Mennonites in France pray for Muslims

Nov 20, 2015 by and

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None of Mennonite Mission Network’s five international personnel in or near Paris was hurt in the Nov. 13 terrorist bombings, although each has been affected by them.

Warning sign found on the door of Lamorlaye Mennonite Church. — Linda Oyer/MMN

Warning sign found on the door of Lamorlaye Mennonite Church. — Linda Oyer/MMN

“It took a little while to confirm that our five workers in Paris were all safe, and I found them to be sad, concerned and prayerful,” said Tim Foley, MMN director for international ministries.

“It is just right that Mission Network has workers in places where lives are at risk, where pain and suffering is happening, where the peace and love of God is so badly needed. I am truly humbled that Linda, Brad and Brenna, Neal and Janie continue to live and serve in Paris.”

The workers are Janie and Neal Blough, Brad and Brenna Steury Graber and Linda Oyer.

The Steury Grabers were at the French national soccer game in the Stade de France where three suicide bombers reportedly tried to enter and detonated their explosives outside the stadium.

“It was a very intense night for us, to say the least,” said Brad Steury Graber. “But we are very grateful for our safety and the safety of the other 80,000 fans who attended the match. We soon learned that many others around Paris were not so fortunate.”

Neal Blough asked for prayer for France and for the network of countries involved in the conflict with the Islamic State, such as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Russia and the United States. He also requested prayer for the French churches, so that “they may be instruments of peace and for the non-stigmatization of Muslims.”

A prayer request from a French believer was “that the Muslims of France know that they are loved by Christians.”

When Oyer and her fellow parishioners arrived to worship after the attacks, they found a warning sign on the front door of their church. It had been put there by the Vigipirate, the French national security alert system, who feared more attacks might target places of worship. It was taken down by the police, at the request of the congregation.

Oyer asked for prayer for the families of the victims and also for the families of those who carried out these attacks.

“They, too, are suffering,” she said.

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