Church Planting in Multiple “Municipíos”

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

May 16, 2017

Dear Brethren,

The state of Acre has 22 “counties”. Here they are called municípios (municipalities). We are trying to plant churches in all of them. So far, we have churches in 7 of the “county seats”. The 2 largest cities are the capital, Rio Branco, and Cruzeiro do Sul. These churches have been around for years. The other 5 churches are in smaller cities close to us. Now we are going for the most isolated towns that have no Baptist church. We sent a missionary family to the city of Jordão 2 years ago.

This month we made a visit to Jordão and a survey trip to Santa Rosa do Purús. We had to fly to these cities that are deep in the forest and along the Peruvian border. We chartered the New Tribes Mission plane. It was necessary to make and pay for 2 flights as the pilot had to come from way up north in Roraima to make our flights and others over a short 1 week period. New Tribes Mission has a plane here now and mechanics, but still don’t have a pilot stationed here.

Jordão is on the Tarauacá River. The population is 8000 and 60% of these are from the Jaminaus and Kaxinauwa tribes. Our missionary couple is Idevaldo, Queila and their daughters, Vitória and Ludmilla. They have already bought a house and rented a place to hold services. We had a low of 45 people and a high of over 70 in services. One young couple that they have won to Christ have already been trained to help with the music. The man did not play any kind of instrument. Idevaldo taught him to play bass in 3 months. Idevaldo plays guitar and actually made his own instrument! Very talented. Queila has started a kid’s club that has an average of 25 children attending. They have already acquired 2 lots for us to put up our first church building. They are also already doing mission work in the villages and along the streams out of town. I am so proud of them. On Sunday morning, I baptized the first 14 members.

Our visit to the town of Santa Rosa do Purús was exciting, too. This is the smallest town in the Acre: 6000 people. 70% of these are Kaxinauwa. It is almost 2 hours by air. For us to get there by land and river we have to go 250 miles east by road then up river from the bridge on the Purús River for another 225 miles. The Purús is another one of the major tributaries of the Amazon River that flows parallel to the Juruá River. It flows into the Amazon a few hundred miles downstream from the mouth of the Juruá River. In other words, we are getting into a completely new river valley.

There is already a small group of the Kaxinauwa who meet and hold services. The tribe is called “Kaxinauá” by most folks. The name means “people of the bat”, as in the animal. They call themselves “Huni Kuim”, which means “The True People”. Many of the tribes around us see themselves as the original people of the earth and superior to all others. Their “building” is really just a hut. There are 6 poles, thatch roof and dirt floor. We had 50+ in the one service we held.  The singing and most of the service was in their native language. My message was NOT in Huni Kuim! They all understand Portuguese.

The town has 15 sects and cults, but no Baptist church, so we are going to try to open the work there soon. There are 46 villages along the river between the border and the bridge, so we have our work cut out for us.

I took Zico (our missions coordinator), Ruben (one of our businessmen), and Rondisson (one of our chapel pastors) along on this trip. Please pray for the new missionary that we need and the funds to support him, whoever he may be. So much to do and so few workers and funds.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

Baptism in Jordão

Service with the indigenous folks at Santa Rosa do Purús

Baptism in Jordão

 

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

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Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher Stateside from Brazil [December 2015]

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the "SeedFactory" church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

December 14, 2015

Dear friends,

I recently received an email from a student, who had an assignment from his Christian School teacher to write about an overseas missionary. His great questions led me to include them here with my answers.

