God’s Grace on Display in France

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

One month ago, we arrived back in France. God has continued to display His grace and we are greatly encouraged by the events of the past month. We crossed many of our neighbors and friends during the first 3 or 4 days back home. This continues to happen daily and, in some cases, God has given numerous effective encounters with people for whom we have praying a long time.

The Tournefeuille church, meeting in person and online, is in a two-pronged study series: Religions in France and Biblical Examples of Witnesses for Christ. The response has been very good. Yesterday the theme was the witnesses to the “non-Jews” in the book of Acts. You might like to read and meditate on Acts 8:1-4 and 11:19-26 (click to read). The narrative about these witnesses who broke the standards of the first church (while doing what Christ had commanded His apostles) is a great lesson to all of us. The results are glorious!

The Lord willing we will soon restart Bible studies in the city of Mazere. We had thought the door at this location was closed, but unexpectedly God reopened it. God gave us an effective outreach at this place in the past and we are excited to experience what lies ahead.

Two weeks ago we had a great time of fellowship with part of the leadership team at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Charleston, WV. Judy and I enjoyed this video chat with them to be shown to the church. You can go on their church site and see the video (click here to watch). Mt. Calvary had supported us for many years and yet we only knew one of the five leadership individuals that spoke to us in the interview. I think that this practice of keeping the church updated with their missions team is an excellent practice.

One question that arose was how a house church works. As most of you know the Tournefeuille church meets in our home. All of our Bible studies meet in someone’s home. It really works just like any church meeting in any building. We use the main room of our house for the opening and adult meetings and, as needed, the bedrooms and kitchen for Sunday School classes. This is not an ideal model in all circumstances, but is an effective way to begin and maintain at low cost until more space is needed. There are several examples of this in the New Testament. A church is a body of disciples of Jesus Christ committed to serving Him together. The Sunday meeting is only one dimension of how the body builds up itself and reaches out to others.

We are grateful for each church and individual that our Father has given as part of our support team. God uses your prayers and gifts to touch many that you will one day meet in the presence of our Savior.

May God bless each of you and encourage you where you are.

Your fellow servants in Christ,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Back in France!

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are back in France! A week ago, we stepped off the plane in France. What a delight to walk out of the baggage claim area to find Philip and three of our granddaughters waiting for us. Amanda and Camille were at our house putting finishing touches on cleaning and preparing lunch. We are thrilled to be back to the place that God led us to 22 years ago.

Though there are still many restrictions here because of the Covid virus, within a couple of days we encountered many of our neighbors. However, Sunday crowned our joy as we sang in person with the members of our congregation. Though we have been meeting online with the church at Tournefeuille, we could not hear each other singing. Sunday was a very small foretaste of heaven where numberless multitudes will be praising the Lord together.

Yesterday, we had lunch with the Veuillet family from our church. Jean-Luc is one of our teaching leaders. We had an excellent meal and time of fellowship together. This family is a great blessing and encouragement to us as musicians, teachers and committed believers. They just bought a house that is further from our meeting place by about 20 minutes on the road. However, this a small city that desperately needs a gospel witness. I am hoping that this could be the beginning of a church in that community.

We just learned that the house in which we live and hold our church meetings is going to be sold. The rental agent is to meet with us in a couple of weeks to discuss alternatives. Please, pray for us that God will direct our hearts in this matter. Or, if you would like to donate $500,000.00, we can just purchase the house. In case you are wondering, it is not a mansion. You can call Darrell Messer or Randy Jones who have been here for details.

We thank God for each of you and your faithful participation in what God is doing here.

May the Lord bless each of you,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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The Bigger Picture

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

October 12, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We would like to encourage you today as we review a speck of what God is doing. The bigger picture is beyond our ability to comprehend in the present and the future. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Who, a year ago, would have predicted that we would now be in a Covid pandemic? But, God knew and is greater than all.

