Non-traditional Bible training helps boost ministry in France.

By February 16, 2004

France (EBM)–Rich in history, culture, and traditional religion, France stands spiritually poverty stricken.

According to the Evangelical Baptist Mission, most of the more than 50 million French people identify themselves with the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the most beautiful and famous cathedrals are little more than museums and landmarks since less than 10% of the people regularly attend services. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the French constitution so the door is wide open to missions.

In 1956, EBM’s first missionaries to France settled in Marseille, France’s second largest city and important port on the Mediterranean. Many of their missionaries in Africa spent six to eighteen months in France prior to 1956 in language study, but this work in Marseille was the first permanent work.

The work later developed in the northern part of France in the Paris area where God has richly blessed and churches have been established. In 1970, some of their missionaries who were expelled from Algeria went to southern France. They settled in the cities of Toulon and Frejus and had the opportunity to plant churches.

Over two million North African Arabs live in France. In 1975 an Arabic ministry began in the area of Paris giving missionaries a tremendous open door for evangelizing Moslems who in turn could take the Gospel back to their countries which are closed to missionaries. The Mission is currently actively working both in the northern and southern areas of France as well as on the island of Corsica.

Bible training in France takes place via the non-traditional classroom. Evangelical Baptist Mission has a teacher in place heading up a ministry of video recording classes taught at the Pastoral Bible institute in Algrange, France.

Over 50 students are now enrolled in the Romans course in France. Pray much for this exciting work of helping French nationals to prepare to lead or help in their national churches. Pray too, for the teacher as he is currently editing another video extension program.

Other help is requested in church planting, camp work, Bible institute teaching, visitation, literature distribution, and children’s work. The field welcomes college students for Missionary Apprenticeship Programs (MAP) sponsored by the Mission. A new opportunity that is developing is a campus ministry at the University of Paris.

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