Bonjour from Clamart, France!
We have arrived safely after an 11 hour journey from Orlando to New York and then to Paris. We are currently staying at two houses (one for the boys and one for the girls) which are provided by the church we are working with, Englise Evangelique. They are very generous and make sure we have plenty of French food – quiche, croissants, pasta salad, etc. Generally, we eat supper at the girls’ house which has a fully furnished kitchen and dining room. Such a blessing! The houses are about a 15 minute walk to the church.
The weather has been unusually chilly and rainy for this time of year. While we were riding the metro on Thursday, our missionary was reading an article on how it is so unusual for the French to be experiencing weather like this during this time of year! It has been a steady drizzle since we arrived and the temperature has stayed in the low 60’s.
Right now, the church is in the middle of hosting a two-week program which teaches young adults how to evangelize and present the Gospel. The students are very intrigues with the Americans and leqrning English. We’ve come up with some very interesting and somewhat entertaining ways to overcome the language barrier. Bethany and Jasmine are learning and improving their French very well and are helpful when needing assistance with the little things (like reading directions on food labels!).
We are starting street evangelism on Tuesday. We have the privilege of doing it right in the heart of Paris – directly in front of the Eiffel Tower and in Versailles! The missionaries here are constantly reminding the team that Europe especially are resistant to the gospel and we may experience plenty of rejection when presenting the plan of salvation. We keep in mind the verse in 1 Timothy 1 that says, “…that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service.” – meaning we are here for a reason! As Destiny put it in Devotions last night, “Don’t worry about what to say to the people we meet.” Matthew 10:19 says, “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.”
Yesterday we had the privilege of going on a prayer walk through the areas that we will be evangelizing. It was definitely a good way to start off our time here in France! Everyone has a great attitude about their summer and has contributed a great amount to the team. If you are sending mail, please address it to CIJEM Institution above the team members name. Thank you for your continual prayer and support for our team! It is much appreciated and we look forward to seeing all of our families at the end of the summer! Au Revoir!
Testimony from Eliza Merritt:
What have I been learning this summer? To pray every minute…and that He has answered every littel request. He has proven that he cares about every tiny detail of my life. I’m learning to look to God during bouts of homesickness. He is the only one who can REALLY meet the needs inside of you. If you turn to Him first, THEN He will likely use people to comfort or encourage you. Again with that prayer lesson. Every worry, every joy, bring it to Him immediately “because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
After three “stretching” and learning weeks on humid Merritt Island, our team really grew together and opened up to God. An overnight (yawn!) flight brought us to the cool weather of Paris and an evangelical church and Bible School. These French Christians are overflowing with love and passion – they welcomed us warmly and opened up two lovely old houses for us to stay in. In the last two days, both of our groups have taken Bible classes together, eaten FANTASTIC food, and gone on a prayer walk throughout the city (traveling by the metro). Please pray for the upcoming evangelism. The French of Paris, who have been called 1% Christian, see, very unhappy. We want to show them God’s love we have experienced!
Testimony from Destiny Turner:
Hello everybody back home!
We are in France! We got in at 6:15 their time and 1:15 your time. And we had a full day of things on about 3 hours of sleep. Crazy, right? But don’t worry, we survived. When we got in we were picked up by a guy name Richard from the church that planned our trip and took a two hour drive to the church. Surprisingly, most of us didn’t sleep because we were looking around. France is beautiful! It is daylight until late at night.
While we were driving around, I realized motorcycle can drive wherever and however they want. They only have on rule…stop at the red light. So they were racing in between cars while we were in slow traffic. And the traffic lights are on the side of the street and really small. If I was driving I wouldn’t have seen them.
Once we arrived at the church they had a lot of food for us. Bread and a lot of pepperoni shaped meat and yogurt. It all tastes so different, it’s hard to explain. The best of all though is the BREAD. The bread here is so good. Americans are really missing out on good bread. Even if you don’t like bread you will love French bread. And their yogurt is way better.
Last of all the people here that we have met are so nice. It is really funny when some of us try to speak French, so it’s really good that they know some English.