Since Will & I are finally feeling more settled in with our life here, we've been praying for ways to begin being more intentional with sharing the Gospel, specifically with Will's family. The longer I am here, the more I continue to learn about the culture, and especially how there are many differences with the beliefs and views here compared to America.
In April, I had to take two 8 hour classes to learn about the culture, the government, and basic life in France. They spent hours talking about the importance of separation of church and state. The teacher explained in great detail how it is forbidden to:
-Force your religious views on anyone else.
-Speak about your religious views in a public area.
-Wear anything expressing your religious views in public.
They had us go through a list of basic places (Schools, parks, restaurants, etc) to make sure we understand that our religious opinions are free in the home, but shouldn't be shown in public. For example, wearing a cross necklace or a head covering in a school is forbidden.
I was also surprised in the class when they showed a picture of Jesus and His disciples at the last supper. (You know, the really famous picture of them sitting around the table together) They asked us who recognized the picture or knew what it was. Out of around 40 people, only a few raised their hand.
I am thankful that when I was in High School, I could pray openly at lunch, "See You At The Pole" was allowed and accepted, I could carry my Bible, and even holding prayer circles on the property was ok.
Growing up in a Christian family and Christian community, a lot of things have surprised me while being here. Then I remember the times when I first met Will and we began talking about God. He knew almost nothing about the Bible or about who Jesus was, and I think that's pretty common with the French.
God has been able to open up conversations for us to talk about the Christian life, abortion, prayer, and other basic topics with Will's family and friends. We would love your prayers as we continue to have these conversations and look for more intentional ways to share the Gospel in a country where much of this is so foreign. We also continue to dream about future ministries we could begin here.
We have recently begun going to a French speaking church in order to open up more opportunities for Will's family & friends to someday join us. (They translate the message in English, which is a blessing!)
French Christian Mission
I'm really excited to tell you about the Shady family. Glen attended CCU recently for his Master's and through our connection to CCU, we heard about one another. God put France on Glen and Jessica's heart, just as he did Will and I. They are currently working to raise money so that they can move to France in December with the goal of ultimately planting churches. The need for more churches in France is HUGE. To read more about their story, check out their website, newsletter, or Facebook. I know they would also love your prayers, as their family will soon be starting this new adventure!
Here's one of my favorite songs in French. "This I Believe (The Creed)"
Your prayers would be appreciated, not just for Will and I but for the Shady family and the others who are here or soon coming to share the Gospel and be the light in France.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”