Greetings from Paris to all our brothers and sisters, in Christ. We hope this newsletter finds you doing well in God’s Grace. The following is our report from the previous month. It was a month marked by a surprising increase in the attendance at our services.
August and September are the main vacation periods on France’s calendar. Most churches recognize this as a low attendance period and many pastors take vacations at the same time. But attendance has been very encouraging for us!
As I mentioned in the last report, we had moved to a less expensive rental place during the summer that also allowed us to meet on Sunday morning. In August, we asked for prayer so that we might meet there indefinitely. Thankfully we received a positive answer from the owner. It is very encouraging for our church to be able to meet for morning services again. Furthermore, the new place is close to where John Calvin lived during his university years in Paris. It is near the University of Paris and Notre-Dame. Please pray that God will give us opportunities for sharing the gospel among the students.
Even though we have had to move our church location more times than we would have preferred, it is interesting to see how God has worked significantly in each of the places where we have met. We pray that our Lord will provide for us a permanent meeting place in the future, but we appreciate that our Parisian members are accustomed to moving, and will remain content as long as we stay in the center of Paris. The trial is a testimony to member’s commitment to the church, which is an encouragement to us.
It has been particularly surprising to see that, even with the absence of some members on vacation, we received many visitors during summer. We ask your prayers for these newcomers and those that we are evangelizing: Jean Baptiste (brother of Claire, recently baptized), Nicolas and Audrene (coming from an unhealthy church), Ali (a young adult Muslim with whom we often shared the gospel), François (a young Catholic who has had his first contact with the gospel), and an alcoholic who stands by the door of our building and has attended our services a few times.
This last month, my family and I had the immense privilege of seeing our families back in Brazil. It was a very special time for me. First, because I missed the past two summer vacations because of the demands of the church. But this time, after a year and a half of training our elder candidates—Loic, Nath and Steph, the church and I felt it would safe and useful to have them preaching the two Sundays when I would be absent.
Spending this time in Brazil was very restive for my family. My daughters were able to spend time with their grandparents and cousins. We were also able to have a good fellowship with some of our supporters in Brazil. We only ask for your prayers for my wife Mayra’s father. Pray that he will come to know Christ, and that he will understand why we must follow Christ’s call to be missionaries in France.
On our first Sunday back in Paris, I preached at our church. It was exciting for my family and the congregation to worship together. I continued my expository preaching series through the book of Exodus. But what was most exciting was the positive feedback I received from the congregation about the ministry and preaching of our elder candidates.
I would like to bring this letter to a close by asking you to please join us in two important prayer requests. First, please pray for our conference this month that will feature pastor Conrad Mbewe from Zambia. He will teach us on the theme: “Are we proclaiming the true Gospel or its Counterfeit?” May God grant us a good attendance with people from other churches and non-Christians! May God grant His power to save and transform His people! Second, please pray for a man who is attending our church. He has made a profession of faith and is willing to be baptized, but is really struggling against pornography. We are discipling him and encouraging him to make his calling and election sure and to employ the means of grace to overcome sin so that he might be baptized and welcomed into our community.
It is a great encouragement to count on your prayers and fellowship as we proclaim and promote our Lord’s Kingdom in France.