Dear Pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here…In June of 2012 I was touring the Gaspé region in Quebec with our French Missions Director, David Dobson. As we passed villages, towns and cities I asked David if any evangelical church existed in these places. We could drive two or three hours without a single evangelical work present—it’s heart-breaking. This is Quebec. With only 0.8% of French Canadians identifying themselves as evangelical Christians, it’s one of the most spiritually needy places on the planet.
During that trip, we picked up French Missions church planter Claude Beaulieu in Rimouski and drove four hours to New Richmond, where he pastors a second church. Claude is an evangelist. I loved hearing his stories of God’s faithfulness.
I recently received Claude’s newsletter, in which he shares some wonderful stories. Note that Claude speaks of a ministry in Anticosti Island; he takes the 20+ hour ferry-ride to Anticosti Island several times each year to help support the growth of a group of believers. Enjoy Claude’s encouraging stories:
“Sometimes the mission we are engaged in is truly surprising. Most of the time it’s a struggle to proclaim the message of the Gospel, but there are those moments when God gives us a “break” and opens doors that were totally unexpected. Here are a couple of examples…
From Rimouski – A lady came to one of our Sunday morning services to see what was happening. It turned out to be a Sunday morning when we had a huge winter storm, and the service was cancelled. However, a few brave souls did show up, and (along with them) I answered a number of the theological questions she raised. She had questions about the life of the church and as she raised them, it became clear to me what her spiritual understanding was. She knew almost nothing about Jesus, because since her childhood, her parents had been against any kind of spirituality. She shared with us, however, that she had always had a conviction that God existed and that someday she would know God.
Since that time back in early November, she hasn’t missed a single service and she has signed up for a Sunday School course where we do a survey of Biblical doctrine. She is following the discipleship program, A Master and His Disciples, and has also joined a Bible Theology class held on Sunday afternoons…where she participates with great zeal. Several Christians that had grown a little cold in their faith felt like she was talking too much, but she said to them, “Before starting to study the Bible, I wanted to learn how to do that properly right from the start…now I’ve got no time to lose!” Please pray for her that she will persevere in her faith. Her name is Ginette.
From Anticosti – During my visit to the island last November, they had a meeting for the village to remember those who had “disappeared” (i.e. those who had died), and they asked me to speak about “death”. Obviously I accepted gladly and I had a beautiful opportunity to talk about “life”. During a two-hour period in that public assembly, I had the opportunity to clearly set forth their eternal condition without Christ. There were a lot of reactions, like the reactions of the people in Acts 2:37-38 which says, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
That opened the door to talk to them about the “true Life”, and what it means to turn totally to the Lord Jesus Christ…and I’m still getting follow-up “echoes” from that meeting. At the end of that meeting, the religious leader got up and declared right in front of everybody that she had understood that it wasn’t by works that we have assurance of eternal life, but it’s only Jesus who saves. She confessed her ignorance in front of everybody, and her desire to turn completely to the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for the follow-up of those contacts.
Two weeks after that meeting I received a call from the local director of the regional radio station. He said to me that he had been there at the meeting, and that a lot of people had shown an interest in having more information on the teachings of the Bible. He asked me if I could provide half-hour radio segments on various subjects in the Bible. He also said that during that half-hour, people could call in and ask questions about it and I could respond directly to them. Please pray that God will give me the right words, and I’ll be sensitive to those who are really seeking.”
We are looking for churches and individuals to partner with future French church plants in Quebec and other regions in Canada with sizeable francophone populations.
If you’re interested in reaching your francophone neighbour, then why not contact me today!
Have a blessed week,
P.S. - Please consider giving to Project 2014, Refueling our Mission—Destination: Francophone World. With your support we will be supporting three French church plants and sending a Francophone evangelist into Northwestern Quebec. Visit our webpage for more details.