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

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

May 5, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for participating in what God has called us to do here. I thought that it might be good to share with you the latest Good News buzz in our town. Perhaps, the question has arisen in your mind, “How does one go about reaching people in a place where there is not already a church?” Actually, it is not terribly different from the way you reach people where there is already a church.

From scriptures you might remember the training from the Lord, “I have come that you may have life….Go…seeking…the kingdom of heaven is like…” The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”. About Paul in Athens, Luke writes, “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.” Peter writes, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”.

In a country where 50% of the people are atheists you can invite people to “church” until you are blue in the face and you will get little if no results. In their mind, anyone who believes that God created the world is an idiot, and any intellectual arguments to the contrary will convince them that you are an idiot. Blind people to not see and deaf people to not hear. Spiritually, they are willingly blind, deaf or have been programed by their environment to think this way. They are positive that they are right. Any Christian arguments on the internet to the contrary is to them simply a display of close minded stupidity. But, God has placed us here as light and salt. We are living letters and God has chosen to use his people as an instrument through which He, the Great Physician works to remove the veil and give a hunger and thirst for living water, just as Jesus demonstrated by the well in Samaria. His love, active in us, is the primary means that the Holy Spirit uses to make people receptive to the Gospel.

So, you are saying what is the latest buzz in Tournefeuille? Please cut to the chase.

About 6 months ago new neighbors moved in across the street. To greet and befriend them, Judy took a platter of homemade blueberry muffins. They loved them and so, a new relationship started. I will not try to detail everything that the Lord has used in the last 6 months, but the latest event happened on Friday afternoon two weeks ago. The neighbor knocks on our front door and asked if I had anything they could use to cut a branch. As I went to get what I had, he said, “Come over. I want you to see why we need it.”

Bees in FranceA bit earlier in the day, his wife was struck with terror when a large swarm of bees buzzed over her head and took up lodging in a branch of a tree in their back yard. She called the firehouse. They told her call a bee keeper. She found one in the phone book and called him. He needed the branch cutters to be able to cut and maneuver the giant swarm to his hive box.

I trusted the Lord to keep me and for the first time in my life worked among the bees with the keeper while the neighbors took pictures. A three hour interaction took place as the bee keeper urged the bees to the box and as we waited for them to all move in to their new abode. During this time we talked about the marvels of God’s creation and a number of important subjects. We forged a new friendship with the bee keeper and cultivated the friendship we already have with the neighbors. This is similar to the way we have made friendships with others who now regularly attend or have professed faith in Christ.

Bees in France 2In summary, God placed us here and uses your support to keep us here. He brings events that open doors. We pray for God to open doors, touch the hearts of our acquaintances and enable us to see what He is doing as we open our eyes and look on the multitudes who are wandering around us like sheep without a shepherd. Through these contacts we are able to move from physical human needs to spiritual needs and the Living Water. Everyday is exciting, especially if you have thousands of bees swarming around you.

Please, pray for our neighborhood dinner which takes place on June 7th. Also, some of our new neighbors have asked us to host a regular “English Club” for their children. Friendships with the families of several of the teens now coming to youth meetings were cultivated through a similar “English Club” for young children. And, watch with eager eyes for the latest buzz from God in your area!

[And after reading, you will definitely want to see these bees in action and hear them buzz! Click the link to see the Bees in France Video!]

With you in the service of the Lord,
John and Judy

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

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