Nice is very nice.

We have been on the road now for almost 2 full months! It has been crazy to be out of the country for this long! I am starting to get very use to traveling and the constant change on this journey. America seems so far away..

France was such a beautiful place like you would expect but France needs missionaries!!! I never would have thought about it before had we not gone there but i now see the need! It is such a dark place despite all the physical beauty. Most people have every luxury but no inner happiness (sound familiar?). I feel as though when you get out of the States life gets a little more chilled out. We are always moving in the US. Our ministry there consisted of working with an IBC or International Baptist church which was founded out of Denton. The pastor, James Arnold, also from Denton, he, his wife and 5 kids have been living there for 5 years. They plan on living there till God calls them somewhere else.

Here are some of the things we did during that week..

1) We helped a guy named Edwin by cleaning his apartment. Sounds simple but it was a little more dirty than the average slob (I have some gross pictures later). Upon arriving, they told us that a common problem with most people in France is depression. They told us how France has an abnormally high suicide rate and the citizens don’t understand why. Most people in France do not want to have anything to do with religion, especially christianity. After trying Catholicism for many years and it not bringing joy, they believe all religions are the same and are a waste of time. The pastor said it has been difficult to see very many people come to Christ there despite their outreach efforts. The devil has a hold on the hearts of the people in France due to materialism.
Back to our friend Edwin though.. He was one of the many who struggles with severe depression, obesity, and his faith. He was a church member who just needed to jump start his life again. Our friend Egor who took care of us while we were there (from Serbia) said we should just clean out the whole place. It was a disaster. Edwin had lived there for 13 years and had never thrown away anything or cleaned. He couldn’t part with his junk. He had a cat and there was a layer of cat hair on EVERYTHING in the apartment. Needless to say it looked like an episode of “Horders” (TV show about people like him). After 2 full days of cleaning us guys made the place look completely different. (only us guys went to his place because it was too disgusting for us to let the girls go haha if that gives you a picture. After it was all done he came to church for the first time in a couple months and worshiped. Praise the Lord.

2) Their church was having a bilingual camp for the community which brings in about 60 community kids who want to learn english. The theme was Pandalooza. Don’t ask me how they came up with this theme haha. Last year 6 kids came to accept Christ so they were extremely excited about it this year again! With a Panda theme comes Panda stuff like Bamboo and boy did they need a lot of bamboo. One day we cut all morning and afternoon which was so crazy to do in France! Haha I of course found the axe and all of us guys and girls played our parts cutting down, trimming, and bundling the bamboo to take to the church. We even got attacked by a heard of goats at one point!! That is a story however I will need to tell you in person to get the full effect. It was a full day. The next day consisted of cutting out different decorations for the walls and doors as well as placing the bamboo around the church. By the end of those 2 days, they had a full scale jungle in the church for the bilingual camp which is taking place this week! We are all praying that many new believers come to know the Lord through this camp.

3) While we were there, their basketball camp was also going on. During this time Blake was allowed shared the gospel and we were able to play with the kids. A guy named Mike who is a professional basketball coach from Germany came down with one of his players Maurice who was also a Christian. They have been doing this every year for a few years now and it has been a great way to share the gospel and get to know the neighborhood kids. Kids in France are not too tall so getting to see those guys dunk was all that was needed to grab their attention haha. What a great ministry..

The most memorable thing to me was getting to talk to a guy named Jérome Maillot one night. He was in his early 30s and a professional photographer. Paul and I had been walking around looking for people to talk to as well as a place to eat for dinner. After walking to 8 shops that were either too expensive or closed we frustratedly went to a sandwich shop and sat down at the park. I saw a guy that was by himself and went to go sit and talk. Surprisingly he spoke English and wanted to hang out! We could tell it had put him in a better mood. After hanging, goofing off, and playing Bachi ball (like horseshoes except with heavy metal balls) with each other we invited him to dinner the following night. He agreed and the next night after dinner we drove out to the beach with him to introduce him to the other church members. At dinner he shared how he had been feeling depressed and how he had gave up on religion 13 years ago. He had said religion was all a ploy to control people and that he didnt think he could ever be good enough. Through talking we were able to defend the faith and love on the guy. He even agreed after playing volleyball that night together to go to church on Sunday! We serve a big loving God. It was great see how the Lord did EVERYTHING. Now looking back we realize how much it was a divine appointment.

Thank you for reading this long blog. The Lord has been teaching me great things. Mainly about my pride and my need for his love. Life all really has to do with bringing Him glory. We do that most when we most delight ourselves with his goodness and mercy.

All for Him,

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up” -James 4:10

1 Response to “Nice is very nice.”

  1. 1 Traci Wallis
    July 27, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Love the great words describing God!s working in the lives around you, through you! Press on!!

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