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July 19, 2020 7:00 pm
Well we have certainly been blessed to have been in partnership with the Bixby's and their work in France, for I don't know how long we been partnering with you, Tim, 11 years. Tim comes from a long line of missionaries. I actually was in school with his father, Bob Bixby also served in France and some of his uncles and aunts and a lot of folks who have been all the missions over the years it's been a very wonderful family. Indeed, Ruth is from gyms from all over because of his missionary background. Ruth is from North Carolina. Her parents live in Wake Forest over on the other side of Raleigh and so Laura brought them together and we and their producing beautiful children are thing lovely family. But we want to hear from Tim Bixby in the ministry that God is given to him.
So Tim if you would come down this time and tell us what's going on in the Lord's work for well good evening to say that were we feel very honored and special that this would be your first time back in person because of us. The least that's what we were told, and that makes us feel special. Want to greet you in the name of the Lord.
Greet those that are watching as well live. We want to as well. Thank you for your faithful partnership and your care for our family and we have always been as you no doubt debtors to God's grace and yet it is a privilege to look back over time and see his care and one thing that I rejoice in almost every time I meet a brother or sister in Christ that I've not seen for couple years and that is in the keeping and preserving grace of God. The fact that were still in the faith is not because of our wisdom or our strength.
But Christ who lives in our hearts by faith.
As Ephesians says, and God was faithful to continue what he's begun in us and so it's it's a celebration of God's faithfulness just to be able to see people again after after several years it's been over three years since we been back with you. And so I'd like to begin by just kind of reviewing a little bit of what God has done every ministry, every gospel ministry has more in common than it has differences, we have the same problem in the world and in human nature and we have the same solution and there's only one name given among men whereby we must be saved. Yet what makes stories interesting and worth telling what makes your testimony were sharing and what makes it interesting to listen to other people's testimonies is the providential ways in which God works to bring us to Christ or he works in our lives once were in Christ. And so that's a little bit what we want tell you I God's providence and his care in our lives, and I've arranged these pictures under three headings with three different Bible names in my blood. I can stay right here when you move out the way I good okay because Bible names often have quite a significance as so the first name I've chosen on. I can advances is Ebenezer XMI the church with two men were named Ebenezer I don't hear that very often here in the states but a reminder that God has been faithful to us and let us up into this point. So we are the Bixby family were serving under EMU international out of Taylor's the Jensen's sports and Jensen's as well.
With that board and in the country of France. You probably recognize the shape of France. Paris is right there in the center north section of the city, and of course this needs no introduction. You know what is the most recognized tourist attraction. I think in the whole world I think was since we were here last.
We'd Artie been living in her home. A couple years and was a winner and there were no leaves on the tree, and I realize looking at her bedroom window weakens slight of the Eiffel Tower, so that gives you an idea about how far away we are up the hill you can see both of the hill behind her house and see both Eiffel Tower and we can see the Charles de Gaulle airport next to see the airplanes landing on the tarmac, but this is our little town. Some fields all around me took this just last month coming back from a meeting and now a little update on our family.
I love the name Emmanuel. When I think of our family.
When God came to earth. He began his life in a very small insignificant poor family. Joseph and Mary could say God with us.
And yet when Jesus went back up to heaven, he said, and we just read it tonight.
I am with you always, even to the end of the age so every family no matter how small or poor, insignificant. We can have God in our midst through his Spirit and were thankful for God's grace in our family. I God has gifted us with five children there all here tonight.
McKay is her oldest, he's 19 years old, and he'll be going back in the fall and beginning his last year of high school I God willing he'll probably stay on in France at least a couple more years to build a get French nationality and then we have Miriam, who is now 15.
Our only daughter were grateful to have a feminine representative beyond just the mother in our home and then we have what we used to call her little boys and now the caller middle boys we have Zachary who is 10. There in the back and then Gabriel with the glasses glasses who is eight and then you probably heard and just tonight, but God gave us this unexpected blessing. And now Simeon and he turned one and April 9 of this year's is about 50 months old and has really filled our home with a lot of a lot of joy for every member of the family. All the children are related to see that God gave him to us and we have.
