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

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

October 31, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There are no “big shots” in God’s Kingdom, only little people with a big God. So, I want to start by thanking each of you who participate with us in the mission to which our Lord has called us; each one who gives, each one who prays, each one who blogs, each one who works in the editing and distribution of the Mission Sheets, each one who posts on or designs internet sites related to the mission work, each one who places a Mission Sheet in the hands of each person who meets with their church or their friends, each one who serves in a conference. There are many other activities that happen which contribute together for the propagation of the Good News of Jesus Christ here in France and in many other locations. We thank God for moving each one of you to be involved!

That is really how it works here and elsewhere. Together we reach others. One of our desires is to help each disciple of Jesus Christ here in France reach their friends. This is at the heart of the being a disciple of Jesus in this present world. Disciples follow and seek to be like the Master. Our Master came to “seek and save that which was lost”. As His followers, this becomes our responsibility and privilege. This is how it worked in Judea and Galilee, in Antioch, and how it works in the USA, France and elsewhere.

On Sundays and in our Bible studies we emphasize the question, “How can we live what we have learned about Jesus this week?” We pray for our friends who need Christ. We try to encourage each other to love and help those whom we have contact with each day. We give the disciples opportunities to tell about how God has blessed them and given them opportunities to be a witness to others in words and actions during the week. Friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, and sometimes enemies come to know Christ as each disciple lives out Jesus where they live.

There are now six ongoing regular Bible Studies in four different locations. A couple of these are one on one. The others are groups. We are encouraged by new people who are participants in these Bible studies. Judy and I are also very happy about several new neighbors with whom we have good relationships. These give us opportunities to share about our faith. Word spreads. I was encouraged a while back when someone at the Sunday morning meeting for the first time told me about an incident that happened as they were on their way. The person got lost in the neighborhood and stopped to ask someone they saw if they knew where the church met. Remember, our church meets in our home. The person, from several blocks away, indicated the way. They said, “I am sure it is there. That is were a pastor lives.”

A couple of weeks ago, a church member whose children go to the public school where Philip and Amanda’s children went before moving 3 yrs. ago said, “It is wonderful, the parents that I meet at school know your grandchildren, Philip and Amanda and you the grandparents. They mention that you are all very nice and kind.”

Next week is Vacation Bible School. The six teachers are in the last throes of preparation. The children who are coming are schoolmates, friends, children of friends, neighbors. Those who come, come because they know and trust those who lead. That’s how it works!

The Youth Meeting this month was excellent. Since we had a bonfire, Philip collected a lot of combustible material, divided the youth into “work groups” whose goal it was to construct the most durable object. They then tossed the products of their work into the fire. Of course, sooner or later, all the creations were gone. He then spoke to them from I Corinthians 3 about a life that lasts for eternity. I had an excellent conversation with one of the young men who has been very skeptical in the past. He seems to be more receptive now.

Someone wrote to ask me if the the young man in the picture with last month’s letter was Samuel. It was not. The young man in that picture comes on Sundays from time to time. The candid shot was taken by Judy after Theo’s baptism. I have had many personal conversations with Him about the Lord over a period of several years. He has never made a profession of faith. By far, not all who hear trust Christ. But we are still praying for him and others on a regular basis. We would love to have you join us in our prayers.

I usually do not mention names in my letters because of laws of privacy in France and because people really want to protect their privacy. We also do not want to them to think that we are using them for our means.

Well, I must stop. Hope to see those who are able to attend the Thanksgiving Conference at New Hope Baptist Church. Judy and I will be jetting to Chicago in a couple of weeks to help our daughter Lydia and family following the birth of her third child. We will return to France, the Lord willing, on New Years Day. This trip will allow me to be at the conference. It is only my 2nd time to be able to attend in the 13 years we have been serving in France.

May you enjoy Christ and let it show today!

From France for Christ,

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

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