This is Danielle and I'm part of the team that's in France right now. We're almost halfway done with our trip and I've been enjoying our time with the missionary family we've been working with here.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I chose to go on this trip. I had never been out of the U.S. before, nor had I been on a missions trip. I just felt compelled to go where I felt like God was calling me to go and I have been overwhelmed with what He's been teaching me so far.
How I've Seen God Work
God has been continuously reminding me of the depth of his love and how he has good plans for my life. Even though He keeps opening up great opportunities for me (e.g. I'm going to be an RA at my college this next semester), I continuously forget those things and He never fails to remind me of those promises.
I've also been realizing how real the spiritual warfare that's going on in this world is these last couple of months. On our trip we had the chance to tour and pray for the city of Leon, which has a quickly growing cult of Mary worshippers (from what we were told by our leaders). I've also personally dealt with a lot of spiritual warfare prior to and during this trip.
During our time at Camp de Cemes we had about an hour set aside where we could meet with God on our own. I sought out a quiet place in the woods and was able to voice all of the questions that had for God out loud. It was really therapeutic for me and made me realize just how much I had really been holding in (and not letting go of), despite journaling those things previously. Additionally, I've been reading through Ephesians (which has been spot on with what we've been learning each day) and tonight's reading was Chapter 6 where it talks about the armor of God.
God has continuously been reminding me of how He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. He's overcome this world and we really don't need to be afraid of anything in this world because He's with us through it all. We simply need to rest in Him; trust that He'll work through us if we're filled with the spirit and giving the glory all back to Him (where it belongs).
Finally, today we had the opportunity to buy cleaning supplies and bring them over to the North African Muslim immigrant housing apartments. There we joined with the immigrants in working to make their home a little more livable and we learned more about their journeys to France. Most of the people living in that specific apartment were single males, although I did run into an elderly lady at one point. The lady and I didn't talk much, in fact I accidentally scared her as I jumped back startled when I saw her in the doorframe (I scare easily, haha), but she seemed happy that we came. Like I said, most of the men joined us in cleaning their home - a lot of them seemed to simply need the supplies or the push to clean together.
I met several men who told me they were from Sudan and now are looking for work in France. I've been trying to learn some French since coming to France so I attempted to speak to even the ones that didn't know English and ask them about their families. I asked some what they'd like to do someday (like an ideal job) and they told me things like a barber (hairdresser), a President of Chad, and an environmentalist that provides clean water for Ethiopia. I shared with them about how I'm going to school and that was probably the most confusing thing to explain. For those of your that aren't aware, I'm going to school at Cornerstone to become a psychologist/counselor someday. I struggled to explain mental illness and what counselors do to people who probably have never heard of those kinds of doctors or illnesses. It humbled me and made me realize that I've grown up in a culture that is blessed to have access to pharmaceuticals and counseling programs (not that they have superiority over God's healing power, but they are a tool that God's given us to help others).
Anyway, tomorrow we will be going around door to door with interpreters in one of the refuge villages. We'll be asking people if they need prayer for anything specific and handing out cookies and a film entitled "Magdelena" (it shares the Gospel). I'm excited to see the ways in which we'll be able to show God's love tomorrow and I'm hoping to be able to pray for the needs of these people that so desperately need Jesus.
How You Can Help
Please pray for our team to continue to grow in unity and love for one another. Also, you can pray for the missionary family that's hosting us and for them to continue to have energy (they have been so good to us). You can pray for our team to continue to press on and wear the armor of God as we go into places that are majority Muslim. Finally, pray that the people that we interact with will see Jesus in us and have a desire to know Him and His love too.