Written by Pastor Farag Mikheil and previously published in the July 2018 Where Worlds Meet edition.
When I came to France in 1989, there was not any Arabic church in Paris. So with a Christian friend, I organized an Egyptian fellowship, a group of Christians who met on Sunday afternoon in the basement of the French Church of the Nazarene in Paris.
The group started to grow and many Egyptians came to our meetings. After I finished Bible school, the majority asked me to organize an official church out of this Christian group.
After studying the Church of the Nazarene’s Manual, we decided to join the Church of the Nazarene.
Our Arabic Nazarene church was founded in March 1995, one year after I was ordained pastor by the late general superintendent, William Prince.
The Arabic Church of the Nazarene in Paris is composed of different nationalities among Arabic speakers; the majority are Egyptians, but we also have brothers and sisters from Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan.
Most of those people came to France to escape war and persecution. Many Egyptians found in France a refuge country where they can be safe and free to worship the living God.
We meet each Sunday at 3 p.m. for worship; the ladies meet on Thursday at 1 p.m.
We are about 60 persons, including children. The number of children is increasing and we need more space for their activities.
We also have a wonderful praise team called The Fruit of the Spirit Praise Team. They are a real blessing for the church.
Last December, the praise team sang outside the church building on the front stairs while another team conducted evangelism by talking with people and giving out Bibles.
God is building the Arabic Church of the Nazarene in Paris. To Him and Him alone be the glory.
I came to France for one year, this was my plan. But God had another plan for me. I realized that He sent me to take care of His sheep, represented by the Arabic Church of the Nazarene in Paris. I am so thankful for God who gave me this privilege to be His servant.
There are many challenges of serving in France. As the ministry is growing, I have to find enough time to do the work of the church while I work teaching English in the university and senior high schools. I continue to pray so that the Lord may open doors for me to be a full-time minister to pastor the church in a better way, and to meet the increasing needs of the Arabic Christian communities in France.