International Mission Board
Richmond, VA 23230-0767
Vincent is a semi-retired owner of a gîte, a French guesthouse, and has lived his whole life in the mountains and valleys of eastern France. To him everything has stayed the same and yet completely changed. The sheep of his great-uncle are still around but are now penned up and on display for tourists. His grandparents’ little Protestant church with the creaky wooden pews continues to stand strong, but now welcomes cameras instead of prayers. The old ways are passing away. Vincent wonders about the new ways to come.
Though Vincent loves that many guests come through his home, every summer he looks forward to one group in particular. They are from a Protestant church in eastern France. In spite of the rich heritage in the region, most people see churches more like museums than places of worship. But, this group—they sing songs as though they mean something. They talk about what they believe. It seems to Vincent that they have a real community.
Pray for new, relevant expressions of church in Vincent’s region of France. Pray for churches with vibrant worship and authentic community that reach out to and support families and singles alike. Pray believers would be bold in sharing and living out their faith"
Our Ardèche area is filled with gîtes, guest houses, and the owners love to share their local culture with their visitors. For many, the income they receive from the rent is vital over the summer months in order to survive the year, pay their social taxes and this income allows them to continue to live the life-style they prefer.
Funnily enough, our small country church of 35 worshippers at a service is blessed by the summer visitors who choose to continue to come to church even when on holidays. So we don't get emptier, but fuller. Pray for our capacity to welcome all visitors, but also to open up to the world in order to be attractive to our local people who don't know Christ.