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ODALI AND KATHY BARROS— PRAISE GOD for the faithful children in Ubim! PRAY that God will open doors through these children so they can reach the adults. PRAISE GOD for the opportunities opening in Mutirão. PRAISE GOD for continuing to bless His work in Garca and using their son Titus there.
MIKE AND BEVERLY CREIGLOW—PRAISE GOD for new buildings going up and new sound systems being donated and installed. PRAY for the trials and challenges they are facing in so many areas, that God would give wisdom, grace, and strength.
JOHN AND ALTA HATCHER—PRAISE GOD for the sweetness of fellowship. PRAY for their son David as he takes care of their house and cars left in Brazil. PRAISE GOD for the opportunity to travel to the Thanksgiving Conference in Michigan!
JOHN MARK AND JUDY HATCHER—PRAISE GOD for first-time attendees at their VBS. PRAY as they continue to reach children and parents through English Classes and youth meetings. PRAISE GOD for new friendships and reconnections and PRAY they will continue to effectively use opportunities God opens.
JUDSON AND RAQUEL HATCHER—PRAISE GOD for a special children’s evangelistic event! PRAY for Jud as he mentors men over breakfast each week and fosters fellowship among pastors. PRAISE GOD for continued church health and growth!
PAUL AND WANDA HATCHERPRAISE GOD for time spent seeing family and checking on the churches in north and northeastern Brazil!  PRAY for Pastor Ivanildo Ross as he encourages and helps the church plants. PRAY for the church plants as they face the challenges of incorporating.
AJ AND BARBARA HENSLEY—PRAISE GOD for the couple who recently got married and PRAY for them as they continue to obey God! PRAISE GOD for saving 10 more young men through the prison ministry! PRAISE GOD for solid foundation of biblical truths being laid in the seminary and PRAY as they seek to expand to other cities. PRAY for their vehicles.
NATHAN AND CARRIE RADFORD—PRAY for them as the holiday season nears and homesickness intensifies. PRAISE GOD for the group of men at the Annex Prison who are desiring to grow spiritually and are serious in their study of God’s Word. PRAY as he and Roger Tate continue to train and teach church planting leaders.
SHERIDAN AND ANITA STANTON—PRAISE GOD for a successful building dedication! PRAY for wisdom as the church calls a Pastor. PRAY for Andrew! PRAY as they make preparations to return to the States in November, especially that the Lord will continue to give peace and encouragement.
ROGER AND JULIE TATE—PRAISE GOD for the opportunity to share Christ with the Pokot tribe! 5 hour church services, nightly worship gatherings, and several trusting Christ as their Savior during their hut-to-hut evangelism tour! PRAY for Roger as he seeks how God would have him minister to the people in Pokot.
BOBBY AND CHARLENE WACASER—PRAY for their young missionary Alysson who is preparing to move to Tajikistan for a two-year mission project. PRAISE GOD for using Alek Rossi to draw young people closer to Christ and PRAY for him as he will be ordained soon. PRAY for the Projeto Vida teams as they wrap up their school ministries for the year. PRAISE GOD for helping them get all their buses back in operation.

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"As the Father has sent Me, so I send you."

- John 20:21

John Mark Hatcher Story

About 14 years ago we were caught somewhat by surprise by God moving in our lives and hearts to move us to France in order to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The general job description did not change, but the people to which we were now directed was a total surprise.

In my teen years I had often told the Lord that if He wanted me to pastor or be a missionary I would be glad to do so. In response, Heaven seemed to be silent. Had God spoken to me earlier on this subject, I think that my preparation would have been quite different. As it turned out, following God's general written directives and my interest in science, I prepared for a career as a doctor. My thinking was along these lines.people listen to their doctor so why not use this as a platform to communicate the Gospel.

I was totally upended by what seemed to be a clear call to be a proclaimer of the Gospel that came to me in the middle of my Junior year at the University of Kentucky. It occurred when I was with a number of other believers in prayer. This was not the topic that we had been pursuing in the discussions prior to the time of prayer and it took me totally by surprise. Up to this moment I thought that I was following God's will as I prepared for a career in Medicine. This new direction was confirmed in interesting ways from several different sources. After consulting with other believers, I said, "Lord, I am going to pursue this new direction assuming that it is Your will." Immediately, I had a sense of peace.

In retrospect, I realize that God wanted me to spend time on a public University campus in the field of natural sciences as part of the preparation for what He wanted me to do. God seems to be always using those who are willing in the present while simultaneously preparing them for service in the future. For brevity, we will skip forward through 26 years of preparatory service.

Once again, I was broadsided by this change in direction that God had in store for us. Within a relatively short period of time and through a number of confirming witnesses we became aware of the great spiritual need of the French people and were moved by a passionate desire to go and make disciples in this nation. A nation where over 50% of the people are atheist, 10% are Muslim, there is great despair and where all is tainted by general distrust. A nation where the number of believers is a fraction of a percent; one of the most unevangelized countries of the world. This country of 36,000 communities and a population over 60 million has just a few more than 100 Baptist churches with an average size of 30 members. Most of the people in these churches are immigrants. A nation for which I previously had no special interest!

We live and work in a city of 30,000. The only church besides ours is a small Catholic church. There is a synagogue that meets in a house. Our work includes several other communities in a radius of about 1 hour of driving time.

On arrival, we knew no one. God has marvelously intervened to bring people to Himself. Some of these have since moved away. There are people who were once a part of our congregation who now live in 7 different countries. There are about 35 people who meet in Tournefeuille. Of these, 19 have trusted in the Lord and followed Him in baptism. There are other interested people and believers who participate in Bible studies at other locations. We have meetings for teenagers several times during the year. This is a new area of opportunity. Seventeen young people were at the last meeting we held.

We have contact with many people who do not participate in meetings and to whom we are able to witness. We are here to help them come to Christ and our desire is to see many disciples doing the same as God uses us and you in this endeavor.

[written in January 2012]

Friday - December 19, 2014
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