This Sunday we had the privilege of worshiping with French/Arabic Christian believers in Lyon! The Spirit overwhelmed us with His presence as the Word was read in French, English, and Arabic. During a time of prayer, little children, men and women, all called out to our heavenly Father. The worship was especially powerful as God was praised in unity by many tongues, from many nations!
After church we shared a meal together and spent several hours just sharing in life with one another - the sense of community and family was so genuine and encouraging, a glimpse of God's heart and what heaven will be like!
We spent the afternoon visiting some of the historical sites of Lyon, which has such a rich and yet tragic Christian heritage. We visited some church ruins and baptistery that date back to the second century and was likely established by Uranus (who was the disciple of Polycarpe, who was the disciple of John the beloved disciple of Jesus!), only three generations removed from Christ.
We also learned about some of the heroes of the faith who gave their lives in martyrdom; Blandina, Sanctus, Attalus, and Pothinus a more than ninety year-old bishop of Lyon, during the Gallic persecutions for simply saying that they were Christians.
The stories of their endurance and perseverance under some of the most horrendous tortures was disturbing, and challenging. Their faith in the midst of such cruelty and persecution was inspiring to other believers at the time, and very much to us as well. In discussing this as a group, our guide from the church we attended that morning said something to the affect that, "I don't want to surrender in my freedom what others sacrificed their lives for under persecution."
May we also have such faith and may we learn from the faith of those that came before us, may we also be of the same mind that in all of our freedom, convenience, and prosperity we will not surrender what others sacrificed their lives for - a true and evident faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Please pray for us as we enter into neighborhoods tomorrow for prayer walks and to talk with others working in Grenoble, as well as we continue to prepare some of the materials for later in the week.
Would you please find someone who isn't currently following the blog and take a moment to share with them what we are doing, and spend some time praying for us with them.