Oh my gosh, I can hardly find the words to write. Where does one start when body, mind, soul, and spirit are chock-full and overflowing with so much; tangible and not. So, here goes…
Jen, our hostess just sat down next me excitedly and so happy, her phone blowing up with texts from the members of their church. Etienne: “Thank you Jen for all you’ve done. Everything you did to organize these past 3 days was veeeeeeery great.” Pastor Tim followed right on his heels. “Absolutely. You actively participated in reconciliation between French and American Evangelicals.” These are loaded statements with so much backstory. Take my word for it, these are packed with meaning, and it’s been awesome. We are all chiming in to agree whole-heartedly to these and the other texts. I had huge respect for Jen and Dave before, but that has grown to a new height. The scope of their ministry goes much farther than this beautiful church plant, and that in itself is worthy enough. I wish I had time to relay the impact these 2 have here, and the plans for the future for helping people find and follow Jesus by building friendships and relationships. The old missionary models of the past aren’t useful here any longer, so they’re creating new ones, which are gentle and kind rather than full of pride and superiority. All these texts speak to the truth of this and there is a living, growing body of Jesus Christ here to prove it.
You read yesterday’s blog so you already know how intentional, purposeful and well-rounded Jen’s plans have been to stimulate all parts of us while we are here. From the get-go she asked us to be aware and to pay attention to what God was stirring inside of us. It’s been my MO and I know it’s true of our whole team.
This morning Dave led our team in a sweet and moving time singing. Abba Pére, je suis à toi/Father God, I am yours…mmmm, so good. And Jen brought us much to chew on during morning MEDS, from the book Global Humility, by Andy McCullough, which dissects the life and story of Jonah. One nugget for me personally was, we can miss God despite having the right theology. No more theology until we’re ready to obey and fully live up to what we already know. Jonah wanted to obey only where it was safe. Am I actively leaning in to what God is calling me to now, or am I a knowledge “junkie,” looking for the next download.
Oh guys, this city… Old Lyon: Indescribable. It is the paintings you’ve passed by at art exhibits and shows, it’s actually real and has this charming appeal that touches all your senses. The team climbed on the Metro and headed into town. We had SO MUCH FUN shopping, walking, eating awesome food while we laughed and chatted. Here are some photos of Lyon.
The rest of the evening was pure fellowship. First, a shared culture and language church service with mixed worship team. Sammie, we even sang the chorus of The Risen King in French…so cool! It was followed by a message given by Nathan and interpreted so well, by Jen. Nathan preached from John 13: 1-17, Jesus washing the disciple’s feet and ended by taking the posture and example of Jesus Himself by washing the feet of a friend, a total stranger, and his wife.
Potluck and conversation ended the night. Several of the young French adults had friends with them who as yet do not know Jesus. Oh what a night for them to see Jesus in action. Pray for Augustine who took with him a Bible and will be reading John to begin with: What a sweet, beautiful boy. Also remember, Etienne (brought by the Etienne above) and his girlfriend. This church is alive and well, and is a living example of the Acts 2 church. I can’t imagine what’s still yet to come, but we are expectant and anticipating the more God will be doing in us and through us.
Love from Kari