We are Sam and Mary Bouix, serving with the mission France Pour Christ (www.francepourchrist.fr), church-planting in Douai, in the very north of France. We have 4 children : Florian (16), Pauline (14), Esther (4) and Jamie (2). Mary practised as a vet (voilà our connection with VCF!) in a neighbouring town until Esther’s arrival. We are very touched and encouraged by your ongoing support, despite the fact that our work is no longer particularly veterinary!

 2017 is a year of transition. Since our arrival in 2011, Sam had been responsible for the running of the alcohol-free bar “L’équitable” in Douai town centre, as a tool for outreach and evangelism. After 11 years of faithfully welcoming, serving and witnessing to the people of Douai, the bar closed its doors for the last time in November 2016.

 The ministry is not coming to an end, but evolving : whilst L’équitable was widely known and appreciated, a very visible presence in the town, our small church remained invisible, meeting in the bar or in homes. We are currently in the process of acquiring a large building, also in the centre of Douai, as a home for our church. We will very probably set up a café ministry in part of the building, to continue the work of reaching out to our community.

So far we are very encouraged by the impact of these years of faithful witness through the bar : in a culture which is in general indifferent at best, and more than often hostile, to the message of Christ, we are surprised by the enthusiasm and support of numerous bar clients, professionals and even the mayor, for our church building project. We hope that the trust and respect built up over the years through the work at L’équitable will give many the desire and the courage to come through the doors, and be able to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’. We hope that the building will truly serve as a lampstand, to enable the light of God to shine out more clearly and light up Douai!

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light sine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5 : 14-16

 

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