Celebrating East Gate Ministère Francophone
January 24, 2018
What comes out of a deeper communion with Christ?
This was the question that stayed with me after a phone call with Jacques Lapointe, pastor of East Gate Ministère Francophone, a New Venture among the francophone community in Ottawa, ON.
We'll begin this report on East Gate Ministère Francophone at the place where Jacques ended our phone conversation. As we were finishing up, I asked Jacques if he had any prayer requests. He commented that he has been having many conversations with Jesus about not wasting his time on things that are not useful in the kingdom of God.
"Sometimes we can be like big kids," he admitted. "But I want a deeper communion with Jesus."
He listed distractions that kept him from this, like spending too much time on his computer, (something that somewhere along the way I’d casually defined as the new normal). And in his desire and confession I recognized a wise and fervent heart.
So what is the fruit of communion with Jesus? The list is as long as His powers and virtues! But here are some to consider:
Intimacy with God. Authority in Him. Honesty in how we see ourselves and the world around us. Humility. Freedom to give and receive God’s love and forgiveness. Sensitivity and inclination to the Spirit's desires and promptings--divinely creative initiatives! Power to live a Christ life and to bring about His kingdom in our communities.
Many of these fruits are manifest in God's present work at East Gate, outlined here by Jacques:
Alpha at East Gate
2017 was our third year running Alpha in French at our church. Over the two months we had an average of nine participants in all and three people gave their life to our Lord and Savior! From this group, two were baptized on January 7, 2018. The first was a lady who had lived as a lesbian for 13 years. She had accepted Christ five years ago, and though she had ceased living her past lifestyle from that time onwards, experiences from the past weighed heavily upon her. In August she came to Alpha. During a worship evening, as participants were gathered to pray, some in her group felt to pray for her. The following week she told us that that evening when they prayed, the heaviness fell down; she confessed that in her past life she had been abused, and as they prayed for her it was the first time she felt the peace of God in her soul and the love of Jesus for her. She went on to complete Alpha and asked to be baptized. The second lady to be baptized was her friend, whom she brought along to the program.
After the baptism service
East Gate will bring Alpha to their Catholic neighbors…
I am so excited to also have an opportunity to help with an Alpha course in French with a Catholic parish here in Ottawa. They contacted us three months ago after a lady from the parish heard about Alpha through the Alpha Canada website. She reached out and asked me for help in launching it. A priest in their parish was interested in reviving the spirituality of his people. Within the Catholic church there is a move among the Catholic churches among those desperate to bring people to God (At least 50 French parishes are using Alpha already.) I am thrilled if God can use my own Catholic background and my new understanding of relationship with Jesus to help our Catholic brothers and sisters draw near to Him. I am waiting to meet their leadership this month.
The Truth Project
In early December, after Alpha, we began the Truth Project. It was so well received and we have 8-9 people attending. We use this Focus on the Family curriculum which helps new Christians discern popular and current ideologies in light of biblical truth. It helps them develop a biblical way of thinking, define the way of their salvation and it equips them to answer moral and ethical questions as they face them in society.
We hope to follow the Truth Project with a Membership Class that will inform our people of their history in the family of God. We will cover the story of the Alliance & A.B. Simpson, and the story of East Gate. The goal is to put in place a leadership core group from this training.
We praise God for what He is doing in East Gate, and we ask God to grant them the desire of their hearts -- a deeper communion with Jesus and, in turn, a greater impact on their community.
Find out more about this New Venture here.