Monday, March 28, 2011

Paris -- Mission Work

This was part of our team, minus Tyler

This post is well over a week past due but I have a few reasons/excuses. One, things have been really busy for us as we try to get back to our normal schedule. Two, I am still trying to process everything that I learned in Paris.

This will be a two part Paris blog post. The first (this one) being all about the mission work that we did while there and the second will be of the sites that we saw and random things that happened while there.

I hope you are ready for this...

While in Paris we worked with a group of IMB missionaries who have been working/living in Pairs for about 10 years. They work with and have a passion for the NAME (North African and Middle Eastern) people of Paris.

Our days started out by getting up around six-ish because we had to be ready to go by 7:15. We would have a devotion as a group before leaving the hotel, then head to the church around 7:45. After a bus or RER and a metro ride we would walk a few blocks to the church (we did a lot of walking). We would have a bible study lead by the missionary, learn about what we would doing that day and then head out . We would either have lunch depending on what time we finished or we would go right to ministry work.

Much of our ministry work consisted of passing out tracts, hoping someone would stop and want to talk about it (which happened a lot more than I thought) or doing surveys. Here's how the surveys worked: we would stop someone walking by, tell them that we were working with a Christian organization that was seeking to learn about what kinds of needs (social, economic, spiritual) existed in that area. It really was a great way to start a conversation, because we all have needs. In conversing with them (through a translator), we would try and steer the conversation toward spiritual things.

Many of the people we spoke with understood Jesus to be a prophet, but really didn't know much else about him. Typically when we talk about people who have never heard the gospel, we often think about remote parts of the world or third world countries, but it was amazing to see how many had never clearly heard the gospel in Paris - and not just a few, but the majority of the people that we talked to.

We did not see any people put their faith in Christ during our trip, but many seeds were planted. I would say that this trip was a great successes. I know that many of the people we told we were going to Paris (and maybe even you!) thought that we would do a little mission work and a lot of site-seeing and touristy things. Well, I am sorry but you are wrong! Justin and I have talked about the week we spent in Paris almost everyday. It was by far the hardest mission trip I have ever been on. Justin said that it was harder then the 8 weeks he spent in Burkina Faso, West Africa. People all over the world are lost. It does not matter if you are in a remote village in Africa or in the streets of Paris - Satan does not want people coming to know the Lord and Savior of the world and he is alive and committed to make that not happen. I leaned the true meaning of being filled with the Spirit EVERYDAY. When Satan is working against you things can be very difficult. He is always trying to tempt you to believe lies . But when you are a child of God, you have the power to overcome him through Christ in you.

This guy was with a church in Paris and while we passed out tracks he sat on the bench for 3 hours praying for us the whole time.

Paris is a very dark place full of people who not only do not trust in Christ, but simply do not know the truth about all he has done. The Lord taught me many things during my week in Paris that I hope to never forget. He taught me that I have freedom in Him, that He is the God of the nations, that there are people all over the world who have not heard the gospel, and so many other things.

I know this post was definitely a little heavy, but I tell you everything because it was the best experience I have had doing mission work. It was hard, but it was so worth it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As many of you know, I love NYC. I don't have any real connection to New York, I just love the city.

While Justin and I were in NYC over the Christmas break (read about the trip here),our wonderful photographer friend Robby Followell took time to take some pictures of us. Robby is a great artist and photographer his pictures speak volumes, check out his blog here.

I am not going to post all of the pictures just our favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as Justin and I do! We are still trying to decided which ones that we want to have framed in our house. If it was up to me I would have all of them. Just kidding. But for real!

I told you that we had too many favorites!! Do you have a favorite? Let us know if you do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Brithday ABE!!

Bon Anniversaire

I hope you like the handmade sign!

Wishing my big brother Abe the Happiest Birthday Ever!!!

I hope you have a great day celebrating, know that Justin and I are wishing you a happy birthday from Paris!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Au Revior

Many of you might not know that Justin and are leaving for Paris tomorrow on a mission trip. Now before you start thinking "Right...I'm sure you are going on a 'mission trip' to Paris...", let me tell you a little about what we will be doing. First, we will be working with a minority people group sharing with them the story of Christ. We have been told that many of the people we will be working with have never heard, experienced, or lived in the freedom that only Christ can give. This brings me to my first request: please pray that each person who has the opportunity to speak with this people group would be filled with the Spirit. I know that I am nervous about what to say to someone who tells me that they have no idea who Jesus is. We will also be working with missionaries, doing whatever they ask us to do, such as working with the woman's literacy classes, helping them in their bookstore, and encouraging their church through manual labor...really just doing whatever they ask.

Justin and I are very excited about this opportunity and would greatly appreciate your prayers. I know that the Lord is going to Shine!!!!

I will give a full report once I return. So until then Au Revior!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Golden Girls

I am sure when you read the title of this post your thoughts went right to Betty White, Rue McLanhan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty or maybe the beloved phrase, "Thank you for being a friend." As I am writing this I am humming the tune. (Confession: I use to watch The Golden Girls every day. Sorry, back to the point...)

Last month, a few of my friends from USM were together at a shower. We talked about how sad it was that we all live within an hour and half from each other but never really hang out. We made a plan to get together every few months to hang out and keep in touch. We wanted to have a name for our group so we started throwing out ideas. Since we all went to USM, we wanted our name to represent USM in some way, hence "The Golden Girls." Get it? Golden girls, golden eagles.

This past weekend was the first Golden Girls reunion. We meet in Jackson at Julep for dinner. We had a great time catching up and making memories. Check out a few of the Golden Girls blogs here, here, and here.

Group pic!!

Here are some of the highlights of the night:

  1. Two of us arrived a few minutes before the other two and the waiter asked us if we would need the other table. If we didn't they would like to know so they could use it for other guests. We didn't need it so we happily gave up the table.
  2. The waiter kept trying to get us to order before everyone on arrived. He also used the word "beautiful" after everything. Waiter: "Are you ready to order?" Us: "No we are waiting on someone." Waiter: "Beautiful." Every exchange of dialogue went this way.
  3. We ordered 4 desserts. We thought they might be small and everyone would be able to have a few bites of each. We were wrong!
  4. We all finished our meal and dessert and had paid our bills and were just enjoying hanging out, when our waiter came to our table and asked if we needed anything else. We said no. He then asked us to leave because other costumers had reserved this table. We all looked at each other a little confused and processed to gather our belongings and left.
Don't you wish you could be eating these. Can you say delicious!!

Before we were asked to leave we made plans for the Golden Girls to get together again. We are very excited and are hoping that all the Golden Girls will be able to join us next time.

I want to leave you with a blurred out pic of the waiter that asked us to leave. Another funny moment, when we asked him to take our picture and he squatted down for us to take a pic of him. Enjoy!