by Pat VanAntwerpen (past COMIX35 Board Member)
Years ago, when we first heard the sad story of the French-speaking Québecois people of Canada, our hearts melted. We were determined to help inspire French-language comics with a powerful “return to The LORD” message for the lost Québecois. COMIX35 President Nate Butler made an exploratory trip to the Montréal area in April 2004, but the door closed on holding one of our comics seminars in August 2005 with partners there.
In the years that followed we never forgot. We strategized and prayed for the Québecois at Board meetings. We wondered at God’s timing, but never doubted the call to go and help Québecois Christians produce comics to reach their own people.
In 2010, The LORD suddenly opened the door to Québec for COMIX35. Nate Butler was able to coordinated the timing of his visit with the 23rd Annual French Language Comics Festival in Old Québec City (“Festival de la BD Francophone de Québec”). He was accompanied by Mexican comics creator José Carlos Gutierrez and Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset.
COMIX35’s goals were to renew connections, form new relationships/partnerships for future ministry work, and inspire locals to produce their own Christian comics for their own people. As our time in Québec unfolded, we saw God’s grace in those years of waiting.
A number of important, new contacts were made. Perhaps the most significant came through Alain, who connected us with Martine Blanchette, Director of the Arts Department of EVQ (Église de la Victoire du Québec), a media ministry in Granby (Montréal area). Martine agreed to help us plan a seminar there, forging a new and ultimately successful pathway toward a Québec event.
Back in 2005 when the seminar we planned with our Montréal partners just couldn’t get off the ground, we were deeply disappointed. How could God close the door on such a worthy project? Didn’t Jesus weep for the Québecois? Days, months, years passed. We prayed, our Board, staff, and prayer partners, stubbornly and methodically. Then, one day, the right partners were in place. The day had come, as had the resources. The door opened with no power of our own. We stepped in, in Christ’s name, to claim territory for His Eternal Kingdom. It was good. God exalts Himself in His timing, His guidance and His grace.
Merci, Jésus !