In 1999, Kris and Debbie Stout began the Word of Life ministry in France, that has been reaching the youth with the gospel of Christ. The staff has grown to five couples and the ministry has witnessed many teens trust Christ and their lives changed through camps, Bible Clubs, and evangelistic campaigns. This is only the beginning to see what God can do in this country! "La Maison Blanche" was donated to Word of Life before the ministry in France ever began. The beautiful 12-acre property has undergone major renovation during the last six years. Located in Dinan, in the province of Brittany, "la Maison Blanche" serves as the main ministry offices and missionary housing. The principal structure on the property has been completely remodeled. The ground floor of this old mansion has become home to staff offices, the dining room, meeting room, and the camp kitchen. The second and third floors have been outfitted as apartments for missionary staff. There is also a game room, sports fields and facilities, and enough dormitory space for 60 campers a week. All major work was completed by the summer of 2003, when the first official camp was held with 52 campers. With the country's largest population center of over 11 million people in Paris, it has been a strong desire of the Stouts' to have a presence there. Recently, Word of Life France has had the opportunity to purchase a property in the immediate Paris region in a miraculous way. Having become too much to care for, the owners wanted to see "Ecouen" (the only evangelistical property of its kind) used by another ministry, so have agreed to sell it to Word of Life at a nominal cost. Formerly servant's quarters for the nearby Ecouen Castle, the center has 17 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, meeting room for 150, a beautiful backyard and an independent missionary home. Located 10 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the center of Paris it is ideally located for all sorts of ministry purposes. It will serve as a great year-round youth retreat and leadership training center, local church ministries and Bible Club headquarters, Paris offices, a missionary home, as well as a perfect base location for American teams coming to minister short-term in France. God is doing great things in France!
Sophisticated and refined are truly words that describe the country of France. With 550,000 sq. km it is the biggest western European country and the only one that has access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Diversity is found from the coastal areas to the rolling hills of Alces Lorraine and the French Alps. French architecture has influenced the world through its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Other important influences include its writers, such as Voltair and Renoir. Its cuisine is considered to be the finest in the world. The capital of France, Paris, is known for its museums, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. Today, over 65 percent of the 58 million French people consider themselves Catholics. Unfortunately, for many this means only a traditional connection. There is also a significant growth of Muslims and only a small group of Protestants.