Debs has been living in France for 17 years. She first moved there to work with students and then began working with local churches in Paris. We caught up with her to find out more about what ministry in Europe is like.

Can you tell us when your love of France and heart to serve there originated?

I’ve had a love for France since I was a child. My first visit to France was at the age of four when my family went on a canal boat holiday in Brittany. I also fell in love with the “Madeline” books and was enamoured by the French language. In school, French was always my favourite subject, thanks to an amazing French teacher, who I’m still in contact with.

I became a Christian at a young age, around 8, while growing up in a Christian family. As I grew older, I began to notice differences between the church in France and the UK, particularly in terms of church size and receptiveness to the gospel. France seemed more closed to the gospel at that time. It was during this period that my love for France, which had always been rooted in its culture, language, and gastronomy, transformed into a spiritual love for the French people. This newfound love for France ignited my broader interest in cross-cultural mission work, but it all began with a deep affection for the nation itself.

What is it like working with young people in Paris?

Paris is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a mix of cultures and a significant population of young people. In my church, the average age of members ranges from 18 to 35, with many being students or young professionals. one of the challenges for young Christians in Paris is navigating the temptations of secularism while staying true to their faith.


Can you elaborate on those challenges and how you support young people in maintaining their faith?

Before coming to Paris, I conducted a survey among members of my church and some friends to understand the most significant temptations they face. The results were a mix of the expected and the surprising. Predictably, materialism, workaholism, and the high-pressure culture of Paris were common challenges. Distractions and the abundance of options also played a role in tempting individuals away from their faith.

However, what struck me most was that many Christians mentioned struggling with their behaviour towards others, particularly in stressful situations like crowded metro rides. Paris can be a challenging place to live, with unkindness and unfriendliness sometimes prevalent, making it difficult to respond with kindness and care.

Many struggle with their behaviour towards others, particularly in stressful situations like crowded metro rides.

How else is God using you?

In addition to my ministry role, I am actively involved in the French National Council of Evangelicals, where I represent the conservative evangelical wing of the movement. This role demands a significant time investment, but it’s driven by a deep passion. We are currently focusing on being more missionoriented as evangelicals, aiming to bring the gospel to those who have not yet encountered Jesus. While we recognise that the Holy Spirit’s work is at the centre, we actively seek strategic ways to impact France with the gospel, placing ourselves in positions where God can use us effectively.


Debs Prisk, works in women’s ministry in France and French-speaking Europe and this interview was adapted from the 4 Corners Podcast. You can listen to the full interview here.