Monday, June 16, 2014

A girl and her suitcase

I am now writing to you from the city of Toulouse in Southern France. Good thing I never actually unpacked my suitcases at the last place because it looks like I am going to be a traveling girl! I found out last Tuesday that I would be coming to Toulouse for a couple of weeks and alas here I am! There is a small, home missions style church here that I will be helping out at for the next 2 or 3 weeks. But first to catch you all up on my last week in Melun.

First of all I can't believe that I forget to say that at least 5 people got the Holy Ghost at the Pentecostal Convention! So Tuesday I went to the church to work and spent the whole day there working away on the text books for IBF and was able to get them all finished by Thursday! In total I put together 300 text I think they're set for a while! Hahaha! So I spent Tuesday through Thursday all day at the church working to try to accomplish as much as possible before I left on Saturday. I had Friday morning off to pack and get ready to leave, worked at the church Friday afternoon and then went out to eat with a bunch of the young people Friday night as a last hurrah before I left. We ate at Buffalo Grill and talked a LOT of soccer with another good theological discussion on women in ministry. It was great to get to spend time with them before I left! The Melun church is my "home church" here in France so being away from it makes me a little sad! But I am excited about what God has in store for me through these times of travel.

Saturday I spent the day working in the kitchen for the Bible School. It was just like old times :) (aka 2011 when I worked in the kitchen for 3 weeks) After the last class was over we loaded my suitcase into the car and headed off for Toulouse...which is a 7 hr drive, so I got a couple little naps in! We left Melun around 6:30/7 pm and arrived at the house at 2 am! Thankfully they have church at 4:30 on Sunday so I was able to sleep in and take it slow the next morning! As I mentioned previously the church here is a small, newer work, which is what I grew up in, so nothing new to me! They are currently looking for a permanent place to hold services so we were in a hotel meeting room. I am so thankful that God isn't limited by OUR circumstances. Regardless of the number of people or the location He still shows up and allows us to feel His presence and speaks to us. They didn't make me do anything yesterday since I had just gotten in the night before but this next Sunday they asked if I would sing a special and give a testimony. If I can sit down and prepare something beforehand I might actually attempt it in French (the testimony that is, the song I'll for sure do in French)! Pray saints!!!! Hahaha! 

I had previously met the pastor and his wife, Toky and Mikki, when I was here in 2011. I absolutely love them. It's so great and refreshing to see a young couple out "in the trenches" so to speak, digging out a new work. I know from growing up in a home missions church that it is far from an easy task and I have so much respect for them! They have 2 adorable children, Zoe and Enzo, who I am more than happy to help out with during the day because (wait for it, it's a shocker I know...) I love kids! :) Zoe and I are already best of buds. 

I am finding that this will be a traveling trip for me, so I guess it's a good thing that I never really did unpack those suitcases.... In July I will be going to Because of the Times in Copenhagen, Denmark (which I am SUPER stoked for!!!!) It's kind of funny to me that I've never been to BOTT in the States, but I come to Europe and end up going! And after that I will be going back up to Arras, where the convention was held, to help at that church for a little bit and there is a chance that I will be spending a week in Monaco as well. While this is somewhat bittersweet, because as I mentioned I LOVE my Melun family, I feel like this is a growing time for me. God is trying to stretch me. After Skyping with my parents today, who said the same exact thing to me, I am feeling ready to face the challenges before me. Whatever God is trying to work out of me, into me or through me during this season of "floating", as my mother called it (where I don't really know what is going to happen next, where I am going next, what's in store for me, etc), I am ready for it to happen and while I know the whole process may not always be entirely enjoyable I am excited to see what will be waiting for me when I come out on the other side of it! I know that this trip is completely ordained of God and that everything is happening for a reason and working out the way it should even though it is far from what I had originally planned on/envisioned. My parents mentioned how me being able to travel in France to the different churches was good exposure and I instantly remembered the words of Bro. Jim Sleeva from IBC, "Exposure breeds burden" and I think I am legitimately experiencing that for the first time. Let's just say that I'm already dreading leaving in August....which means that I have been contemplating extending my trip here, but that will all depend on God's will (which I am earnestly seeking!) My mother, who seems to always be one step ahead of me, said she has already been praying that if it's God's will for me to stay that I will get the money and visa needed and if not that the money won't be there. Such a simple, yet concise prayer, and one that I am joining her in. 

People may not think of France as a missions field because it's not a 3rd world country, but there are not nearly enough churches here. We think of Minnesota as a "small" district because there are only 30-some churches in our state, but France, a whole country, has maybe 20 churches spread out across it. I call that a missions field, ripe and ready for harvest. 

And their soccer team won last night....which was really exciting :) This was my excited face after they won...oh yeah and the World Cup France jersey that I bought!!! 
I'm super into this World Cup! The USA plays tonight at midnight our time but I am going to try to stay up and watch it online or at least keep up with the score for as long as my eyeballs will stay open! I gotta cheer for my homeboys! Sadly I don't have a USA jersey and haven't seen one over here to buy (shocker...). I guess I'll just have to buy one when (if) I get back to the States ;)

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