Pray for the Eglise Evangélique Baptiste de Niort
This week we are praying for the Eglise Protestante Baptiste in Niort (David and Laureline Perez, married 2013).
This church is located in Niort, France situated in the Deux-Sèvres department (79). Deux Sèvres has only 7 Evangelical Churches for 371,632 people.
Please sign this petition and let them know we're praying for them!
The Poitou-Charentes region stretches from La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast and curves northward through the original Poitou region, with Poitiers as the capital. Known as the region connecting northern and southern France, it’s not surprising that it has been in the middle of clashes throughout history: the Gauls and the Romans (56 BC), Muslim/Arab invasion and the French (Charles Martel stops Muslim takeover of Europe- 732), British and French (100 Years War: 13th – 14th C), Catholic and Protestant (the War of Religions – 17th -18th C), with Niort rising as a center of Protestantism. In 1604, about 80 people from Poitou left France and settled in Canada and the lands of Louisiana and Maine, called Cajun.
Today, the Poitou region cultivates wheat and oats and breeds cattle, horses, mules, and goats. Its goats provide over 50% of the goat cheese in France. While its largely rural, the region is atypical. Instead of declining in population as other regions we have discussed, population shows continuous growth over centuries. From agriculture to the aeronautics industry, this region claims one of the lowest unemployment rates in all of France. Over 1 million tourists each year visit a futuristic amusement park. Poitevin Marshlands, also dubbed the “Green Venice,” draw many by its pristine wildlife, beautiful islands and gardens. Once a land of counts and dukes, descendants of King Louis IV are still alive today in the Poitou region.
Niort, the home of this Evangelical Protestant Baptist Church, sits as capital of the Deux Sèvres Department. Ranked among the oldest towns in France, Niort grew inside the 12-13C Castle built by King Henry II of England and Richard the Lion-Heart. Today, In the midst of its being a strong commercial center, Niort has still managed to remain a quaint, “traditional old French town.”
Even with the lowest unemployment rates in France, Niort suffered severely from the 2008 economic crisis because it also serves as national headquarter for major insurance companies and as financial center for France. Resilient, it continues to rank 4th as one of France’s top financial centers, after larger cities of Paris, Lyon, and Lille.
Finally, despite its rich Protestant history, and, in spite of steady growth in population and business, only 4 evangelical churches exist within the city of 60,000 today (137,000 total with “suburbs”), and, with only 7 in the entire Deux Sèvres Department.
Pastoral Couple: David and Laureline Perez
Beginning in 1894, The Evangelical Protestant Baptist Church of Niort later merged with two other churches in 1904. Forty years later, October 1945, it was revived. With many different pastors and locations, by 2000, the church set down roots in its current building. By 2012, David Perez spends his pastoral internship at this church and in 2013 was set in place as pastor.
Priorities of Church
- Be a force in the French society in order to help France and her people regain not just their identity but their true identity in Jesus Christ, by welcoming all and reaching out to all. After November 13 attacks in Paris, President Hollande of France declared that France has lost her identity. Earlier, in September 2015, Pastor David’s posted a charge on the church’s website declaring the exact message. Although the government has done all it can, he challenges the church to step up because the church holds the key to bringing diverse cultures together, and, restore France’s true identity and unity through the grace and love of Jesus Christ. The church can no longer relax, but needs to rise to the occasion to become active in their culture and society, and provide that answer to “Who am I?” http://www.epb79.fr/Journal-de-l-eglise/L-article-...
- Making the Good News of Jesus Christ accessible to everyone, so that people come to know Him and that disciples will be made. The church values removing obstacles to new people coming to church by posting local bus routes and offering carpooling. Emphasizing “come as you are” with casual dress widens the door to those who may have never stepped foot in a church before. Once a month “common meals” welcomes guests and builds sense of community.
- As part of creating a church that makes the Good News accessible to everyone, the pastor lives this value himself and sets the example. He invites anyone to meet with him over coffee or tea to get to know one another, to discuss the Bible and Christian Faith, for personal spiritual or counseling needs when going through “difficult times in life.” And, not surprisingly, anywhere the individual prefers, including home visits. The church recently celebrated a new café area with mini bookstore.
- Establishment of home groups and a weekly prayer group offer opportunities for building relationships, spiritual support, and Christian growth.
- Teaching of the Word of God. The church holds 8 week sessions of Bible Immersion training throughout the year on Saturday mornings. The website in several places emphasis on Free Bibles to anyone desiring a Bible. Every sermon is recorded and can be found on the website.
- Raising up the next generations in Jesus Christ. The Pastor’s out of the box thinking allows creativity for the youth to be reached. At Christmas time, the youth group did a joint outreach with an another evangelical church: a flash mob dance. A camping trip for youth is scheduled for the summer. The website highlights their Sunday school, including a photo of the teachers.
- Reaching people of other nations within Niort. According to a photo on Facebook, the church is already beginning to live out its call to reach out to those from other nations and backgrounds.
A Few Prayer Points
- Pray for the pastoral couple, David and Laureline. That their joy never wanes, but ever increases, spilling over into the lives of everyone they touch. That great financial provision, from supernatural and unknown sources, would be poured into their laps at this time and season in their marriage and life. That the Holy Spirit would continue to give them divine creative means and strategy to push their church into new arenas in their desire to see the church (believers) become leaders and a healing and unifying force within the French society and culture. For divine favor in the marketplace and in their daily lives, with divine appointments, to lead others to Christ. That times of refreshing would come upon them, with the ability to renew their own marriage by being able to get away together as needed. And, that the Lord will grant them the desires of their hearts.
- Pray for the congregation. That their church would break the mold, and continue to attract people of all nationalities residing in their area, and become that sweet aroma of Jesus to those desperately seeking “Who they are.” That any resistance to change would melt away, dissolve, and not take any root as the pastor presses his church onward, venturing into new territory. That hearts would be fully ignited by the Holy Spirit with passion for Jesus Christ and would gladly join their pastor in the call of this church to rise up at such a time as this in France. That love and unity amongst each other would be a magnet, such that they become known as a church of genuine, unconditional love and unity throughout the area. Lastly, raise up trusted leaders, including more home groups, within the church to multiply the ministry and vision given to Pastor David.
- Pray for the youth, that church would not just be a social place, but that each one would grasp how wide, how deep, how high the Love of the Father has for them. For full revival among all the youth in the area. That they would understand and know their identity and purpose in Christ Jesus. That each one would encounter the Holy Spirit and that their hearts would be open and pliable towards the Lord, and, guarded against temptations. Increase their own divine appointments in bringing the love and message of Jesus Christ to their school mates. Protection for each one spiritually and physically as they live in a secular society, that they would see the courage and stance their pastor is taking and be strong in conviction and relationship with Jesus Christ. That each one would hear God’s call for their lives. Pray for adult mentors, informally and formally, to come around this very important generation at this very important time and season.