Marc Mailloux's Blog

April 2018 The Lord’s Kingdom in West Africa
April 14, 2018, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Marc with Solange, Baha, Patrice, Michel in Liberia

Dear friends,

It was my first trip to an English-speaking African country. In March, I was invited by Pastor Chuck M. to accompany a group from ELI (Equipping Leaders International) on a teaching trip to Ganta, Liberia for sixty people (40 pastors and 20 of their wives). The reason for my participation was the anticipated presence of a few French-speaking men for the third ELI conference in Liberia. The ‘francophones’ were from bordering towns of neighboring Guinea and Ivory Coast. It was obvious from the outset that they’re so hungry for any instruction in the faith that they had even attended the previous ELI conference in spite of the language barrier.

As soon as I met pastors Patrice and Michel (from Ivory Coast) and Haba (from Guinea, 83% Islamic) I understood why I was there. Though zealous in the Faith, they had no formal theological training. Haba lamented the absence of Bible schools in his country, the least evangelized of Sub-Saharan Africa. They asked basic questions about biblical interpretation that should be treated in any “Hermeneutics 101” course. Neither did any of them even own a study Bible. Still, Aslan’s on the move and the church continues to grow in Africa!

The pastor-students listened attentively as we went over the text of 1 Timothy with notes prepared for the conference. After our first session together, they pleaded with me to come to their respective countries for a more in-depth treatment of the subject. It’s the kind of request that’s hard to refuse.

Titus D., a Liberian who heads up the ELI work in West Africa, told me that the educational needs and opportunities in the French-speaking countries of sub-Saharan Africa were greater than in the English-speaking countries, but that there is little instruction available for the faithful in French (Perhaps another reason for some of you reading this to study the language of Molière?). I’m planning another teaching trip in June to the somewhat remote home town (pop.200,000) of Patrice and Michel in Ivory Coast where they told me to expect thirty eager pastors who minister to a growing number of new believers. It seems like a providential opportunity not to be passed up…

Liberia is rather different from the eight other African countries I’ve visited over the years. The modern republic was founded partly with the influx of some 13,000 former slaves from the U.S. in the 19th century who did not integrate well with the natives. At the present, its people are still hurting from their two recent civil wars (1989-96; 1999-2003) which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and forced a million more to emigrate. After the removal from power of Charles Taylor (convicted of war crimes), Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (a Harvard trained economist) was elected as Africa’s first female president (2006-18). Georges Weah, a former soccer star, was elected president in 2018. Even with the best intentions, leaders are impotent to eradicate the rampant corruption that plagues the country.

Though the land is potentially rich, a visit to a local market near Monrovia showed that there is little fruit available. Most people subsist on a starchy diet of rice and cassava with green plantains with a bit of fish. A discussion with an American agronomy professor (from Texas Tech.) we met at the Monrovia airport was enlightening. It seems Liberia’s development is stifled partly by a handful of Lebanese magnates who maintain control of much of the economy, which hinders individual initiative. The answer and only hope for Liberia (and everywhere else) is the life-transforming gospel.

Arriving home from Africa, I was greeted by daughter Anais and her husband Eric with their family of 2.5 daughters. They dropped off the little ones (Elea, 2½ and Heidi, 10 months) while leaving for a last week of R +R before the birth of daughter no.3 due in July.

Though the trips to Africa (via Europe) are exhausting for one who does not sleep on airplanes, it was nothing compared to the interaction with two little ones who, without their mother for the first time, ran us ragged–especially Aline–and made bedtime SOOOO appreciated! The only break my wife got all week from ten-month-old Heidi–who clung to Aline like a leech–was when I’d strap her in the stroller for long early morning walks during which time we’d listen to Mozart’s sublimely pacifying “Sull’aria” (from the Marriage of Figaro) played over and over again: the soothing effects were reminiscent of those of David’s harp music on tormented Saul. Meanwhile, Aline and I have new respect for grandparents who raise their grandchildren.

