La Situation : La France, Le Plateau Picard

Quelle est la situation du Royaume de Dieu dans la France entière ?

La population de France est d’environ 67 millions, mais il n’y a que 650 000 personnes qui s’identifient comme chrétiens évangéliques (environ une personne sur 100).

Alors, il y a plus de 66 millions de personnes qui ne connaissent pas encore Jésus. L’immense majorité de ces personnes n’a aucun accès à la bonne nouvelle sur Jésus, particulièrement ceux qui vivent dans les zones rurales.

Plus de la moitié de la population de France vit dans les communes de moins de 10 000 personnes, un quart vit dans les communes de moins de 2 000 personnes.

Notre intérêt en ce moment est le Plateau Picard, qu’on définit comme la zone entre Clermont-de-l’Oise au sud d’Amiens au nord et Ham à l’est et Grandvillers à l’ouest. Pour cette zone, la population totale est presque 250 000. La population vit dans 456 communes.

Environ 93% de la population vit dans les petites communes de moins de 5 000 personnes, plus de la moitié vit dans les communes de moins de 1 000 personnes.

Il y a très peu de chrétiens évangéliques sur le Plateau. Notre propre expérience nous dit que l’immense majorité des personnes qui ne connaissent pas encore Jésus n’a aucun accès à la bonne nouvelle sur Jésus, particulièrement ceux qui vivent dans les plus petites communes.

Quel défi ! Coment peut-on atteindre les gens de cette zone avec la bonne nouvelle de Jésus ? Cela semble impossible…

Version Multilangue ! / The Blog Goes Dual-Language !

From here on, I’m planning to put duplicate versions of a number of posts: one in English and one in French. The goal is to provide a resource for French Christians who might arrive here through a web search.

Dès ce point, j’ai l’intention de faire un certain nombre de posts en anglais et aussi en français. Le but est de fournir une ressource pour les chrétiens français  qui peut arriver ici à travers des recherches sur internet.

A Quick Catch-Up

This purpose of this post is to fill in some holes regarding what we have been up to in the last  two years or so.

As this post describes, in early 2017 we expected to be moving to live and work in Amiens. However, it became apparent that this was not God’s plan, as we were unable to find anywhwere to live!

Unexpectedly, we then spent 7 weeks in Clermont-de-l’Oise, working with Église la Source and getting to know the people there. Not very long into this time we strongly felt that God wanted us to move longer-term to Clermont: this was the place He wanted us to be. Of course, that left us with the same issue as in Amiens: how to find somewhere to live when you have no employment or track-record in France!

Well, God provided us with somewhere to live, in a miraculous way. Not just somewhere that “would do,” but a flat with a perfect layout and size in a wonderful location. It’s just like God to not do the bare minimum but to say “Ta-da! See what I can do for you if you trust Me?!”

We moved lock stock and barrel to Clermont in July 2017, after the final stages of a very radical clear-out of our belongings!

We spent the next year and a bit very heavily involved in our local church: prayer activities, small groups, teaching, evangelism… all the while improving our French in real life situations. We also continued the work that our Pastor, John Paul, had begun in teaching English to adults through the local library. Joanna also works with John Paul’s wife, Stephanie, to teach English to children, also through the library. It’s really enjoyable and satisfying to be able to help the community of Clermont in this way as volunteers.

Since we came to Clermont our hearts had always been centred on the Plateau Picard: the rural area north of us, between Clermont and Amiens. In the autumn of 2018 it became clear that this was where God wanted us to focus more and more of our attention.

What happened then? Stay tuned…

Il perce les nuages

Ce matin je prenais une balade dans les bois pour prier. Il y a un lieu en haut où c’est possible de gagner une grande vue. Le ciel était couvert de nuages gris foncés et lourds. Dieu m’a montré que c’est comme la France, où les nuages de l’ennemi empêchaient souvent l’amour de Dieu d’atteindre les gens. Ici et là il y avait des rayons de soleil qui perçaient les nuages. Dieu m’a montré que c’est comme le passé en France : ici et là les rayons de l’amour de Dieu perçaient les nuages.

Après un peu de temps, au centre des nuages il y avait un éclat qui grandissait progressivement. L’éclat du soleil brûlait les nuages de plus en plus. Les nuages ne pouvaient pas empêcher l’éclat du soleil. Dieu m’a montré que c’est ce qu’il est en train de faire maintenant : l’éclat de son amour brûle les nuages de l’ennemi qui empêchent les gens en France de rencontrer l’amour de Dieu. C’est Dieu qui le fait, ce n’est pas par nos efforts. Nous pouvons en être impliqués si nous voulons, c’est notre choix. Dieu est en train de faire des choses merveilleuses, il perce les nuages : voulons-nous en être impliqués ?

He knows what He’s doing

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk through the woods behind our flat. Although I chose to go out early in the day, it was already quite warm. At the top of the woods are a couple of fields, empty and unused.

On one edge of the field in the photo there is a tangle of bushes, small trees and brambles, at the back of the photo. Attacking this tangle with gusto was a man with a petrol strimmer.

I thought he was mad. It was hot, the field was unused and why on earth was he strimming the tangle of bushes and not the grass of the field itself? The field is not overlooked by any houses, so it’s not as if the neighbours would be complaining that the grass was not cut! What the man was putting so much energy into on a hot day made no sense at all to me. I walked on.

This morning I went that way again. I discocvered that what the man had been doing actually made perfect sense. In the field there is now a beautiful chestnut brown horse. In the tangled mess of bushes, brambles and small trees the man had carefully strimmed a network of paths and areas, so the horse has somewhere shady to go when it gets hot.

The man with the strimmer knew exactly what he was doing. I felt a bit of a fool for criticising him (in my head!) so soundly on that previous day.

How often do we look at things that happen in our lives and say “Look, God, this makes no sense at all! I don’t think you know what you are doing!” Oh, but God always knows exactly what He is doing with us and one day, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, we will understand.

In this and in other ways I can see that God is encouraging me to trust Him more, question Him less and let Him be in charge. He really does know what He is doing!

Loved you yesterday…

A song about Jesus’ unfailing love, called Loved you yesterday:

Loved you yesterday
Love you still
Always have
And I always will
     Repeat

He sings, Jesus sings to me
He sings, my God sings to me

Loved you yesterday… x 2

He sings, Jesus sings to me
He sings, my God sings to me

Loved you yesterday… x 2

Click here for a recording.

God does wonders!

A song to encourage us about what God can do, from a recent day-long walk in the forest, praying and seeking God.

The title is Tu fais des prodiges (You do wonders).

Tu es le Dieu d’amour
Tu es le Dieu d’amour
Chaque jour dans ma vie
Tu fais des prodiges
     Répétez

Tu es le Dieu de miracles…

Refrain:
Oh-oh tu fais des prodiges
Oh oui, tu fais des prodiges
Chaque jour dans ma vie
Tu fais des prodiges

Tu fais des prodiges
Jésus, tu fais des prodiges
Chaque jour dans ma vie
Tu fais des prodiges

Tu es le Dieu de grâce…

Tu es le Dieu tout-puissant…

Refrain x 2

In English:

You are the God of love…
You do wonder in my life every day

You are the God of miracles…
You are the God of grace…
You are the all-powerful God…

We are weak but He is strong! For a recording in French click here.

Because God loves every person in France