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