It was a blessed time nonetheless as the girls taught us much. Sinful human nature is the same everywhere. Still, one sees the profound difference in philosophy of child-rearing in the West as compared to what I’ve witnessed in Africa where large families are the rule, doting parents unknown, and a more laissez-faire attitude reigns. Haba and Solange, the 35 year old couple from Guinea who attended the Liberia conference have five children already. When I asked who was keeping them in their absence they replied: “The family and the village…”

It’s not surprising that African children (if they survive childhood in a land of Ebola virus, cholera, and mamba snakes) grow up quite independent and resistant to germs that would kill the most robust of Westerners. Overall, life is simpler, if not more precarious, on the Dark Continent.

Finally, I write this after verifying our MTW support account, pleased and grateful to find the funds to book the next trip to Africa, and praying for wisdom to prepare some teaching material that will make a difference in the lives of these spiritually hungry brethren. With continued appreciation for those who make it possible…

Blessings,                                                                                                                                                  Marc+Aline



“I am the Alpha and the Omega…” Rev.1:8 February 2018
February 28, 2018, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

photo de famille Dec.2017.jpg“Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders and the judgments of His mouth…” Ps.105:5

Dear friends,

There have been several major events since our last newsletter in December, including the annual visit of our children and grandchildren— always the high point of our year as well as a reminder of the upcoming marriage feast of the Lamb where the Lord’s elect will be gathered around His table (rest assured the food will be French). Hasten the day! Meanwhile there’s much to do as many of us have concerns that loved ones would not be present at the only appointment and family gathering that really matters.

These include a number of acquaintances of our surfer son Justin in the Dominican Republic whom we visited Jan.12-15—a second major event. He arranged opportunities for us to explain the Word to some of his acquaintances: his buddy S., an Argentine expatriate; and a few North Americans, including R.M., a wealthy, generous Canadian woman (with her impressive entourage) to whom our son gives tennis lessons. The sumptuous meal at her palatial home included twenty other guests with some high-rollers blessed with many worldly things but in need of the Savior.

Aline and I were delighted to hear the aforementioned lady lavish praise on our boy for his general good disposition and consideration for others as he goes about his work and play—almost the same for him. Surely the Lord has heard the prayers of many on his behalf over the years.

Still, we’re concerned by the dearth of Christian fellowship and serious instruction in the Faith in his town (Cabrera) of 25,000 without a solid Bible-believing assembly! Pray that the Lord would inspire some Spanish-speakers to feed His sheep in the D.R. It’s a beautiful region with magnificent beaches and tropical fruit even if one has to put up with the annoyance of the underpaid Dominican police shaking down foreign tourists to extract small-change bribes. Our son sees this as a minor inconvenience and the price of doing business in that country.

Another significant event was my third teaching trip (Feb.3-14) to Burkina Faso. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the friendly folks in that poor, mostly barren land just south of the Sahara. On this visit the harmattan wind was blowing a thick cloud of dust over the area limiting visibility and causing many to wear face-masks to filter the hot desert air. I arrived in Ouagadougou (it was 95F) for the second part of a church history course (15th century to the present) started last year with 24 eager students. We reminded them that history is linear and has meaning as it is indeed “His-story,” the Alpha and the Omega. It’s important that one learns to understand the circumstances of the present in the light of His eternal Plan. There’s much to learn and emulate from the Lord’s people of the past such as Calvin’s inspired efforts at reforming and organizing the church in 16th century Geneva which John Knox called it the “greatest school of Christian discipleship since the Lord Jesus Himself walked the earth.”

On Jan. 29, we started a new semester at our local Ft. Lauderdale Haitian Bible school. Even after 20 years of existence, it’s still a fledgling affair, with major administrative problems, few committed students or teachers, and a shoestring budget.

The educational level among the Haitians (75% illiterate) is such that anything we can teach helps. Our students are receptive, but the blinding voodoo-superstition is well-ingrained alas, and it takes a generation or two before the transforming principles of the Bible are absorbed and the culture transformed. It’s a longterm effort…

Like the African’s, Haiti’s is an oral culture whose people simply don’t like to read—a habit they need to acquire. Can a people be transformed without the daily meditation of the Word? Think of how the printing press was so instrumental in the transformation of 16th century Europe. Both Haitians and Sub-Saharan Africans tend to be pre-Enlightenment in their thinking. Unlike our skeptical western naturalists, they are all too aware of the battle going on in the unseen spiritual realm.

