«MINISTERING TO HIS BODY News of Quebec Trimestrial missionary news publication Assemblies of Christians in French Canada Editor Richard E. Strout 31 ...»
Volume 67, Number 3, Winter 2012
TO HIS BODY
News of Quebec
Trimestrial missionary news publication
Assemblies of Christians in French Canada
Richard E. Strout
Web site : newsofquebec.org
News of Quebec
P.O. Box 1054
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Office (819) 820-1693
Publications Mail Agreement # 40032062
Winter, 2012 Volume 67, Number 3 ISSN 0384-5168 Gifts for the support of the work or workers mentioned in this periodical may be made payable to
NEWS OF QUEBECBox 1054, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1H 5L3
EDITORIALOnce again you hold in your hands a brief report and up- date on some aspects of the Lord’s work here in French Canada. Needless to say, we rejoice in the many open doors that continue to be ours to present the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ The return to a Parti Québécois government after nine years of Liberal Party leader- ship has so far had little impact on the work here. This includes that of building up the Body of Christ which equally presents many avenues of activity.
As promised in our previous issue, Roy Buttery’s re- port on his visits to assemblies around the province is included. Many of our French assemblies are small and far removed from the centres of population. Not a few are still without a resident Bible teacher. All very much appreciate visits from the Lord’s servants.
Our office has received several letters of commenda- tion which we happily pass along to our readers. The brethren at La Baie have added their letter to that of several other assemblies as Denis and Donna Simard continue to serve the Lord in their midst. Two of the letters commend young couples to service in north- western Québec. One of these is Paul Jolin together with his wife Penny-Jane. Their testimony appears in the magazine. Paul is the son of veteran workers Gaston and Margot Jolin whose autobiography has just appeared in French. Hopefully it will be available in English before too long.
As we enter a new year, may the Lord find us faithful, working, watching and waiting for His call, Come up!
NORTH-CENTRAL QUEBECReport of a ministry visit to our former field of ser- vice where we served for forty-five years
- Roy Buttery - (Jonquière, Chicoutimi, La Baie and Laterrière were amalgamated in 2002 to form the city of Saguenay, current population 145,000. There is an assembly in each of the first three sectors. Jonquière was reported on in the previous issue of the magazine, the other two in this issue.) Chicoutimi is 210 km. directly north of Quebec City on the Saguenay River. Here we built a home and started meetings in 1967. There had been no evangelical work here since the days of Charles Chiniquy at the turn of the century. Previous to this we had spent a few years helping a growing work in Jonquière, a neighbouring town that now is a part of the new city of Saguenay. The explosion of the so-called “Quiet Revival” took place in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The Lord did a great work and in 1983 we built a chapel to accommodate the thriving assembly. In 1987 we began the Ecole de Formation (a local Bible school), providing an all day session of instruction and training, five times a year. This lasted thirteen years, preparing leadership for the assemblies in the north which has proven to be very effective. Today there are over 160 believers at the Lord’s Supper - the second largest assembly gathering in the Province. We left Chicoutimi in 2003, the assembly being well established, in order to help in the south. Currently, there are two full-time workers, Jean-Claude Gaudreault and Jean-Marc Petit (both from the original group) who are the elders, guiding the spiritual work along
-4with a fine group of deacons. They have a great Sunday School and a dynamic group of young people who are active in the assembly and at nearby Camp Brochet. The camp was started in 1967 with the help of the assembly in Quebec City and has grown rapidly and consistently with facilities today for some ninety campers. It hosts an annual fall conference for believers from all around Québec. The camp is now incorporated and has a couple who serve as fulltime directors, Pierre and Suzanne Munger. Another interesting feature of the work is a regular Tuesday morning breakfast and Bible study with up to twenty men in attendance during the major part of the year.
