Hello and welcome to my blog! I thought it’d be a great idea to start out by giving you all some background as to what it is I do, where I live, and an insight into the team here across France!
For starters, if you hadn’t already gathered, my name is Austin and I am currently living in Paris, France. I currently work with an organisation called “Envision”, which is a group of interns and residents that partner with the local churches here in France to help spread the Gospel and fill in where needed. My current plan – Lord willing – is to be here for at least 2 years. If you had asked me 2 years ago about what I’d be doing after college, I couldn’t have told you, even in the slightest, about where I’d be now. It’s amazing how God works in such mysterious ways, to bring people from all walks of life, together to help further His Kingdom. I truly couldn’t imagine doing a different thing in life, but this post isn’t about me, it’s about our entire France team!
The above photo is a mix between long-term C&MA (Christian and Missionary Alliance) workers, and Envision Residents (those of us here for a substantial amount of time). We just recently had our Annual Prayer retreat in Munster – close to the France/Germany border for those who are geographically challenged like myself – where we discussed the current ministries that we are a part of and how we could use prayer in our respective fields.
I’ve met the majority of these people before, but it was so awesome to hear all that they are a part of and see how God is working in all of their lives across France. Some deep things were shared at our Prayer retreat that I wouldn’t even dare to share here, but just know that prayers against the enemy trying to diffuse all the work that we’ve been putting in would be greatly appreciated.
Our teams range from locations such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Limoges, and Paris (Where I’m currently at). Most of our ministry time is spent engaging the local community and being people who act as mirrors, as we reflect the love and light of Jesus. To hear about the various ways that we all do this is quite awesome, and some outreaches include a coffee shop (Toulouse), Church Planting (Toulouse, Limoges, and Bordeaux), Urban Ministry (Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Paris), and Community Partnership (All locations).
Without revealing too much information due to confidentiality, I’d like to give you some insight about the various locations. Here we go!
The Bordeaux team talked about how even though they are a small group who gathers weekly in a hotel room, they are passionate about spreading the Gospel and finding a building where they can properly demonstrate the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Bordeaux is a rather dark place, but it is no match against the power and light of Jesus.
Toulouse is a really awesome place! I think, and I could possibly be wrong, but it is one of the largest cities here in France not including Paris. They’re currently working on setting up a coffee shop in the city, where they will be able to engage everyone who walks through their doors and be demonstrative of the love that Jesus calls us to show. They also partner with a North-African ministry, where they break down Bible stories and tell it in the native language of those who attend, as well as partner with a few surrounding Churches to ultimately work for the advancement of the Kingdom. This has the potential of being a future Envision site as well – how cool! Their coffee shop should be opened here in a few weeks, and hopefully will be a great place for the light to shine!
The Limoges team is all about Church planting and working with community partners in order to build up the future generation of believers and see more communal engagement with the Gospel. They have a church building that they work at, but are always searching to find more people to bring in and share the light with.
Finally, the Paris team, where I am, is all about urban ministry and community outreach. We do this through our community centre here – Centre Genesis – where we hold English classes, French classes, Bible Studies, Life groups, and our weekly Saturday Night events. I’ve also had the pleasure of leading the last few of our monthly Worship Nights, where we have seen a great amount of community engagement. While we’re not at Genesis, we spend our time helping out at Trinity International Church, where we’ll help with things like Worship, Organisation, Retreats, Young Adult ministries, and even the Children’s service. Centre Genesis has been continuously seeing growth, and through the hard work and dedication of the staff, interns, and residents, we are continuously pushing forward to impact our surrounding community with the Gospel in a positive manner.
France, and even Europe in general, is an extremely dark place spiritually. Through Faith, listening to our calling, and coming together to work with God on His mission here, we are pushing back the curtain and helping people find the Saviour that they’ve been looking for.
I hope this brief article helps to give you a little bit of insight into the France fields, and I hope that in future articles that I can dive deeper and more specifically into areas that we are thriving in, and areas that we could use more prayer support in.
When we all come together as a united Church body, the things that we can do are astounding. Please keep France in your prayers, as well as the other sites across the world, as we continue to push forward to have every person in the world know exactly who Jesus Christ is.
I look forward to talking with you all soon, and we are all incredibly blessed by having so many people across the globe support all that we do.
Blessings and Aloha,