Dr. Paul Klawitter, European director for Grace Brethren International Missions, has a fascinating post on his blog about how the French view evangelicals. Specifically, he reports on one French publication which comments on a Grace Brethren service the reporter attended:
Well, this past week a journalist had some extremely complimentary things to say about the Montceau Grace Brethren (evangelical) Church, and that in a city where Protestants were once martyred (see March 16, 2006 blog).
The Journal de Saône-et-Loire (Feb. 12, 2007) wrote:“Sunday morning, at the Cultural Center in Paray-le-Monial, the Center for the Study of the Word of Montceau-les-Mines organized a prayer meeting that assembled about thirty people.
“The CSW of Montceau is managed by Protestant Evangelical Christians. The goal of this association is to make known the Bible and its relevant message. Songs, worship, meditation…
“David Hobert… chose a Psalm as a starting point for his meditation. [The Psalm] says that the one who has faith is never alone. Even in the deepest loneliness, there is someone who is thinking of him, who watches over him, and who is waiting for him.
“One must note the good participation of the congregation at this Protestant meeting. Actually, after the reading, everyone gave their impressions and shared a testimony, highlighting the personal relationship between God and men.
“‘God is a place of safety for me,’ said one. ‘He is light in the darkness,’ added another. And ‘He shows me the way to follow when I stray,” said a third.
“These Christians…, families with children, found some comfort, the balm of religion and strength to lead the hard combat of life.
“Each one shared his testimony. The main speaker then chose the Letter to the Ephesians as his starting point; the Bible is the only reference for Protestant Evangelicals. Through metaphors, the passage showed that religion arms believers with the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt being the symbol of truth and the shoes representing zeal.
“This was a beautiful ceremony. Alas, too rare in this religious capital — the city of Paray-le-Monial.”