  1. Can you tell me a little about what you do in Brazil? I see from the Baptist Faith Missions website that you are part of the “Seed Factory” church planting initiative – can you tell me about that? How many churches have you planted?
    I am a pastor, church planter, professor and pastor trainer in Brazil. I’ve participated in 24 church plants. My first church plant was in 1998, alongside me were 7 pastors-in-training. In one year we saw 320 people professed Christ and 285 of them were baptized. The “Seed Factory” is the concept where every church produces “seed” for sowing and heavily focuses on reproducing leadership and sends out as many church planters as possible. My wife (Raquel) and I have four children – Sarah, Laura, Benjamin and Melissa.
  2. Can you please tell me a few prayer requests you have so me and my classmates can pray for you?
  • I am currently recuperating from a fractured fibula and a damaged Achilles tendon.
  • Government instability in Brazil.  The president is currently under an impeachment process for corruption.
  • Economic vulnerability in Brazil. A year ago the Brazilian Real (currency’s name) was 2.35 for every 1 US Dollar. Within the last few months it has risen past BR$ 4.00 / US$ 1.00.
  • Our children’s English and schooling.
  1. What challenges have you faced in Brazil and what changes have you had to make to your life to be a missionary in Brazil?
  • I was held hostage by five armed thieves in a travel bus while traveling in Northeastern Brazil. An armed police officer was in the bus as well. There was gun fire exchange, with 1 dead and 5 wounded. Four of the wounded persons were sitting near my seat. Now, I try not to travel by bus at night.
  • Two men (one was a pedophile who received church discipline the week before) attempted a force entry into my home as I stood at the door. Since then, cameras were installed at every point of entry of our home.
  • Month-to-month financial support.
  1. When do you start your mission work in Brazil and how long have you been there?
    I am a third generation missionary in Brazil. My grandparents (John & Alta Hatcher) arrived in Brazil in the early 1950’s and my parents (Paul & Wanda Hatcher) arrived in the early 1970’s. I was born and raised in Manaus. I am a dual citizen (American and Brazilian), bilingual (fluent in English and Portuguese) and am also bi-cultural.

    My family and I are on a one year furlough/state-side assignment. I am currently serving as visiting professor / adjunct faculty at Liberty University’s School of Divinity in Pastoral Leadership.

    As stated earlier, I began my ministry in Brazil in 1998. I have served as a missionary support worker & as missionary through Baptist Faith Missions since 2003.

    When we return to Brazil in July 2016, we plan to start churches in Sao Paulo city. Sao Paulo is the 7th largest city in the world with 29 million people. We plan to start churches throughout region of the subway system. The subway has a network of 67 stations and services 4.9 million people every day.

  1. What are some interesting things about Brazil that my classmates and I might not be able to learn from doing research online?
    Watch this video on YouTube concerning Sao Paulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3pBJTTjwCM

    You can find all kinds of interesting info by searching on the internet for the Brazilian cities. Here are a few: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Joao Pessoa, Joao Pessoa, cidade de Natal, Boa Vista, Macapa, Porto Velho, Londrina, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Recife, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Palmas, Rio Branco, Campina Grande, Teresina, Sao Luiz & Campinas.

    There is a lot of research & census info at: www.ibge.gov.br/english.
    You can also find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/judsonhatcher

  1. I see that your wife, Raquel, is a Brazilian.  Has that helped your ministry in Brazil?  Describe any extra challenges you face.
    Yes, the fact that my wife is a Brazilian is a major advantage for doing ministry together. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from an American university. So, our American education and connections open a lot of doors. Essentially, what an American pastor/family is to a successful church plant in the United States, we are in Brazil.

    The greatest challenge was getting Raquel’s American citizenship. It was only on May 19, 2015 that she finally received her American citizenship, despite being married for 17 years. Now, all of us have dual citizenship. All this time, she was an US “Permanent Legal Resident”, but every time she traveled she endured 4 to 5 hours of waiting at the airport and was threatened to be deported once. Later, we received a letter of explanation from immigration services stating they had lost her documents/file internally, thus complicating our life. Thankfully, these years of extra legal costs and travel frustrations are over.