Meanwhile, we’re convinced that the development of any country is directly proportional to the extent that its people apply the “directions for use” principles as revealed by our Maker in His Word (Deut.15). Our erstwhile Christian countries subsist on residual grace bequeathed to our ancestors. But our “cut-flower” societies are wilting fast and will perish unless we get re-rooted in the Faith and refreshed by the living water.

As usual, this Africa trip included a significant number of providential encounters with fellow travelers including Alice, a Marseille theatre worker seated next to me on the flight to Burkina Faso; Maela, a young French woman from Britany with whom I spoke as we waited in line for over three hours at the Ouagadougou airport; Joel, a “Burkinabé” man on the Ouaguadougou-Paris flight on the way home; and old George, a 77 year old Frenchman seated next to me on the Paris-Toronto flight. All were seekers (George was reading a French translation of an old C. Castaneda work!) and eagerly accepted French copies of D. J. Kennedy’s “Pourquoi je crois.” Thanks again to all who make this ministry possible.



P.S. We’re told to remind our supporters that the new address for donations to the ministry is: MTW donations PO Box 744165, Atlanta, GA 30374-4165.

justin-salsa-macho-pubSebastian and Justin with their billboard in the Dominican Republic

with Burkinabe students

With Burkina Faso students in Ouagadougou

Rwanda and Burundi December 2017
February 28, 2018, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear friends,

It was my first trip to Rwanda. Dr. John Barber invited me to teach an apologetics course for a group of 25 French-speaking Congolese students from the other side of the border at Lake Kivu in the Rwandan town of Kamembe, a half-hour flight from the capital Kigali.

First impressions of any country are usually the most accurate. Rwanda—site of the infamous 1994 genocide of the minority Tutsi (over 800,000 dead in 100 days, mostly butchered by machetes!) by the majority Hutu—is synonymous with horror for many. Still, the country impressed me. The streets are impeccably clean—not a piece of rubbish in sight. No derelicts either. Everyone seems busy doing something useful. It’s part of what they call “umuganda” (‘community work’) where all the Rwandans consecrate the last Saturday of each month to clean all public places. Also, there are policemen on every street corner. This has to be the cleanest and safest place in the world to stroll about. And stroll the Rwandans do—they walk everywhere. No problem of obesity here.

A former Belgian colony, many Rwandans still speak French, however English has become more prevalent in recent years, especially since the arrival in power of President Paul Kagame of whom everyone speaks well, according him much of the credit for leading the country from chaos to order. He runs a tight ship.

As for the classes in Kamembe, the students—many of whom come from Pentecostal backgrounds—were both polite and receptive in spite of the fact that we broached some delicate subjects including the influential “prosperity gospel”—an unfortunate distortion of the Faith, widespread in Africa. Nevertheless, the sessions went well and they were glad not to have to learn through a translator.

On Saturday, Nov.25, I flew back to Kigali where I had to wait 31 hours for my flight to Burundi. I took advantage of the layover to visit the genocide memorial in the company of my new friend Patrice 25, who escaped the slaughter but lost both his parents and his siblings when he was but a two year-old. He was raised by his uncle Théophile (one of the Kamembe students) who apparently did a fine job. A devout Christian, Patrice speaks fluent English and French, so we used the latter language which he wanted to practice. But at the genocide memorial, he asked that we revert to English as the French have bad press in Rwanda for their army’s role in facilitating the escape of some Hutu murderers at the end of the hostilities. Patrice insisted that though the racial tensions have subsided for the moment, the potential for another flareup subsists.

The memorial center in downtown Kigali includes a section on the German’s attempted genocide of the Nambians in 1904; the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians in 1915; the Nazi atrocities against the Jews; and the genocide attempt in former Yugoslavia in the 1980’s etc. It’s all a chilling reminder of what man is capable of. It seems so incongruous that the Rwanda people—whom I found gracious to a fault—could have sunk so low.  There but for the grace of God we go…

After a week of classes in Rwanda, it was off to Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, where I didn’t know what to expect. I had visited this country in 2014 when the pastor who’d invited me dragged me all over town for morning conferences and lunch-hour devotionals in all kinds of different venues. This time, I spent all my time as the guest of a fledgling three-year-old assembly whose young pastor Jérémie is a courageous soul. I taught in French but had to be translated into the local Kirundi langauge for the 30% who don’t know the dominant colonial language.

