France Mission update #11
Hello family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ,
I left Saint-Raphael last Wednesday at around 10:00 and I made good time, making it to the Loire Valley in northern France by 8:00PM. It was a nice drive, the highways weren’t too crowded, and I kept myself joyful worshipping with and jamming to my favorite Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. My parents can tell you that he became my favorite artist when I was 13 years old and he still is today. He is that good of a musician and most of all, his Christian testimony is very solid. To give you an idea how many of his CDs I have, I had a ten-hour drive and still didn’t get to about 5 or 6 CDs. Needless to say, it was a good trip.
I really enjoyed my two days of relaxation and refocus. They were needed, as I was very busy in Saint-Raphael and I once again needed some major blocks of time to unload the heavy burden that I have regarding France and her people. Being over here is such a joy, but the people that need Jesus are endless and my burden can easily get very heavy. I needed to once again refocus for the second part of my mission trip, do my best, and leave the rest in God’s hands.
I am in Paris now. I got to my studio apartment last evening, dropped off my suitcases and bags, and then went to the Charles de Gaulle Airport to drop off the car. Driving is pretty useless in the city of Paris itself, as parking is exceedingly expensive, parking places are hard to find, traffic is always terrible, and public transportation is very reliable. I took the train back to my studio and spent the rest of my evening unpacking and working on my schedule for the coming three weeks. It is quite full already. I am looking forward to seeing people that I met last year, as well as those I have known for a while, and meeting new people. I am also looking forward to counseling new individuals. Please pray for divine appointments in Paris.
Before leaving Saint-Raphael, I had the privilege of meeting one last time with everyone who had become dear to me. It was a real privilege to see everyone once again, to spend time with them, to talk about spiritual things, and to let them know that I would keep in touch. For those of you who got my emails last year, I can see specific growth in the people that I worked with both last summer and this summer, which is very exciting for me. I have been told that missionaries often get frustrated here because people do not easily come to Christ. In fact, many are hostile against Him. Many missionaries leave these kind of assignments because growth is hard to detect. What I always remind myself to do is let others see Jesus in me. That is usually what works best here. The walk matches the talk and the friendship over time will produce results. I feel that God has really given me a love for these people, their country, and their need for Jesus. I am very grateful about what God is doing in Saint-Raphael and feel that spiritual conversations and friendships have gone very well and moved forward quickly, which is a blessing, as it usually takes much longer. I will continue these friendships and spiritual discussions and pray that these people come to Jesus. Some are close to salvation.
On my way to Paris, I was listening to one of my favorite groups, Casting Crowns. It was one of their older CDs and although it didn’t become a hit on Christian radio, it was one of my favorites nonetheless. Every time I hear it, the song is powerful, as it talks about the truth, power, cohesiveness, and awesomeness of the Word of God. The song is entitled, “The Word is Alive”. It gave me joy because it was a reminder of many of the reasons I am called to be a missionary. Jeff told me that last Sunday he preached at Rose of Sharon about the calling of each person to be an everyday missionary. If you have time and would like to hear the song, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnh4V7fcnZ0. You will be moved by this song. You are a missionary where you are. The world is going to hell. What are you going to do about it? You have financially helped me make this trip. That is a wonderful start and is very appreciated. What else can you do?
I start official mission work in Paris tomorrow. I ask for your prayers. God bless.