We thank God regularly for him and then to talk a little bit about the church. I thought of the name Peter. Peter significantly as Jesus chose it and change his name and if you had a lineup of men, and you said okay who could we use in this new Christian church, you probably would not have chosen Peter and the role he played, and yet Jesus said you're going to be Peter, and on this rock I'm going to build my church course, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. But God used man like Peter. And that's still the way he works as an encouragement for me. He still picks the people we probably would overlook and uses them because Christ is still actively building his church today. You know, this is just a reminder that we actually began our work as a daughter church of the Baptist Church of Saint-Denis.
Saint-Denis had had a missionary pastor but there now nationally led by these three men on your right is Albert. He is the lead pastor, preaching pastor is a Frenchman teaches post-high school technology. He is from the Caribbean's and then there in the center is on my side and I said was born in Congo. He's now French citizen's work for years for the Peugeot auto plant French karmic manufacturer ideas even know his birthday.
He knows he was born at harvest time. That's what his mother told and then on the right is A pianist from India grew up in India. I now Frenchman as well, but works for the Indian Embassy in Paris and they serve as the elder board of the mother church and there also over our daughter church so that there officially really passed part of the pastoral leadership even though they're not there every Sunday. Although while I'm gone. The taking turns filling the pulpit for me. So our pastoral leadership meetings are with them. It's it's those guys in with me. Each of us come from a different area of the world and yet it's been beautiful to see the harmony and the fellowship that the Lord has given us several years.
I'm very grateful for these men and for their leadership. Even with regard to building talk about that a little bit but I these men took really a leading role in praying with me beside.
Okay, let's go forward in this direction and it's it's been such a God gift, a gift from God. For me to have other men that I can rely on the right there know the culture. I know the work and can and can lead and help advise me and this is the name of our daughter church or church were planning a literally it's biblical Baptist Church.
We want to use the term Bible in narrative. Let people know that that's what we we used which tends to be a rare thing. The Bible and ended all I see. If you bend the parish probably landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport which is in Wasi and so the gall Wasi of the greater Wasi areas. All that area around the and so that kinda locates us geographically and then this is now where were meeting we don't own the dealership known on the Ford dealership but we own all that area. We don't own it were renting presently all that area that is above and then those two floors. There on the left, and this is where we been now for about a year and 1/2 we were in a very cramped back room of a Pakistani restaurant and we went to this. We just have more room here then then we can use and this is been in part thanks to your generosity as a church you as a church have given towards this project and so our people have told us several to make sure he thanked you for your your generosity towards towards us. We are really so glad Billy is a course went several weeks help been able to use it, do it due to the coven but now are back.
Back in our building.
The Bible club that we hosted the first when we got to host in our premises of last fall we held what's called a meeting to explore Bible exposition. There's a pastor south of Paris who has developed this up, 20, 30 years a lot of old Bibles different memorabilia and then he has different posters explaining the history of the Bible and the message of the Bible and in a tract that goes along with it that Valentina will talk about in just a moment, is the first time she came was to this and they had a little stand there showing the tabernacle and I was able use the tabernacle and the sacrifices the Lamb to walk her through the gospel. The gospel story standing right there around that that center table is that our I think this was at her inauguration service uses some of the people in our church. I want to mention specifically just a few individuals he could pray for.
This is an events family, so will send the father was born to Portuguese immigrants in France that he grew up in France, is a Frenchman about bilingual.
He had been to Bible club several times when he was I think 1011 years old, run by the missionaries who founded the church in Saint-Denis, but then showed no more interest in and just went his way when he was in the Army.
The spirit of God began convicting him went through a period of time where he was even contemplating suicide. He came back and looked up that missionary and missionary gave him a Bible and he went back to his barracks with the Bible in the day. Got back he got sick and the doctor said he had strep throat said he could see anybody in the state's room for whole week and he just read the Bible all day long and came to Christ alone with the Scriptures so we came to Christ. Although solvency of song and Bible club came back to even the words and since any testimony of what God can do and sometimes delayed fruit, but that God brings to fruition and that his wife was name his cane as she grew up in Algeria.