The Tournefeuille church meeting yesterday was a blessing. We have been examining the encounters of of Jesus with individuals. This Sunday we looked at the seaside interchange between Jesus and Simon Peter concluding with “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:1-11). Early in the morning, in the middle of his net washing after a tiring night of failed fishing, Peter obeyed in pushing back the boat from the edge and later by casting once more the nets. Awed by the miraculous power of Jesus, Peter “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. Jesus, instead, took Simon Peter with Him.

Do you, like Peter, feel tired and overwhelmed by the circumstances? Jesus, our friend, Savior, almighty God, has entered our boat. He is still telling us to “Fear not.” He is in control. He will never leave you or forsake you and along the way you will experience His joy as He touches others through you.

One of the Tournefeuille church members (and our second oldest granddaughter) is beginning her last month of serving God by serving refugees who are being held in Austria. Among these are followers of Jesus who have been persecuted for their faith and others who need to know Christ who overcame everything that is against them. What a delight to see how God is using Nathalie and working in her life as she follows Him. Your prayers for her are much appreciated.

You may remember the August letter about Suzie (which I wrongly spelled Susie). Judy and I thought you might like to see the latest sign that surprised us a few days ago. So, here it is.

May the Lord bless each of you,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Worldwide Worship

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

September 13, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praise the Lord with me. My heart overflows. During our walks the last couple of days Judy and I have chatted about the Beatitudes. We are blessed!

Our church meetings during the past month have been quite a blessing. The church is able to meet again in person with masks. The Sunday before last there was a houseful including four or five visitors. One lady, a relative of one of the church families, was there for the first time. Judy and I have known her for many years.

Today the house was full and the attendance was from Indiana to Austria. Besides the group meeting in Tournefeuille, there were members in 5 other locations in three countries participating. These are young people from our congregation who are working or studying elsewhere. Two of them could not be around others because of their contact with people who have tested positive with the Covid virus. What a joy to sing, study God’s Word and fellowship with the folks from our church family in France.

We thank God for your faithful support and partnership with us in the Kingdom of God. We thank God for the ability to fellowship with our home church. We thank God for the way He is working in the lives of the young adults who have come to Christ and grown up in our fellowship of believers. We thank God for many opportunities to minister (at a social distance) to folks in our temporary neighborhood. We thank God … and our hearts are overflowing.

Praising God from Whom all blessings flow,

John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.




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Connecting with God’s Children and Those He is Seeking

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

July 9, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Isn’t it great to know that Jesus, the King of Kings, will one day retake and re-create the earth as the New Adam, head of a reborn humanity made twice in His image? Meanwhile, I find myself, a child of the King, in a world that is broken, still under the influence of the old man. All too often, I too, find myself living the old Adam instead of the new Adam.

One of the many daily delights I enjoy is watching the amazing birds, squirrels, rabbits and other creatures that testify to the creative genius, outstanding power and love of our Creator. It is a source of thanksgiving from my heart to God in my conversation with Him. The question arises in my heart, “Do I represent the Redeemer’s beauty and voice as well as the beautiful birds and that little one, about the size of a thimble, whose melodious song I can hear a good block away, represent their Creator?”

I am including a picture of the past Sunday meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom we are worshiping using Skype. It is a delight to be able to participate actively with our church from across the Ocean. We do not always understand what God is doing, but it is wonderful to know that even as He restrains the activities He has placed in the hands of humanity, He has allowed them to discover and build in His creation things that can be used for the movement of His kingdom in a fallen world.

The Hatchers this past Sunday joining the meeting of the church in Tournefeuille with whom they are worshiping using Skype.

 

So, we are able to shepherd, encourage, pray with, counsel, witness to, teach, learn from, and commune with God’s children and those He is seeking on three different continents. This week like the entire past month has already included several meetings with God’s children and those He is seeking using internet, social distancing and masks. The circumstances of our world may discourage us, but our Father is all powerful and uses for good what is meant for evil.

