99.6% of all the people in France do not claim faith in Jesus Christ. The county where I am staying has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. There is a rise in occultic practices, many people practicing what they call "white magic". All over France, people consult mediums to get advice, to see their future, to talk to the dead. One nearby church is built in accordance with the signs of the zodiac. There is also a place in the crypt, underneath the church, that contains non-Christian, Druidic things that are kept hidden from public view. This country has a desperate spiritual hunger, but they are looking in all of the wrong places. Please pray for God to send His light to France and shatter their darkness.
More, all of these truths illustrate why these 2 puppet teams are so important. They have the ability to go to the streets. The people are not coming to the churches.
Each day, we are reminded of how difficult it is to serve here. In one place that we visited, they told us that every time the Gideons stand outside the schools to pass out Bibles, they have rocks thrown at them. Protestants are viewed as a cult and looked on with distrust. Often, they are denied the opportunity to do puppet shows in public places. Today, we were forced inside because they would not allow us the opportunity to be on the street. Please pray for France.
Castles, Cheese, and Paris Traffic
Anna treated me to a trip to a lovely castle this morning, in Chateaudun. It was wonderful! Begun in the 12th century, it was finished in the 16th century. The outside walls are adorned with what looks like lace, but it is actually carved stone.
The French have a lovely tradition of serving cheese at the end of their meals, followed by fruit. I confess that I love cheese, so I think this is a great custom.
I can now say that Anna and I survived driving in Paris traffic. This is no small claim. If there are rules of the road, we could not discern them. After nearly being hit 6 times, we found our prayer life was much stronger. More, to reach our site for the street show, we had to carry all of our equipment and ride the Metro. That was also a great adventure!
An Antenna Show
"Antenna" is the word that the French church uses when they start a new church in a nearby town. The "antenna church" is started by the older established church. Today, we did a show for an antenna church in a town where there are very, very few Christians. When our friends first moved to the town, there was no evangelical church of any kind there, so they started one.
At the outreach today, most of the children heard the Gospel for the first time. Several new families visited, the program was advertised on the radio, and the local newspaper came to photograph the puppet team. Best of all, the adults and the children loved the program. We told the story of Jonah and challenged everyone not to run away from God. We challenged them to run to God and put their trust in Jesus.
Everyone left the show full of delicious cake and carrying a cartoon-style illustrated children’s Bible. More, they left with a sweet taste for the Gospel. Ask the Father to water this seed in their hearts.
Please pray for the remaining 2 days of ministry. Tomorrow, we go into a state-run convalescent home for adults requiring physiotherapy. Our contact there is not a believer, we will need to be very careful how we come across and what words we use. Please ask God to make us wise as we are going to preach the Gospel. Please ask God to pour His Spirit on this time. Thank you for praying!
the 2 French puppet teams