BALLYMENA natives, Andrew Lytle and his wife, who are currently serving in Nantes as missionaries reflect on the Paris attacks. Andrew is a Missionary Pastor with the Église Réformée Évangélique in Orvault, Nantes in the west of France. Alongside his wife, Heather and their young son, Matthieu, they have served the Lord full-time in France for several years.
Andrew Lytle & his wife, now living in France and serving as missionaries reflect on the Paris attacks.
In a piece exclusively written for The Church Page, Andrew reflects on the impact on his adopted homeland of the recent attacks on Paris:
He says: “As I drove home from youth group on Friday 13th November, I switched on the radio to hear how France were doing against Germany but it wasn’t football that was being talked about. Rather it was two explosions which had been heard outside the Stade de France. It was unclear as to what had caused them but as the night wore on, it became all too clear that the loud bangs were part of a coordinated terrorist attack that saw the greatest loss of life on French soil since World War 2. Many have asked since these horrific events, indeed since the attacks in January 2015, how do these events affect your ministry in France? Have they served to either open or close doors for Gospel witness? To this I would answer: “both”.
Doors seem more tightly shut because to say that there is one true God, one mediator between God and man, one way of salvation or one true faith is seen as extremism and we know where extremism can lead. Saying such things puts us on a par with killers who allow for no other way than “Allah”. Absolute truth in the area of faith and religion no longer exists for the majority of French people so any claims to be proclaiming THE truth must be rejected.
On the other hand these attacks have given opportunities to speak of a God who offers love, peace, forgiveness, grace and mercy while at the same time assuring people that all evil will be judged. Atheism offers no such hope of ultimate justice. People are looking for hope in the face of injustice. The Gospel offers such hope as we speak of the greatest ever injustice, the murder of Jesus Christ, which brought about the greatest ever good, the saving of many souls.”
You can find out more about Andrew and Heather’s work by logging on here (written in French) or click here to read their blog (scroll to the bottom of the link page and you’ll be able to read a section in English)