Category Archives: News in France

TRANSFORM 2018

TRANSFORM is a five-day conference to praise God together and learn to share the gospel. It is then possible to go on a short-term mission for a week in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea to share the good news.This year, the conference was held from July 9th to July 14th in Barcelona and the participants went to put their gifts in the service of God to transform the lives of people without hope in one of the 3 countries around the Mediterranean Sea: France, Portugal, and Spain.
In France, a team was sent to Cantal and another to Bruay-la-Buissière in northern France.

CANTAL: offer a gospel to every home
In partnership with MSD (Mission Service Diffusion), 33 people travelled through many villages and distributed a lot of gospel tracts in Cantal with a clear but complex mission: to offer a gospel to every home.

“I was very encouraged to see the map get coloured as the days went on. Since I don’t speak French, the distribution was a nice way to have a concrete impact and to see the progress during the week. We hope to go back to that area in the future to continue working with the few churches in a least-reached part of France.“ Sander (Norway)

“We have been able to experience how solitude is so great in this region of Cantal, where every home or farm can be 10 minutes away by car. Although we had rejections, we were able to experience the faithfulness of God who directed us to people who were looking for him. Laureine (France)

BRUAY-LA-BUISSIERE : Encouraging the local church

Fellowship with the local church was a highlight for the teams, many local Christians were grateful and impressed that young people from far away would come to their church, their area, to help share the Gospel.
“This week of mission was busy, but positive. The OM team really blessed and encouraged us. It was great to hear their testimonies of how God worked in their lives. The focus of the mission was the two events on the final weekend, a musical concert and a family carnival. Despite a couple of technical worries, the concert was a great success with everyone in the churched touched by the lyrics of the songs. For the family carnival, I was so thankful to see the 11 members of the church working hand-in-hand with the OM team running the games, serving food and drinks, etc. “Around 40 children and their parents (more than 100 in total) enjoyed a sunny afternoon in the garden of the church! It was a great day introducing the church to many people in the community.” Yann, pastor in Bruay-la-Buissière.

“I came to France expecting to meet superficial people smelling of Chanel perfume, wearing expensive clothes with expensive handbags on their shoulders! Instead, I met two different types of people: the first was a small group of people who had surrendered to the will of God, a group of Christians with warm hearts and a desire to serve in the church. The second was a much larger “non-believing” community that was thirsty for the love of God.” Nadia (Mexico)

Teenstreet: a congress for young people – but not just for them!

From July 28th to August 4th, 3,271 participants (including 1,832 teenagers), came together in Germany for the Teenstreet conference organised by OM. Jean-Crépin who is 40 shares what it was like.

Thanks to a grant from my church, five of us were able to take part in the conference; one teenager, 3 volunteers and myself as a coach. I was responsible for a group of 7 teenagers aged between 16 and 17. Two of them had not yet taken the decision to invite Jesus into their lives. The most memorable part of the conference was when these two young people were converted. I would really urge everybody, whatever their age, to participate in Teenstreet. Not only are there on offer a wide range of themes, activities, teaching and games that are of excellent quality and perfectly adapted for 13 to 17 year olds, but older folk can also take part in the congress carrying out various tasks to do with organisation. So, at Teenstreet every age bracket can come and hear God speak as well as serve others.
I’ve stayed in touch with the teenagers in my group since the summer, in order to encourage them in their Christian walk. I can’t wait to meet up again with all the youngsters from my group at Teencity (take a look at the presentation below). I’m looking forward too to seeing young people invite Jesus into their lives, and take decisions for Him. I’m impatient as well to see God take me on in my Christian walk through all that I will experience during this weekend.

Jean-Crépin

YOUNG PEOPLE’S WEEKEND
Meet up with us for an unforgettable Easter weekend! On the programme : small fellowship groups, worship evenings, workshops, witness in the city, Bible teaching…. Lots of memorable times together!
From April 20th to April 22nd (welcome of volunteers and adult supervisors the evening of 19th April)
at the Saint-Germain-en-Laye United evangelical Protestant Church 1 Avenue des Loges, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye
More information : teenstreet.fr@om.org

« Project Rahab » in Paris

Begun in 2009 in Nantes under the name “Project Rahab”, the ministry among female victims of human trafficking also has a team based in Paris.

