Monday, June 23, 2008

Fw: France Update #2

Here is an update from my friend Hayley who is on a missions trip in France.
Coram Deo!!!

It's hard to believe that my stay here in France is already more than half over. Since the last time I wrote to you, the main event that has happened is the Paris Prayer Conference. Eighteen people from the U.S. came and one very incredible 75 year old woman came from Australia by herself. While France may be made up of less than 1% Protestants, don't think for a second that God isn't making his presence known here. We heard from a couple ministering to Muslim women, as well as from several French Christians who have incredible stories. We even had the opportunity to go on some prayer walks where World Team would like to see a church planted in the next couple of years.  In my group, I had a couple from Alabama, who was here with their daughter who was an intern two years ago. I also had the father of the other intern from two years ago, who was from Detroit. And finally I had a couple from St. Louis. I think a couple of them had a hard time being led around by someone much younger than them, but I didn't get disheartened by it. I learned a lot about marriage from the Alabama couple, as well as parenthood, as they have five children from 7 to 24. It seems like everyone that I come in contact with inspires me in some way. One day I thought for sure I wanted to become a midwife after to talking to one of the missionary's daughters, who is finishing up midwifery school. I am also being mentored by one of the missionary women who has two sons who are 10 and 12. We meet together once a week to talk about any struggles I'm having, whether spiritually or with my team. She and her husband live just south of Paris, and their church plant meets in their basement. I have already learned so much from her and her family relationships. Yesterday I helped her bake her son's birthday cake and I got to share in that celebration.  Next week we will be having an English club at their house for some of the children who go to her youngest son's school. It isn't a ministry opportunity, but rather just a time for their family to make contacts with their neighbors. The next week, we will be heading to Milan to meet the Italy team and reunite with the Spain interns. I'm very excited to hear what they have experienced and for us to share with them. We will also be having a day or two of debriefing, and then heading back to Philadelphia for more debriefing.  I will be returning home to Wichita on the July 11th.

I will probably not be sending another update until I'm home, but I just want to thank you for your prayers and support. I feel like I've been taking in a lot more than I've been doing, but I'm starting to think that's what God had planned all along. God has definitely been changing me, and at times it has been painful. He is calling me to bring every area of my life to him and letting go, which I'm sure you would agree is much easier said than done. There's absolutely nothing I can do to earn His love, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to make Him love me less. He looks past my imperfections and sees me for what He originally created me to be: a being made in His image, designed to love Him. And this is all made possible through His son, whom with I now share in his inheritance. I can't even comprehend that. But I am now trying to pursue God with my heart, soul, and mind. I don't know if God is calling me to be a missionary, but I do know that he is calling me fall more deeply in love with Him everyday.

Sorry for the rambling; I guess this actually turned out to be more like a journal entry. Thanks again for the prayers and words of encouragement. You have no idea how much I appreciate you as my church family, and I can't wait to worship with you again, where I can understand everything that is being said : ). I hope your families are doing well. I will be keeping you in my prayers!


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