I am now in France, near the city of Chartres, in the town of Luisant. To be honest, I was very concerned about coming to France. We have 2 French puppet teams and I did not want to jeopardize their ministry by anything I might say or do. I well understand the feeling that many people here have about Americans and my heart’s desire was to be able to show them Jesus’ love above all other things. More, this is a very difficult place for the Gospel as most French people either do not believe in God or are uninterested in Him.
However, after this morning, all of my reservations have disappeared. We had a wonderful time of worship at Anna’s church (she is our French puppet Director). There were people in the service from France, Nigeria, Korea, England, the West Indies, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and Reunion Island. This church reflects the changing face of France which has a huge immigrant population. Ironically, many of the people who are coming to France from Africa come with a very strong faith and in God’s providence, maybe He will use some of them to reach people here for the Gospel.
L’Eglise La Bonne Nouvelle
I found out that La Bonne Nouvelle church has been praying for me regularly for a very long time and especially this past year, as I have been dealing with Mike’s death. I was overwhelmed by the love they offered me when I arrived at the church. So many people were excited to see me and I couldn’t understand why. Anna has been translating our e-mails into French for them so they had been following the ministry and praying for the work. Through their prayers, they had become partners in our ministry
The pastor very graciously gave us an opportunity to do a puppet show as a part of the service. I partnered with the French puppet team and they did a great job with their puppets. All the puppets they were using were new ones that your love and sacrifice had enabled me to bring to them. You should have seen the girls’ faces at practice last night when they received the new equipment! They were excited and thrilled, yet those words so inadequately cover what I saw in their faces. This is a great team and I beg you to pray for them.
The church was very responsive to the program we did this morning, encouraging Anna and asking many questions about the ministry. The pastor concluded the service by saying how much he had been touched by everything he had seen and heard. He told us that he had really seen something of the power and authority of Jesus in the story of how He calmed the storm.Many people crowded around to talk to me after the program and Anna’s voice is already becoming very tired as she translates. Please pray for God to strengthen her voice. She is a very good translator but she is not accustomed to using her voice so much.
Then, we all had lunch together and amazingly, people returned to hear a 2-hour missionary report. They really listened and many were moved by the stories they heard. More, they began to discuss their new vision for reaching the children of France with the Gospel. So many committed to pray for the children in different countries. They were so interested that I honestly believe they would have sat there for 2 more hours, they were so hungry to hear what God is doing around the world.
When Anna and I finished speaking, they had a time of prayer for us. Anna told me later what they had prayed, and I was very touched by the depth of their prayers. They prayed that God would go before us every day this week and bless the work. They asked that everything we do would glorify His Name. They asked God to grow the puppet ministry around the world and even thought to pray for my health. They prayed that everything that has been sown around the world would grow and yield a harvest for the Kingdom. Please join them in praying these same things so all of us may see great things in the lives of children all over the world.
In God’s providence, I arrived in France with only 4 of my 5 bags of equipment. As it was, people stared at me at the airport since they could not believe one person was travelling with 4 enormous suitcases and tubs as well as two large carry-on pieces. If the bag had not been lost, it would not have fit in Anna’s car to get it home! So it was really a belssing that they had to bring it later.
However, we had a small problem. When they lost the luggage they didn’t actually know where it was for quite a while. By the time they found it, it had been destroyed and run over with a truck! There were tire tracks on the luggage. It was ripped completely to pieces and held together with tape when it was finally returned to us. Some of the equipment in it was necessary for our program this morning, so we were also grateful when it was delivered to us 5 minutes before we left for church. Praise God! Considering that the airport in Paris is about a 2-hour drive from where we are, it was most remarkable that the luggage arrived so early in the morning
The airline has graciously offered to replace the bag and we are so happy that we received the equipment when we did.
Schedule for the week
Please pray for this week of ministry. Our primary focus is to better train and fully equip the 2 French teams that we already have here, one in Chartres, and one in Dunkirk. However, we also have some wonderful evangelistic opportunities sharing in a convalescence home, in churches and on the streets. Please pray for all of these opportunities. Ask God to make us bold and very wise.
Tomorrow, we leave for Dunkirk to train and equip that team. On Tuesday we will be doing street ministry in Paris. Please pray.
Love in Jesus,
the 2 French puppet teams