Patrick and I have received several emails from folks back home wondering how we are doing amid the violent riots erupting around France. We are fine. We live near Nice and Cannes where some mischief has occurred (over 100 fires, 37 cars burned in Nice on Saturday), but not on the same scale as Paris.
Please be in prayer for France.
As you may know, France has the highest population of Muslims in Western Europe (5 million). There has been discord brewing for years beneath the surface. This is not a simple problem with a simple solution. I was reading on a news site today that told the story of how many Muslim immigrants lived. A high percentage of families no longer have a father at the head, and many, many live in poverty. What struck me (and should strike us all) is this quote from a young Muslim:
“Death of love has destroyed a whole generation.”
That’s what France needs today. Love. Compassion. Real Grace. Peace. Please pray for us during this time that we can offer Jesus to hurting folks.
Dominique de Villepin, the French Prime Minister said this: “It’s also the responsibility of each of us to change our behaviour, to change the way we look at people.”
Those who riot are people. Those who are suffering at the hand of rioters are people. All need hope, love, grace. As de Villepin says, we need a reformation of thought and action toward people.
We are in a spiritual struggle here. It’s not necessarily about people against people, but about spiritual forces at work. Please pray that God would strengthen our hands, our minds, our hearts as we strive to love the French people and the European community with Christ’s surprising and astounding love.