What Is God Up To In Lille, France?

Leroy and Debbie Zumack are missionaries in Lille, France, which is in the northern part of the country not too far from the Belgian border. I first met the Zumack’s in a practice-Skype interview a few years ago for a live Skyping that we planned to do with our church (Wichita Bible Church) the next day during our worship service.

There were four of us from WBC planning to visit the Zumacks that summer and this was our opportunity to talk with the congregation about our upcoming trip.

The Zumacks are a delightful couple serving in a very spiritually cold Europe, and they could use your prayer.

I recently asked Leroy if he would be willing to answer a few questions for my blog as part of a series I am entitled “What God Is Doing Around the World.” Here is that interview.

How did you end up in Lille, France and how long have you been serving the Lord in this place? We had been serving in the Paris area, a city called Eaubonne and we had finished our work there after about 14 years.  Our field leader asked us to consider three options. We visited each in 2003 and ended up going to Lille. The Church there was barely holding on. And they had developed a rhythm of going to the church in Lille one Sunday, and then had their own service the next Sunday. We started out with about 14 people and it dwindled down to 5 so I said let’s stay at the church in Lille. (It was a very complicated situation and too long to explain here.) We have been at the Eau Vive Church since 2004.

During your time in Lille, how have you seen God working? Well several good things happened the past 13 years.  The Eau Vive Church had bought a building and needed work teams to refurbish it. Our mission had a ministry that organized the work teams so over about 5 years we saw 6 work teams come through our mission and 6 other teams were from within Europe. A ministry for students came to Lille in 2010. There are 115,000 students in Lille and almost no ministry was reaching out to them. The evangelical Churches began to work together and coordinate church planting. I started prison ministry in 2007.

What have been some of the larger challenges (e.g., physical, spiritual, doctrinal) in recent years? I have had some physical challenges due to eczema, and that is an ongoing challenge. Debbie has an eye condition with a slowly growing shadow over her right eye. I cannot think of any doctrinal challenges that we faced. The first two years I wondered why God had brought me there. The church in Wattignies that closed eventually kept losing members, and I had no ministry in the Lille Church yet so I proposed to do visitation which they gladly accepted.

Do you ever wish you could move to another country or city? Currently I sometimes want to move to the south where it is warmer. it would be better for my eczema.

How can the readers of this blog be praying for you? To seek my pleasure in the Lord (Psalm37:4), not in ministry. Ministry is serving God, but I need to love Him, and abide in Him and obey Him. Pray for Debbie’s eye and my eczema that we are patient with these temporal, earthly matters.


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