July 15, 2016
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — More than 80 people were killed and dozens more were injured in a terror attack Thursday night in Nice, France, when a large truck loaded with weapons drove through a crowd of people who had gathered to watch fireworks and celebrate Bastille Day.
CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter asked Cooperative Baptists and all people of faith to continue to pray for peace in the midst of global violence.
“The world was devastated with the news of the attack on those celebrating Bastille Day in Nice,” Paynter said. “We are all grieving the loss of more than 80 innocent lives and offer prayers for all of the victims and their families. As Christians we are called to pray for peace as we see the increase of senseless violence in so many locations around the world. We as Cooperative Baptists stand in solidarity with France as this day of celebration has become one of mourning, and hope that we can offer comfort in this time of fear, anger and grief.”
David and Julie Brown, longtime CBF field personnel who serve in Paris, have asked that Cooperative Baptists continue to pray for France and all the victims and families following what is the country’s third major terror attack in the past 19 months.
“Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for France and especially for those who have lost loved ones,” the Browns said. “Pray also for the authorities — government, police and military. They are stretched thin and exhausted. Pray that this latest event will not lead to even more strife between the French in general and the Muslim community.”
CBF field personnel Joel and Tiffne Whitley, who serve in Strasbourg, France, encouraged additional prayers for France as well as European institutions.
“Please pray for relations between immigrants and French nationals, that these events will not put more of a strain on these relationships,” the Whitleys said. “Please pray for the European Parliament and the Council of Europe which are located in Strasbourg. Please pray for the leaders of these European institutions as they deal with many issues in Europe and for us as we seek to minister with leaders from these European institutions.”
CBF Global Missions Coordinator Steven Porter offered prayers for CBF field personnel in France as well as the Fellowship’s French ministry partners, and encouraged Cooperative Baptists to respond to incidents of global violence with love.
“When I first learned about the attack in Nice, I prayed for the families whose lives were shattered, and then I prayed for David and Julie Brown and Joel and Tiffne Whitley, our CBF field personnel in France, and for their immigrant friends and French ministry partners,” Porter said. “In the midst of such evil, it is natural to feel outrage — natural to cry out, ‘Why?’ or ‘How long, O Lord?’ What is less natural is to respond to such violence with love, but that is precisely what Jesus bids us to do. This is why we commissioned the Browns and Whitleys to serve among immigrants on the margins of French society. To cultivate beloved community, to bear witness to Jesus Christ, and to seek transformational development are not Global Missions slogans, they are what the gospel demands of us.”
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.