Making Disciples, Investing in Lives

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 1, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

About three months ago, Judy and I were returning from an evening visit with Philip and Amanda. Judy was very quiet which signals my need to ask myself what I did or said wrong. Pondering this question brought me to the realization that this time I was not guilty. Philip and Amanda had been discussing their upcoming summer trip to the USA. As you know, they work with us in France. Once every two years they return to Indiana to see Amanda’s family and Philip’s siblings. On this particular evening they were discussing their plans to meet up with our other children. It has been 10 years since we have been together with all of our children. It seems that a longing to be with them was on Judy’s mind. My slow brain kicked into gear and I suggested that we should join them.  After remonstrating a bit, Judy conceded to the idea and here we are in Chicago enjoying our children here while waiting to be with all of them next week.

Little did we know that it would give us the opportunity to spend last moments with a dear friend in Evansville. In 1974, when I began pastoring the small congregation which was later named Emmanuel Baptist Church, Gayle Evans had just turned 12. Last year she was diagnosed with aggressive ALS and when we arrived in Chicago from France she was nearing the end of her days on earth. A couple days later we drove to Evansville and spent two memorable days with this extended family that is so dear to us; sad because Gayle’s departure was imminent; rejoicing because her earthly struggles would be replaced by the Lord’s presence.

Here are some words I share with permission from Yvonne Dooms who came to know Christ in those early days at Morgan Ave. B. C. “I visited with the family of a childhood friend who died this week of ALS. As I stood in the visitation line, the memories of years ago came flooding back. Going to the Spring Conference in Lexington with John and Judy Hatcher and sleeping on Peggy and Robin’s living room floor; Listening to the muppets on a cassette recorder the whole way there and back; Hanging out with my sister Teresa and Gayle and Joanie Evans on Sunday afternoons and then singing together on Sunday nights. Going on vacation with my family to Columbus, Indiana and when we showed up at the motel pool there was Joanie and Gayle swimming. My biggest memory of Gayle was a Sunday School class in the old gray house where she shared her testimony with Judy and I; Just the three of us sitting in an old kitchen on folding chairs while Gayle Anne told us how she had turned her life over to Christ that previous week. I thank God for her life and for allowing me to be a part of it even for a little while.”

Our job is to make disciples and invest in their lives. This is a multi-way process as they and others invest in our lives. This is the calling we have all received. One you share with us, to God be the Glory!

This is what we are doing in France. Earlier this week I received this note from Wendy, the single lady who works with us in France. “Just wanted to let you know that all went well on Sunday morning. Denis did a great job leading and there was a good turnout. Everyone participated…Pascaline joined Jean-Luc and Lea in playing a few of the songs. I was super proud!!! It was a wonderful Sunday morning with almost everyone in attendance.” Denis is one of the church members who led Sunday. His daughter was just baptized last week. Pascaline was also baptized at the same time. She takes piano lessons from Amanda. Jean-Luc, another one of our members will be leading this coming Sunday. One of these days all of God’s children from every tongue, tribe and nation will be together physically. “What a day of rejoicing that will be!!!

Being in the USA also gave me the opportunity to fly down to Florida to spend a few days with Paul and Wanda and my parents. I feel so blessed by God and you are part of that. May you enjoy our heavenly Father’s richest blessings.

Your fellow servants,
John and Judy

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

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