On Sunday in Grenoble, part of our team went over to Doc and Carol’s house to pray with them, and hear more about their prayer ministry in France. The worship team and Tim headed early to the church to get ready for the church service we helped with that night.
We attended Le Refuge Church in Grenoble, a church that both Doc and Carol, as well as Olivia Swindler (our other missionary in that city) are involved with. It is a church made up primarily of college students from all over the world, as well as immigrants from North Africa. Services are bi-lingual.
Kale, Garret, and Kari Papst led worship that night, in partnership with several members of the church’s existing worship team. Then Jazlin Branting and Ryan Rodin shared their testimonies. It was really cool to hear how the challenges of both Ryan’s and Jazlin’s faith journey resonated so much with the French church members. After that, I (Tim Johnson) preached, continuing on in the church’s sermon series on the journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. It was a fun challenge to preach through an interpreter. My interpreter was part of an immigrant family from Venezuela. Her first language is Spanish, second is French, and third is English. So she interpreted from her third language into her second language—very impressive!
We did a potluck dinner with the church members after the service. It was fun to meet so many people that night, and hear their stories of the walk with Jesus. One that stood out to me was Mohamed, who came to Grenoble four years ago from Algiers. Two years ago, he came to faith in Jesus at Le Refuge Church, converting from his former Muslim faith. I tell you, God is really at work in both Lyon and Grenoble, and so many young people are coming to faith in Jesus it is very inspiring to my faith personally!
Our trip ended with a train ride back to Lyon, a little free time to celebrate a job well done, and a delicious dinner at a French restaurant in Lyon. We were able to meet up with our new friends from Polygones Church in Lyon, who joined us for prayer and dinner that night. We spent some time talking about having them come visit our church in Spokane next year. That would be great, as their faith is so genuine and inspiring, we could all really learn a ton from them.
My biggest take-away is that God loves the people of France, and that the people of this great country are wonderful! It is the best to join in worship and church life with people from another culture. I think that is truly what heaven is going to be like. So why not start now, right?
I personally really benefited from this trip, and am so glad we went. It was very encouraging to our missionaries we support there, to know that their church at home loves and cares about them. And it was inspiring and challenging to my faith in Jesus.
Be praying for Jesus’ church in France. They are blazing an incredible path for the Kingdom!