It’s clear to anyone who has worked with Africans or Haitians that, of the three means of grace—prayer, fellowship with other believers, and systematic Bible study—they most need help with the latter. Indeed, many African Christians gather together every night to pray and sing praises to the Savior, but most remain quite ignorant of the basic contents of the Bible. The problem is that most sub-Saharan Africans don’t like to read. This is where our more studious Presbyterian tradition fills a need.

In Bujumbura I taught every morning from 9 to 12:30 and evening from 18h30 ’til 20h for five days with particular attention to what the Bible says about marriage, the family and work—all fundamental parts of the “cultural mandate” from Genesis. The teaching was well-received and the church has invited me back. In fact, they asked me to start a Bible school in Bujumbura! I told them they would need someone with administrative gifts for such an enterprise. I’m afraid I’m not the man…

Both Rwandans and Burundians were gracious and hospitable and their societies seem in some ways less corrupted than our Western civilization; to wit, the idea of homosexual ‘marriage’ is still abhorrent to them. Both countries have a large percentage of believers. They need help only for acquiring a greater love for the written Word in order to benefit from its transforming effect on the culture. Still, one can predict that, should the Lord tarry, the future center of world domination might lie closer to Nairobi than to London.

I’ll be sending this letter off just before Christmas, even as Aline and I anticipate with relish the annual “invasion” by our three children and two granddaughters. I’ll wait until after the holidays to include family news… Surely, we’ll have recovered by then.

Meanwhile, may the richest blessings be with all our friends and their families.

May the Lord keep you close to Him, and not too far from us. Joyeux Noël!,

Marc+AlineCongolese students in RwandaCongolese students in Kamembe, Rwanda


From one hurricane to another
November 3, 2017, 1:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Walt, Aline, Lise, Andree

Brother-in-law Walt, Aline, sisters Lise and Andree in the Poconos at wedding celebration


“The Kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son” (Mat. 22:2).

Dear friends,

From August 21 through September 11 we were visited by two ”hurricanes.” The first was the arrival of our daughter with her two daughters, Eléa (2) and Heidi (2 months). To say that the presence of a strong-willed toddler and a nursing baby disrupts one’s life is a gross understatement. Hence the hurricane comparison. In fact, Eléa was a capable theological instructor for her spellbound grandparents helping us appreciate more how we are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139).

For one thing, she’ll be fluent in at least two languages (her mother’s French and her dad’s English) and is exposed–via her California nursery school–to some Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. How amazing that the human brain can assimilate several different languages at one time. She automatically spoke to me in English—albeit in baby talk—and to Aline in French.

Our morning walks together were another lesson in childhood fascination as Eléa marvels at all the wonders of nature to which we more jaded adults are often oblivious. One evening as she and I sat in the back yard, she observed with delight the movements of airplanes in the S. Florida sky and heartily sang choruses of “Twinkle, twinkle little star…” as the night sky darkened. I will forever cherish those moments…

Heidi (three months) is still in the baby stage of breast- feeding and keeping her exhausted mother up at night. Fortunately, Anais had some precious help from Aline who changed a bunch of diapers and did a ton of laundry. It’s amazing to see how well some people—especially women—function with so little sleep! Still, Aline relishes her grandmother role.

The second hurricane was “Irma,” a humongous category 4 storm (sustained winds of between 130 and 156 mph) which devastated the Caribbean islands of Barbuda and St. Martin (where we had a teaching program for years) before battering the entire state of Florida on Sunday Sept.11 leaving us without electricity for 53 hours. It wasn’t as bad for us on the east coast as it was during 2005’s hurricane Wilma as Irma’s eye passed 100 miles to the west of us. Still, we had winds of around 80 mph for a long Sunday during which Aline and sat spellbound on our poorly protected, reconverted patio facing west observing Irma’s rage through a glass door. Fortunately, the prevailing winds were from the east. We felt a bit like Dorothy in the famous “Wizard of Oz” scene flying though space in her house, while watching from her bedroom window familiar people and objects passing by. We were praying that the roof would not be ripped off…

Providentially, we lost only a couple of trees and a fence. Beforehand, we had picked all the mangoes from our overstocked tree and did some ‘mango diplomacy’ distributing what we didn’t eat, dry, and freeze to our friends and neighbors during the power outage.