Grateful,
Jud Hatcher

Furlough Address:
216 Mill View Ln
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(859) 608-4742
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
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Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher on Furlough from Brazil [September 2015]

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the "SeedFactory" church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

September 3, 2015

Dearest of friends,

I just want to start out by saying thank you. Thank you, Lord, for blessing our family and for blessing the families and churches that bless our family. A personal thank you to the following churches and their pastors that have blessed us since we arrived in the States:

  1. New Life Baptist Church – Pastor Steve Wainright
  2. Calvary Baptist Church – Pastor Jeff Hurst & Pr. David Mitchell
  3. Thompson Road Baptist Church – Pastor David Parks
  4. Center Point Church – Pastor Tim Parsons & Pr. Todd Thomas
  5. Addyston Baptist Church – Pastor David Pitman & the women’s ministry
  6. Concord Baptist Church – Pastor Jimmy Reagan
  7. Grace Baptist Church – Pastor Mike Pyles
  8. Buck Run Baptist Church – Pastor Hershael York
  9. Thomas Road Baptist Church – Pastors Jonathan Falwell, Matt Willmington & Dave Adams
  10. East Keys Baptist Church – Pastor Dan Hillard
  11. The Baptist Church at Andover – Pastor Eddie Schwarberg & Pr. Donovan Stewart

So much has happened during these last several weeks since we returned to the United States—it is unbelievable. For starters, the Lord provided us with a great car for a great price. We purchased a KIA Sedona 2009, in clean condition. Already we’ve driven over 5,000 miles in 6 weeks as we’ve traveled and visited family, friends and churches.

09 September 2015 JPH

Jud is currently assisting in teaching a Church Planting course for Pastoral Students with Dr. Matt Willmington.

09 September 2015 JPH2

A casual family picture of the Hatchers!

Secondly, the Lord opened up the door for me to serve at Liberty University’s School of Divinity as part of our stateside assignment (furlough) during this year. Several months back, while in Brazil, I contacted Dr. Dave Adams, who is the director of Pastoral Leadership program at Liberty University and requested to serve with him in any capacity that I might gain additional mentoring. (Dr. Adams was one of my professors at Lexington Baptist College along with Dr. Ed Overbey, Dr. Hershael York, Dr. David Hatcher, Dr. Larry Robbins, and others.) Through Adams’ leadership I was invited to assist in a non-remunerated role as Adjunct Faculty for Pastoral Leadership in the School of Divinity. Per agreement, my financial support continues through Baptist Faith Missions. I was also grateful for the response received from Bro. Dave Parks as he communicated with the directors of BFM concerning this matter. The Lord has opened many doors for additional mentoring and networking opportunities. I’m overwhelmed by the receptivity of the faculty and staff and overjoyed with gratitude with this one-year partnership. I’ve had the privilege of interacting with world-renowned faculty and leaders, including Jonathan Falwell, Drs. Ed Hindson, Elmer Towns, Troy Templeton, Jonathan Geukgeuzian, Scott Phillips, Chris Gnankan, Troy Matthews and others. I am currently under the mentorship of my dear friends Dr. Dave Adams and Dr. Matt Willmington—what a delight it is to see strategic leaders in action. I see this moment as additional training grounds for what lays ahead in Brazil when we return in July 2016.

Finally, the Lord has directed us every step of the way in our transition from Brazil to Lexington, KY, and then to Lynchburg, VA. We are currently renting a three-bedroom townhome in a quaint neighborhood with campus transportation to and from work. The kids are enrolled in a local public school and loving it. We look forward to connecting with you and at each opportunity.

Jud Hatcher

Judson Hatcher
judsonhatcher@hotmail.com
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Missionary Update: John & Alta Hatcher Stateside from Brazil [August 2015]

Missionaries John and Alta Hatcher have served the Lord in Brazil since 1955, planting over 70 churches that are still in existence.

July 23, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends,

The pastors of churches we started in Brazil are sending us news about the work. We want to share two letters where they now pastor. One writes,

Pastor John, you will always be our pastor and spiritual leader.  Thank you for all that you  and Alta taught us. Thank you for your prayers. We miss you, but we know we will be with you in Heaven forever.

We are still serving the Lord and the work is growing. Many are trusting Christ as Savior and our Seminary here now has 16 students. Our children are serving the Lord. Thank you for teaching us how to rear our children to serve Him.

Thanks again for loving us so much! We love you. May God bless you!
Valdir and Sonia dos Santos 

We also, received letters from the wife and pastor of the church we started in our home where we lived before leaving Brazil.

