By Mauricio & Lulu Salazar
Taking the Light of Jesus to the City of Light
I am writing hoping that all is well with you and that, as always, the Lord Jesus is blessing your life every day. I also want to thank you for your prayers and support because, in this new field and assignment, your prayers are particularly appreciated due to the hardness of the land.
Meetings Outside Paris
Well back to the land of the living. We have had the great opportunity to be giving a couple of bible studies in two different towns close to Paris. One you might know the name, Chantilly, where a few people gather to listen to the word of God. Chantilly is a town of very wealthy people and owners of all kinds of horses, including racing horses. The other one is called Chaumont-en-Vexin, where another group of people gather to hear the word of God. We are praying for these two locations that it may be possible to open a more serious group and even a church in the future.
PAU, Pyrénées Atlantiques in South France
We have been traveling to south France once a month to visit a family and friends we won for Jesus many years ago in Brussels, Belgium. Now these people live in a beautiful city called Pau, and they have contacted me about starting a church in that area. For us, it is an option worth exploring for a few months to see what the Lord has in His will for these people. However, it is very far away from Paris, so we can only show up once a month for a couple of days. For now, we only have a very small group of very enthusiastic people with a great need and love for the Lord, so we will continue our visits until the Lord gives us clear direction in what we should do in that area of France.
An Unexpected Encounter
We have been helping a little with a church in the north of Paris, which is now called greater Paris and includes all the surrounding areas up to 20 miles from downtown- the area where we live. Pastor Marc Lebrun is French and his wife Ann Marie is Dutch, and they happen to have the church building just in front of the Iranian parliament-in-exile… yes, you read correctly. We were invited to the New Year dinner celebration of the parliament and it was my surprise to find the President of Iran in exile with several parliamentarians and a few French senators in the room. Pastors Marc and Ann Marie Lebrun, as well as my wife and I, were taken all the way to the front of the room, two tables away from them. Security was very tight, but inside the environment was very relaxed. There were many important Iranian and French people there seeking for the Ayatollah’s regime to finish and a new regime to be established. Many people gave speeches, very bold speeches, and all had a common denominator- the fall of the Ayatollah’s regime. I have worked with Iranians before and have seen many amazing things happen to them; I don’t know why God’s will would to get to greet the president in person, but I know God knows. Please pray for her and her government, as well as for the will of our God to be done.
Christ, Light of the Nations
As I said before, we have been helping a church close to our home and we are convinced that God sent us there for such a time as this to encourage them in the work in France. Just like many churches in Europe, the majority of the members are from different countries, but in this case, all or most of them speak French. I have been preaching in English/French for many years and my beautiful daughter Betsy was always there at my side. But now it is all completely in French; it has been a little difficult, but we are now becoming very comfortable in French. My presence there was not in our plans but it was in God’s plans. We have preached there often and have become another refreshing voice helping them get out in the streets again and share their faith with their community. Praise God. They just started going out to feed the people and share with them the love of God. Contrary to what many people would believe, in France, many people live in the streets- many of them have regular jobs, yet they don’t earn enough to pay rent. Please pray for this church and their pastors, and that God’s will may be done.
Walking and Praying
I have made it now a part of my routine to go to the XI district of Paris to pray weekly, sometimes even two times a week. I sit in front of the mayor’s office and pray, wander around the streets and pray, meet people and pray… I pray in the train, in the Metro, in the city, as I walk, as I sit, and I know that God will listen and answer according to His will. I have started to film some of those prayers and I hope you can accompany me on Facebook live and pray for Paris.
Ashburnham, United Kingdom
Even though you may see Europe as many countries, in reality they are rather small and it is easy to travel from here to there. Last week, Lulu and I decided to go to the UK’s annual retreat in Ashburnham, and it was just great! We were taught about church multiplication by Rev. Stacy Hilliard (Director of African American Ministries and Church Multiplication) and we had an amazing time. In the evening, we were blessed with the powerful and refreshing preaching of the word. It was wonderful to get to see old friends and co-laborers. It is only a two and a half hour drive from Paris to Ashburnham and a four hour ferry- very easy. We loved it. Thank you, Lord.
I hope that as we move together in the things of our Lord’s kingdom- you over there and us over here- we may be part of the work that makes His Kingdom come and His will be done.