Paris branch leader Joshua Turnil says, “It could have been me. Right there next to the bullet-ridden door and behind the police tape that now decorates what once was the Bataclan café. For many it was a place of life and joy and music. For me, it was a place of ministry. I sat there, not long ago, talking about Jesus to an Israeli Jew searching for the truth.
“Many Parisians are saying, ‘It could have been me.’ My colleague Karl deSouza can say, ‘It could have been my daughter.’ She’d wanted to go to that very same concert on that very same night with her friends, but her parents put their foot down. My brother-in-law, Ariel, lost a friend to the bullets on that fateful evening. The daughter of a friend of mine was also at the concert, and was trampled in the melée as people rushed to escape the building. She was released from the hospital recently, and thankfully, is fine.
“With so many people saying, ‘It could have been me’ we hope the gospel message will help them to understand something similar. The Scriptures say of Yeshua’s death, ‘It should have been you.’ Jesus died in our stead. He died so that we might live and have forgiveness of sins.
“Philippe finally understood this last Friday. We hosted a spontaneous Shabbat prayer meeting for those who needed comfort and a place to talk. Very few came out, as many people are afraid to leave their homes at night. Philippe however, was not afraid.
“In fact, Philippe had come to a previous meeting after seeing our large Juifs pour Jésus sign. He grew up in a rather religious Jewish home, but never felt like he quite fit in. He was always attracted to poetry and to a wider cultural life than what his religious upbringing offered. When he saw the bold sign on the window display (when so many Jewish people are not using public signs to identify their meeting places) he couldn’t help but stop in. Our dear brother and colleague Karl deSouza has since been faithful in studying the Bible with him.
“The Paris terrorist attacks helped Philippe understand that Jesus died for him, in his place . . . not in a senseless unwilling manner, but as a willing sacrifice for his sins. Last Friday, Philippe surrendered his heart to Jesus. Out of the darkness, and these dark times, the light of the Messiah still shines “so that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Please pray for Philippe to grow in the Lord, and that many more people will understand what Yeshua (Jesus) has done for them.