The current team is made up of 13 people spread over 2 areas in Paris. We go out at night to find these “princesses”, in order to share the good news, to pray and to praise God with them. During the day, we aid them in their administrative needs – social or other. Our priority however remains spiritual follow-up. It’s also on our heart to provide training for churches who want to start such a ministry, and to help those “princesses” who’ve left prostitution behind, or who are in the process of becoming attached to a church. Even when they’ve come out of prostitution, we try to keep in close contact with them. To take an example, one of these “princesses” we’d helped 2 years ago came to tell us she’d been granted her papers, and was now married. Even if not all of the stories have such an extraordinary outcome, and even if it’s sometimes difficult to maintain contact with those who had left France, this selection of stories give hope to others, and encourage us to persevere.
We pray that God’s will be done in the lives of these “princesses” , that they will be truly liberated by meeting Jesus, that the enemy will not be allowed to destroy our work, and that new people will join our team. We need people who will commit themselves to join us as we go out either regularly or at set times; getting alongside individuals in praise, prayer, providing administrative and social help, in artistic activities or visits to museums, etc. To sum up, the harvest is great and we need workers. God needs you!
Esther Ihowa

Literacy classes in the north of Paris

In partnership with a church in the north of Paris, twice a week, team members of OM France and members of the church provide literacy classes for immigrant women.

“Our main objective with these classes is to share the love of God through these classes, Bible stories and the relationships we build with the ladies. We want them to know that they are of great value in the eyes of God. We provide teachers with books and curriculum for them to prepare their lessons easily. Our students are from various countries and cultural backgrounds (including some unreached people groups from North Africa, Central Africa and Central Asia), ages (between 20 and 60), education levels (some have their Masters from their home country and others have never been to school). Some have come to France in search of “a better life” while others are here as political refugees. Despite their differences, they have something in common: the desire to improve their level of French, while enjoying a convivial environment. At the end of the class, over tea and mini-cakes, we take time to get to know them, to help them with administrative tasks or to discuss Bible stories. Some of the ladies even invite us to their homes and these visits allow us to have deeper conversations and to share our faith. These visits bear fruit: some have come to faith during these meetings (and in class as well). Thank you for praying for these ladies, that they come with a heart open to His Word. Please pray that God may give us teachers wisdom to disciple well our new sisters – and prayers for more teachers would be appreciated as well!

Louise*, Literacy Classes Leader
* Name changed

A heart for Strasbourg / Riverboat 2018

Over the course of three months, the OM Riverboat sailed the entire length of the Rhine, stopping at six different ports, including Strasbourg. From February 27th to March 11th, approximately 1,000 were able to try out our new escape game – “The Agency”.

“You’ve not only failed your personality test. On top of that, you’re a public danger. Therefore you’ll be remanded in custody until such time as the charges against you can be established”. Here’s just one example of the unexpected things overheard by visitors : A visitor told us: “It was no use being a Christian, and being aware of the purpose of the game – the experience was so realistic (what with all this noise and riddles), I realised to what extent it was important to keep calm, and to listen out for the voice of God during testing”

We managed to collect numerous similar testimonies in the coffee bar where visitors were able to have a drink, eat a waffle, read OM leaflets, and purchase Christian literature. However, that’s not the full story. Working parallel to Riverboat about 30 international team members recruited by OM France, as well as members of EEPEES ( L’Entente des Églises Protestantes Evangeliques de l’Eurometropole de Strasbourg), went into the streets to share the good news of Christ. By means of questionnaires, advertising brochures for various events, dancing and songs, team members were able to have lots of good discussions about the Gospel. There were some who even went out during the night to offer help to those sleeping on the streets, and to victims of human trafficking.

“Leave your comfort zone”- this was the most frequently cited phrase over the two weeks. For some, this involved going into the streets and sharing their faith with complete strangers; for others it was caused by physical fatigue. Whatever the case, we’re thankful to God for the periods of intensity, and above all for the lives touched by God’s love.