When Alta’s parents passed away, some money was left to Alta. We built a church building across from the small park close to our house in the town of Urai. On Mother’s Day there were 100 persons present, including 34 mothers. The mission churches that these churches have planted are growing. God bless you, Marcio & Carol Moraes.

Friends, we hope these letters will bring joy to your hearts. We thank each who have supported us in offerings and prayers throughout 60 years in Brazil. God will give you rewards in Heaven and you will meet the Brazilians your efforts have brought to Salvation. We love each of you.

John A. and Alta Hatcher
15905 Mercott Court
Clermont FL 34714
229-529-8497
jhatcher1925[at]gmail.com

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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [July 2015]

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

July 1, 2015

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and there is much to update you on. We praise the Lord for His goodness, faithfulness, provisions, and guidance. What a mighty God we serve. Unto Him and Him alone belongs all the glory. There have been some health issues recently that we would like to ask you to pray for, as well as ministry prayer requests.

Life in Kitale has been challenging lately, especially with the public van station moving right downtown into the heartbeat of traffic, which causes much congestion, etc. We hope and pray that things will go back to normal in a few months once the new station is built. There have also been frequent power outages. Imagine doing something that is really important, only for the power to be cut off abruptly in the morning hours, and not returning until late evening. This has happened repeatedly and has been frustrating for all of us. Sometimes we have to boil water to take pan baths as the power is out so long we are unable to shower. However, Kenya is still better than neighboring countries, where there are even more frequent power outages. Part of the frustration is that we never seem to get a straight answer as to what is causing the outage and how long it will be out. It has been better the past few days, for which we thank the Lord, but please pray the power company would get to the root issue and not cut the power so frequently. Stable power is something we thoroughly enjoy while we are home on furlough. As someone has said “You do not know what you have until it is gone.” How true.

Another of the main challenges with missionary life is the turnover rate among the missionary community. The mission field has people coming and going all the time, and it seems that we are always saying “goodbye.” It feels at times like a “revolving door” of people coming and going all the time. People we have become close with and shared struggles with. I know this happens not just in Kenya, as I have heard it is the same on mission fields of other parts of the world as well. There is a family that has served their time in Kitale that we have grown close with who are now moving on and following the Lord elsewhere. We will definitely miss them and although it is hard to say goodbye, we trust the Lord will bring others, and we are thankful for the faithful families who have been here for many years. Transition is never easy, and when it comes to friendships, it is difficult, but we trust the Lord to help us and as various families move on to where the Lord has called them. Proverbs 18:24 states “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Please pray for all the missionaries serving around the world, who struggle with these same issues. The Lord is faithful through it all, and we trust Him to provide in His time and plan.

In health news, both of our daughters have contracted amoeba, as I have shared in previous newsletters. Amoeba is very common here in Kenya, although it is certainly not fun. I have had it myself two times, and know how it feels. Cami, especially, has been struggling with this for 7 months and has been on various medications but thus far none of them have eradicated the problem completely. Please pray for them and us as we are trusting God to help us with this issue. Also, I, Nathan, recently went to a dermatologist at a hospital in Eldoret and had some moles removed. There is a history of melanoma skin cancer in our family, so I need to get checked fairly regularly. Please pray for our family with these health issues. Our health is in His hands, and we trust Him each step of the way.

In ministry news, it has been exciting to watch the spiritual growth of the prisoners at the Annex prison. I recently had the opportunity to teach on Pharaoh and the ten plagues of Egypt. My goal was to show the importance of having a soft heart before the Lord. It was interesting to watch the Bible come alive to the men as they heard of each plague that came upon the nation because of Pharoah’s refusal to listen to the Lord. We learned of pride and the dangers of pride. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Please pray for this ministry and the teachings that are ahead of us, that the men would see the truth of the Word of God, obey it, and follow it faithfully.