She's actually part of the Berber people. These are the original. Supposedly, inhabitants of North Africa. She came to France. In her young 20s to escape difficult family situation kinda came illegally, but once she came to France through a friend of her and said she was staying with. I came to know the Lord Jesus. And so now there are an integral part of our church along with her two daughters were grateful for them and then the other couple that is taking leadership while were gone is Maxime and Melody Maxime, the French French Frenchman rubbed the countryside of France, rebelled against his parents and what they wanted and just took off to see the world went Australia hitchhiked across Australia found a buddy there in the became friends and after leaving there.
His body came to the look know the Lord and send him a Bible and encouraged him to read it and he in the meantime and weighed his way to England in London where he met his wife Melody. She's South African and they got married and through through that friend. They ended up coming to know the Lord and they were first when they first converted they started going to a charismatic church and then began seeing problems in it and they moved to another place in London right beside elephant and Castle and then they began attending the Metropolitan Tabernacle and that's really really grounded in their faith.
And then God brought him back to France and now he heads up our finances. He led the service this morning. Albert preached that he led the rest of service and were grateful for them and for their their son Matthew is some other people in our church tailor the second from the left. He just been coming a few months he knew the Lord in Haiti through the Salvation Army came to France and married his wife, whom he met in France and got involved into what I really think is kind of a colt. It's a group out of Brazil, has a goober leader in Brazil but they have several branches in France and just began seeing problems and he did know what they were, but he knew was somehow connected to the Bible. They were preached Bible and he saw our building driving in front is our building and decided to stop and walked in and he's been coming faithfully ever since and really praying for his wife. She has come for a couple special occasions and we talked to her, but she still in this group and Jim told me one that one of her fears is whenever she misses the start calling her so we don't know if she understands the gospel yet or not but the Sunday before we came to the states. Three weeks ago she came to Sunday morning service for the first time so we were excited about that. To pray for that family.
And here's another lady the largest recently brought to our church lives right and soft said she this is interesting history. Her father actually founded Assemblies of God church. Years ago back in the 50s. I think and she see me and see problems and and she was looking for church to preach the Scripture. And so she's become not a member but to become real faithful attender and just recent times, and this is Cynthia's been with us for a while. She hopes teach Sunday school originally from Gabon. She just got engaged yesterday. I think to a Christian man as well from her home country were grateful for her to hear her speak in just a moment and then these three ladies on the left is Christy cola's estate is a single missionary the service with us very faithfully very grateful for the help she gives them the contact she brings into our ministry and there in the middle. As a result result was saved under my father's ministry down and ordo and baptized there in the church and through her work.
God brought her up and placed a rate near us and then on the right is Valentina. I mentioned her that she's want to share the gospel with at the Bible exposition.
This lady has been coming pretty faithfully even just since we been gone, meet some before, but since you been gone since become as she is in Iraq he she is part of the minority with a: Chaldean Christian minority of Iraq.
She lived through the Iraq war. She has some hair-raising stories to tell of what she experienced.
She's been persecuted for her religion and so her families kinda just gone all over the world. She has family in Australia and Germany and Denmark in United States and she's in Southside along with her parents and she loves Christianity when she is willing to die for Christianity, but she doesn't yet know Christ and the gospel is Christy's been having some Bible studies with her and this was just since we came to the states into sentences picture the meta-restaurant and the goal is to get her started to do some Bible studies with result was there in the center and she loves the Bible, though she really loves to discuss and read the Bible. So if you prayed the spirit will just enlighten her understanding and bring her to Christ and need to minister to her this talks about a home now home does it make a family right. The family is a relational institution formed by covenant, but a family without a whole is in a difficult situation and it's hard to have family life without a home, and it's the same for church building doesn't make a church a year where then you probably experienced some that with this Covidien can always be here and yet you're still a body you're still a church, but you've also probably realize that without a church home. It makes family life difficult, even as a church body, and that's what we discovered trying to plan a church while renting a restaurant room in a restaurant for two hours on a Sunday morning is very very difficult getting people to come in. People hardly ever walked into our services because we're just almost impossible to find and so having a place now to call her own.
