Rotating Bible Studies in Mazere, Sowing in Hope

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.”

September 7, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the Lord’s faithfulness. It just dawned on me that I have not written a letter this month to update you on what God is doing here. I have been affected a bit by sciatica the last couple of months and it is difficult to type at the computer. So, I have gotten out of my regular routines. This is not all bad. God uses all things for His glory! Thank each of you for the regularity of your giving and praying for us. Each of you is also living life in a physical body on a fallen earth and it is not always “a piece of cake”. We really do appreciate your faithfulness and pray for you.

One of the things that I can do is walk. So, I walk and walk. Besides keeping me in shape it also opens up doors of opportunity. During the past few days I have had a number of good conversations about spiritual matters and about what we are doing here. These have been with people that we know and whose path I crossed as I walked or new people that God has brought into our lives.

During the month of August we have had unusually well attended meetings. Normally at this time of the year many are on vacation, but this year seems to have been different and we have had excellent services and Bible studies.

Normally we do not have youth outreach meeting in August because there are few young people at home. However, our granddaughters were in contact with many of their friends who were already back home so Philip and Amanda decided to host an “early” youth meeting. We were all thrilled by the 14 young people who came and participated. About half of these are unsaved and from homes where there are no Christians.

Bible Study in Mazere

This Bible Study in Mazere started around 2004 when John & Judy started driving down about an hour from their home to have weekly Bible Study with Douceline.

Bible Study in Mazere

In addition to this Bible Study, Douceline also now leads two evangelistic Bible Studies with other ladies.

I am enclosing a couple of pictures of the Bible Study last night at Mazere which is about an hour south of us. You will see that we are eating. Douceline, the young lady in whose home this outreach started turned 43 yesterday. In the last couple of years some of the folks who were invited by Douceline asked if they could host it in their homes. So, this Bible study now rotates among 4 homes. You might find this strange, but it actually is a blessing. When members of the group host, they take “ownership”. They are more likely to invite their friends to their home. This study first started about a dozen years ago when Judy and I started driving down weekly to have a Bible study with Douceline, a believer who had just moved from our area to a job in Mazere, who knew no other believers in the area and was very discouraged. In addition to this Bible study, this single lady now leads two evangelistic Bible studies with other ladies.

There are multitudes who need Christ so we just keep sowing; asking God for wisdom to do so effectively. Our church in Tournefeuille is now reaching out to 7 other communities.  This is not much when you consider the fact that there are about 35,000 communities in France that need the Gospel. We sow in hope and God produces!

May the Lord richly bless you,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France

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.”

February 4, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It seems impossible that another month has passed since I last wrote you. It has been a good month and we see God at work. There are also areas that we are concerned about and pray about.

Our new Bible studies and prayer meetings are going well. I will mention some of these new ones. This afternoon Judy and I will be meeting with a couple of ladies with whom we have started a weekly Bible study. Both of them are believers, but are married to unsaved men. We have a good relationship with both of these men. One of them comes to the Sunday meetings from time to time. Judy and I are very encouraged by the spiritual growth that we see in both of these ladies.  One of them has become quite involved in visiting elderly people in her community. She does this by participating with a social organization that has as its primary focus the welfare of older citizens. This lady from our church has had a number of opportunities to witness to the people she visits and is very excited about it.

Amanda, our daughter-in-law and a wonderful partner in ministry here, is meeting with girls who are College students for Bible study. One of the three girls in this Bible study has trusted Christ but is not yet baptized. The other two have come to church and youth meetings but have never made a public confession of faith.

The men in the church are now meeting one Saturday morning each month to pray together. We are hoping that this will give us the opportunity to more effectively encourage and disciple these men.

Another lady has started a prayer meeting with ladies on Tuesday mornings and one couple is trying to get a Friday night Bible study going in their home.

Philip, Amanda, and their four daughters

Philip, Amanda, and their four daughters

One of our concerns is the children of families who come to church here. We would like to see the saved parents be more active in helping their children know the Bible. Nearly all the adults in our church besides Judy, me, Philip and Amanda were saved as adults or teenagers and come from families where no one else was saved. They did not have Christian parents to teach them or be examples for them. Since they were saved as adults they do not always understand a child’s capacity to know God. We are praying and planning on helping these families teach their children the Bible more effectively. Please pray with us and for these families.

Our regular and longer term Bible studies are going well.

I have asked Amanda, our daughter-in-law, to write the letter next month to give you a different perspective. Abigail, our oldest granddaughter publishes the monthly church bulletin and Nathalie the second in birth order designed and maintains the church’s website. They are involved in working with the children and all the girls are our main point of contact to get kids from the community to come to outreach activities. Philip, Amanda and the four girls are a major component in what God is doing here. We ask that you pray for them as you pray for us.