At the end of the 2 weeks, we had the joy to take part in a soiree organised by the Lingolsheim churches (to the south-west of Strasbourg). Using dance, songs, and drama, guests were allowed to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.

We’d like to thank the EEPEES churches for taking part in this project, and for extending such a warm welcome to us in their beautiful region. Above everything, we want to thank God who brought about this project. To Him be the glory!

Testimony of Kedy, a team member who joined us at Strasbourg, and for whom the adventure continued with the Riverboat for a further two weeks in Mannheim in Germany.

Prayer is indispensable : pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5.17)

On board, a cabin had been specifically decorated and set aside as a “prayer room”. A room open not just to team members, but also to visitors. Likewise whenever members went out into the streets, a back-up team joined in prayer. We really felt carried by the team’s prayers whether we were in the streets or on the boat.

And afterwards?

For the 80 team members who served on the Riverboat, it proved to be a life-changing experience. We pray that the 6,500 visitors who came on board during those 3 months were also transformed by the experience.
The leaders are now doing an assessment of what took place. We don’t yet know whether the Riverboat will return next year. But one thing is sure – our mission to spread the Gospel doesn’t stop here!

Join us for a long-term or short-term mission in France or abroad!

TeenCity, the reunion in France, for those who went to TeenStreet 2017

Over the Easter weekend nearly fifty teenagers accompanied by thirty volunteers from all over France, met up at Antony in a partner church.

The idea of such a weekend emerged as a follow-up to a previous reunion in 2017. What about organising a mini TeenStreet in the home country of the teens/participants? Nurturing their faith with relevant teaching, and encouraging them to share on the streets?

We thank the Lord for bringing this project to completion, and we thank all those who took part in this event, especially to those volunteers who contributed to making it such a success!

What about you? Why not join us as a participant or volunteer at Oldenburg for TeenStreet 2018?

More information: www.teenstreet.eu

Josiane Ngongang

Farewell Sue et Simon!

It was nearly a year and a half ago when we officially announced our plans to move from OM France to OM Canada as of May 2018. Now, as the deadline is upon us, we are all the more conscious of the many details to take into account.

But first and foremost, we are grateful; we are grateful to God for allowing us to be involved in missions and see many good things and answers to prayer, grateful to our team here for friendship and partnership, and grateful to you for your faithful support through finance and prayer.

As OM’s new mission statement puts it: We want to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached. This is the end goal of all that we do, whether it be on-the-ground ministry, mobilising, sending and receiving into mission or administrative and financial support in the background.

As we look back over our years here with OM France (17 for Simon and 13 for Sue), we are thankful for the part that we have been able to play in this vision. Simon started working in finance and administration and has led the field for the past 6 years. Sue’s involvement has been with French literacy classes, English classes and then personnel for the past 8 years.

We have seen several years of literacy and bible classes organised for immigrant women with 5 making a decision to follow Christ, 20+ women released from a life of prostitution, 30+ French people joining OM to serve abroad for 6+ months, groups of Turkish believers in 7 cities baptised and discipled, hundreds of French people take part in short term missions and thousands of French teenagers attend the TeenStreet Europe event. You have been a part of that—through your prayers and your generous giving!

Amidst all the departure preparations we want to stay focused. There have been many things to do, people to train, relationships to cherish, goodbyes to organise, and before all that, an OM Riverboat visit to Strasbourg, a great mobilising tool for missions worldwide. What a great way to finish up. Thank you Lord for all that you have done and are continuing to do through OM in France!

Sue and Simon Yeomans

Pray for Sue and Simon:

Thank God for all they’ve brought to France, and pray for their new life.

May God continue to bless them in Canada

The work among the Turks – a really worthwhile ministry!

Martin and Petro Delange joined OM France in 2012 to begin and grow a work among the large Turkish community in France, a community that has had little exposure to the Gospel. At the present time, they work among groups of Christian Turks in six French towns.

Sometimes we ask ourselves if it is worth it all. You work hard and long with little fruit. I was pondering this question as I followed Ahmet up to the 4th floor of a rundown apartment. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, some weeks ago in the town of Soissons, just 2 hours east of Paris, and we were going to minister to the Bulgarian Turkish speaking group.