Thank you for your participation with us in what God is doing. May God use you in the present circumstances to be His witness to people with whom you can connect.

Seeking to connect for Jesus,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Being the Light of Jesus in Your Community

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.”

July 4, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s the 4th of July here as well as where you live, but it is business as usual here! This morning I was out doing banking and Judy was having a meeting with the ladies of the Tournefeuille Church discussing plans for children’s Sunday School classes for the next few months. We hope you are enjoying the holiday along with your family.

The past weekend was filled with fellowship. Sunday, after the morning service, the church families met at a nearby park to enjoy a shared picnic. The evening before, Judy and I had a dinner together with some of the folks in Mazere where we worked for over a dozen years. God continues to be at work using the believers there.

The month has also included large social events with folks who are not from the church. One of these was our neighborhood annual pot luck dinner. God has often opened doors during these gatherings and this year was no different. We had excellent discussions with some present. One neighbor told me that he had not forgotten our earlier discussions and certainly wanted to come attend a service.

Another event, held a couple of weeks ago at Philip and Amanda’s home, was a piano recital of her students. The place was packed and snack and chat time followed. I had a lengthy discussion about spiritual things with a young married man who lives across the street from Philip and Amanda. These, along with the daily contacts that we have with our neighbors are the primary means of being the light of Jesus in our communities. France is a very secular society. Roughly half of those who make up the population proclaim without hesitation to be atheist and there is a general aversion to religion, so it is out in the community that we share Christ.

The witness of believers of all ages is important. We continue to see God at work through middle and high school students who are part of our church. During this past year there have been 13 youth from our assembly and 18 others who are their friends who have come to youth meetings. Typically there 15-20 kids at each meeting where a clear presentation and discussion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ take place.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and giving.

In France to live and proclaim Christ,
John and Judy

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

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online


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Missionary Update: John Mark & Judy Hatcher in France [October 2013]

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

October 2, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The beginning of the school year is always a time for changing gears. It is the beginning of a new year of Bible curriculum for our children’s Sunday School classes. We seek to give the children a good overview of the entire Bible during their primary years. Unfortunately, there is not available in French the large quantity of materials for visuals and reinforcing activities as there are in English and even Spanish and Portuguese. This is due to the fact that the number of French-speaking believers and churches there are is much smaller than those who speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. This means that we spend a lot of time preparing teaching materials. However, this is an activity that I enjoy.

I should say that preparation is much easier with computers, printers and internet than it was earlier in my life when the main tools were books in print, mimeograph (remember those beasts?) and similar tools. Sometimes, retrograde makes a good impression. Kids who are accustomed to television and videos love flannel graph.

Part of our preparation involves getting ready for Vacation Bible School. We have found through trial and error that it works better having this ministry oriented toward children during the first Fall school break (which is two weeks long) than during summer vacation. Among other reasons, our attendance is much better at this time of the year because few families leave town in the Fall as compared to Summer. This year are lessons focus on the Creation, Fall, Flood and Jesus Christ, the Savior.

The first of our monthly youth meetings for this school year will take place next week. There are now a number of young people who come to these who are children of our friends–people who do not (yet) attend church or Bible studies but who trust us with their children. They ask to contribute food and drinks for the break time. We are thrilled about this and for a similar situation with children who attend Vacation Bible School. Loving and faithful service toward peoples children usually opens the ears and hearts of the parents, as well.

Generally, children and young people are more open to God’s Word and the Bible than adults. They have built up less defenses against God. We love reaching out to adults, but the process is much longer term with most adults. Also, children and young people who trust the Lord generally are easier to disciple and are more likely to put in place habits which they need for spiritual growth.

We are happy that the number of workers is slowly increasing. Our goal is believers who are disciples functioning in all the essential parts of the church which is the Body of Christ.

Thank you for your investment of what God gives you in the ministry in France.

May God’s richest blessing be evident to you today.

In France serving God together with you,
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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