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American church planters Robert and Kathryn Baxter have been living near Paris, France since 1988. The Baxters, who are senior leaders of Le Bon Berger church, share their specific requests in the wake of the Friday terrorist attacks in Paris:
As I write this Saturday evening, Nov. 14, a strange and unsettling calm has descended over our troubled city. As of now, there are 128 confirmed dead, 250 are wounded, among them 80 are in a critical state.
Police tell us that there were eight terrorists in all, at least one confirmed as a French citizen. Those killed were all wearing explosive belts. Three of the terrorists blew themselves up just outside of the national football stadium, Stade de France, which is located only 10 minutes walk from our church. No fewer than six separate attacks happened in Paris within minutes of the bomb explosions at the stadium.
In one case, masked gunmen jumped out of a car and opened fire on a sidewalk café killing as many as possible. In another case, two gunmen broke into a concert hall and began shooting indiscriminately into the crowd of 1,500. Shooting continued until police broke in and killed the two gunmen.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a letter released earlier today, ISIS gave specific details of the attacks, leaving the authorities little doubt as to the legitimacy of their claim. President François Hollande has declared that "France Is at War" and promised to deal with ISIS without pity.
Authorities have asked Parisians to stay at home over the weekend. Movies theaters, many restaurants and Disneyland Paris are all closed. Our discipleship school did hold a special session this morning, and our church service will be held tomorrow at the normal hours.
All members of the Baxter family are safe and sound. Our eldest daughter, Rachelle, who often hangs out in this part of Paris is on a trip to South Korea. Réanna was spending the evening with the family of her fiancé 60 miles away; and Kathryn and I were both at home.
We are praying for three things:
We are praying for God's great mercy and compassion to be poured out on those who have lost a family member, friend, colleague. We are praying for this evil to be turned into a wave of salvation for the French.
God has told us that there are other terrorist cells active in France; and we are praying that they would be exposed to the authorities and dealt with adequately.
And finally, we believe God has called us to repent for the silence of the church as our society has slid into moral decadence. We believe that the "normalization" of immorality has destroyed God's protection over our nation. And He is calling us to repent.
Thank you for standing with us. I will try to update you in a few days.
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