We have known for the past year and half that God would someday call us to France to share the gospel, but we have never really known what specifically that would look like, and that is still unclear today. Our prayer in the spring was, “God show us when,” but now we begin praying “God show us how." How will it actually look to share the gospel in France and do ministry there?
Christianity is at a very low-point in France, but it is not dead, and that’s what we want to focus on. As I was doing some research on Christianity and the religion in France, I came across this:
“Church attendance in France is among the lowest in the world, with
We are going to France knowing that God has called us there, even though we don’t know exactly how it will look to do ministry there. We have been thinking, praying, and dreaming for the past year about what approach we would take. We know it will have to be different than the ways we do things in America, but we are confident that God will open up the hearts of many French people we encounter. While we are settling in the first couple months, we will be looking for a church to attend and be a part of on weekends. There are a few Christian churches in Lyon, and Will even has a friend who is attending one of them. He knows a few Christians that are in his city, so our hopes are to connect with those people as quickly as we can.
Initially, we also would like to start a small group, which could eventually turn into a house church later on. We simply want to connect to the family and friends we already know there, and begin diving into the Word of God. We love the example of the early church and the way the Christians gathered together.
Our ultimate goal in moving is to spread the gospel and to do it through our jobs, our relationships, and to represent Christ in everything we do. We want to be able to share our faith and introduce people to Jesus. Will has already witnessed many encouraging situations in the past year and a half through people he knows, which has shown us that God is already working in France. It is difficult to have a precise plan for what we want to do, but we trust that God will continue revealing His plan and we trust in His timing.
On January 1st of 2015, Will and I were at a “20-Something” retreat at Butler Springs. Through many conversations that happened that day, we both had a vision of one day doing a sports ministry in France. Through our love for sports, kids, and the Lord, we started dreaming of what it would look like to share the gospel through sports. We have no idea if this is the direction God will actually lead us, but we are excited at the many possibilities we will have to impact the French community.
For now, we have been doing research and using resources from organizations and ministries in the United States to help prepare us for this entirely new ministry opportunity. My personal prayer for the past year has been Psalm 25:4-5.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
God has already been doing this in our lives, and we are confident that He will continue leading us on the path He wants us to take.
At times I wonder if we are prepared for this, if we have enough experience, if we have enough knowledge. But, I’m reminded of the quote,
“God doesn’t call the qualified… God qualifies the called.”
It’s amazing to look throughout scripture and see the people that God used. Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Moses stuttered, Abraham was old, Martha was a worrier…. Just to name a few.
I am constantly reminded that we must be bold and courageous.
In August of 2013, I went to the Global Leadership Summit and was encouraged by a sermon from Bill Hybels on, “Courageous Leadership.” I ended up hearing this message again just a few months ago, and although it isn’t at all specific with Will and I’s situation, I am reminded of this: When God gives you a vision, be courageous enough to begin pursuing it. I’m inspired by the many stories he gave about the mighty ways God worked in his church, when he followed the visions he was given by God.
(If you're interested in his entire message, check it out here: https://vimeo.com/97784781)
Christine Cane, another favorite of mine, says this,
“Life tries to daunt us, to render us incapable of following the bold and valiant plan God has for us. Are you ready to move past that? Are you ready to become undaunted?”
Through our fears of the unknown, we continue to trust in our Faithful God, knowing He will direct us and use us.
In January of this year, we began a series at Whitewater called, “Life on Mission.” Will and I were both convicted about how we were living our life on mission for the Lord. We now know that the Lord is calling us to do this in France, and ultimately, the purpose in our life is to be used by God to watch Him transform the lives of those in France.
We ask for you to pray for us and for the direction God will take us as we do ministry in France.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”