‘Reaching Carcassonne’ 2018 took place from 21-28 August, in partnership with ‘La Voix des Prophètes’ and United Beach Missions (UBM), and with the support of ‘La Maison de la Bible’.
The team of 29 was made up of 10 ladies and 19 men, aged between 17 and 67, including students, professionals, civil servants and retired people from such different places as France, England, Germany, Northern Ireland and Belgium.
It was an encouragement to see several from our church, recently converted, participating in the outreach. The team was encouraged by the daily Bible times on the theme of ‘The mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45).
In God’s providence, the message brought to the church by David Vaughn (pastor of a church near Marseille) at the Sunday service was on a similar theme. We were exhorted to find our joy, above all, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, in Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, and in the saving grace that has been shown to us. Our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20)!
For certain team members, ‘Reaching Carcassonne’ was their first opportunity to be trained in evangelism. Throughout the week, we invited local neighbours to a meeting on the theme of ‘Is the Bible true? What does modern archeology say?’, as well as to a showing of the film A case for Christ, for English speakers.
The invitations and the church brochure were distributed in the street, in letterboxes and through door-to-door. This year’s church brochure contained a short reflection on the recent terrorist attack in Trèbes, which helped initiate conversations.
We also offered people free literature, Bibles, French-Arabic New Testaments and Gospels. What a joy to see several Muslims coming voluntarily to accept New Testaments in Arabic and French!
For example, a veiled woman at the market came to our stand and asked for a Bible. Two Afghan women also asked for an Arabic-French New Testament each. Or again, there was a Turkish man, owner of a local kebab shop, who was delighted to talk at length with the pastor and is eager to meet him again.
As is often the case, there seemed to be more opportunities and openness among Muslims than among the French, who are mostly either Catholic, agnostic, humanist, or atheist. Many hearts are hard, but we rejoice that a large number of people heard the gospel. Jehovah’s Witnesses are very active around Carcassonne; we came across many of them. Two team members also spoke for two hours with some Mormons.
We also had the privilege of announcing the gospel at the medieval city, through songs (a choir was put together in three days!) and open-air preaching, with opportunities to witness as a result.
At the Sunday morning service, it was a joy to welcome four visitors who came as a result of receiving the church leaflet during the week. We pray that they will continue attending the church. The evangelistic conference given by David Vaughn went well. Several non-Christians attended, including a neighbour of the church.
About 20 English-speaking non-Christians were present for the projection of the film, A case for Christ, and while several seemed touched by the message of the gospel others went away with hard hearts. A North-African Muslim also attended.
By the end of the week we were grateful for the Christian fellowship we had enjoyed as a team and the many encounters that gave us opportunities to share the gospel.
Please join us in praying for those who took Bibles and New Testaments; those who attended the Sunday service, conference or film; and those who heard the gospel.
Pray for the follow-up work to be done by church members and that many other churches will also run weeks of evangelism. May the Lord bring much fruit from this week for his kingdom and glory!
If you wish to watch a video presentation of this year’s Carcassonne Outreach, or to have more details about future outreach opportunities, please write to: [email protected]