Church Partnership in France

The Stippelmans’ Ministry

Michaël and Deborah (Unruh) Stippelmans

For many of us, life is fairly comfortable, or at least in comparison to the trafficked women that I encountered my first five years serving in Paris. When surrounded by darkness and utter despair, it can sometimes be easy to miss the all-powerful light of God.

Urban France is densely populated, culturally diverse, historically rich… and spiritually in need. Although there’s been an increase in Christianity over the last 60 years, evangelical believers make up fewer than 2% of the population of France. France needs Christ. Broken families need to know the God of reconciliation. Those who are isolated, living without purpose, and hurting need to hear about their Creator and Saviour. I look forward to seeing God’s impact through our ministry of reaching and enlightening those who are still living in darkness without Christ and it’s my commitment to bring them hope and the Answer they so desperately need.  

In my first five years in France, I helped to meet the spiritual needs of women who had been trafficked in the sex industry. Our team saw women in the darkest situations met by the love and light of Christ. Some were delivered from the world of trafficking, healed from their traumatic experiences, and able to establish transformed and stable lives in Christ! One woman in particular hadn’t yet left her trafficking situation, but she met Christ. The result? She penned a worship song. As she shared it with us, we were all moved. She wrote that her God was different from the gods around her. She was defended and protected and cared for by her God. For others, she only saw them serving and striving and defending their gods. Her chorus resounded and reminded us of God’s identity and presence. This woman had no Bible training, no studies at her disposal, but Christ had met her where she was at, changed her heart, and had given her hope!

As I entered my sixth year in France, God invited my husband Michaël and I to journey together, combining our gifts and ministries to serve in new ways and partner with a new church plant. We look for the lost and engage with them spiritually, seeking to share His eternal salvation. To those who already know Christ, we come alongside them and empowering them to grow as disciples of Jesus who then disciple others. We serve among a new community of women in difficulty, and serve cyclists and runners in a recently launched sports ministry.

This work that God has called me to, has been on my heart since I was young. In my years of preparation, He has equipped me with a beautiful foundation, which includes four years of Biblical studies, a business degree, and experience teaching English. Most importantly, God has faithfully shown me His love and compassion, and instilled in me His passion for justice. This richness equips me to serve others in love and gives me a stable foundation for difficult seasons of ministry.

As Michaël and I continue to serve in our respective ministries, we are so thankful for the partnership of the Body of Christ. Your partnership allows us to focus well on evangelism, discipleship, and our local community. It allows us to stay in France and continue building impactful relationships for the sake of Christ! Simply put, we couldn’t do it without you! If our ministry resonates with your heart, would you prayerfully consider joining us and the work God is doing in France?

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