What do you think of when you think of Paris? For me, I think of some fabulous French woman, dressed head to toe in haute couture, walking past the Seine River stopping to catch up with some of her fabulous French friends at a sidewalk café over croissants and café au lait. Paris is the city of Chanel and chocolat, macarons and Monet. It is the height of fashion, cuisine, culture, and philosophy. It’s where Hemingway came to think, where Rodin came to sculpt, and Napoleon came to conquer. These are the things we think of when we think of Paris, but something we often overlook is the fact that this city, this epicenter of sophistication, has overtime grown more and more spiritually desolate.
When I tell people about my plans to spend my summer on a mission trip in Paris of all places, they look at me like I’m mad. Aren’t mission trips usually reserved for places like Haiti or Honduras where there’s poverty and orphans and things like that? Paris doesn’t need missions, they think. However, a fact that many don’t realize is that over the past couple centuries, European countries have grown farther and farther away from their traditional religion roots. Their churches have transformed from centers of worship into centers of profit for tourists. Religion is less a way of life and more a box that you check on your yearly census. The number of practicing Christians in Europe has diminished into miniscule amounts as people’s view of God grows smaller and smaller. To many Parisians, Jesus is just the man depicted in all those sculptures and paintings in their museums; He’s not their Savior. Paris, though sparkling and beautiful on the surface, has become a dark hub for sin and corruption. It seems as if, as time continues, the “City of Light” is becoming increasingly dark for Christians.
This is why we must go. As Jesus told us, “the harvest is plentiful, but the gatherers are few”. As Christians, we are all called to be harvesters, to go out into the world as Jesus’ hands and feet, reaching out to His children, His lost sheep. This is God’s world, we are all His people. We know that even in the spiritual darkness and wandering of the Parisian people, “Dieu aime Paris” (God loves Paris) and we do too. This is why I believed God has personally called me, along with the others on my team, to travel to this place, this place of art, culture and language to show these lost people the overwhelming, all consuming love of Christ Jesus.
With this, I ask of your support. Please pray for us as we take this leap of faith. Pray for us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we enter this unchartered territory, remembering that it is for Him and only Him that we are doing this. Pray for boldness as we step outside of our comfort zone, crossing borders of language, culture, and comfort to have these important conversations with Parisian students. Pray for a sense of community to be made between this group of strangers who shares a common goal, let us bond together and work as a team to do the Lord’s work. Pray for safety for us as we go, pray for the Lord to keep his hand over us through our travels. And most importantly, pray for the hearts of these students who we’re going to meet. Pray that the Lord can use us as His hands, His feet, and His mouth spreading His love and His word among these students. Pray that their hearts would be open to hearing this news and willing to make a life changing decision to deny themselves and take up their crosses to follow their Savior.
In Matthew 28: 19, Jesus gives his “great commission” as He commands, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This call was given not just to Jesus’ disciples, but to all who profess to follow Christ. The gospel is the most infinitely exciting news that has ever been professed and when we, as Christians, can fully grasp the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we can’t help but obey this call, because we want everyone to know the transformational love of Christ.
“Allez donc et instruisez toutes les nations, les baptisant au nom du Père, du Fils et du Saint-Esprit, Et leur apprenant à garder tout ce que je vous ai commandé.” Matthieu 28:19
If you want to learn more about our trip, or are willing to prayerfully consider becoming my partner in ministry by supporting me financially, please visit https://give.cru.org/0727779