Dear Co-Laborers in Christ,
Greetings from frozen France. Well, I hope that we are not still frozen as you read this, but the last couple of weeks have been marked by unusually cold weather in all of Europe including Tournefeuille, France. Our winters are generally mild compared to where many of you live. There is rarely snow and little accumulation of the frozen flakes. We have only had mail service one day this week and trash collection is not taking place. Frozen pipes have been a common occurrence. This winter reminds us that God is in control! This includes opening doors that no man can close.
On Sunday afternoons after the meal, we have a review time and prayer for the work of the Lord here. Last Sunday, following prayer time I took a couple of the grandchildren out to do some impromptu sledding. The hill near our house was covered with sledders with parents watching. This gave me the opportunity to connect with many people I had not seen for a while and seems to have opened more doors for the future. God uses cold winters!
During the past month we have had a couple of first time visitors. One is the most recent child born to Angela and Joachim. What a joy to see God’s blessings on this couple who demonstrate clearly a love for the Lord since being saved. Joachim was the first person to be baptized into our congregation here. Greta is their third child. Two weeks ago, Joachim broke some sad news to us. This summer they will be moving to Germany with his job. This departure will leave a big gap. Former members of the Tournefeuille congregation are now living in six countries besides France. We have regular contact with most of these. Though it is sad to see them go, we know that historically God has used these movements of His people for the propagation of the Gospel. The church at Antioch and beyond are a good example of this. We work at preparing those who are saved to be good evangelists and disciple makers here or elsewhere.
Paolo, a young man that sings in the community choir in which I participate, came to our Sunday meeting for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I have been acquainted with him for about a year, but did not know much about him. With tears in his eyes, he told me about seeing is father for the first time in 20 years. His father’s departure from his home was quite abrupt and has marked his life. I told him about the Heavenly Father Who was always faithful. We pray that God will save this young man.
Pasqualine, is an eight year old girl who has been coming regular on Sundays. She is the daughter of a couple who also sing in the above mentioned choir. I have had the opportunity to witness to both of them but they have never come. Nevertheless, this daughter is quite interested. “Let the children come unto me.”
Sunday, Gilbert, another one of our men members, is teaching the adults for the first time. We are studying through the wonderful letter to the church at Colosse. This young man has really grown in the Lord during the last couple of years. His wife is saved and they participate regularly along with their 3 children. She also helps in Sunday School.
Thanks again for your participation in what God is doing here. Until next month, stay warm and above all seek to maintain a warm relationship with the Lord and His people.
For Christ in France,
John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France