(pop. 75,000) named after the famous French explorer of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley (Sieur de LaSalle/1643-1687). This spiritually needy, multicultural city is situated in the south-west sector of the Island of Montreal. It is a city (along with nearby Lachine) for which I've prayed for years to have a church plant, and now the answer is on the way. Praise the Lord! Richard (Janice) Houle is a veteran pastor with a strategic church planting vision that has already been greatly blessed in the Granby area. Richard will begin working with a core group in LaSalle (under the oversight of our Châteauguay church) this fall, with a view to starting public services at a later date.
(pop. 6,500) known as the Maple Capital of the World, is situated 80 kms south-west of Quebec City with many unreached towns nearby. The town is named after Quebec's first Catholic Archbishop (Joseph Octave Plessis/1763-1825), and was home to a struggling evangelical Baptist church up until several years ago. A brand-new church replanting project will be launched this fall with a core group from the Victoriaville church, under the oversight of Karl (Naomi) Fortin. Public services are scheduled to begin again in January 2013. Please pray.
(pop. 11,500) known as Canada's Snow Goose Capital, is situated 50 kms north-east of Quebec City on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. This 350-year-old town was named after New France's first Governor (Charles Jacques Hault de Montmagny/1599-1604). The first time Ruth and I visited this town I was startled to see a sign at the town's entrance announcing pas de colporteurs (no door-to-door peddlers) with an implicit message for evangelicals. A vibrant core group is already meeting there under the leadership of Robert (Chantal) Bonenfant, with the date yet to be determined for the launch of public worship services. Please pray.
by David Dobson
One of the great blessings of serving in the Lord's work is the tremendous privilege of knowing and working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of God's choicest servants. My wife, Ruth, and I definitely count Ginette Cotnoir to be among that number for us. We both served closely with Ginette for almost 15 years, and we testify to the fact that her inspiration, creativity and joy have been a tremendous help and blessing to us on the Fellowship French Mission team!
At her funeral service on March 17th, I shared that Ginette was the person responsible for our annual Fellowship French Mission calendar in both official languages a calendar that was such a blessing to literally thousands who would welcome its arrival into their homes each year. Ginette was also the co-ordinator of our Fellowship French Mission presentation each year at our National conventions for well over a decade and each year I would hear, 'Those French guys that was the highlight of the convention!' Meanwhile behind the scenes, it was almost always Ginette who had come up with the idea, prepared the script and directed the presentation she was the brains behind it all. She was also a writer and editor par excellence. I was always amazed by the fact that she (a francophone) could correct my written English and she was always right plus her spoken English was impeccable without the slightest trace of an accent. But that was Ginette always with the highest standards of professionalism and excellence!
Ginette also served (on a part-time basis) as the managing editor of The Evangelical Baptist magazine from 1998-2007. During that time (June '01) she was diagnosed with cancer, and over the next 11 years we watched and prayed as she fought her good fight with that predatory disease. In the January/February 2002 edition of the EB (Evangelical Baptist) magazine she wrote these words, I have met courageous people who are fighting cancer against great odds. Some of them cling desperately to this life because it is the only life they know and the unknown beyond terrifies them. Others are losing the battle and are angry at the cruel hand life has dealt them. All this gives me pause because if I were not a Christian I would see things the same way. But my faith in the God of the Bible gives me a different perspective. Trusting in a loving, all-powerful God gives me a great sense of security. My destiny is in the best of hands I will not live one day more, or less, than what God has already planned for me.
On Friday, March 9, 2012, Ginette went home to be with the Lord. While she is deeply missed, we share with all Christians everywhere the wonderful assurance that our farewells here on earth are never final and someday we shall meet again in the presence of our Lord.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15
by David Dobson
The clear vision of the AXE21 church (www.axe21.org) has been focused on reaching the largely unreached multitude of young adults who populate the city of Sherbrooke's colleges, universities and work world in this 21st century. Église Urbaine AXE21 was officially launched under the leadership of Marc (Marie-Hélène) Pilon on January 29, 2011 in Sherbrooke's downtown Théâtre Granada.
Now, 15 months later, they are averaging 310 in attendance each Sunday with about 50% of the congregation being between the ages of 18-35 and 50% engaged in small group Bible studies. On Sunday, December 4th, 31 new believers were baptized in their first baptismal service with 14 more planning to follow their footsteps in the water of baptism this spring. Their vision as a young work is to go to two services by September 2012, and to begin planting a new church in September 2013. To God be all the glory!