Chicoutimi is a centre for the work in the north and its two workers give regular ministry to the smaller assemblies in outlying areas such as Girardville, LaTuque and Baie-Comeau. There is another fine, well-established assembly in the immediate area, at Jonquière, where Don and Beth Cox have served for some 24 years.
Girardville, located 20 km. northeast of Lake St.
Jean, is the scene of the oldest assembly in the province, established in 1933. From here the work spread to all corners of Québec. John Spreeman and Noah Gratton pioneered the work. The story of its beginning in a society where the Roman Catholic Church dominated all aspects of life, is amazing! The small Catholic chapel in the country refused to be shut down and instead called for a Protestant minister.
God intervened and people were saved despite outright persecution. John and his wife eventually moved there to continue the work. Since their retirement, the assembly has had no full-time worker. Today there are some 24 in fellowship, three responsible men providing the leadership.
-5The group has continued stable and faithful over the years with the help of several visiting workers.
Of late, Errol and Lynn Savard visit regularly every month for a few days to teach and do pastoral work. Jean-Marc Petit helps out one weekend a month. Other workers continue to visit occasionally so that they have ample ministry. There is a small Sunday School, but the gospel work is limited as they are in a rural area and already well known for their evangelical stance.
Baie-Comeau is situated on the mighty St. Lawrence, some 350 km. downriver from Quebec City. This work began in 1978 when several believers met as a group to break bread. They have not had a resident worker during all these years except for a brief period several years ago that, unfortunately, failed to take hold. A faithful brother, Michael Ferland, there from the beginning as a leader and now an elder, along with four deacons provides guidance for this small but stable group of twenty-five believers. Jean-Claude Gaudreault, from Chicoutimi, gives monthly ministry along with others who visit from time to time. There is a small Sunday School. Recently a piece of property has been purchased with the hope, Lord willing, to build in the near future.
La Baie is a port town on the headwaters of the Saguenay River, 15 km. east of Chicoutimi, now joined to the city of Saguenay. I had the joy of speaking there last August. Efforts have been made in the past, but no permanent work attempted until Denis and Donna Simard moved here in 1999 to do pioneer
-6work. Today there are five responsible men who help in the group of twenty believers. They man a Christian library in town four days a week. Denis devotes much time to making disciples, often at the library itself. In September they had a booth at the “Salon du Livre” in the Saguenay. There are a few small children that come out now and then to hear the Bible stories. The work here is increasingly taking on a more permanent character.
La Tuque is located on the Saint Mauricie River some 171 km. north of Trois-Rivières, the latter on the St. Lawrence River. The original assembly was one of the oldest in the province. Some time ago a new one hived off and has been functioning now for several years. I have often visited here in the past and will again this winter. They number around twenty believers, with two classes in the Sunday School.
Two elders lead the group with appointment of deacons planned for in the near future. Jean-Marc Petit and Gilles Despins, full-time workers, give ministry each month. The group has been in rented quarters up until now, and have been looking to buy or build. Pray for the Lord’s direction in this matter. This represents a real step forward for this small group!
To complete the picture, we mention the group at Chibougamau. They are quite isolated in this mining region of copper and some gold, along with a few paper mills and tourism. It is 550 km. northwest of the Saguenay. The assembly began in 1950 when C.-E.
Boulianne, Howard Forbes and Roy Buttery gathered the believers who had migrated there for work to break bread in the homes. For years they had a monthly visit from one of these workers. Things progressed and in time and they were able to purchase the small but
-7lovely Anglican church building. Eventually, C.E.
Boulianne died in a tragic accident, Howard Forbes passed away due to age and Roy Buttery moved to the south of the Province in 2003. They never have had a resident worker but have enjoyed the help of visiting brethren, only occasionally as they are far off the beaten path.
Three young couples moved there a few years ago and with their young families carry on a small Sunday School. We visited them last year and rejoiced to find the group of some seventeen believers, guided by five responsible brethren, functioning well and faithful to the Lord.
The need for solid teaching and sound doctrine is evident, but it is amazing how they continue to carry on.