Having people now just pop into our services and allow to stick to grow actually since we been in that building has been such a blessing and our desire as church planters is to believe the church where the building that is its own full people were not creating dependence were actually helping create independence because there are some churches I know in France had been renting for years. No church in Paris. They been running for 30 years they have paid enough over the 30 years to buy building and yet they were announced that their proprietor wanted to sell their building and their their left. Eventually, homeless on the church board over my parents worth going through that same situation. So to have a place this purchase.
It's bought to call home allows a church than to build and grow its other ministries.
Begin paying for its pastor and so this is been a real desire on her part in something we really pray for the Richelieu video now give you a little history of what the Lord is done and will I also hear of our people 10 miles north of the city of Paris and still within reach of the Eiffel tower Searchlight life against the city of Saxon in the last 50 years that is radically grown from a large village to the bustling city of nearly 100 different nationalities as nestled on you then explain I see the makeup of the probation change from a predominantly white patient to multiethnic procreation subsets days composed mostly of non-coterie Christian people. There has been from the beginning. The strong French practicing Jewish community that many people from Mike Rexall was the missing background that people from different starting from Africa on more recently there has been a growing community of Turkish people, so most of these people have never the gospel of all phone of Jesus Christ for several years now. I church planting project has been underway with the help of my mother church in nearby Saint-Denis Maluku Gillette that is built on these and see the festivities. He was eating Batiste sending in the Celebes be a little crazy all pool year built DVDs of all book. But those 8C 11 meal for us on the list for the update included is for selling of the somebody is that the loan will be effective. I could list them as it did me know soon is still easy to see the septum of the gifts that I didn't think these the buck teeth eat.
It's good that he needed Golgotha to focus on the need to succinctly date dulcet the value the professional title dispute, the possible CC said this in matters good attitude and love you yes so this deals with a pathological policy due to the somebody is all for men dizzy for all pool mentoring me it was CC city and little googling on the one with a special message. The new set up in some locally so Sunil pool, so no just as was stated finding a building to rent to got to be a human impossibility for more than three years. We pursued every action we could find other possibilities we found were either too expensive or unfit as to the few that seemed promising.
We were turned down by the owners or sound out of the city, in the absence of a place to call our own church plant began a meeting on Sunday mornings in a small Pakistani restaurant fellow missionary Kristi Collis explains what that was like saying it would be dirty when you get there and because there was no way for us to go we could not clean and sometimes they would start cleaning the main restaurant area. Clearing off food and drinks from the night before while we were having service so Tim would have to shout over the vacuum cleaner. Also there was a ventilation there were no windows in the room we met and there is not a good place for us to have Sunday school nursing I would hear and stuff that any right in front of the kilo restaurant which is where we met on Sunday mornings for nearly 3 years. During that time we kept looking for permanent place to meet, but could find no options and then after our last furlough when we'd asked many churches to pray for us. I was in a discussion with the owner of the restaurant we are having coffee and he made a comment about the Ford dealership 1/4 of a mile away.
It's immediately after that meeting I drove directly over there in God's providence. There happened to be that very morning the owner of the building.
