Frederic and Johanna D. / Entrepierres: France

Who we are:

Fred and Johanna received a Master of Arts from Wheaton College Graduate School in Christian Formation and Ministry and Inter-cultural Communication and Leadership. Frederic is also a teacher, trainer, consultant and a professional coach (ICF) and Johanna a speech therapist. They contributed to the creation of International Teams France (ITFR) in 2010 and have been associated with France Mission (FM) until July 2017. They are currently planning to move to Fuller Theological Seminary where Fred has been admitted in a program that leads to a PhD in Psychological science.

Context in France:

France is a very secular country where people are losing their sense of personal and communal identity. Many Christians and non-Christians do not have a clear purpose for living their lives, which leads them to fall into apathy, depression and dysfunctional behaviors.

Ministry focus:

Fred and Johanna’s ministry is designed to help people reconnect with their identity at a personal and communal level and ultimately with God, through a personal accompaniment toward their vocation. They understand vocation as God calling one to BE with Him and DO what He has created one to do. They believe that the process of discovering one’s vocation is the most demanding yet satisfying and meaningful journey that leads one to self-discovery and self-awareness, discovery of God and awareness of his presence and action, and discovery of others.  Therefore, the process itself raises the most important and delicate issues about self, about God and about one’s relationship with others.

Plan to address the complex French cultural context will be as follows:

  • Communicating the Gospel through a holistic evangelistic ministry including the arts, compassion & justice, transformation & healing, and long term friendships (walking alongside people in their spiritual journey).
  • Helping cross cultural workers and national Christian leaders maintain and renew their health and their passion for ministry in the French speaking countries. We are currently serving with an association called Pierres Vivantes (Living Stones) that owns a medieval hamlet transformed into a place of vocational guidance and soul care for leaders serving in the French speaking
  • Offering life coaching and spiritual direction to Christians and non-Christians for them to embrace their God-given vocation.
  • Acquire a facility, “Le Refuge”, that will be designed to be a safe place, a place of second chances for people in vocational transition or for victims of injustice. We often see God working in French people’s broken hearts when they face a life transition or a crisis. During this special season, we therefore want to offer them the love and hospitality of a Christian community, as well as providing resources and networking with the social organizations of the town in order to accompany those we host towards autonomy and well-being. Further, this facility will also be a place of spiritual retreat and study for Christians (in the inspiration of L’Abri).
  • Developing global partnerships with Christian ministries (such as International Teams France) in Eastern Europe, Nepal, Africa and in some francophone countries and assisting these ministries by leading short-term mission trips in a context of long term relationships. These trips also have a mentoring aspect, as the people we bring alongside us learn to serve others with the love of Christ.

3 Purposes:

  • To fight meaninglessness, isolation, fruitlessness, and personal, relational and communal dysfunctions. These issues are the sources of destructive behaviors that affect individuals, relationships and communities. Also, because when one pursues one’s vocation, one reconnects with oneself, others, and God in a life giving way. This has the potential to positively impact the community at its core, bringing joy and meaning back to the center of one’s life and spheres of influence, and ultimately, to reveal the reality of Christ’s presence in the world.
  • To support and strengthen Christian leaders and ministries in the French speaking world.
  • To encourage global partnership internationally in order to promote a fair distribution of ressources (people, education, money).

Click here to see a short presentation outlining the Defoy’s ministry in France.
There is also a very important video showing the context in France.