France at a Glance

Today’s post is simply an “at a glance” overview
of the United Pentecostal Church in France and
general numbers around religious adherence there.


United Pentecostal Church, France, Église Pentecôtiste Unie

I created this infographic using Piktochart:
An online web service for just that purpose.
Pretty easy to use and if you’re a church or
a not-for-profit, they give a discounted rate
for the full version and are wonderful to
deal with… I highly recommend!

Five coins, 1-Euro… deep thought!

  • What you spend your money on says a lot about you!
  • How you spend your time, reveals your priorities.

The Currency of Eternity

Going back to France’s Youth Convention, in November, for today’s post. In his Sunday morning message, Bro. Robert Tisdale spoke on “The Currency of Eternity,” taking his text from Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 12.15

“…and I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”

His basic tenet was that we are the currency of eternity and God desires to spend us in order to transact his business. The question is… what will we allow ourselves to be spent on?

A coin does not tell its owner to spend or not to spend it, nor does it tell him what it can be spent on. Likewise, we are ill-placed to tell God how he may or may not use us. If we try we are not wholly surrendered to him in the first place.

Ccoin4_smoin Toss

Throughout the whole message, he and Bro. Nowacki tossed 20-cent coins over their shoulders or out onto the stage and floor area, constantly reiterating the question… How will we be spent?  How will we allow ourselves to be spent?

Q: What if Luke, because he never really preached any life changing sermons, deccided not to allow himself to be spent?
A: We’d have neither the books of Luke or Acts (which, combined, have more verses than Paul’s writings).

Q: What if Barnabas, because he was never seen as either a great apostle, preacher or writer, refused to allow himself to be spent?
A: Perhaps there’d have been no apostle Paul and we be missing a great part of the New Testament?

In a Nutshell

We may not find ourselves being used in the capacity that we’d like or expect, but as long as we allow ourselves to be spent for God’s purposes, we’ll leave something worthwhile for the next generation. Our ministry may not be necessarily characterized by “greatness” according to man’s standard, but if we are the one to reach the “Paul” of the next generation, we will have reason to rejoice and will have been well-spent.

The Take-away… the lesson

While we were there listening, our anticipated AIM term was, of course, quite present in our mind. How would we allow ourselves to be spent?

At the end of the message and at one point during the altar, I picked up 5 of those coins off of the floor. One coin to represent each member or my family (Myself, Liz, Sophie, Dominic and Timo) and I had in mind what I wanted to do…


I would take them home and have them framed in such a way so as to be reminded on a regular basis… our 5 lives represent the currency of eternity and God would like to use us to transact his business.

The question “How do I spend my time, my energy, my life?” must constantly be carefully considered… for I am not my own, I am bought with a price.  (1 Cor. 6.19-20)  I am the currency of Eternity and God wants to use me, my wife… and my children to transact His business.  Will my choices concerning use of time, talent and energy best benefit His business?

I’ve been Framed!

Below you’ll see a photo of all 5 coins… meticulously framed by Mario’s Framing in Saint John.  You’ll perhaps notice that 4 of the 5 coins have the monetary denomination facing up (20 cents). However the one in the center is different… the side showing depicts a sower in a field with a rising sun behind her, accompanied by the letters RF (République Française – see detailed picture above).

Having the RF facing up was intentional (as France was the center of where we wanted to allow God to spend us). What was even more incredible (and this we didn’t realize until afterward) was that the woman depicted, was a sower. That is our purpose in France… to sow the seed of God’s word into the hearts of hungry men, women and children.  Lord, let it be so, let us be spent sowing, for the transacting of your business in France!


Don’t just sit there… translate!


Today was the second and final day of the Youth Convention… it was amazing, and that for a number of reasons.

Yesterday I mentioned that there were a number of young people in attendance from other European countries. For this reason every aspect of the services take place in both French and English.

  • If songs are sung in French, both French and English lyrics are displayed.
  • If a worship leader is exhorting in French, their comments are simultaneously translated into French.
  • If greetings from a special guest are expressed, or the preaching takes place, in English, it will also be simultaneously translated into French.

