June 5, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Seventy years ago Americans along with others of the Allied Forces were embarking on the mission to recover Europe from the clutches of Hitler. Both Judy’s father and mine were a part of this massive operation. God used the involvement of our parents in the retaking of France to speak to our hearts about the spiritual needs of France.
In the Fall of 1997 Judy and I visited the beaches of Normandy during a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This was our first trip to Europe together and we had no idea that God would ever place us here as His witnesses. During the week we spent in France, we saw no evidence of Biblical Christianity. This led us to start researching about the spiritual condition of France. It was the first of many sign posts that God used to direct us to France as missionaries.
It hardly seems possible that we have now been in France over 14 years in the service of the Lord. He has given us the opportunity to minister to French and Germans as well as many other nationalities during this time. The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, brings peace between us and God as well as between us and former human enemies. To God be the Glory.
But, make no mistake about it, we are still in a battle. However, we fight “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And this country is certainly living in darkness. Though followers of Christ in France are a very small minority, the light of God that shines through us is “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds”. So, we give God all the glory and seek to be used by Him.
I am encouraged by the spiritual growth in the men of our congregation. Sometimes I get impatient because we so desperately need leaders who know God’s Word and are mature in Christ. So, you can pray for God to enable me through His Spirit to be patient. The congregation in Tournefeuille is doing well and we are thankful for what is happening in the various week day Bible studies connected to this congregation. We are also delighted to see how God is working in the lives of the children and young people who participate in the Sunday School and Youth meetings.
The meetings that we hold in Mazere, one hour south of Tournefeuille, are also a cause for rejoicing. There are now nine committed believers who participate in this Bible study and they are sharing the Good News with family members and others with whom they contact.
In two days we will be having our yearly neighborhood dinner. There are a number of new families in our area and this allows us to start relationships with them. Pray that God will enable us to use these opportunities to effectively communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your fellow laborers in France,
John and Judy
John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France