November 5, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Judy and I are very thankful for your participation in the ministry we are doing here in Southern France. Our health is good and we look forward each day to the opportunities the Lord will place before us.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Dave Parks—our fellow laborer in service—sent a message from Stephen Clark, pastor of First Baptist Church of Hazel Park, Michigan. The Clark family have been great friends for my whole life. As it turns out, a member of the church in Hazel Park was concerned about her French aunt, Monique, and wanted a pastor to contact her. When we got the address from Pastor Clark, we became aware of the fact that this French lady lives in Le Havre in Normandy. This is, of course in the region where the Allied troops in WWII disembarked to begin retaking France from the Nazi occupiers.
We attempted to contact a church that we knew of in Bayeux which is about two hours by car from Monique’s home. This approach met with no success, so Judy and I decided that it was the Lord’s will for us to drive to Northern France to visit Monique. The following Monday we drove to the opposite end of France from us. Though this may seem like a long way, to us it is nothing compared to the distance Christ came to save us.
It was a very rainy stormy week, but the trip was touched by “showers of blessings”. Before leaving we contacted Monique, explained who we were and asked if she would like to receive a visit from us. She was very receptive. Judy and I spent nearly an entire day with Monique. As we were leaving, and it dawned on her how long we had been talking, she said, “Time passes fast when you are having a good time”.
This 90-year-old lady has quite a history. Her family were involved in the French underground resistance during the second world war. This is how her oldest sister, who is now with the Lord, met her future husband, William, and how she ended up having nieces who were members of the First Baptist Church in Hazel Park, Michigan. Her family, previously catholics, became protestants because the priest would not allow another sister who died in infancy be buried in the catholic church cemetery. The reason for forbidding the burial was the fact that the infant had not yet been baptized.
We had a great visit with Monique who expressed the belief that Christ died for our sins. Sometimes it is difficult for us to know whether someone has personally placed their faith in Christ, but God knows the heart of each one. Monique was thrilled with the booklets that we left with her which are excellent excerpts of Scripture covering the life and ministry of Christ and the entire message of the Bible. We are planning on speaking with her by phone and discussing what she reads so this is an ongoing opportunity for which you can pray.
Well, I see that I am running out of space, so I will stop. Thank you for prayers and gifts.
Enjoying each opportunity God gives us in France,
John and Judy
John Mark & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
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