Last night Ross and I along with some our France teammates held an informational meeting/program about what we will be doing in France. I know many of you who may read this already know what we will be doing once we get to Nice, but for those who don't here's a brief overview of the FAQ we get during a support appointment.
1. Why France?
Most people's reaction to us going to Southern France goes like this: "Nice, huh? You got it rough (insert sarcastic tone). The reality though is that less than 1/2% of the people of France are believers. They have rejected God and the gospel centuries ago, and have had a HUGE influx of North African Muslim immigrants in the last 30+ years. So we are going to France because, though it is celebrated for it's beauty, it is a dark place without the light of Christ.
2. What will you be doing?
Our first term (4 years) will be spent getting culture and language under our belt. We also will be working with 2 English-speaking churches doing discipleship and leadership training. Within that first term, it is our prayer that we would have an inter-cultural mediator who can get us into the Muslim culture. Our long-term goal is to be working primarily among the Muslim community by the end of our first term. We don't know what that will look like, but it probably will look a lot like our ministry here at the apartment complex: living among them, being neighbors with them, our kids going to the same school as them, etc.
3. What do your parents think about you taking their grandchildren so far away?
None of us are excited about the distance that will be between us, but our parents are more than supportive.
4. How do you do it? I don't think I could.
While I would love to say that it is easy to think about leaving the U.S. and family, it isn't. But we do it because we God has called us, plain and simple. Actually, He has called all of us to be a part of missions. He has called us to be imitators of Christ, and Christ himself is the ultimate missionary, so if I am to be imitating Him, then I am to be on mission wherever I am. The question is not "Am I to be a missionary?" it's "How good of a missionary am I?" And you CAN do it. It might not mean going to France, but it means doing something. Ok, getting off my soap box now...
That's it for now because I know most of us don't like reading long posts. I'll follow up with more later.
For more information, videos and pictures you can click here.