International Ministries

Thomas’ Travels - April 2009

March 20, 2009 Journal
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France and England, then Serbia and Africa

MERLEBACH (France):

What a joy to see the numerical growth of this Assemblies of God Church since my last visit. The pastor, Michel Milia, told me that most of the growth has come as a result of friendship evangelism; believers sharing the gospel with their work colleagues and relatives. There are now 140 members meeting in premises that are too small. As with some other AOG churches, they are hard put to relocate due to the scarcity of available property. The flip side of this growth is that the pastor is not training staff to assume the necessary responsibilities of in-depth counseling. Spiritual growth and vision beyond personal salvation is very, very slow

My visit there this time was to give a couple of seminars on marriage and the family. The first was entitled "God's formula for a happy marriage"; the second was on the subject "Why get married instead of just living together?" Concubinage is a legalized status in France. The meetings were well attended and the people were very attentive. The time for questions and answers would have lasted well beyond the thirty minutes allowed. Some of the questions asked were:
What about women whose husbands don't allow them to attend church?
What about battered spouses? Should they stay together?
What does one do about rebellious children?
Which is more important, church or family?

It would have been good to have more time. Do continue to pray for this church. They are located in a very needy area with few evangelical churches. Do lift up your voices to God also for:
The week-end in London at the Manor Park Community Center: March 26-30.
A week of meetings in Backi Petrovac (Serbia): April 13-19.
A small campaign in Biscarrosse (near Bordeaux): May 11-17. 


MORE EXCITING DAYS AHEAD:

Andrew Palau, a son of Luis Palau, is holding a festival in KIGALI (Rwanda) in July. He is inviting two or three key African leaders from eight or nine countries to attend. The purpose is to have them experience the festival first hand in the expectation that they will invite him to hold festivals in their capital cities. These festivals would be preceded by mini-crusades with NGA evangelists.

When asked whom I could recommend, I immediately thought of leaders from Kinshasa and Dar-es-Salaam. Within 24 hours of contacting them, they gave their positive responses!!

The former might be 2010 and the latter 2011. I expect I will have my hands full over the next few years. Helping to organize mini crusades and a city-wide festival in Kinshasa (8 million) and Dar-es-Salaam (4-5 million) is a mammoth task. As far as Kinshasa is concerned, this makes our trip there in August all the more meaningful.

I am really in need of your prayers and continued sacrificial support. Thank you for caring and for sharing as the Lord enables you in these crisis times.

Bill Thomas

More: www.bill-thomas.org