My friend Roger Tate and I are continuing to train and disciple men, as well as go out ourselves into communities to start house churches. We are meeting regularly, discussing our thoughts about how the Lord is leading and comparing our experiences. We need wisdom from the Lord each step of the way. We can do nothing without Him. Proverbs 2:6 says “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” We trust Him for wisdom for the most effective way to start churches in this culture. The Lord is faithful and we desire His leading and guidance, not our own.

May the Lord bless each of you abundantly. Thank you so much for your interest and heart for those around the world to be reached with the precious Gospel message. You each are such an important part of the ministry, and we thank the Lord for you so much.

Until next month,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

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Missionary Update: The Creiglows in Brazil [December 2014]

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

December 9, 2014

Dear Brethren,

Although I have been to several places over the past few weeks, I think I will concentrate on my last trip up the Juruá River. Let’s start out with some background.

In January 1966 the Lord called me to be a missionary. It was and has always been clear that I was to work right here in western Brazil. At the time I was only 17. On a Sunday night I made the call known to the church. On Tuesday night I preached my first sermon. Just after I turned 18 I went off to seminary in Manaus. Twice a year I would come back to Cruzeiro do Sul during school breaks. The first break I built a little wooden boat and Dad loaned me one of his motors. My first river trip was that same year and was to places beyond where Dad had been working in those first years of his ministry here.

At the time, there was a little church at a place called Campo de Santana. Dad visited them regularly. The next major village up stream is Vitória. This was my first stop on that first trip.

The full moon coming up over the Juruá river just before time for services to start

The full moon coming up over the Juruá river just before time for services to start.

The house that I stayed at belonged to Henrique Linhares. He was a first generation descendent of the northeasterners who came here for the rubber boom in the early 20th century. He was born at Vitória and at age 57 had never been to Cruzeiro do Sul. His wife, Dona Bastinha, (Little Sebastiana) was the local midwife. They lived in a big house made of bark floors and walls with a thatched roof.

There were no Christians (saved folks) on the entire Juruá River from that village upstream. I preached in Seu Henrique’s home twice a year from 1966 until 1978, the year I became pastor at First Baptist Church. I started preaching there 48 years ago. I played the accordion, sang hymns, prayed and preached the gospel to them for years sitting on a crude stool. The services were lit by little open flame kerosene lights. The whole village would come. Not a soul was ever saved.

In the mid 90’s we sent our first missionary to Porto Walter, which is about a hour downstream from Vitória in my fastest boat. We encouraged Mário to keep up preaching points at Campo de Santana and Vitória. A few people were saved. Then 6 years ago we sent Alexandre to Porto Walter, as Mário had moved to Cruzeiro do Sul. He sped up the pace of work at both villages. This year he led the little congregation to saw lumber and build their first building.

The new building at Vitória from the outside.

The new building at Vitória from the outside.

Last weekend I was there to dedicate the new building. What a difference from way back when. All the houses in the village, which has grown a lot, are made with nice sawed lumber and covered with aluminum roofing. The government put in a dirt road from Porto Walter and strung up electric through the jungle. As I stood in front of the building waiting for them to open up and turn on the lights I had a strange experience. Looking up stream and downstream there were strings of lights from LED flashlights and cell phones as people coming to church lit the paths along banks of the river. How different and strange from years ago. There were over 200 present for services on Saturday and Sunday. I preached about the timing of salvation, for obvious reasons. There were 2 people saved! What a thrill.

The new building at Vitória packed on the inside. Notice the kids sitting on the floor...they were very well behaved!

The new building at Vitória packed on the inside. Notice the kids sitting on the floor…they were very well behaved!

Some of the young Christians there are Sr. Henrique’s grandchildren. Some of them remember the services I held there. One of them came to me Sunday night and said. “I understand you clearly now, but back then I didn’t.” His thought was that my Portuguese has improved, but it hasn’t really. I explained to him that back then he understood the words, but not the message. Today he understands because of the Holy Spirit who opens eyes and hearts. What a comfort. What a victory at Vitória after all these years.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

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Missionary Update: Sheridan & Anita Stanton in Peru [July 2014]

Sheridan and Anita Stanton have served the Lord in Peru since 1983. Their main ministry is church planting and they have helped establish churches all over the country. Sheridan also works to train pastors and Anita works with the ladies’ ministry and developing children’s material.