I got to meet him and ask him about the building that above their dealership and he invited me to come and discuss the possibilities and then a week before the appointment. I called him and said look. Still love to come but I have to honest with you we don't have the kind of money that you're asking and he said when you come anyway and so with a bit of fear and trepidation of Pastor Albert and I went a week later to meet with them and begin negotiations for the building and CD the end of the gold on how the church and subsidize found the building is copied below the dignity of supposedly good accidents on bottom bone discloses dogs with the self of this it will be definitely got the date goal still do know if everyone yet mimicked on the vanity silk is a difficult skill him him go level see this. If we lose all them a diesel basic legal ship. She slid his feelings "was it so it is shocking that the fit of OC them on the reported the owners that the police been extremely kind and helpful in the relationship to church as a symbol building up Christians. They have a further interest in country conditions in the form of a three year lease at the end of which the trust and by the building so the area in which the building is found is constipated. It's midway between parents and the child is a good Apple so there's also potential for equity growth and so would prevent say that this is also a good financially in basement investment. Given its location in the quantity of the building just 20 thought that our home is finally in sight. God had other lessons for us to learn. Negotiations were advancing with the proposed moving date of February 2018 and arsonist set fire to the building three weeks before you're supposed to sign leaving the shell intact but rendering it unusable without major reparations. Following months of the owners having many insurance to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary for the repairs. We finally signed a three-year mental lease in October 2018 and had our first service in the building on December 9, 2018 then on New Year's Eve. Just three weeks later, the arsonist struck again suspended is that they can visit the new Gandhi did the government get Emily back to Septimus what are you in a process without music about located beneath edge to see because he preferred new so you need to look without dishonoring her know she put them turned out to transmit a cubicle that the tissue to post good to sync up with Dennis and Jesus and blah community service initiative on a definite second fire only cause us to miss one week of services in our building. The largest part of the building was spared major damage volunteer American work crew was already scheduled to come out that the building for us and the Lord allowed to accomplish what they had set out to do in spite of the timing of the second fire by the end of March. The building was entirely usable but still awaiting some cosmetic repairs are building with Heineken clearly presentable by the end of August 2019 and we celebrated with a inauguration service in September of last year hundred and 20 people, including Christian friends for several churches and you then usually says something may play social get setting. Having our text building just in my dream come true. Missionary because it is the local for all of the people that I got to know here in my neighborhood that bank teller. The lady at the grocery stoneware 90 berries in my apartment complex. They all know where this building is and some of them they curious, and he brought the kids to activities organized.
It is such a blessing is all is said, I suppose, is is is is and he sees that and said to be diesel methanol is easy just to show a senses in the divisional neck pain, decision actually is, did not a is is the and is in and is not easy. Hopefully that is a little bit why they pray with us and still project it is way beyond our means, but were looking to the Lord for his provision.
I want to be brief, but I want to share the Lord's word with you in Ephesians chapter 2. You probably saw that were very multicultural ministry in our church. There is no majority whatever you are you are one of the minorities in the church and this creates a very interesting and even exciting that many times context in which to preach, because you can't assume that people know anything anything about that what what are the singularities of a multicultural ministry, and I thought of Ephesians a couple years ago when we were going to receive a team from America trying to explain to them little bit of a heartbeat. There an Ephesians a word one comes up 15 times which is quite a lot for short letter and several times explains the oneness that exists between these two different people groups. It talks about a husband and wife, becoming one in chapter 5, but look at chapter 2 verse 14. This is the first three occurrences. You'll find 14, 15 and 16, says Ephesians 214 for he himself is our peace, who has made us both. There's a word one in the above, you know, is the biggest division in the history of the world, the biggest division sociological sociologically, racially, religiously and culturally, historically, every which way, because you have the Jew and then you have those they call the dog's who were far from God and he says he himself is our peace was made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostilities by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances that he might create in himself. Here it is again one new man in place of the two, so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in we have 1/3 time, now one body through the cross thereby killing the hostility and he came and preached peace to you who are far off and peace to those who were near those of those two groups. So what is one singularity in a multicultural ministry.
