Pray for Paris. Pray for France

<p style="text-align: justify;">Saturday, 14 November 2015 | Bečići,&nbsp;Montenegro [Victor Hulbert] Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church across the Trans-European Division (TED) stood in a minute of silence and solidarity with the people of Paris and France following the tragedy on Friday, 13 November that has left 129 dead and a further 350 reported injured.</p>

News November 14, 2015

Saturday, 14 November 2015 | Bečići, Montenegro [Victor Hulbert] Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church across the Trans-European Division (TED) stood in a minute of silence and solidarity with the people of Paris and France following the tragedy on Friday, 13 November that has left 129 dead and a further 350 reported injured.

Photos by Victor Hulbert
One of the first actions during Sabbath morning worship was to invite Pastor Mario Brito, President of Inter-European Division, whose territory includes France, to the podium for an emotional recognition of what the people of France and, by extension, Europe, face.

“Today we are all French,” he said, expressing his “deep consternation” but also his solidarity with the people of France. While all churches in Paris are closed today, Pastor Brito shared that he has been in close contact with Ruben de Abreu, President of the Franco-Belgian Union. The Church in Paris has made its facilities available to the authorities and are available to help in any way possible.

While a state of emergency has been declared in France, Pastor Brito noted that such things cannot be unexpected “when people turn away from God’s directions and wisdom.”

Pastor Dan Jackson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America has been running leadership training at the meetings held 11 – 17 November. As the 130 leaders and family members stood in a minute of silence, Pastor Jackson led them in prayer. From the midst of the beauty, peace and tranquillity of Montenegro, he prayed for the families affected by the tragedy, the brave police, and the authorities and the difficult situations they face.

“As we are nearing the end of human experience, we are seeing through the gates”, he said, making reference to his hope for the soon return of Jesus Christ. In meetings focused on Mission in Europe, Jackson prayed for wisdom for each leader and church member that “while our hearts ache this morning”, that “we may be instrumental in sharing with men and women, boys and girls, the saving grace of our Lord and Saviour.”

TED President, Raafat Kamal, himself a former ADRA director, knows something about violence and tragedy, having lived through the civil war in Lebanon. With those memories in his heart, he equally noted that this was not just a problem for Paris, but something that touches every life.

Pastor Ian Sweeney, President of the Adventist Church in the UK & Ireland is also at the meeting. With sadness in his eyes over the horror on the streets of Paris he stated, “While in our prophetic understanding we know that evil and bloodshed will blight our world until Saviour’s return, it is nevertheless our duty to represent and share Christ’s love to those who are grieving and suffering through our prayers, comfort and acts of practical kindness as opportunities arise. Our response to acts of hatred must be acts of Christ’s love.”

In a statement on Friday, Adventist World Church President, Pastor Ted Wilson wrote, “Our hearts go out to the people and families suffering in the tragedy unfolding in Paris.” He added, “Please pray for a return to safety and peace.” He concludes with a plea that all Adventists can agree with. “May dire situations like this awaken all to the need for God and His love to be supreme in our lives as we see prophetic events taking place which herald the Lord’s soon return.”

See also a report in Adventist Review. [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Deana Stojković, editor
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