Dear EIC Alumni,
It is a great pleasure to report to you God’s faithfulness to our church in the past three months. It has indeed been a busy time where we have experienced many changes and blessings.
To begin, we are extremely happy to inform you that our new Associate Pastor and his wife have arrived. Justin and Rachel Hendricks finally got their paperwork through and have been with us since mid-September. They love Jesus, have proven to be very hard workers and have adapted well to life in France. We have already seen good growth in our Youth and Young Adult programs, and their warm personalities have been a nice fit in our community. Thank you so much for your prayers about this in the past year. God has answered them in a big way!
Many of you know that the rentrée in September is a time when we welcome many new people to our church. This year is no exception! We have seen the arrival of several new families and singles and it is a delight to see all of the new faces getting involved in our ministries. The Lord always provides us with everything that we need.
We were blessed to be under the worship leadership of Deji Ogunnubi the past two years. The Lord took him and his family to Angola this summer and we again had a need in this area. Since then we have been fortunate to be under the leadership of Kristen DeSouza and have seen the music program again blossoming. We have many talented musicians in our congregation, and it is a blessing to see them using their gifts to God’s glory.
After having a test group in the spring, we launched our Home Group Ministry this fall. Currently we have 4 groups meeting in different parts of the city to pray together and study the Scriptures. This round we are going through a 6-part study through the book of James. Each small group member completes part of the study at home, and then comes together as a group to discuss what they have read. The plan going forward is to have a new study each semester.
In October we had our second Kid’s Fun Day. It was a successful outreach, as there were several children who attended who are not part of our church. There was even a group of French girls who were having a birthday party and were passing by on the sidewalk. When they saw all of the activities, they stopped and came in the church. Seeing it as an opportunity to play games and practice their English, they joined us and stayed the rest of the day. We are excited about the direction of our children’s ministry under Jill Lewis and Julia Metzger, and hope to do more outreach events like this in 2017.
Also in October we had a baptism service. Alfie Pajarillo, Princess Pajarillo, and Chika Kanjor all made public professions of their faith through baptism. It was a great encouragement to us all to see and hear their testimony of faith in Christ.
I recently attended the annual International Baptist Convention meeting. Our convention is currently placing a big emphasis on planting more English language churches in Europe. Studies have been done to identify new cities where planting an English language church should be a priority. Through our work, cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and Munich have been identified as priorities. One of our big discussions concerned how to find the people who will come to plant and pastor these churches. This work of recruiting is a big challenge for us, so please pray that God will send more workers into this field. If you’d like more information on our church planting ministry, please visit www.internationalchurchplanting.com
Last Sunday our church celebrated its annual Thanksgiving service. A dedicated team did the organising and it was a fantastic event. We grew in number by 60-70 people since last year, welcoming over 250 people for our service and meal. This day was shared with our sister church EBE and the Emmanuel Gospel Choir. We welcomed representatives from the mayor’s office and had several visitors who had been invited by church members. There was a sweet spirit of thankfulness amongst us, recognizing that God has been so good to us. There is much joy in the life of a believer when God is approached with thanksgiving, and this shared joy was evident this past Sunday.
For me personally, I have just returned to France after having my home leave during the month of November. As some may know, I will be getting married soon ! My fiancé Kyrah Abad is from the Philippines, so the wedding will be in Manila on December 29th. This past month Kyrah and I were able to spend time in Alabama and have an engagement party with my friends and family who won’t be able to make the wedding. It was a very sweet time of being able to introduce my future bride to the people who have done so much to shape me.
Because He lives,
Thanksgiving - Please give thanks for how faithful God has been to us. Hudson Taylor once said, “God’s work done God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” This past year we have certainly experienced the truth of this.
Christmas Season – This is always an important time in the church calendar. The celebration of God entering into our world for our salvation is the greatest story ever told. Pray that our church will not only be able to have the appropriate amount of joy in our hearts, but also that we might share our joy with our city.
Church Vision– We are about to go through a process of examining our church vision and distinctives. This will be important in the coming year as we try to expand the ministry to the English language population in Paris.
Church Budget– This week we will begin our budget preparations for 2017. We have seen God’s faithfulness in providing for our needs in 2016, but there will certainly be new financial challenges for us in the coming year. Pray that our budget team will have wisdom in putting together a budget that is faithful to the resources God is giving us.
Evangelism Ministry – We are working on establishing an evangelism ministry in our church, and we plan to kick it off with a 3 week evangelism training Sunday school class at the beginning of 2017. Pray for us as we try to bring the gospel to our city.
My wedding – Kyrah and I are so excited about our upcoming marriage. We are thankful to have been through marital counseling with Kwasi and Janny Gyan in preparation for our commitment. In our joy we also understand that this kind of life change comes with challenges as well. Please pray for Kyrah and I as we establish our home in Christ.