Greetings from Paris to all our brothers and sisters in Christ! We hope that this letter finds you blessed in Him. Here is our report from February 2019 and the amazing testimony of God’s grace that was poured out on our most recent conference in Paris.
Every year we promote at least one theological conference in Paris. As God blesses us with the visit of godly and capable preachers we make an effort to gather other churches under their teachings. On these occasions we have already had preachers like Don Currin and Conrad Mbewe. For this year’s conference, we had brother Paul Washer. It turned out to be an extraordinary week for the life and mission of our local church and family.
The Friday Morning Meeting with Church Leaders in France
The day before the conference, we held a special meeting with pastors and church leaders from all over France. More than thirty men from different evangelical backgrounds came under a powerful teaching of brother Paul on biblical ecclesiology based on his latest workbook, “Christ’s Church, Christ’s Way.” Brother Paul wisely exhorted us about the fear that is needed in caring for the Lord’s bride. This was especially relevant in our context where post-modern relativism, secularism, and pragmatism work together to pressure the church to adapt to culture. Brother Paul reminded us to fear God more than culture and to trust God’s power more than human strategy for the conversion of the lost and edification of the church. Many were shaken and encouraged to come back to the right path as they expressed their thankfulness for this meeting.
The Saturday Conference in Paris
This was undoubtedly the most encouraging conference we have had in Paris. First, it was beautiful to see how our small church labored in unity in order to serve so many people. We went beyond our capacity as a church of 30 members to demonstrate biblical excellence through the simplicity of obedience. We give God the glory for the many who testified about the good testimony that we gave as a church.
Second, it was amazing to see how many people God brought together for the event. We were expecting about 200 people (based on our past conferences). Nevertheless, by faith, we rented a beautiful church building with a capacity of 500. Surprisingly, we were almost completely full at the day of the conference, having more than 470 people in attendance. This number is impressive when compared to the other Reformed gatherings in Europe, and particularly, in France. We see this blessing mainly as a peculiar fruit of God’s sovereign grace, but also as a sign of the growing influence of brother Paul’s ministry in France. There is a real thirst in France for sound doctrine, and this is a confirmation and encouragement that we should continue holding conferences for God’s Glory.
Third and most important, it was amazing to see the impact of the teaching upon those who attended. The main subject of our conference was “The Atonement: Its necessity, nature and efficacy.” Again, with the Holy Spirit’s help, brother Paul was loving and bold to encourage and exhort the church in the midst of French culture. Much of the church’s weakness and fear comes from a lack of understanding regarding the real nature of true conversion. Instead of diluting our proclamation about God’s holiness, man’s sin, and hell, we must talk about God’s righteousness, man’s depraved condition, condemnation, and Christ as the only Savior. Apart from this, none will understand the need to be converted. Instead of trying to convince people with our strategies to come close to the church, we must remember that God’s plan of redemption is accomplished through the proclamation of Christ’s work and the Holy Spirit’s supernatural and sovereign application of that proclamation to the sinner’s heart. We must trust in the efficacy of preaching the Cross in order to save God’s people with power. The crowd was exhorted and encouraged. Many church representatives demonstrated their gratitude by seeking further counsel from brother Paul and our church members.
Fourth, we rejoice to have been able to distribute about 400 books to those who attended: “Expository Preaching” and “Church Membership” (9 Mark’s), “Christ’s Church, Christ’s Way” (Paul Washer), and “Justification and Regeneration” (Charles Leiter). We are convinced by the history of the Reformation that the preaching of sound doctrine is consolidated by further reflection through the reading of good literature.
Fifth, the conference was a beautiful testimony of God’s financial provision. Our small church was generous in giving and our partners also helped us to make the books available without cost and to set a symbolic inscription fee of only 10€.
This event was a great encouragement to our church and family. It was used to sow good seed in a field that demands great perseverance and often yields little fruit. It was powerful to witness such a visible demonstration of what God is doing in France in this event.
Meetings with the Local Church
Brother Paul also spent time with our local church in three meetings. He taught on evangelism in our Bible Study, he guided one of our weekly meetings with our elder candidates, and preached in our Sunday service. These times of fellowship and instruction were of immeasurable help. It is crucial for a local membership and leadership to have it’s teaching confirmed by more experienced preachers like brother Paul, especially in the hard spiritual ground of France. It also makes us aware of the global family of faith and that we are not alone in the battle for the Great Commission.
Finally, it was also helpful for brother Paul to be able to evaluate our current conditions and better access our progress and needs. He confirmed our need for finding a bigger and better space to meet. Please join us in prayers in this regard. We have become aware of an old chapel that is on sale in a very strategic place. We know the prices are extremely high but we believe and hope for the day when God will allow His church to have a building in the very center of Paris as a visible testimony to His truth!
Time with our Family
The time with brother Paul Washer was providential for our family. He was able to closely see and counsel us towards important decisions concerning our current family routine. Our family structure has been challenging since last September when my wife Mayra had to go back to work. Please pray as we walk through important decisions.
May our Lord keep blessing all of you who are laboring with us in the promotion of the gospel in France!
Grace and Peace,
David, Mayra, Beatriz and Catarina PELOSI