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2017, France, Short Term Missions:

France 2017: The Difficulty of Change

By Gary Humphrey

During a free afternoon a couple of days ago, the brave, adventurous members of our team rented equipment to scale the side of a cliff known as the Via Ferrata that makes it was up La Bastille. On the summit is the remains of an old fort, which overlooks Grenoble. Those of us non-risk takers hiked up by foot and met them at the top. At the top, I joked it was unfair for the rock climbers to reach the peak before the people on foot! For both groups, this was a difficult climb, one that my leg muscles are still paying for.

The Laboriousness of this activity reminds me of the hardness of change for the Muslim we came here to serve. Their social, cultural, political, family and religious life is governed by the Islamic system. This order is taught from the first words whispered in a newborn’s ear leading up until their physical death. This is their reality. Then someone comes along and suggests another…

Consequently, our ministry partner instructs us in the art of “prayer walking.” He has us bathing each target neighborhood in prayer; on site previous to the day any ministry initiative begins.

Today we were doing just that in a neighborhood of high-rise apartment complexes. Tomorrow (Saturday), the team will attempt door-to-door contacts in the neighborhood of Ville Neuve along with our interpreters from Roy’s church. Earlier today, we spent time prayer walking around a part of Ville Neuve, which has 3 mosques and spent the time not only praying for those walking to and in the mosques for their Friday noon prayer time, but also just observing this different practice from what we are familiar with in Evangelical West Michigan.

No one besides Jehovah’s Witnesses does this. Most will be surprised and not sure what to do with our visit. We, on the other hand, will trust that God brings us together with those whose hearts He’s been working on.

Earlier today, our team spent a couple hours asking the Lord to prepare our own hearts and minds to commune with him and to hear him speak to us through his word and in our prayers. Because of the weather this morning, we segregated off time to spend in Roy’s church to do just this.

Together, with your prayers, we may see God become the center of many more French people’s lives here in Grenoble!

Epilogue: Our missionary commented that our team is easy to work with and team unity has remained excellent! Thank you to those who are investing in this ministry with your prayer support. Please continue during these last few days of this trip.