France Mission update #3

June 30, 2016

 

Hello family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

 

As of today, I have been in France for two full weeks now and it has truly been a joy to be here.  This country has been my second home now for the past 20 years and each time I get to be here is a new experience and a new blessing.  These past two weeks have been no exception as I have been doing counseling and relationship evangelism.

 

It has been so nice having a studio apartment right beside Gaston and Mauricette here in Saint-Raphael.  I met them here last year and they have been dear to my heart ever since.  I mentioned last year that they are very faithful Catholics and that we were able to have some good spiritual talks last summer.  I am happy to say that we have had a lot of good spiritual conversations the last two weeks.  I have tried to explain salvation to them from every angle possible, including being saved by the grace of God, accepting Jesus as personal Savior and Lord, understanding justification by faith, having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, etc., so that there be no misunderstanding whatsoever as to what salvation is.  I am convinced that Gaston and Mauricette are saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, for which I am excited and very grateful.  There are very few people in France that I can say this about, so I am thankful.

 

Some of you may remember the friend I met last year who works in the tourist office here in Saint-Raphael.  We became friends last summer when I was on one of her tours explaining the Allied invasion of southern France in August of 1944.  Well, she is an atheist.   I have been spending time with her and we have had some good spiritual discussions.  I believe she is more open to the Gospel than she was last year, so please be praying for me as I minister to her.  She has a little boy that will be two years old next year, and she and her husband are currently seeing a doctor concerning their son’s learning processes.  They are the very beginning stages but there is a possibility that her son has autism.  I have come in contact with several children with autism through the years and so I have been easily able to understand the process she is going through right now.  She is discouraged.  Please pray for God to touch her heart during this time.

 

I have a very close friend in Paris who has just had her third miscarriage.  Please pray that God will continue to give me words of comfort for her.  I have been praying a long time for her to come to Christ and I pray that God will use this situation to bring her to Him.  Another close friend of mine who lives in Versailles, a suburb of Paris, is in her final stages of pregnancy and will be giving birth within the next couple weeks.  Please pray for a safe delivery for her, her baby boy, and calm nerves for her husband, Philippe.

 

So far I have been to 1 choir rehearsal and 2 choir dinners.  It has been wonderful seeing everyone again and everyone has been glad to see me and have once again been very welcoming.  I really enjoyed the dinners, as it gave me a better chance to get to know people better and continue establishing relationships.  Last year I formed a good relationship with two couples, as well as the president of the choir and the choral director.  These are continuing to go well.  One of the couples has just moved and the other couple (both are elementary school teachers) is finishing up the school year.  I am hoping to get together with them next week to catch up and continue our spiritual discussions from last year.  Some of the songs that we are singing are so beautiful and lift up the name of Jesus (one is in English).  What I find so rewarding is that many of them may not know it, but they are lifting up the name of Jesus in song.  I am praying that they will come to understand what a relationship with Jesus is really like.

 

I had a strange way of meeting a lady this past week.  I was in E. LeClerc, which is the French version of a Super Wal-Mart.  I was looking for some liquid soap for the bathroom in my studio apartment when I saw this woman who kept looking at me.  I was wondering if I had something stuck between my teeth when she asked me if I would help her pick out a foundation for her skin.  She said she thought it looked like I knew what I was doing.  Well, I was a little surprised because this usually doesn’t happen, especially in France, but I was able to help her find a foundation that matched her skin and I answered all her questions about foundation in general.  She asked if I would be willing to help her further and I said I would, so I gave her my French phone number and I plan on helping her out again later.  Please pray for spiritual discussions to take place as I help her with her makeup choices.  Who knew that being a Mary Kay representative could help me form relationships in France? That is the last thing I was thinking, but God is literally using all my areas of knowledge to help me form connections with people.

 

I have much more to write and tell you about but I do not want to make these emails too long, so I will tell you all about this past weekend in another email that I hope to get out to you tomorrow.  Thank you for all your continued prayers.

 

Ilene

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