I would like to start my post by apologizing for my lack of updates thus far on our trip, our days have been crazy busy and jam packed, I am worn out, but exhilarated at the same time. We are bringing the third week of our project to a close and hitting the half way mark. The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of incredible sights, insightful conversations, culture shock, and wonderful fellowship. We have sampled the cuisine, gotten lost on the metro, met the people, and fallen in love with this city that has grown into our home over the past few weeks.
This past Thursday, we received a free night. It was a wonderful time of rest and recuperation spent wandering around the quintessential Parisian streets of St. Germain, window shopping and chatting with friends. On our way home, we walked along the River Seine, with our Amorino gelato in hand, and watched the sun set over this amazing city. We walked through Les jardins Tuileries and strolled past the Louvre museum and I just had to stop and pinch myself. Not only do I get to spend my summer in this most incredible city, this city full of art and culture and history, but I get to be here doing the Lord’s work, telling people about the most exciting, liberating news in the world. All I can say is thank you Lord! Thank you so much for this most incredible opportunity!
I have had amazing opportunities to meet amazing people in our time here. I have had great conversations with so many of them and it has been so interesting to hear their views on different spiritual topics and it has been sheer joy to get to tell them about the truth and life that Jesus has given me. This city if vibrant, these people are wonderful, and these past few weeks have been unforgettable, however, my heart breaks on a daily basis.
I have met so many people who I have grown to love so much as brothers and sisters, yet every second I spend with them is accompanied by an overarching feeling of sadness knowing that our friendship ends here on earth rather than in eternity with The Father who died to know them. Sometimes I just want to grab them and shake them and tell them about this Man who gave everything for them and wants nothing in return, the Man who created love itself and wants more than anything to show that love to them, The Man who loves them unconditionally regardless of whatever mistakes they’ve made in the past, The Man who has a free gift that will change their lives and set them free from all that this world has enslaved them in, and yet they are unwilling to believe.
As I hear them talk about their priorities, dreams, and goals, and the immeasurable pressure they have on themselves to live a “good life” here on this earth, I can feel the crushing weight of the world on their shoulders. They have described their lives as “messy” and “chaotic” and “stressful” and my heart is screaming for them. Many of them, scorned by the rules and regulations of churches that view religion as a set of “to-do’s”, have no idea of the freedom that Christ offers them for nothing in return. I want nothing more than for them to release their grasp on the things of this world, to let go of the stress, the pressure, and the shame of their sin and to accept the love of Jesus, this love that has no conditions and will never run out. As of now, all I can do for them is to love them and to pray. I pray for their hearts and minds to be open to the idea of a Savior who offers them love and life and freedom from sin.
In our time here, we have received a lot of training to prepare us for the different questions and circumstances we may run into as we share this good news. It has equipped us in many ways but most importantly, it has reminded us of the awe-inspiring truth of God’s word. When we tell others about the gospel of Christ, we get the unique opportunity to preach it to ourselves. And let me tell you, that is a message that never gets old.
This is my prayer for the students of Paris, that they can come to know this life giving truth that has set us free. I pray that Christ will move in their hearts and make His glory and His goodness known to them and that they can know this love, this love that is more fulfilling than anything of this world.
Will you join with me in praying for these students as we share with them the work God has done in our lives in the hopes that they too can become new creations in His name? Will you join me in petitioning the Lord to open their hearts and make Himself manifest to them so that they can be free from sin? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and I pray that these students can come to know that as we share with them. Thank you for your prayers and I hope to update you all again soon!