What a joy it was to come back and preach in Ham, 22 years later!
It was in that little evangelical church that my parents served the Lord for several years.
After the service, some of us enjoyed a great meal at the home of the pastor and his wife.
In the afternoon, along with Raphael, a Christian brother we took the road. Under the cold and the rain, we crossed those villages of La Somme (which belong to the Picardie region of Northern France).
We stopped our car in the town of Péronne right in front of what used to be a church (started years ago by my parents with the help of a small team from England). It was the only evangelical church in Péronne and probably the only one ever in the history of that town.
Someone one day decided to close it down. Years of hard work, of prayer and sacrifice, went into planting that church. There is now no more light.
Raphaël and I stood outside in the dark in front of that little building where believers once gathered. We asked God to forgive those we took that foolish decision to close it and we asked the Spirit of God to call new workers to Péronne.
The light of the Gospel was also turned off in the town of St Quentin (The church where I was a pastor 25 years ago was sold and is now a mosque!).
When that same pastor tried to turn the light off in Ham, the church members refused. I salute their courage.
I have never been in favour of the spirit of protest that is so engrossed in the French people. But protest is necessary when a place of worship is about to be close down, often because a pastor’s ego drives him to have a large number of believers under one big roof).
It is sad when a new big shopping mall forces small little shops to closed down; It is even worse when a mega church forces small congregations to die.
Who will rise up to re-open those churches, wells now covered with earth, wells who once gave living water?
Workers are needed to re-start the work in Péronne, in St Quentin, in Montdidier, in Abbeville…
There are still so few labourers in such a needy mission field.
Timothée Paton – The Weekly Update- December 2nd, 2019
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