Secular Western Europe presents a completely different kind of missions challenge. A perfect example is the work of Helio and Annie de Almeida, working in the suburban “Buckle of the Seine” region just outside Paris.
By George Ainsworth
Until they started their congregation in a rented space, there was no Protestant church of any kind in this area of over 300,000 people. Starting from a handful of believers, the church now has nearly 50 people, so that Helio and Annie have the joyful problem of searching for a bigger meeting space.
They had 15 additional guests at Easter, and do ongoing outreaches into the community through their new choir, dance, acts of compassion toward the needy, and opening their home to “whosoever will.”
Ever since it was brutally suppressed in the late 1600s, Protestant Christianity has been a tiny minority in France. But now it is estimated that eight to ten new evangelical congregations are started every week.
Helio and Annie de Almeida are right at the front lines of what God in His mercy is doing in France. Although shaken by the terrorist attacks reported in American news, many French people, especially younger ones, are reaching out in faith for the One who is our fortress and shield.
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George Ainsworth is ANM’s director for Europe and Russia.