Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcoming Michael

This coming Sunday we'll have the priviledge of hearing from and spending time with our missionary in Toulouse, France, Michael Gibbons. It's an exciting time to be planting churches in western Europe! More than ever before, European cities are being inundated by immigrants from all parts of the globe, creating transition points which God often uses to compel people to consider who they, why they exist and Who made them. The Gibbons have been building a truly international team of workers to reach out to the masses streaming to Toulouse, which is the fastest growing city in Europe. Not only that, Toulouse is host to nearlyl 200,000 university students - a seedbed for evangelism and church planting. It's an exciting time to be doing ministry in western Europe.

But it's also a challenging time. Much of western Europe is stridently atheistic and suspicious of organized religion. The EU is rife with debt and the tax burden of western European welfare states is beginning to catch up with them. Toulouse is a very expensive place to live. It's a challenging time to be doing ministry in western Europe.

All this means that we have reason to rejoice with Micheal and pray with and for him. Please join me in asking God not only to prepare his heart and ours as he comes to speak to us on Sunday. Ask God to do in Toulouse 'abundantly beyond all we can think or imagine' (Eph. 3:20) as the Spirit uses friends like the Gibbons to extend Christ's Kingdom farther and deeper to His glory.

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