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

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

January 3, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We wish all of God’s best for the coming year and until our Lord Jesus returns to take us to be with Him. Yesterday, I spoke to my younger brother David in Manaus, Brazil to wish him a happy birthday. Next week is my birthday and I am not turning 29. Several years ago I read or heard someone say that there are only two things that are eternal in our World, God and people, and our job is to bring them together. People are the only thing that we will take with us. “And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (Luke 16:9) We must invest all that is temporal: money, things, and yes, even time into the eternal – therefore the two great commands are Love God and Love people.

During the past three weeks we enjoyed the visit of Judy’s only sister, Peggy. She has been a great co-worker with us during our entire adult life. She is now retired though she still works one day a week. The rest of her time is spent being a missionary where she lives. Two days a week she teaches Bible to children in 4th and 5th grade from the public schools. In this ministry, 3 trailers are moved around the county and parked outside public schools. Children in 4th and 5th grades are dismissed for a period of time once each week and go to these trailers to be taught the Bible. This is all done and supported by volunteers. While we lived in Evansville, our church staffed a similar ministry in the neighboring county. The lady who now heads up this week day Bible ministry that Peggy serves in was also a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church when we were there. Peggy is also involved in a couple of other outreach ministries on weekdays as well as working in the preschool ministry in her church. So, really, she is not retired. She is investing her earthly life into the eternal.

Judy and her sister Peggy with some of the ladies from the Mazere Bible study.

A few days before Christmas, Angela sent us an email to tell us that Joachim’s father had died during his sleep the night before. A couple of days later, as I spoke to Joachim, he ask my advice on the biblical passages that he wanted used for his father’s funeral. Eight years ago, Joachim confessed his faith in Christ and followed the Lord in baptism. This couple was brought into our sphere of life when Amanda (our daughter-in-law) met Angela at children’s play group. Joachim was the first person baptized in our assembly here and just before they moved away, their son trusted Christ and followed the Lord in Baptism. One of these days you will meet these eternal friends.

Last Sunday, the last of 2013, we focused on thanking God for the blessings of the past year and praying for what God wants us to have during the coming year and future. God is soooo good. Oh, how He loves us. There are many others out there who need to know Him. Sunday afternoon while we were taking a walk with the family, we crossed a boy who came a few times to Sunday School who was on a bike ride with his father. The father, who has never been to any of our meetings, said, “We were just talking about you. Our other son (who also came to Sunday school a few times) asked us when God was born, and we said, that is an question we will have to ask John.” Well I gave him a short answer and told him we needed to get together so that I could talk to his son about it.

So, with your assistance, we continue to invest in people in the unexpected as well as the planned encounters. We are very encouraged by the open doors God is giving us with middle school and high school students. One High School student from a broken home attends our youth meetings regularly. She was invited by a girl from our church who used to be classmate. I don’t know exactly how many piercings she has and she used to “make up” quite “Gothic” (I think I have the right term.) For the Bible discussion at our last meeting a couple of weeks ago each child read a verse concerning Christ coming into the world to save us. I had printed these on strips of paper and passed them out randomly. As I called the text, each child read and we discussed the passage. As this young lady was leaving she said, “Can I take this verse, I think is beautiful. I will have it tattooed on me (I think she was joking about this part.)” We are hoping that she will soon be joined eternally to Christ.

That is what we are doing here;

Investing in the Eternal,
John and Judy in France

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

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