France Mission Update #14

August 18, 2016

 Good evening to all from Paris,

 

Tonight is my last evening here in Paris, as early tomorrow morning a taxi will be picking me up to take me to the airport and I will then be on my way home.  My plane should be landing in Charlotte at about 2:00PM EST.  If a French person takes baby steps toward accepting Jesus, I consider it a victory, as every step is critical in leading someone to Christ.

 

My last week has been busy.  Last Friday evening and Saturday, I spent time with a friend that I met last year.  She and I are very different, but she enjoys English, as she has spent time in Birmingham, England, so she enjoys talking about Anglophone culture and sometimes she even practices her English a little bit when she is brave enough.  Based on some things she had told me in the past about evangelical churches, I was under the impression that she was ready to try one out, accept a Bible, and maybe even enter into a personal relationship with Jesus.  I was so far off base it wasn’t funny.  When I got to discuss spiritual things with her this weekend, it turns out she is an atheist and doesn’t even believe God exists.  I was almost flabbergasted, based on the things she had told me in the past.  Here it seems she was just trying to talk about things she thought I would be interested in as a pastor’s wife.  Well, I had to start back at square one with her, as I totally misunderstood why she was talking to me about evangelical churches.  Sometimes this can happen and I reminded myself to not get discouraged or give up on her.

 

Sunday morning I was supposed to help Pastor Parker’s band out with worship and I was really looking forward to doing it.  I had made it through the metro lines and was on the bus almost to church when I started feeling pretty badly.  When I got to the church, Parker gave me a hug and told me that I was right on time to lead the worship band in praise music.  Then something not so lovely came out of my mouth.  I gagged, like I was vomiting, except nothing came out, which is fortunate because it would have gotten all over Pastor Parker.  I promised Pastor Parker a rain check as I headed to the youth loft to lie down.  After starting to feel worse, I decided to get back to my studio before it got too bad.  It was basically a 24-hour bug, but I missed leading worship with Pastor Parker’s band.  I do, however, have a rain check.

 

Monday I got together for lunch with a friend of mine that I spent time with the first week I was here in Paris.  He believes that Jesus is God and rose from the dead but still hasn’t taken that step of faith to have a personal relationship with God.  We had a very good spiritual discussion and I was very happy with how everything ended.  I really felt like he took some major steps forward this week, for which I am grateful.

 

Tuesday I was Skyping with a student of mine when the Internet just stopped and I couldn’t get it turned back on.  I later found out that the entire building ran out of electricity, as well as many parts of the city of Paris.  People had to be evacuated from the metro because the trains just stopped underground and didn’t start back up.  I am so grateful I wasn’t in that category.  It ended up being 24 hours until electricity returned, but I was amazed at how God took care of me during this 24-hour period.  The elevator wasn’t working, and there was no Internet or TV, but otherwise, I had electricity.  I could charge my phone, keep my fan on (as it was hot), and see, as my lights were working.  Today after the electricity was back on the lady at the reception desk said I was the only one with power at all yesterday, and she didn’t know how that happened.  I told her that God was looking out for me.  She looked at me like I was two fries short of a happy meal.

 

Today I was once again able to spend time with my good friend in Versailles who just had a baby.  Little Thibault is almost a month old already and he is adorable, if I do say so myself.  We met at the Trianon Gardens close to the Versailles castle and enjoyed our time together so very much.  Usually it is difficult to get her started in a spiritual discussion, but today things went very smoothly.  I have known her for over 10 years and this is the first time that she has told me she believes in the resurrection.  I had always suspected so but know she is very quiet about her spiritual beliefs and doesn’t talk much about them.  I was happy to see her open up today.  I was very encouraged by what she said and will talk with her further about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

So now I am going to get to sleep, as early morning will come quickly.  This has been an amazing mission trip.  Thank you everyone for your financial donations and prayers.  I appreciate them so very much.  It is a privilege and honor to serve Jesus Christ in France.  May God bless you for all you do for the Kingdom.

 

Ilene

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