In other family news, Aline and I attended my niece Hae Linn’s wedding in the Poconos in N.E. Pennsylvania the weekend of Sept.22-23. Friends and relatives came from as far as S. Korea (family of the bride’s late father), and England. My younger sister Lise married a Liverpudlian (Walt, whom we’d not seen in 20 years) and came with their grown children, niece Kate (33) and nephew Luke (29) whom we hardly know. Luke came down to Florida to stay with us for a week after the wedding so we could finally get to know him a bit. The wedding celebration was a delightful occasion and surely one of the last family gatherings my dad (93) will ever attend here below.

Still, it’s a curious affair, a wedding for a couple who have been living together for over eight years. In lieu of a minister of the gospel, the ceremony was presided over by a new-age “spiritual counselor;” in lieu of vows, the happy couple exchanged a profusion of ebullient poetic praises of each other. Alas, without reference to the Word of God, how can anyone know the meaning of the divine institution of marriage? The reigning confusion of modern society over this issue bears testimony. Privately, we reminded my niece that the entire Bible could be thought of as a kind of wedding invitation which begins with God providing a bride for Adam and ends with the marriage supper of the Lamb–Jesus Christ, the groom, who has paid the highest dowry for His bride–His own blood. Meanwhile, the “dress code” requires that those in attendance be clothed in the robe of righteousness, provided by the bridegroom Himself! You can’t beat those conditions. Let the feast begin.



Prayer concerns:
Praise: 1-For the delightful company of the world’s finest granddaughters (save for all the others).                                                                                                                                                       2-For minimal damage from Irma.                                                                                                 3-For continued health and provision for our ministry.

Supplications:                                                                                                                                           1-For MTW’s “Global Missions Conference” in Dallas (Nov.10-12).                                          2-For forthcoming trips speaking and teaching engagements at our Haitian Bible school’s graduation (Oct.1); in St. Vincent (Oct. 28-30); Rwanda, Burundi (Nov.17Dec.3); procurement of the requisite visas and course preparation.                                                     3-For a more studious attitude for our Haitian students here in S. Florida                               4-For our older son (37) in France, currently without a job, and our second son (35), struggling to make a living in the D.R. giving tennis and surfing lessons to tourists, and selling his homemade “Salsa Macho” (“sola para vallientes!”).

August 2017
August 18, 2017, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Marc, Aline, Eve a Arles

Marc+Aline with friend Evelyne in front of Eglise St. Trophime (12-15th century) in Arles


“Que tout mon être loue l’Eternel et n’oublie aucun de Ses bienfaits” Ps.103:2
Dear friends,

I’m writing this from the Languedoc region of France where we come for our annual summer ministry, always a highlight of the year as we get to spend time with our older son and make ourselves useful to the feeble French church. There’s a lot to love about France: the televised exploits of the “Tour de France” cycle racers pedaling up the magnificent Alpine and Pyrenees Mountains at a mind-boggling pace; a sporting perspective for admiring a very special piece of God’s real estate.

We did many trips between Alès (Aline’s home town in the foothills of the Cévennes mts.) where we stayed at her parents’ old “mazet” (provincial farmhouse), now up for sale, and the Nimes area where our son lives. On those morning drives we enjoyed the warm, passionate voice of radio host Eve Ruggerie commenting on the lives of the great composers as introduction to their delightful compositions.

Only 25 miles away from Alès, but closer to the Rhone valley, our son’s adopted home area is one of vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see. As the day heats up under the bright summer sun, the familiar chants of “cigales” (cicadas) serves as background music while the sweet aroma of lavender borne on prevailing ‘mistral’ winds provides an agreeable olfactory accompaniment.

