Prince of Peace in Paris
Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life” were needed more desperately than ever on the streets of Paris last January. You’ll recall how a jihadist-motivated massacre tore through the offices of a French satirical magazine… soon followed by hostages taken and murdered at a kosher grocery… and the slaying of a police officer during a traffic stop.
When we contacted our Paris branch leader, Joshua Turnil to see how our staff and their families were doing, he said,
“Three attacks were within 15-20 minutes of our office but we are all well. We ask not for protection, but for opportunities to minister and to be available to our people, and to all people that need the peace that passes all understanding.
“All the Jewish shops and places of worship closed their doors as a security measure, and riot police armed to the teeth were walking back and forth in our neighborhood. Yes, our office has been a target in the past.
“Many of our friends and supporters asked us to close down the office; they are worried about us. One observed, ‘Of all the Jewish shops and buildings, you guys are the only ones that have the word “JEWS” printed in big letters over your window.’ Notwithstanding the situation, one of our core values is ‘stepping out in courageous faith and taking risks for God.’ I felt that if ever we needed to remain open, it was now.
“We put up a sign in our window: ‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.’”
You may recall that following these events, there were massive rallies in Paris. The slogan “I am Charlie” became a call for unity and freedom of speech. Our Paris team took to the streets and each of our missionaries handed out one of three titles of new literature prepared to invite people to consider Jesus’ “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John: “I am the way,” “I am the truth” and “I am the life.” See a brief on-the-street video of our Paris missionaries in action.
In addition to reaching out to unsaved people on the streets, Karl DeSouza found the situation to be a teachable moment for his own son. You can read about it here.
When you pray for our ministry in Paris, in addition to the requests in the stories you just read, pray for strength and encouragement for each of our staff and their families, and for all the details to come together for Chantale, as she plans (and will be leading) a witnessing campaign in Paris this June.