During the morning service, Bro. Nowacki asked if I would help by providing translation for the service preliminaries: both from French to English, as well as from English to French, depending on the speaker. That was honour enough already, but during the second service of the day, and the final service of the convention, he asked if I would translate for the convention speaker, Bro. Tisdale.  At the risk of sounding repetitious… What an honour!  You’ve got to remember that up to this point, Bro. Nowacki himself had done all translation of the messages and now, for the final message of the weekend, when expectations are Translating Bro. Robert Tisdalethrough the roof, he was entrusting that responsibility to a Canadian anglophone.

It reminded me of another time back in the early 1990’s. I spent two years in Belgium in an AIM-type role and at that time also, I had been asked to translate during national meetings. When I think back to that time and look at this experience, I’m convinced that the Holy Ghost anoints a translator just as He anoints a preacher, so that the essence of his word for that congregation goes forth unimpeded. You have to think on the fly, seek vocabulary and interpret not just the words but the idioms and cultural sensitivities as well. Things went so well during that service that there were times when I thought to myself… “You don’t even speak this clearly in normal conversation, when you have time to think about what you’re saying.”  I have no explanation other than to say “that’s the anointing of God” and I give him glory for it.

We came to this convention intending to simply attend, rejoice and learn with the church of France and reconnect with friends. The unexpected privilege of being able to participate in and contribute to what God was doing, was simply tremendous.

Leadership within the French District showed confidence in our ability to bring something to the work there. The Atlantic District and Global Missions personnel have recognized our ability to contribute to this field, as AIM furlough replacements for the Brochus beginning in January 2015.  Would you consider supporting us financially during this AIM term; allowing us to contribute, on a longer-term basis, to growing the work in France?

Ushered to the VIP seats in France

Youth Convention 2013Having spent the past week or so on vacation with Liz’s parents at their home in southern Belgium, we’d originally planned to fly back to Canada tomorrow, November 10. Seeing that the French Youth Convention was scheduled for the same weekend, we were just too close and the timing was too perfect to miss.

It would only take 3-4 hours, by car, to drive from southern Belgium to Melun (where Pastor Nowacki’s church is located) and we could fly out of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport the following day, November 11th.  A quick adjustment of plans, arrange a car rental and voilà… we were off to France and YC2013 bound!

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the convention, hence the theme… 30 ans Triomphe (30 years Triumph).  Although it has consistently been organized by Bro. Nowacki’s church, it is no longer simply for the young people of France. Young people were present from Denmark, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and other European countries. The guest speaker for the weekend, Rev. Robert Tisdale of Dallas,Texas, was to minister in the four convention services (This afternoon & evening and tomorrow morning & afternoon).

Pastor Nowacki and his team knew that we were coming but little did we know that they’d usher us to reserved seating front and center in the auditorium; we wouldn’t miss anything of what God would do in these services. We reconnected with the missionaries (the Nowackis, the Brochus and the Balcas) as well as national pastors with whom I’d taught during IBF (Institut Biblique de France or French Bible Institute) in 2009, 2010 and 2012.  MTisdale-Nowackiany of the present and former students also came to greet us, meeting Liz & the kids for the first time.

60 young people presented Héros de la Foi (Heroes of the Faith) this evening. During this black-light presentation they cited the names and stories of 30 biblical heroes of faith and affirmed how they themselves would, like those they cited, strive to be a hero of the faith to this, their generation. Bro. & Sis. John & Anne Nowacki, themselves heroes of the faith in France, introduced the presentation. Sis. Nowacki was, after all, the first national youth president when they arrived in the country over 30 years ago. They recounted the history of France’s youth department and the convention which grew out of it… having grown to over 800 this year.

We got to meet Rev. Mike Tuttle for the first time. He is a former missionary to the Netherlands and currently the Global Missions Department’s Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East.  Although I was unaware that we would meet him, it was nonetheless great to do so, as he will be one of the men who will consider our application for AIM appointment, and will be part of our reporting structure once on the field.

Day 1 of the convention, with our view from VIP, was wonderful!

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Our France at a Glance

Below are photos that highlight France in General and more specifically, our work & time in Châtellerault.  Enjoy!