Grace Baptist Mission CIO

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James Hammond

James Hammond is a Canadian who came to London to train for ministry, not really knowing where God was calling him. Studying at London Theological Seminary, he visited Paris and was challenged by the needs of France. He became a member of St. John’s Wood Road Baptist Church, London, and they connected him with GBM. After a visit to Bordeaux, to see the student ministry of Fiona Steward, James became convinced that God was calling him to France.


He spent 2013 learning French in Paris at Les Cèdres language school. This is a demanding way of learning French, as the entire course is taught ‘pas anglais’. English is forbidden as a means of explaining the meaning of a French phrase, so that you learn as a child does and the language becomes second nature. The language school also grounds you in the culture of France, and James loves to interact with this strongly philosophical culture.


James will be based in Bordeaux, reaching out to the 80,000 students in the city through the FAC Association. They operate student outreach through a number of creative means. Street surveys start conversations, and students are then invited along to a Café Philo, an evening in a café where a talk about a particular question such as ‘Success at any cost?’ or ‘Why the cross?’ then leads into discussion around tables. Some of those who come along then want to do further Bible study, either one-to-one or in small groups.


James has a long-term desire to be involved in church planting, and sees his student ministry in Bordeaux as a time to gain greater fluency in French, to sharpen his evangelistic gifts within French culture, as well as developing his preaching gifts in a local church.


We need churches and individuals who will partner with us in sending James to France. As one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, his costs will be significant, so the more churches that commit to his financial support, the quicker he can get to France. If your church would like to help in this way, please contact Jim Sayers at GBM Mission centre, and we will be happy to arrange a deputation visit from James to your church.


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