We could not imagine a better way to complete a wonderful year. During our special Christmas service, our church was full of members and many visitors. We performed our Advent worship, and after preaching, we received six new members—three of them through baptism. By the grace of God, we have had seven baptisms in 2018! This is a great harvest for Paris, where the evangelical presence is less than 0.5%.
Marie Thérèse, Eudrane and Benedicte were received as new members and shared a beautiful testimony of how God led them to our family of faith. Please pray for them and ask for our Lord’s grace to keep increasing the number of believers in our church.
Adriana, Nicolas, and Lucien also encouraged the church by giving powerful testimonies of conversion during their baptisms. Adriana (at left) is a very intelligent Bolivian sister who came to Paris to conclude her degree and decided to stay in France to work, to be part of our church, and to spread the gospel in Paris. She was raised by a Christian mother and had been a member of our church for a few years. Recently, she experienced a personal renewal of her faith under clearer teaching of the gospel. Through this, she came to the conviction that she was not a believer on the occasion of her first baptism.
Nicolas (at left) is a French engineer that also shared his powerful testimony of conversion, telling how God’s grace took him out of an atheistic family background. First, he had three friends from school who were sharing the gospel with him. Second, he prayed to God and asked to be delivered from a longtime dependency on drugs for epilepsy. The Lord answered him beyond his expectations and now he is pursuing a career in athletics. Third, he attended many unhealthy churches in his search for a gospel-centered and gospel-preaching congregation until he and his wife found a home in our church. Having gained a much clearer understanding of the gospel, and having seen clear signs of sanctification in his life, he decided to be baptized in Jesus name.
Lucien, who is also native French, shared a very courageous testimony. When he first arrived at our church, he was engaged with Claire. They met us after attending several other Christian movements that could be considered cults, where the true gospel was not preached. They soon showed the desire to be part of our church and be baptized. Nonetheless, at that moment they were living together before their marriage. They agreed to live separately and one of our elder’s candidate invited Lucien to live with him. We went on with their baptism preparation and although Claire was clearly ready to proceed – and was soon baptized, Lucien came to confess a very serious struggle against pornography. He was honest in confessing and eager in his quest for help. Our church leadership decided to put his baptism on hold, to counsel him, and continue to observe his life for a few months. We also helped Lucien and Claire understand that that pornography is a huge threat to marriage, one that dishonors God and the future wife. We counseled them that it would be wise to wait, and also to put their engagement on hold. After a few months and clear signs of progression, we were happy to recommend him as a candidate for baptism to the church. Please pray that these signs of victory might be even more consolidated in his life so that Lucien and Claire may also consider marriage with even more assurance.
Please celebrate these fruits with us and please pray that these brothers and sisters will resist the spiritual battles that usually arise after baptism. Ask God to integrate them into our community, to develop them spiritually, and to move them to use their gifts in service to our family of faith. Pray also for Mathieu and Vanessa, who are new to our community and are also considering baptism in the near future.
We ask that the Lord blesses you all,
Grace and Peace,
David, Mayra, Beatriz, and Catarina PELOSI