Mealtimes—always a sacred moment in France—often included savory red tomatoes, and the incomparable taste of “pélardons” (goat’s milk cheese), specialty of the Cévennes region, with local fruit including cantaloupe and peaches which seem so much sweeter this side of the Atlantic, not to mention the abundant succulent figs on the trees at the Maurin property. How could one not be grateful here?

On free afternoons, I’d head over to the ‘Parc des Cordeliers’ in Anduze (pop.3500) where the regulars, retirees, and a few vacationers play casual games of pétanque for hours. The inimitable metallic sound of the “boules” striking each other under the cool shade of the “micocoulier” (hackberry) trees along with the anise-based ‘pastis’ drink offered by the winners to the losers after the games are more enjoyable features of S. France. The level of play is high here, and any southern French village boasts at least a half-dozen aficionados such as Gerard, an 82-year-old retired miner from Alès—who could easily beat the best players in N. America.

We had lunch many days with Aline’s parents. Her dad’s waning health (he has only half a lung left), doesn’t stop him from enjoying the dry rosé wines with which we wash down the savory delicacies, including “tomates à l’ail” covered with a Maurin family specialty—an unbeatable olive-oil-mustard-anchovy-paste dressing that would probably make your sandals taste good.

Aline, Calix and I took in a couple of Molière plays at the annual theatre festival in Avignon, just thirty minutes from where our son lives. More than 1400 productions are presented in that beautiful walled city during a three week period each July! Moliere’s amazing verbal genius and the actors’ brilliant thespian artistry were spellbinding: a treat for the ears like a lyrical rendition of a Mozart sonata. Add the ubiquitous street animation and the sunny dry “méridional” weather and know that it doesn’t get any better on this earth than S. France in the summer!

But all is not well in French paradise, as the aforementioned joys are accompanied by the proportional frustrations of any Christian attempting to steer his mostly indifferent acquaintances to the sublime truths of the gospel. This summer I preached four times, thrice at the Anduze temple (largest in France) where worship services were attended by an encouraging average of 100-150 people, half of whom were visiting Dutch campers. The last service was in a quaint 17th century chapel in the remote, bucolic village of Thoiras.

Equally encouraging were encounters with some of the locals (including some pétanque buddies) like the aforementioned Gerard, who lost both his sons (motorcycle accident and cancer) and who listened attentively as I shared a brief summary of my sermon on the meaning of suffering from the book of Job. Likewise Marcel, another pétanque player, told me matter-of-factly that he spends his time going to the funerals of acquaintances while fatalistically anticipating his own. As so few French attend Sunday worship services, one needs to seize any occasion to share the gospel. France needs Hope.

A visit to the famous “Musée du Désert” recalled the faithful exploits of Aline’s heroic 17-18th- century Huguenot ancestors—courageous in defense of the Faith.                   Proportionately dismaying is the rapid unraveling of the modern French society, as even professing Christians include a large number of composite families with little apparent appreciation of the sanctity of marriage. Many professing ‘believers’ drift from one partner to another with devastating consequences for their bewildered, victimized children.

Aline’s 44 year old niece Stephanie—a veritable poster-child for the modern dysfunctional French family—died in June from drug abuse. Her life was a mess. A deathbed tear running down her cheek as Aline’s brother shared the gospel with S. in a comatose state left a ray of hope. Many more tears will have to flow, alas, to avoid the inevitable judgment on France.

Blessings to all, and special thanks for those who make this work possible,


PHOTOS:                                                                                                                                                  Aline’s dad “Pape Robert”, Marc, Aline’s mom “Mamie Danielle”.                                         Son Calix and Aline in Avignon

June-July 2017
August 18, 2017, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Dear friends,

On May 31, Aline and I, with our younger son Justin, boarded an American flight to DFW en route to California to see daughter Anaïs and new granddaughter Heidi (born May 13). We weren’t seated together and I took seat 19B next to a well-dressed man of African origin. As it turned out, 72 year old Dr. T., a physician/oncologist, was from West Africa though he’d done his medical studies in France before moving to America. We hit it off immediately and talked about everything from ‘sailing ships to ceiling wax to cabbages and kings’ during the three-hour flight to Dallas. The inevitable “what do you do for a living?” led to a discussion about the gospel with this most congenial, open-minded acquaintance from a Moslem family. I happened to have a copy of “l’évangile selon Luc” in my carry-on bag as well as a French edition of Dr. Kennedy’s apologetic “Pourquoi je crois” to leave with him. Coincidence of course. We plan to get together upon our return to S. Florida…