David*, the leader of the group, was very chirpy and the deep lines on his face were filled with joy, as he told me how everyone was waiting for us to come and share the word of God with them. Somewhere, deep in my heart, I wanted to feel the same excitement as David about this upcoming meeting. I was just so tired and trying hard not to show it to David. Petro followed a few steps behind, breathing hard from climbing the stairs.

David did not bother to ring the doorbell. He just opened the door and walked in, as if it was his apartment. The joyful chatter from the house immediately got my attention. As we entered the old rundown apartment, we saw people sitting on the floor in the corridor, the kitchen the adjacent room and the main lounge.

There were people everywhere. They were so excited to see us, after we had been away for a month. I quietly asked David how many people where there in the apartment. He smiled, showing deep lines on his face, and whispered in my ear “There are about 50 people here and we have 6 new families that accepted Jesus as their savoir just last month”.

I could not believe my ears and eyes. After I ministered the word of God to this group they lined up for prayer and for the next hour Petro and I prayed for different needs. We left 4 hours later completely exhausted but so blessed and encouraged.

It was then that we realised that God is at work in His own way, and Muslims are stepping into a relationship with Jesus like never before. And yes: it is worth it all.

Martin Delange

*name changed

Pray for the work among the Turks:

Pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to the Turkish community in France, and that He would strengthen those leaders already in place. Pray too for the Delange family, as well as Alper Tetik a Turkish Christian who’s recently joined OM France. Pray that the Lord will help him as he learns French.

An associate with OM France

From time to time we are contacted by friends and partners who desire to become more fully involved in an OM ministry or project. These are often people without a professional activity, or who have some spare time during the week, which they would like to devote to help in one of our ministries. We are delighted to welcome them on board as “OM associates”.

An “associate” differs from a volunteer in that he or she has set tasks and a clearly defined accountability. In short, the associate is considered as a fully fledged team member, even if he or she does not receive a monthly salary. Our associates join with us for the yearly retreat, have an OM e-mail address, and appear in our publications. We value them greatly for their commitment as they help us to accomplish our vision. Esther is a typical example….

“My role as an OM associate involves being responsible for a team working among women who are victims of human trafficking, linked to sexual exploitation in Paris. Being an associate allows me to have an OM full-time worker who checks my work, and provides an annual assessment. On top of that, I attend OM days, as well as the yearly OM France yearly retreat which is often a time of spiritual refreshment and conviviality”.

If you too would like more information concerning how to become an OM associate in France, please contact us using our e-mail address info.fr@om.org. There are a host of possible ways to get involved, be it “on the field”, or by helping our existing team by giving practical administrative support in our office at Pontault-Combault.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Pray for the associates of OM France:

Esther, Josiane, Lise, Pascale, Rebecca, Sophie and Tina.

Pray that others will feel called to commit some time to serve the Lord alongside us.

The OM Europe Riverboat 3 countries – 6 ports – 3 months – 1 vision in Strasbourg from February 28th to March 12th 2018

Europe: a diverse continent of 700 million people with a rich Christian heritage that sadly many have abandoned. A huge melting pot of young, old, native and immigrant, all together with big dreams of hope and a better life. 50 countries that can be travelled to by car, plane, train, bus or riverboat!

From the North Sea to the Black Sea, a huge pathway of thriving communities and international cities beckon us to come share the love of God. From December 2017 to March 2018, OM Europe will place a team of 80 volunteers on a riverboat which will travel down the Rhine, visiting 6 ports on its way. On board, a number of creatively designed “escape rooms” will aim at helping visitors to explore some of the big questions of life: why are we here, how can I escape from the things that seem to stop me from fulfilling my dreams, how can I know God? The riverboat is OM Europe’s latest tool to encourage local Christians to tell their story whilst at the same time reaching out to those who are seeking answers.

Visit us in one of the ports, or come and join us as a member of the crew: 6 ports, 3 months, 1 vision!

Simon Yeomans, OM France Field Leader