Good News for the Rejected

By Brad Reynolds, serving at Eglise Protestante Internationale (EPI) in France.

The Whole Gospel for the Whole World

When I think of the whole gospel for the whole world, I think of Michel, who came to us in 2006. He encountered a young woman from our congregation on a city bus, and she invited him to our Alpha Course gathering.

Michel completed the 11-week program and also began attending EPI’s French service at the English-speaking International Church in Toulouse. Soon Michel gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized. He was filled with joy because his lonely life had been invaded by his Savior.

How important for Michel to meet his Savior at that time, since the following spring, he faced the second major trial of his life.

The Trials of Life

His first trial came in 2000 when, overworked and overtired, Michel fell asleep at the wheel one night and lost control of his car. After months in a hospital, learning to talk and walk again, Michel was ready to go home—but he had nowhere to go. While Michel was hospitalized, his wife divorced him, taking his two young daughters. He lost his business, and his father died. It took Michel six years to rebuild his life.

Then, in the spring of 2008, he was accused of a crime he insists he did not commit. Already impaired physically and mentally by his accident, Michel was overwhelmed by circumstances and without defense. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

A New Family

Yet, during this second time of turmoil Michel was no longer alone. He had a Savior and he had a family—his church family. Every day he received at least one letter from a church member. I visited him weekly. After serving six months of his sentence, Michel was released. Church members were at the prison door to embrace and love him.

Michel found a home and a job in a city an hour’s drive from Toulouse, but he never forgot his church family. This September, he surprised us with a visit to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was on a Sunday when we were remembering what God had done through our Alpha courses. The message that day, from 2 Corinthians 5, focused on how God’s love compels us to be His ambassadors to a hurting world. It seemed an appropriate day to have our friend return.

After the service, I invited anyone who needed a physical touch from the Lord to come forward. To my surprise, six people responded, including Michel, who has a serious physical need. Tears filled his eyes as we anointed him with oil and prayed that he would experience the Father’s deep love for him,

This is the message of the gospel—the whole gospel for the whole person. People like Michel, who are rejected and misunderstood by society, who have experienced incredible loss and deep loneliness, find  hope and a future in their Savoir.

Our prayer is that Michel will be completely healed, that he will be exonerated of the accusations made against him, that he will experience the blessing that Job knew in his life-shattering trial. What a great Savior we serve! What a great and mighty God we know! Not only does He save our souls but also He meets all of our needs out of His abundant bounty.

What You Can Do

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Read more about how Alliance workers are taking the whole gospel to the whole world.


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