July 7, 2014

Dear friends,

Two accepting Christ this past month, four added by moving their membership, and two weddings, means we have been busy here at the Calvary Baptist Mission-Church! Anita works long hours every day getting Sunday School material ready for the teachers and soon they will be able to decorate their new rooms at the new building. Everyone is getting excited about getting the building finished. However, it seems that the “small stuff”, finishing touches take longer and longer. Laying tile and painting on Saturdays has become the church’s custom!

 

Anita and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the 7th of June and celebrated the event by visiting the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. This was a trip Anita has always wanted to make and by the generosity of some dear friends it became a reality for us. We hope to be able to do something very special again in another forty years!

The Calvary Baptist Mission Church surprised us with a beautiful commemorative plate recognizing our forty years of marriage; it was a touching moment for Anita and me to feel the genuine love these dear saints of God have for us.

Griffins in PeruWe were also blessed to have a visit from some dear friends, Jim and Lou Griffin from South Carolina come and spend some time with us. They helped paint at the new building and also played tennis with me. They were a delight to have and we hope they come back again sometime.

Our gracious God continues to bless the work here in Huánuco, Peru. I invest a lot of my time every day in counseling. Seeing hurting wounded souls find victory in Christ is a very rewarding experience. I enjoy counseling very much and I am always looking for better ways to share the message of “abundant, kingdom living.”

Monday Night Bible ClassMy Monday night Bible class with the local Baptist pastors, continues. At this present time I am teaching a course in “Administration of a Baptist Church.” Many times this course has led to lively discussion based on personal experiences. This has been a very effective method for training the younger preachers. Anita and I pray you all of you frequently and hope you are basking in the blessings of God’s love and grace.

Being “in Christ” by God’s grace,

 

Sheridan and Anita Stanton

Apartado Postal 140
Huanuco, Peru
South America
(614) 500-8823 – Internet Number

sestantonperu[at]hotmail.com – Sheridan
arstantonperu[at]gmail.com – Anita

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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher [June 2014]

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

June 5, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Seventy years ago Americans along with others of the Allied Forces were embarking on the mission to recover Europe from the clutches of Hitler. Both Judy’s father and mine were a part of this massive operation. God used the involvement of our parents in the retaking of France to speak to our hearts about the spiritual needs of France.

In the Fall of 1997 Judy and I visited the beaches of Normandy during a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This was our first trip to Europe together and we had no idea that God would ever place us here as His witnesses. During the week we spent in France, we saw no evidence of Biblical Christianity. This led us to start researching about the spiritual condition of France. It was the first of many sign posts that God used to direct us to France as missionaries.

It hardly seems possible that we have now been in France over 14 years in the service of the Lord. He has given us the opportunity to minister to French and Germans as well as many other nationalities during this time. The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, brings peace between us and God as well as between us and former human enemies. To God be the Glory.

But, make no mistake about it, we are still in a battle. However, we fight “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And this country is certainly living in darkness. Though followers of Christ in France are a very small minority, the light of God that shines through us is “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds”. So, we give God all the glory and seek to be used by Him.

English Night in France

I am encouraged by the spiritual growth in the men of our congregation. Sometimes I get impatient because we so desperately need leaders who know God’s Word and are mature in Christ. So, you can pray for God to enable me through His Spirit to be patient. The congregation in Tournefeuille is doing well and we are thankful for what is happening in the various week day Bible studies connected to this congregation. We are also delighted to see how God is working in the lives of the children and young people who participate in the Sunday School and Youth meetings.

The meetings that we hold in Mazere, one hour south of Tournefeuille, are also a cause for rejoicing. There are now nine committed believers who participate in this Bible study and they are sharing the Good News with family members and others with whom they contact.

In two days we will be having our yearly neighborhood dinner. There are a number of new families in our area and this allows us to start relationships with them. Pray that God will enable us to use these opportunities to effectively communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your fellow laborers in France,
John and Judy

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

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