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2011 Marie Martinson (Team Testimony)

Marie Martinson
BLF Impressions Team Testimony
Sept. 29 - Oct. 10, 2011


Bonjour! “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes; first for the Jews, then for the Gentiles.” Rom. 1:16

What a privilege, to once again serve in France with Bibles & Literature in French (BLF). I caught a vision last year which prompted me to go again. Contact with the people touched me very positively on a spiritual level. What a life changing and unforgettable experience for me!

We as believers in Jesus Christ are called to serve. As I put into practice, with God’s grace, the message of the Bible, I realized, unless I went I would have never known how the situation in France is so alarming. There is a sense of urgency to act.

Our team of eight accomplished several projects:
    ▶Worked in the print shop for three days
    ▶Visited “France Pour Christ” (FPC) missionaries in Douai, Lens, and Valencienne. They shared their vision, their purpose: to encourage and promote the development/revival of the Christian faith in France and the unity of Christians of all denominations
    ▶Distributed calendars with the Christian message in various neighborhoods in Valencienne (despite the vicious dogs)
    ▶During our work day in the print shop we glued, covered, cut, shrink wrapped and boxed approximately 5,000 pictorial New Testament Bibles and assembled 2,000 Manga Messiah packages for mailing to private schools and libraries to all French speaking countries as well as locally.
    ▶Attended two church services and sang “Hosanna” in English and “You Are My Hiding Place” in English and French, & we were joined by a group from Switzerland who sang in German.

Once you listen to the missionaries and their testimonies, you quickly realize the immense need. The challenges are enormous. Individualism has taken over. Egology (new term for me)- 83% claim to be happy, yet the rate of suicide keeps going up. One in two French people is catholic and the number is decreasing-out of this number, only 4% understand the Christian message & many remain closed- 4,000 French people convert to Islam each year. They impose and assume authority with aggression to compel people into Islam. The French government is very careful and afraid of the Muslims. They do not welcome the Christian message.

Today people cling on identity from family and are often closed to the Gospel, but they will read materials and will open up (over coffee) in cafes, after establishing a relationship. It is usually through apologetics and seeing the lives of Christian friends that people will come to know Christ. That is how they measure Christianity. They see and live it in coffee bars.

There is a recent movement which is encouraging. There is a regrouping of evangelization, unity among the FPC missionaries and the purpose is to have one church for 10,000 inhabitants. BLF has a big part in this. They have to be very creative in ways to reach the people. In France the Gospel never changes, they just have to find new ways to present it. If you are interested in finding out more about “France Pour Christ” please visit their webpage.

I hope this has been informative and trust that you find this to be a challenge to be involved, however the Lord may lead you. Thank you for all your prayers and support. We give God all the glory for what He has done and continues to do in us and through us while serving in France.

If you are considering a mission trip, please contact BLF (630-221-1980 or at teams@blfusa.org.

Serving with much joy,

Marie Martinson

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