It is that we have a singular identity. We have become one new body and what Paul emphasizes here the Holy Spirit emphasizes through Paul, is that this body is distinct. It's different than what they knew before. It's different than what the pagans knew that parts easy to understand what is also different than what the Jews knew before Christ and so and celebrating their oneness there celebrating their distinctiveness from their birth cultures there celebrating the distinctiveness everything that came before their citizenship is in heaven. I really believe that this is what promotes unity within the church is not as we try to identify with all the different cultures that are there, but as all the different cultures began to magnify what makes us distinct as the body of Christ. What draws us together is what makes us different from the world around us is that we are something new in Jesus Christ and his new for all of us and so we we we use French. French is our only language because that's the language that we all share in common. Although for many more people. It's not their first language. We you should come to our fellowship meals. You get the food from all over the world is delicious. People come ladies come dressed in saris African ladies in their colorful African garden, the French ladies wheat we have you look at as we look very very different. But what we celebrate together as a church is what makes us distinct from every single one of our different cultures. The body is harmonious notice that emphasis on peace like back in verse 15 he might create in himself one new body in place of Tussaud making peace like that of her 16 my reconcile is about to God in one body through the cross now says that the opposite way killing the hostility. That's the negative way of saying making peace, repeating the same idea and the number seven and he came and preached peace to you and how does the piece, the piece comes to reconciliation with God. Its first reconciliation to God and then reconciliation to each other and we live in the world and we see it here in America even now where were trying to make peace on this horizontal level, while still being able to remain in enmity with God and the Christian church comes and says that'll never work. That'll never work. Peace is possible we can show you it we can show you examples of harmonious peace between people from all over tribes and tongues and nations in the world. But the reason the world will always reject the Bible's plan of peace. If you want to call it that, is because it demands that first of all we be reconciled to God were ambassadors in this world and our messages be reconciled to God and tell you probably come to God and submission and repentance and faith, then you cannot have the piece with your brethren, that that the that the gospel perpetrates it's a fruit of our peace with God in order to start back in verse one of chapter is very clear that in this begins with God and then reaches out to our brother and so are our main message is to come to Christ to repent and believe the gospel, and that's what gives us harm harmony as a body so harmony with God. Vertical harmony with others horizontal and then a body that that works together because it's no longer two bodies as you actually one body, and you know that the fire this illustration hundred marbles in the boxes might be uniformity but it's not unity that unity you actually need. These differences are that then work together and coalesce in in to form a body so a singular identity and then the second thing that's singular about a Christian gospel centered ministry is their affinity. The word affinity speaks of relationships can even speak of marriage short or sympathy marked by the common interest. We have an affinity for something, but in science it's refers to an attractive force between substances that causes them to enter into and remain in combination. I like that term an attractive force that causes different substances to get that word out right but you know what I'm saying to enter into and remain in combination, we have an affinity we have an active force that is driving us together and what is that will look at verse 18. Ephesians 218 yet the next occurrence of the word. One for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the father. They have the Trinity grade and that verse. The father son him and holy spirit. And then if I just read the first verses of Ephesians 4. Mind looking at that because here this one comes back is like a chorus, most like a drumbeat. He says I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patients bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Look at verse four. There's one body and one spirit, just as you are also called the one hope that belongs to your called one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is overall and through all and in all CI just comes back that's destroying that's the force that drives us together normally start spinning something. Things tended what separate but this is a force that actually draws us in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one as we look towards the future. These are the things that we share in common. In all of these are distinct from what the world has but when you shared that in common with another person, you can't help but experiencing unity. This becomes your true family. The family of God, and it's something that we have a just delighted to see the Lord to in our midst, and I'm sure you have as well.
Not just mention 1/3 thing and that is singular abilities and I play set in the plural because if you look at verse seven. Ephesians 47 but grace has been given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gifts gift and there the wind is used actually as each one singular God has gifted each person differently and it's our differences that contribute to our unity and you know that for me feet from first Corinthians 12 right if we were all here for example over the body be if we are all all the same ability, there would be no unity there would be nobody.
It's the fact that each person is different and is been gifted slightly differently by the Lord that allows and creates this this unity. So when you serve the Lord by serving your local church. You are contributing to the unity when you pull back and begins living for yourselves you contributing to the disunity because the body needs the activity of each member of go on and say that helps us to grow up into the hat as each member works with the strength that Christ gives us we need each member functioning actively to help create the unity so that's that's my encouragement as I see what God is doing in in my setting which is somewhat unique to see so many different cultures and countries and languages come together and yet to see the gospel is a real a real live active present force to create and maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. So encouraged in spite of coveted Christ is still building his church. I thank you for your time and will be happy to stay around. Answer any questions we can afterwards. Pastor