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2017, France, Short Term Missions:

France 2017: In the Trenches

By: Jan Ritsema

What a blessing to wake up to another day of beautiful weather here in Grenoble!  God is certainly answering prayers as rain had again been predicted.

Today we began our day together in prayer and worship after which we familiarized ourselves with the materials we would be taking with us on our visit to the Muslim community.  The materials included Bibles in French and Arabic, Magdalene/Jesus DVD’s, and booklets written by a Muslim background believer to address the most frequently asked questions that Muslims have about the Gospel message.

The apartment complex where we headed is located in the biggest Muslim neighborhood of Grenoble with most immigrant residents from North Africa.  In the past this area has experienced incidences of violence and the oppression of dark forces are readily apparent.  Walking down the hall, we heard voices raised in anger and even what sounded like physical abuse coming from a few of the homes.  Some of the women who ventured to open their doors to us appeared fearful with watchful males standing in the background. We were reminded that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers , against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

BUT GOD moved.  Doors opened, coffee and pastries were served, prayers were offered, relationships were renewed, and conversations that provoked spiritual thought were had.  Not only were the results encouraging, but it reaffirmed to local believers and our missionaries that this neighborhood is where the Lord is leading to focus future efforts.

Later we ended our day sharing stories, praising God together, and enjoying a specially prepared French dining experience by our missionary hosts.