May God’s richest blessings be evident to you,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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

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

April 7, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Spring Conference hosted by Thompson Rd. Baptist Church starts 3 weeks from yesterday and we hope to see you there. It has been six years since we last participated in this conference in Lexington, KY. It is not possible for us to be away from Tournefeuille, France for lengthy periods of time, particularly during the school year, without adversely affecting the work here. We will be in the USA for just a few days to celebrate Dad’s 90th birthday and to attend the Spring Missionary Conference.

The main work here in Tournefeuille is going quite well. I am including some pictures taken during the song part of the service Sunday. We have had new visitors and promises from several others to come as well. The Lord has given us a number of good contacts lately and we are grateful for these opportunities to share the Good News.

At Pujaudran, our newest Bible study there have been new folks at each meeting and a great participation. The couple who host this Bible study came here in a job transfer and we met them shortly after they arrived. They were already believers and are great recruiters. Eva, the wife, was born in Malta to Polish parents. She grew up in Australia where she was taken to a Baptist Youth camp by a friend. She trusted the Lord and was baptized in a Baptist church. He grew up in a family of believers and trusted the Lord early in life. Their example underscores the importance of making disciples who are in love with the Lord and ready to communicate that love with others.

In Mazere, things are also going quite well. At our meeting last Wednesday we had two first time participants. Douceline the young lady who hosts this study in her home also has Bible studies with two other ladies at other times during the week. We are very encouraged by what is happening in this town.

There are other Bible studies that we do not lead. Philip and Amanda have a Bible study once a week and Wendy, the single missionary who works with us also hosts a weekly Bible study.

Inductive Bible studies are the primary means that we use to communicate the Gospel to those who do not know Christ. After people trust the Lord, these continue and become the primary means of discipleship. When people do not know God or do not have any knowledge of His word, they must first understand before they can trust. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. A passage which encouraged us to move in this direction is Paul’s experience at Ephesus which led to Gospel being propagated throughout Asia Minor where Paul himself was not able to enter earlier, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:9-10)

So, we continue and are thankful daily for your faith support.

Anticipating getting to see you at the Lexington Conference,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher

4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [April 2014]

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

April 1, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today is known in the USA as April fools day. It reminds me of what martyr missionary Jim Elliot wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This may well reflect what Matthew Henry repeated about his father who was a kind and charitable man, “He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.” It certainly comes from the teachings of our Lord and Savior who told his disciples, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” This is what we all should be doing with the lives, time and wealth of all kinds that God gives us.

We never know exactly how God is going to use our investments. The “preacher” in Ecclesiastes concludes, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. . .In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” So, I will tell you about one of the fields where we are sowing seed and why we are encouraged by what we see.

About 10 years ago, Douceline, a young lady believer whom we had met when we first came to France called us. She had taken her first job in the town of Mazere where there was no congregation of believers of any kind. Away from other believers she was very discouraged. She was born the year her parents trusted the Lord. Both of her parents were previously atheist. Since we had some weekday evenings open, we decided that it would be a good investment into her life to have Bible study with her in her apartment one evening per week after work. After about 2 years of weekly round trip drives of 2 and ½ hours and a couple of hours in Bible study each week, Douceline seemed to have a change in outlook. She began to see herself as God’s agent in this town.

John Mark and Judy Hatcher AnniversaryAbout this time she met a lady through her work at the city library who was nominally Catholic and whose oldest child was to start catechism classes. Douceline suggested that Judy could teach them about Jesus from the Bible. The lady thought that would be a good idea and dropped the kids off at the apartment an hour before our Bible study. Judy had children’s Bible classes with them for an hour each week before our adult Bible study. Douceline started inviting people she met; a few came and very few returned. But, we have continued. For several years we took a guy with us from our area who was a new believer. He now has two Bible studies in Toulouse each week and has led others to the Lord that he is discipling. He is a pastoral leader in his church.

Patricia, the mother of the two children Judy taught, never came to the Bible study but Douceline is now having evangelistic Bible studies with her. Douceline is quite a missionary and is witnessing to several other people on a regular basis who do not come to the Bible study. We have probably had 50 people come do this Bible study over the years. A widow lady in her early 70s who comes has trusted the Lord. She is the only believer in her extended family. She daily watches and witnesses to her 9 year old granddaughter whose parents are atheist. One newly married couple young believers participates, she is a school teacher and he is a carpenter. A lady about 60 comes who is a nursing assistant in a senior citizens home is the only believer in her extended family. A young man who has come is reading his Bible and seeking. Douceline’s parents participate and are reaching out to several others. This has opened the door with their older daughter and her family. The children from this family are enthusiastic participants in our Youth meetings. We are supposed to have a new participant next week at the Bible study in Mazere. There are believers, there are disciples, there are missionaries because your support enables us to be available here and because we believed God wanted us to invest part of our lives into a discouraged believer.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” The completion of this story and millions of other like it will be experienced in heaven…our Fathers house!

May God bless you. Thanks for investing in this part of the world.

Investing in France,
John and Judy

John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher[at]aol.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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