La Petite-Patrie/Montreal, QC
Église du Coin (www.egliseducoin.ca) was launched with a clear mission to reach the spiritually needy population (48,000) of the La Petite-Patrie district of central Montreal, where 44% live in single parent families, and 36% below the poverty line. The Church on the Corner is literally meeting in a former bank building on the south-east corner of St. Zotique and St. Denis Streets. Led by Éric (Carole) Lanthier, this young church family is currently averaging about 40-50 each Sunday and is steadily growing in attendance and commitment to reach their community with the gospel. Please pray!
Église Baptiste Évangélique d'Aujourd'hui (Evangelical Baptist Church of Today) is under the leadership of Israël-Luc (Agnès) Godfrey. This growing young church is the daughter work of our Trois-Rivières, QC (Three Rivers) church, and is strategically situated at Bécancour on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River right in the midst of a number of towns without any other evangelical church. The work started with a core group of about 80 including many children (seven from the pastor's own family), and has now grown to about 100 with many newcomers being reached with the gospel. Praise the Lord!
by David Dobson
Dr. Peter Marshall served as the pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and as chaplain of the U.S. Senate right up until the time of his death in January 1949. One of the most famous sermons by the popular Scottish preacher was entitled, The Tap on the Shoulder. In that message he stated that, the tap on the shoulder that called me to the ministry came to me, and this is the call that brooks no refusal the call that we cannot ignore, the call that brings us to heel to fall adoring and wondering at the feet of Christ.
For Ken Taylor it wasn't a tap on the shoulder, but rather a tap on the window that led Ken and Anne to serve as church planters in Quebec. Ken came to the Lord at the age of 20, through the consistent testimony and influence of a college teacher in his native Belgium. He met Anne at college, and after their marriage they set their sights on serving the Lord. They went on to Bible school and became very involved in a church planting project in Brussels with three other couples. Eventually Ken became burdened about missions, and focused on serving among the poor in Africa.
About that time, he and Anne visited Quebec while on vacation, and they were invited to share their missionary vision at our l'Annonciation church, two hours north of Montreal. After the service, they returned to their car and were just getting it warmed up, because it was mid-winter, and then the tap came on the window. After Ken rolled down the window, pioneer missionary Murray Heron spoke to him gently, but with great conviction en français saying, I want you to know that Quebec is a mission field too, and there is a great need for missionaries here as well.
That unforgettable tap on the window echoed in Ken's mind, but he was determined to go to Africa! Sometime later he and Anne visited Africa again, as they continued to seek God's clear direction for their lives. However the entire time that they were there, they seemed to be constantly receiving divine indicators pointing them towards Quebec. Eventually that tap on the window became a tap on the shoulder, and they yielded to God's call to serve in Quebec.
Following a series of unusual and often difficult circumstances in their new homeland, they were eventually led to our Terrebonne-Mascouche church a church family with a vision to plant ten daughter churches! There they discovered that the church leadership had been praying for a church planter to be sent to the City of Saint-Eustache (north west of Montreal/pop. 43,000) a city that had been #1 on the Top 10 List of cities in Quebec needing more evangelical churches.
Ken and Anne joined the team at Terrebonne-Mascouche in September 2009, and soon afterwards began to assemble their core team for the new work. Ken drew his vision for the new work from Isaiah 58 where the emphasis is on living out our Christian lives through righteousness towards God and genuine compassion towards others in need. The new work was launched on September 26, 2010 with a zealous team of about 10-12 families from the mother church at Terrebonne, which is located about 25-30 kms away.
During the early months, the young church faced a number of ups and downs, but through it all Ken's consistent preaching of the Word had a stabilizing, encouraging impact. Gradually the work began to grow and coalesce around their vision to love those in need in very practical ways. One of the groups that they have taken great joy in helping (through the auspices of a community outreach program) is young, unwed mothers who have made the courageous choice to keep their babies, rather than abort them. Ken says that their young church has now provided over 1,000 meals and they have even started a mechanic's ministry to help them with their car problems.
About six months after the new church had been launched, they were faced with a huge test of faith. The English-speaking church where they were meeting decided to sell their building. The young church family prayed earnestly and decided to put in an offer to purchase. Their miracle offer of $250,000 has now been accepted, and this 18-month-old work now has their very own church building with seating for 350. They also have lots of room for a terrific kitchen to feed the poor! The attendance has now grown to 50-60 each Sunday and they are joyfully trusting in God for many more miracles in the months and years ahead. Praise the Lord!