Aline and I had a great, albeit exhausting, time with our granddaughters in Orange County where my wife will stay until June 27. We celebrated Eléa’s birthday a week in advance as she turned two on June 11. As for baby Heidi; she’s still something of an eating-sleeping-defecating machine but with a sweet smile and disposition to match. Her older sister is another story altogether: the strong-willed child who wakes you up each morning at 5:00 and wears you out so thoroughly during the day that her 7 PM bedtime comes just before yours’. Whew! She’s a delight as well as a challenge and both girls reconfirm our conviction that having grandchildren is God’s way of rewarding you for not killing your children. Still, I pray for Aline and Anaïs’ endurance as they have the more strenuous role while I returned to Florida on June 6.
While in California, our son-in-law Eric arranged for me to share our ministry vision with some 40 men (at an AM Bible study) from their church. Hopefully some will help us seize the new opportunities opening up in French West Africa where I’ve been asked to collaborate with an American ministry (‘Equipping Leaders International’) currently working in Liberia and seeking to extend their training program to eager French-speaking Africa. I plan to attend their next seminar in Monrovia in November. I’d hoped to combine that trip with a teaching invitation in Burundi and avoid another taxing trans-Atlantic trip. Alas, a schedule conflict makes that impossible. So we’re praying for discernment, wondering if it’s wise to decline any ‘Macedonia call’ (cf. Acts 16:9)? Until now, we’ve always gone where we’ve been invited. So if the funds are available, I’ll pray that my aging body can handle another African excursion.

A brief visit to the PCA’s General Assembly in N.C. (June 13-15) with brother Gordon W. included a meeting with leaders of the aforementioned E.L.I. who share the same conviction and vision for the numerous but ill-instructed new believers in Africa. While
in Greensboro, I also met Patrick L. from my home town who’s called to minister among the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota.

Other travels this summer include a July 2-6 visit to Rhode Island with my dad (92) and sister (Andree Seu Peterson) to see cousin D. and encourage her in the faith.
On July 12, Aline and I leave for our annual month of ministry in France where we’ll be filling-in at a church whose Dutch pastor is returning to Holland definitely for the welfare of his young children. The church in Anduze will soon be shepherded by the French wife of an American missionary as it cannot afford to pay for a full-time pastor.

I’ve five sermons to prepare which will be translated into Dutch for the many tourists from the Netherlands who make up a majority of the faithful at the summer worship services. Such is the situation of the church in spiritually frigid Western Europe where France is the Arctic of the Christian world and the center of Christendom is now closer to Nairobi than to London.

Back in S. Florida, we continue our weekly radio spots as well as teaching in our Haitian Bible school using B.Chapell’s excellent “Prêcher” (“Christ Centered Preaching”) as the basis of a homiletics course. Our Haitians students are better than average orators, but most suffer from a fragmented view of the Bible. We remind them often that if their sermon would not offend a Jew or even a Moslem, then they probably haven’t preached Christ.                                                                                                                                                  blessings,                                                                                                                                                     Marc + Aline

Mailloux Musings May 2017
May 6, 2017, 2:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ouagadougou church

Ouagadougou church

Dear friends,

I’m writing this at the airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast where I’ve just finished the second week of a church history course. The previous week I had a group of twenty “Burkinabés” in Ouagadougou for the same course. It was an encouraging, albeit exhausting fortnight—six hours/day of lecturing. I’m eagerly awaiting my red-eye night flight to Paris, whence I’ll catch the flight to Miami. Riding to the airport in a taxi, I wondered how the cabby could make a living with the thousands of taxis on the streets competing for relatively few fares and gas at over $4.50/gallon. He claimed to work from 5 AM ‘til 10 PM, driving around 250 kms. every day in city traffic. His is the plight of thousands of others….

