Marseille summer outreach: Euro cup victory?!

It’s the final of the Euro 2016 tournament and two football giants, France and Portugal battle it out, with Portugal leading by only one goal. The French commentator’s words ring out during the last 3 minutes of extra time, “We believe, we believe!*” The more assiduous fans already know that these were hollow dreams: France was humbled on their own territory, Portugal taking the victory.

Our own experience in the final week of the Euro cup matches was quite different, as OM France headed to Marseille to partner with six churches for an intense time of outreach. For the second consecutive year, the believers in the Phocean city committed to work together with a team of 50 participants from around the globe, each one putting aside their differences to focus in unity on the task of sharing the message of the Bible with those in desperate need, all for the glory of God!

The large team was split into five smaller teams, each having a slightly different focus: Football training was offered to kids in the tough “northern neighbourhoods” of the city, giving an opportunity for the trainers to share their faith during the half-time break; the Street Team took to the streets (!) to present the gospel through the arts in a visual way, with mime, dance and mu
sic; the kids’ club team used puppets, games and lively stories to bring the gospel to life; the immigrants-focused team made the most of the target-culture to chat openly about Jesus in peoples’ homes or on the streets; and the “Ready for Anything” team demonstrated Christ’s love in a practical way through street clean-up, various church events and handing out flyers at the semi-final football match.

What a privilege to witness lives changed as strangers received prayer and healing, some who listened attentively to the message of the Bible, others who accepted Christ, street gangs sitting politely in a church building for artistic events and a Christian rap concert. What a privilege to be part of the Body of Christ, working together and shouting loud and clear with words and actions, “We believe, we believe!*”
*[On y croit ! On y croit !]

Paul Dixon
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