Anke van der Sluijs

Very few people in this area know God truly. They speak about Him as living in themselves, and of Jesus as a big Master, but not as our Saviour. The Bible in their opinion is falsely translated.

Anke van der Sluijs is a missionary in the Pyrenees in the south of France. She has been living in this area since 2009. She started in Saint Girons and moved to the Aude department 50 km south of the old fortified town of Carcassonne in December 2013.

It’s a beautiful region with impressive landscapes: green hills and a 1 hour drive from the higher mountains. There are also vineyards, agriculture and cattle-breeding. However, there is also much spiritual darkness and emptiness. It is one of the poorest regions of France, with high unemployment. There are not many Christians and the little congregations are few and far between.The history (and extermination) of the Cathars and their spiritual legacy is important in the region.

This area is attractive to people who are on a voyage looking for spiritual answers in their lives. There’s an interest in New Age philosophy, transcendental meditation, contact with the spiritual world and many consult spiritual healers. One mountain, the Pic de Bugarach, is well-known for reputed UFO sightings. Thousands of people came hoping to be saved when the end of the world was forecast in 2012. Rennes le Chateau, where the 'Da Vinci Code' started, is also a 'spiritual place'.

Announcing the gospel in a direct way can be difficult in France which is proud of its ‘laïcité’ (defense of secularism). This means that most evangelism is done through one-to-one conversations and practical projects.

Anke has known this region for many years and has seen the great spiritual need. Her desire is to share Jesus with its people and to see them set free by the Way, the Truth and the Life. This enables her to welcome and share the gospel with people who are spiritually searching. Most of her daily work is contacting people and talking with them one-to-one. In this way she hopes to make lasting relationships, be a good witness for Jesus and show practically how the gospel changes lives.

She loves to build organic communities where people read the Bible, pray and support each other.

She would love to hear from others interested in joining her long-term in this part of France.

Cross Cultural Worker in France
Country of origin
The Netherlands

With ECM since 2010