THOMAS' TRAVELS - MAY 2010
The meetings in this small French church of 25 members, called Le Cep (this means The Vine), turned out to be more for believers than for outsiders. Over the years, the congregation has known many ups and downs. The present pastor, Eric Peres, has been there for only two years, and he lives in another city that is 90 minutes' drive away.
When I was in Le Cep in March for two Friendship Evangelism seminars, I impressed upon the church that the success of the meetings would depend on personal invitations and much prayer. I saw that there was much to be done to build up the fellowship, and especially to get the few young people involved.
Providentially, a group of 15 gypsies who were passing through the town helped to swell the congregation at the Sunday morning service. Pascale Benmann, the soloist who came with me from Strasbourg, did a wonderful job with the music for the weekend. We started ministering together some twenty years ago. Two years ago, she had a battle with cancer in the area of the throat but God had mercy on her. She has quite a moving testimony.
In my last letter, I mentioned one couple whom I met and prayed with in March. They are still facing some serious occult problems. When the mother of the husband, Jean-Paul, died and was cremated several years ago, his sister claimed that she saw their mother standing beside the casket. From what Jean-Paul's wife of 25 years tells me, it seems that he has not been able to let go of his mother, even in death. He came to one of the meetings, and we had a chance for further prayer.
There's a familiar saying that big doors swing on small hinges. In Châlons, one of those hinges was my meeting Dr Antoine Mifasha, a surgeon from Burundi. We talked a lot about the needs in that country. So now, discussion is underway about evangelistic endeavors in the capital, Bujumbura, and other cities, with NGA France. It is possible that some team members will make an exploratory trip there in November of this year.
Another door hinge was meeting the gypsies who were passing through. It just so happens that they are from the same church group that I visited in February in Bordeaux, namely "Vie et Lumière" (Life and Light). They have an annual gathering of some six thousand people. It could be that I will hear from some of the leaders about speaking at this gathering at the end of May.
Andrew Palau will be holding a two-day Festival there in September. They are expecting an attendance of 100,000 people each day. I will be going there in July to help in the preparation and to preach in the city churches. The challenges in Uganda are great. One of these challenges is the upsurge in human sacrifices; children are being kidnapped and killed. Their body parts are sacrificed to demons in expectation that this will bring material riches. Another challenge is the influx of lesbians and homosexuals from the U.S. and Europe.
They are trying to teach schoolchildren that these foul practices are normal and they are paying the children to engage in this perversion. These perverts are trying to destroy traditional families. According to the international news service, some of the Ugandan leaders have criticized the U.S. President Barack Obama for promoting homosexuals in the country under the guise of human rights. So there is an urgent need to continue to evangelize in Uganda. Please be very much in prayer for us as we prepare to go in July.
Thank you for caring and sharing in this ministry.
Bill preaching in "Le Cep"
Bill preaching in "Le Cep"
Antoine and Bill