Wednesday, September 26
Those whom all reject I will receive in the name of my Master.'' These are the words of Pastor Jean-Antoine (John) Bost in 1844. When John Bost was appointed as minister to La Force, a small village in southwestern France, he was deeply touched by the serious social problems of his time. In 1848, he opened the first of a number of buildings intended for those in social distress and for handicapped and incurably ill children for whom there was no other provision. By 1881, nine houses had been opened. At present there are 22 units for the mentally ill, for the handicapped, and for elderly people who cannot look after themselves.
With over 1,200 professional staff looking after some 1,000 residents, the Fondation John Bost is the largest employer in the department of Dordogne. As it works in partnership with a wide variety of organizations, this Protestant foundation bears fruit well beyond the world of Protestantism. It serves the wider community as a witness to Christ's unconditional acceptance and to his gospel, which knows no frontiers. From the beginning, John Bost wanted residents to be received in an open environment ``without walls or fences,'' as evidence that we are all, handicapped or healthy, children of the Father. For over 160 years, the Fondation has affirmed and recognized the dignity of all human beings, seen vulnerability as an aspect of humanity, affirmed that there is always a way forward, and attested that all have a calling to be active citizens in the community and society.
- Rev. Didier Crouzet, international relations, Reformed Church of France
Let us join in prayer for:
Reformed Church of France: Rev. Marcel Manoel, president, Pasteur Bertrand de Casenove, general secretary, Rev. Didier Crouzet, secretary for international and ecumenical relations * Reformed Church in Alsace-Lorraine: Rev. Geoffroy Goetz, president of the synodal council * Church of the Augsburg Confession: Prof. Jean-Francois Collange, president * Protestant Federation of France: Rev. Dr. Jean-Arnold deClermont, president, Christian Seytre, general secretary * Action Chretienne en Orient * CIMADE (Committee Working Among the Displaced): Laurent Giovannoni, general secretary * Evangelical Community for Apostolic Action: Rev. Alain Rey, general secretary