Adventist Mission in France

Adventist Mission in France

Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission News Editor.

“God is doing great things in France!"

April 10, 2019 | Paris, France. | Andrew McChesney.

Several months ago, Pastor Ted Wilson asked me to visit France after hearing inspirational stories over a meal with Pastor Ruben de Abreu.

He essentially said, “God is doing great things in France. Go hear the stories and tell the world.”

After my four-day visit, I had no doubt that God is doing great things in France. With Pastors  Ruben, Gabriel, Jethro and others, we have collected nine amazing mission stories. The stories came from all walks of life — Christians, atheists, upper class, lower class, and the homeless — as we visited Paris, Lyon, and Dunkirk. We have heard about God working through prayers, dreams, Ellen White books, and many other ways. Every story has ended the same: a heart changed by God.

My heart also has been changed. Every story was thrilling, and I was so happy to hear personal testimonies from Gabriel and Jethro as we traveled from place to place. But the trip to Dunkirk stunned me. I have written about migrants before. I wrote about them as a secular newspaper journalist in Russia. I also have visited and written about ADRA migrant centers in Serbia and Iraq. But I never participated in ADRA work until Sunday. 

In Dunkirk, Jethro put me to work chopping vegetables and stirring a gigantic rice pot in the ADRA kitchen. Then we joined Gabriel in distributing food to 600 people, mainly young men from Iran and Iraq. My heart melted as I handed out cake at the end of a table in a gymnasium. Nearby, Jethro cut slices of bread and Gabriel placed pickles on outstretched paper plates. The migrants loved the pickles. Like small children, the men came with playful smiles and upraised fingers, asking for just one more pickle. They returned a second and third time. One young man diverted Gabriel’s attention by pointing away and, as Gabriel looked, snatched a pickle and joyfully ate it. 

I praise God for the experience with Gabriel, Jethro and many others. My worldview has changed forever. No longer am I bothered by questions such as whether ADRA emphasizes Christ enough in its work. I have helped feed people starving for physical and spiritual food. A huge need exists in Dunkirk, and a small team of ADRA volunteers are serving as Christ’s hands and feet — one pickle at a time.

God is doing great things in France. He is changing many hearts — including mine!

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