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My salvation and Baptism

I was born in a missionary home in France on the 30th of August 1977. As I grew up in a faithful Christian home, I heard the Bible from a very young age. I attended church when I was only a few days old; in fact the church my parents started in Thionville, in the eastern part of France, began officially the same year I was born.

During one winter camp, in 1984, after a sermon my father preached on the sin of man and about the salvation Christ offered, I understood I was a sinner, that I wasn't pleasing God, and because of that I was not going to be with Him when I die. As my father asked after the sermon if anyone would like to be saved, I raised my hand convinced of my sin and of my need of repentance.

Then my mother took me to separate room, explained to me again the plan of salvation, and asked me if I understood everything. I then said yes. She then told me I had to pray to God and ask forgiveness for my sins, to ask Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. So I did. I remember that after I was done praying I had joy in my soul, I thanked my mother for helping me, and then I couldn't help it: I had to tell everyone about it the very same night.

A few years later I questioned my mother about baptism. And so she explained that baptism is a commandment God wants us to obey, that it is a testimony of what God had done for us through Jesus-Christ. It symbolized Christ's death, burial and resurrection, and also our death to sin, its burial, and our resurrection into a new life with Christ. I then asked to be baptized. It was in May of the year 1987. 

My calling

When I was about fourteen I went to a Christian camp in southern France, Camp Rainbow, whose director is Damaris' father. During that camp I strongly felt the call of the service for God, and in front of the group I gave my life to God for full time ministry not knowing exactly what, when or where God wanted me.

Years went by and I had put aside not only that decision, but also my relationship with God. It was a time of struggle between my will and God's will. After my high school graduation in 1995 came the time for decisions as to what I was going to do. I remembered my promise to God but I still wasn't ready to submit. Since I had no idea, and didn't want to do anything, my mother pushed me to go to the Bible Institute telling me to remember my decision to serve God. The three years went by quickly. After graduating from the Institute in 1998, I decided to go to the States for a while before having to do my military duty in France. I stayed in the States from the summer of 1998 until March of 1999. I then was called to serve in the French military. During the whole time God never gave up on me, working in my heart. 

After my military duty in the fall of 2000, I served among the teens and started to help from time to time in the office of the Institute. The following year I offered my help to the school as far as secretary work but also accepted to teach some courses at the Institute. During that time God was slowly giving me hints about who He wanted me to marry and build a family with and led me to Damaris. Having the firm conviction this was God's will, Damaris and I got engaged in September of 2002.

My Calling #2

We then got married on July 5th 2003 while Damaris was studying at the Institute. I started also to preach more often at church and continued my work at the Institute. As time went by I felt that God was calling for something more. 

During winter camp of 2003 I was faced with the possibility of working with another missionary. Carey ABBETT, whom I've known since I was a kid, was there during camp and both of us served in the junior evening services. 

As I was already thinking about working in the church planting process and praying about it, I was tickled by the thought of: "what would it be like to work with Carey?", but quickly I scrubbed that out of my mind, because I knew there was great need at the school at the time and that Carey was working with his father. 

Then the following day I was talking with Tim Knickerbocker, and he was sharing the discussion he'd had with Carey's father, who's very concerned about finding someone to work with his son. Later on Tim came up to Damaris and me and said he had a great idea that he would like to share with us after the evening service. I then told Damaris I knew what her dad's thought was: us working with the Abbetts; but also that I didn't want Tim to be pushing me into a direction or another, and also that if it was God's will, then He'd show it to us more directly. I told her that I'd rather have Carey come up to me and say something about it and by this show that God was truly leading us in that direction.
 

So the same evening Carey and I were talking about things and others, and spontaneously he told Damaris and me, that he and his wife both thought that working together could be a very possible thing. As you can imagine I was speechless for a few seconds, then I asked him if by any chance he had talked to Tim about that. His answer was negative. So I shared with him the thought that came across my mind the day before. And at that moment Tim came in the room: "Oh, you're both there, good. I'd like to share some thoughts I had concerning both of you!..." We looked at him and started laughing. So we explained to Tim what we were talking about earlier. We talked again about it, prayed the same night all together, Tim, Carey and I.

Deputation

So in September of 2004 we came to the States in order to find a US sending church as one of the requirements of BWM. In my mind I was more looking into Belvidere since that's where I had attended when I was here in 1999 and because it's one of my parents' supporting churches.

My aunt and uncle who live in Ashton, IL, offered us to stay at their place until we found one of our own. As I was looking for a job in Rockford or Belvidere, we started looking for a church to attend here in the area. We found First Baptist on the internet. Not knowing the stands of this church, we looked up the missionaries list on the website and found several that we knew; that's how we knew this had to be a good church. So we started attending here. As the job doors were all closed in Rockford, God gave both of us one in Ashton. 

There again we saw God's hand and the direction He was pointing us. So we settled here in Rochelle and became members of this church feeling that this is the place God wanted us to be. 

I am truly convinced that God wants me to serve Him fulltime. I believe that working in church planting with another missionary would be a great experience for me, but also would give me time to help at the Institute and at camps. I'm willing to help where the needs are.

Right now there is a need of bringing the Gospel to the French people, a need for faithful independent Baptist churches in France, a need of Christians to commit their lives to the ministry and get training for it, a need to teach them. This is what God has been calling me since the age of fourteen.

Please pray for my wife and me that we will always let God direct our path. We love this church, we enjoy the preaching and the fellowship, but, above all, the faithfulness of our brothers and sisters here at First Baptist.


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