I hadn’t gotten much sleep during the week in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso which means “land of the people of integrity.” The lodging for the visiting professors—in the same building as the classroom—is adequate, but the electricity and water were often not functioning and it was around 40°C (104°F) most of the time. I forced myself to go for an afternoon walk each day after class, if only about a mile or two to a main artery where one can buy mangoes and pineapple (two of the Lord’s succulent masterpieces) from street vendors for a song. The “Burkinabés” are most likable people, courteous and hospitable. The population is comprised of about 50% Moslems, 20% Christian, with the rest mostly animists. They seem to get along well…

“Cote d’Ivoire” is significantly wealthier and, after its independence from France in 1960, was well-governed by the benevolent Houphouet Boigny until his death in 1993. Moslems comprise almost 40% of its population (vs. 30% Christian) and 30% animists. Little friction here either. One can walk the streets of either Ouagadougou or Abidjan in relative security. It was about a twenty minute walk from the Pentecostal boarding house where I stayed to the church where the classes were held—a welcomed bit of exercise in spite of the intensely humid heat which would make summer in S. Florida seem refreshingly cool. Normally, I could have changed my sweat-drenched shirt each hour but, in such a climate, one grows accustomed to smelling like a mountain goat. Still, I have never been more grateful for air-conditioning. In both countries, the students were eager and receptive and that more than made up for any minor discomfort.

For a church history textbook, we used the excellent “Précis de l’Histoire de l’Eglise” by the late J.M. Nicole. This classic volume, by a godly and distinguished scholar who—in his long black coat, white hair and beard (I met him once in my student days)—looked somewhat like an add for Quaker Oats. Anyone and anything important in the history of the church is noted in M. Nicole’s book which is now in its 8th edition. Still, it took some additional effort to explain to the less-analytical Africans the finer points of the various Christology controversies in the early church and how the Christian faith hung in the balance over a single Greek “iota” in the famous 4th century Arian heresy (“homousious,” of the same substance vs. “homoiousious,” of similar substance). Meanwhile, the Africans were proud to acknowledge that there were perhaps churches in Ethiopia before the gospel ever made it to France (cf. Acts 8). But they find it puzzling that the Europeans have largely rejected the Faith to the point where there are now surely more believers in Africa and Asia than in Europe. The old continent, like the US, is a “cut-flower” civilization where significant residual Christian influence subsists but, like a beautiful flower severed from its roots, it is rapidly wilting.

When they asked me how that could have happened, I could only echo the wisdom of Cotton Mather who—in 17th century New England—lamented that “virtue had begotten prosperity, but the daughter hath devoured the mother.” As for Africa; the Faith is
spreading rapidly on the “Dark Continent,” though it might take a few generations for the gospel to eradicate the pagan traditions— assuming the Africans are wise enough to saturate their culture with the Word of God. I didn’t sleep a wink on the overnight Air France flight from Abidjan to Paris, even as the “Ivoirien” fellow seated next to me snored
the entire way. Oh to be able to sleep on airplanes! Fortunately, the Boeing 777 was equipped with a state of the art entertainment center so I watched a modern version of Tolstoy’s classic “Anna Karenina.” Adultery is big trouble, in any milieu.

We landed in Paris at 5:30 AM and I waited until 1 PM before boarding the ten-hour flight to Miami. By departure time, I felt like a zombie from lack of sleep and envied the Hispanic couple next to me who dozed through most of the flight. Life’s not fair. I arrived home from the MIA airport Saturday evening via a UBER ride from a 22 year-old Cuban-American who’s just gone through a major romantic deception which left him receptive to the gospel. Pray for Angel… Jet-lag kicked in after Sunday worship service and a delightful Easter meal compliments of our good friends the ever-hospitable Newcombes.

At home, I collapsed in front of the television awaking just in time to hear the rookie winner of the “RBC Heritage Golf Tournament” congratulated by the television commentators on his Easter Sunday victory at Hilton Head Island. With unpretentious simplicity, Wesley Bryan reacted matter-of-factly saying: “Yes, it feels great to win…But today is not about me but about the Savior.” Amen.



Marc with Ivory Coast students