great influence on me in understanding God’s revelation is Edward Overbey. As my pastor during my college years, he helped me greatly to work toward a correct exegesis of biblical texts. His patient and peaceful manner provided me with an outstanding example of applying Christlike principles in my interaction with others. Thanks, brother Overbey.

All of our Bible Studies are going well. We now have ongoing studies in Colossians, Revelation, II Timothy and the Gospel of John. God continues to open doors and we do the best that we know how in sowing the good seed. Last year three people who had professed faith followed the Lord in baptism. We would like to see many more saved and baptized, but our job is to display the light of the Gospel, sow the good seed, and disciple those who trust Christ.

The Hatchers sowing seeds in France!

As a boy, I was a charter member of the first church established in the work of my father in Manaus. Three baptized in one year would have been a banner year. Now that church, which has started many other churches, baptizes 50 – 100 hundred people every month. Last month they baptized 300 newly saved folks. These are folks who are serving the Lord and being discipled. I have been there among them. They are faithful to God’s word. So, what starts small can multiply…just as the Lord taught. This encourages us to keep working and trusting God.

Thank you for participating with us in the work of the Lord. Your praying and giving is not in vain. Many of you supported the planting of that little church in Manaus.

Today, Judy and I celebrate 39 years of married life serving the Lord together. It is a wonderful life. I asked God to give me the wife He wanted me to have. He gave and I have never been sorry for asking. Judy is a wonderful gift.

Serving the Lord in France,
John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France

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