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France Retreat 24th-28th October 2018

FRANCE RETREAT 24TH - 28TH OCTOBER 2018
VENUE - LA CLARTE-DIEU - ORSAY
Wednesday 24/10/2018
Three delegates from UK (Emah Itang, Toyin Ajayi and Victor Idowu) arrived at Paris; Gare du Nord station after a train ride from London St Pancras. We were met by Sister. Patricia Sossa who conveyed us to the retreat centre, where we were welcomed by the French brethren by 7pm.
A welcome address was given by Brother Matthieu Bobo, the leader of our France work and Pastor of Paris Congregation. After his address he encouraged all to go on their knees to pray before retiring to bed.
Thursday 25/10/2018
The day started with early morning prayer meeting that held from 06:00 to 06:30am. The first Bible teaching, titled, "The Secret of Having a Solid Relationship with God" was given by Bro Matthieu.The Choir prelude included the Orchestra playing, "Shine Jesus Shine" the singing of "Praise Ye the Father" and "He Hideth My Soul".Sister Cornelia led the congregational singing.The first special, "Only Jesus Remains" was sang by a Quartet.
During testimony time, Sister Suzanne Vimadje testified about God healing her mother who was dying, while Brother Toyin Ajayi from London, testified that he almost cancelled the trip because he had been down with cold but God had healed him with an evidence of a sound sleep he had overnight. We also heard Sister Tina Ojo from Troyes testify about God's power to deliver from smoking while brother Bobo praised God for healing him in May.
The second special, "In Times Like These" was sang by a duet, Sisters Patricia and Cornelia, who are siblings.Brother Matthieu took his text from Matthew 7:24, explaining that it is sin which separates us from God and that even in that condition, God does not abandon sinners, because He has provided a solution for mankind by making a sacrifice for us. He elaborated that to have a solid relationship with God, we must be saved and live a life without blemish.  After the teaching, an invitation to pray was given following which many tarried on the altars.
The afternoon Session was a Youth Seminar titled "Tomorrow is Today" and was anchored by Bro Jean Sossa. It was explained that our future depends on our attitude today and the decisions we make as we come to different crossroads of life. 
The evening service was opened by the orchestra playing "Only an Armour Bearer" that was followed by two choir pieces. During the testimony service, Bro Joel Vimadje testified of how God saved him from a car accident during a recent trip to Abidjan in Ivory Coast; Bro Jean Sossa thanked God for hearing prayers and keeping him since 1978 after saving him, while Sis Chantal from Troyes testified to God's grace in difficult times.
The last special, "O why not Tonight" was sang by the Quartet before Sister Suzanne Vimadje brought the Word. She took her text from Matthew 28:18, emphasizing the need to persevere in prayer if we want victory. She illustrated perseverance using Bartemeaus' account in Mark 10:46-52. 
The evening programme ended with an altar invitation, following which we spent much time communing with the Lord.

Friday 26/10/2018
Friday started with the usual morning prayers and workers' prayers.The morning programme started with the Orchestra playing, "Our God is Marching On", following which we had a trio of Emah Itang, Patricia Sossa and Victor singing "Down On My Knees" and then a female quartet that sang, "God is Great, God is Good".
At the testimony service, Sister Emah from London testified to God's healing power from a deadly tumour and blood clot; Sister Bobo shared how she came to the Gospel through her mum and that she had been married in the Gospel for 42 years; she told how God healed her miraculously of a serious knee pain, at the Portland Camp meeting this year. Sister Suzanne testified of God's saving grace and how He has kept her in the faith for 50. She further shared that she had renewed her Christian experiences at this Retreat. Brother Jide Akande shared how God had made it possible for him to attend the Retreat despite having a major surgery recently.
Thereafter, Sisters Suzanne and Cornelia sang "Have you Counted the Cost" for the last special. 
In his Bible teaching, Brother Toyin Ajayi of our London Church, took his text from Isaiah 9:6 and titled the teaching, "Jesus the Prince of Peace". He encouraged everyone that Jesus would speak peace to all our situations and that what we needed in this troubled world was the peace that only our God could give when the world around us is on fire.
The afternoon Session was a marriage seminar that was anchored by Bro. Bobo. Participants were allowed to ask questions and were duly answered using Bible references and contemporary examples.To start the evening service, the Orchestra played "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" while the female Choir sang "Jesus Saved Me and I am Happy".For testimony service, Sister Michelle Madojutimi testified about her Godly upbringing and thanked God for standing by her and her husband in very difficult times. Brother Ololade Ayoola, from one of our Churches in Nigeria, gave thanks to God for the love and oneness in the Gospel everywhere in the world. Brother Olivier Vimadje shared that he had been able to renew his Christian experiences at this Retreat, while Brother Derin Madojutimi shared how God saved his soul while he was living a double life.
The last special, "Searching" was given by Sister Patricia Sossa, before Sister Emah Itang preached a sermon titled "The Night of Seekers". She took her text from Matthew 7:7 and encouraged everyone to seek for Jesus. 
A lot of seekers tarried on their knees which resulted in dinner been postponed.

Saturday 27/10/2018
The day started with early morning prayer meeting that held from 06:00 to 06:30am. There was a brief Ministers and Workers meeting that was addressed by Bro. Francis Odudu, the Regional Director of our Mainland Europe work who had arrived late Friday night with his wife Christiana. 
Bro. Francis encouraged everyone to work as a team, shine for the Lord in their various corners and ensured they provided necessary support to their leaders.
The Choir and Orchestra had a rehearsal that morning for the evening Concert. After the rehearsal, the foreign guests and some of the French brethren went out for a sumptuous meal at a nearby restaurant.
For the Concert in the evening, some of the featured choir songs included "From Salems Plain", "It is Marvellous And Wonderful", "Majesty", "Sing unto God", "Cry out and Shout", "All hail Immanuel", and "With Heart and Voice". The Orchestra played "Leaving all to Jesus" and "Give the world a Smile", while we had a Bassoon solo by Bro Seun Idowu of our Manchester, UK branch. 


Sunday 28/10/2018
The day started with Ministers and workers spending some time in the Prayer Room. We then had the Sunday School titled, The Strait And Narrow Way. We had three classes, with Joel Vimadje teaching French adult class, Victor Idowu teaching English adult class, while Jean Sossa taught the children class. 
For the devotional service, the orchestra played "Give the World a Smile", the choir sang "Marvelous and Wonderful", while Sister Veronica Hounye sang a solo "Great is Thy Faithfulness."After the Choir sang the first special, "Deeper, Deeper", Joel Vimadje broght the Scripture reading from Luke 13:23 - 30. 
The last special had a female trio sing "Invisible Hands."
In the closing sermon for the Retreat titled "Walking the Strait and Narrow Way", Bro. Francis took his text from Matthew 7:13&14 and while illustrating with the narrow roads of the United Kingdom, he explained that the road to heaven would only take a person with Jesus Christ. He further illustrated with the efforts people who are over-weighed make to shed excess weight, mentioning that a sinner would have to shed their weight of sin before they could go through the strait gate leading to heaven's narrow road. 
He further said that even after coming through the strait gate, a saint would have to preserve their now "slim" look by ensuring they do not take on again, the sins that have been shed off. 
The altar call was made following which many victories were won on the knees as many tarried before the Lord and the prayer session had to be ended to ensure people had their lunch and were able to leave the rented premises within the agreed time. 
 
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