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France

Jamie and Jackie Gildard are a part of church planting team working in Toulouse, France [wiki]. This part of the world has a rich history of Protestant vitality; hundreds of years ago French Protestants who had received training in Geneva returned home bringing with them the Good News of grace in Christ. Currently, Toulouse is a diverse, rapidly growing city, much of this due to the expanding aerospace and technology industries in the city.

Mission to the World founded a team in Marseille in the early 1980s, in part, to revitalize the work of two established churches. Since then, a church has been planted in communities to the northeast (Plan-de-Cuques) and, in 2007, to the south (Roy d'Espagne). To get an idea how tremendously difficult it is to establish a church work in France, consider that it normally takes 10-15 years for a new church mature.

You can learn more about the team here. In addition, two members of the team are professors with a school of biblical and theological study, Faculté Jean Calvin. Incidentally, this school (originally, the Reformed Seminary in Aix-en-Provence, or Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée) was founded just before World War II with the help of leaders from Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Both Donald G. Barnhouse and James Montgomery Boice devoted much time and energy to the spread of the gospel in France.

Prior to doing ministry in France, the Gildards ministered briefly in French-speaking West Africa (Senegal) beginning in 1995. God brought them to France to assist a church planting team. Jamie and Jackie primarily serve in the area of developing relationships, evangelism, and encouraging growth and leadership among French Christians.

Jamie grew up in Maryland and was drawn to Christ through The Navigators while attending the University of Maryland. After attending law school in Maine, he returned to Maryland to practice law. Jacki grew up in central New York and, while attending Southhampton College of Long Island University, she became a Christian through the outreach of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Following college, Jacki worked as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., where she met Jamie at a Bible study.

Jamie and Jackie married in 1989, attending Providence Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, Maryland, where Jamie became a ruling elder.