October 3, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In many ways the past month seems to have gone by very quickly. It has been an encouraging month. Yesterday, we had a packed out house and were glad that we had purchased additional folding chairs a couple of weeks ago. On Saturday night, there were 18 young people at the youth meeting and some who wanted to come were not unable to do so. The topic for the meeting was the injustice in the world and in us and how Jesus Christ is just and justifier of those who believe.
At the same time as the youth meeting was going on, Judy was across the Metropolitan Area of Toulouse assisting Wendy with English night. Wendy has been doing this effectively for many years now. It is open to all who would like to attend and work on improving their English communication skills. This is very important to those who want to advance in jobs. They share a meal, watch an English video and then discuss the content. The purpose is to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
In these two meetings taking place on the same night, there were people from middle school to middle age (older if you count Judy and me) representing many different orientations in life. A few are believers and want their friends to know Christ. People come to the meetings because they feel loved and welcomed. Some who used to come with friends come of their own initiative and invite others. We want to love others as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. Thank you for helping us be ambassadors for Christ here.
Nearly all who come to Christ are touched first by encounter outside of church meetings. The church meetings have as their primary purpose helping God’s children learn and put into practice what Jesus has taught us.
Last week we had the privilege of dinner with Joachim who was in town briefly for a job-related activity. He was the first person baptized here. He and his family are now actively serving the Lord near Hamburg, Germany. Thirteen years ago Judy, Amanda and I were at a city park and Amanda met a young mother from former East Germany. Amanda cultivated a friendship with this lady who desperately needed encouraging friends and that led to Amanda meeting Angela. Angela had recently become a Christian before moving to France. God brought them to us when we were praying for a person who could translate from French to German. God answered our prayers and along with Angela brought Joachim into our lives. He was friendly, intrigued by Angela’s belief, but not particularly interested himself. For a couple of years, they met with Philip and Amanda to study the Bible. This is a very short version of how God brought Joachim to Himself.
We were also surprised to see Samuel show up Sunday. He is now active in a church in Paris where he now lives. About three years ago he began studying the Bible with me. A year later he trusted Christ and then publicly professed his faith in baptism.
It is always a thrill to see those to whom God has allowed us to be light and salt following Him. So, we continue to ask God to keep our eyes open as we walk. We ask God to help us seek those who are lost. We continue the Bible studies and prayer meetings with believers and seek ways to help them put into practice the life to which Christ has called all of us. There are believers hosting Bible studies, prayer meetings and serving in various ways in their surroundings and God is giving Life through His Son!
Thank you for helping us be a light here. May God help you be a light where you are.
In France for Christ,
John and Judy Hatcher
John and Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France