The beautiful city of Nice, France, suffered tragedy last night, July 14th, when 84 people were struck and killed by a lorry. Citizens of Nice had just finished Bastille Day celebrations with fireworks on the beach. France and the world today are horrified by another terrorist attack.
James Arnold pastors two ICC churches in the area, one in St. Paul and one in Nice. Here is an update from James:
Dear Church family , thank you for the continued support. We are in the middle of having our Kids Camp with 68 children in the church participating in different activities, all centered on telling them th Good News of Jesus. Only 10 of them are from within our church, the rest are from the community.
Last night, we had our usual study in Nice and afterwards we were standing there deciding if that group (about 25 of us) would go get dinner and see the fireworks or head home. Because of the Camp we were all exhausted, Because of the Study it was already 9pm and dinner had not been found yet. So in our weariness we chose to go our separate ways home and call it a night.
What a difference that made. Some of our people were down there in the middle of it, but as of now, I have no reports of them being in harms way.
This morning we woke up in a tension between continuing on with the last day of Kids Camp and the felt need to minister to one another and our community in such a tragedy. That is the world we live in. The tension between stopping everything—and in some real ways this pause is needed to get our attention and to cause us to reflect and help those in need—and the continuum of life.
We are praying this will cause unity, not division. That racism would not gain a stronghold but that we as Christ's people would love all, including our enemies. That fear would not reign but our Lord would and we would not cloister in safety but walk in His security amongst those who need Him most.
I think it was Elisabeth Elliot who said, "It is safer to be anywhere in the will of God, than to be anywhere outside His will."
Blessings to you and yours and the arms that support us in prayers and many ways.
James Arnold has been pastoring in France since 2007. A Texas native, he obtained a Masters in Biblical Studies (MABS) and a Masters in Theology (ThM) from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently the pastor of International Baptist Church, which has congregations in both Nice and St. Paul, France. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in St. Paul with their five children.