With Heartfelt Thanks
As the Fellowship family says good-bye to the French Fellowship Mission and welcomes the new model for supporting church planting in Quebec and the francophone regions of Canada, it seems appropriate to send a message of gratitude to all those churches and individuals across our great country who supported our missionaries so faithfully over the years.
Since 1958 they have given financial support, received workers into their homes, and listened with great interest as they were told about all the marvelous blessings the Lord has poured on French-Canadian believers. Even before that, from the early days of persecution in the northern mining cities of Abitibi, to the formation of small groups of believers across Quebec, English Canadians were giving generously so that the work might advance, people might come to know the Lord, and workers might be found to gather in the harvest.
Many French pastors were supported financially and many prayers went up as the people of our Fellowship sought to further the growth of the new churches being formed. From the early days young Bible students heard the call of God and came to a field where they needed to learn a new language and culture in order to reach lost souls. Every summer college and university students with just a basic knowledge of French would give their time and effort to help in the cause.
As for us, from the beginning of our experience in the Fellowship we personally benefited from this tremendous support, first as we sat under the teaching of the missionaries supported by the Fellowship churches and later as we joined their ranks in ministering the Word to the believers in the Ahuntsic church in Montreal.
Then in 1994 Marcel was asked to become Director of Deputation for the French Board. From then on we traveled extensively all across Canada to represent our churches and workers in many of our English-speaking churches. It was a marvelous experience as we met with believers who for many years had the burden for the lost in our needy province and had given faithfully to help bring them to Christ. We met young people who dreamed of coming to help us spread the Gospel. We were amazed at the generosity of our fellow Canadians in giving so that new churches could purchase adequate space for worship.
Now, when we hear of the plans for direct partnerships between churches that are miles apart, come from different cultures, and even speak different languages, we are reminded of the early days of the Christian Church. In most of the epistles the writers spoke of the love between churches, the gifts that were sent to help those in need and the constant visiting as they kept in close touch with each other. So with hearts full of gratitude for the liberality of English-speaking believers we look forward to a new and even closer relationship with the family of God.