Now for an overall glance at the work. After 85 years of Assembly effort, there are now 45 French assemblies - 29 small (25-50) - 13 medium (50-100) and 3 large (100 or more). Of the 43 workers, 35 are FrenchCanadians now in the leadership. There are five summer camps, three of which are major undertakings.
Two excellent Media programmes exist – L’Heure de la Bonne Nouvelle and Toute la Bible en Parle (on the Internet, 25 years of messages by Fernand Saint-Louis) plus a radio programme, La foi vivifiante. Decentralized systematic teaching and training is given around the Province through ProFAC. Le RESEAU has brought a number of our assemblies together in a united effort to encourage the development and deployment of new workers - some eight in the past few years. CSM (Conseils et services missionnaires) continues to stir up interest among us to consider missions, both at home and abroad. There is
-8a well attended and profitable conference every year, CARO, for the leadership throughout our assemblies.
Recently a yearly conference was begun for commended workers to share with one another and address some of the problems that we particularly face.
The Corporation represents the assemblies before the government, keeps us abreast of legal matters and, when necessary, defends our cause. News of Quebec, for more than 65 years, has endeavored to keep the Lord’s people informed about the work, stirring up interest and prayer support as well as channeling funds to the workers and worthy causes among our assemblies. To God be all the glory!
Much work still needs to be done in a Province where less than 1% of the population profess to be born again. Thank you sincerely for your ongoing interest, prayers and financial support.
-9Paul and Penny-Jane Jolin Angliers, Québec Since February 2012, my wife Penny-Jane and I have been living in the AbitibiTemiscamingue region of Québec, serving our King and Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Born in 1965, I grew up in the region of Abitibi, at Rollet, located about 50 km from Rouyn Noranda.
I grew up in a Christian home. My parents, Gaston and Marguerite Jolin have served as missionaries in our province for many years. With Camp Joli-B being part of my parent’s ministry, it played an important role in my life. The camp began in 1963 with the purpose of communicating the Gospel to young people. I was told that my first involvement with camp was in the kitchen, helping my mother to cook when I was still in diapers. As I remember, it was at the age of 8 or 9, during my first years as a camper and under the teaching of Joseph Tremblay, that I recognized my condition as a sinner and called out to the Lord Jesus to be saved. When I was around 14 years of age I was baptized, during a French family camp.
I’d like to be able to erase the next five years of my testimony because it was part of a dark time in my life. Influenced by pals of the world, I strayed from the pathways of my Lord, and it was there that Satan covered the beautiful clothing of honour I had received at the cross, with shame and guilt. But praise be to God who is rich in mercy, for He came and rescued me. It was at the age of 20 that, under great conviction and alone in my room, I cried out to the Lord Jesus; I will never forget how great it was to have
-10my fellowship with the Lord restored. In the following year, 1985, I did one year of Bible studies at the Institut Biblique Béthel in Sherbrooke, Québec, in order to better serve my Lord.
As a young boy, I remember sharing a dream with my mother in which I was preaching the Word of God. I think I have grown up with this call in me, “serving the Lord!”. It is as if in my heart, I always had this important awarness. At the age of 22, I married and immediately got involved in serving at Camp Joli-B and in youth ministry. I had a part-time job, to provide for our needs. A few years later it was with sad heart I left Québec, moving to Ontario for family obligations.
Over 20 years, filled with events and blessings, have come and gone. My God has been faithful to his Word. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Rom.
8:28). During these years I have seen the hand of God at work, have learned to rely on him, and come to realize that we can serve our Lord in everything and in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves.
It is now with Penny-Jane, my wife of three years, that we share this burden for the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region. During these last years, we have become aware of the great need for help in church planting in Notre-Dame du Nord as well as that of lightening the load of our pioneers in their ministry at Camp Joli-B. Several passages of the Word of God have been used by the Holy Spirit in His call to us to