September 13th 2016; 5:16pm; Paris Gare de l’Est; 35°C (95°F !): Here I am! Finally. I arrived in Paris
My TGV Train from Frankfort was only about 30 minutes late and my mission-term in France begins!
But why am I here? The simple answer is: Because God called me to France. Maybe you want to know a bit more…
I wanted to become a missionary since I was about 10 years old. I read the story of Gladys Aylward, a British Missionary in China (100 years ago) and was just impressed. God used this simple woman to write his story. So maybe he could use my life as well?
Finally, after I finished school, I went for half a year to Mali/Africa as a short-term missionary. I loved the hot sunshine, the kids, the simple life and the papayas — but being alone in such a different culture wasn’t easy so in the end I said to God: “I don’t want to be a missionary anymore.” But through this time my relationship with him grew stronger and closer and I still wanted to do his will for my life. So, I started studying at a theological seminary (Theologisches Seminar Rheinland) without knowing what I would do afterwards. During those 4 years of studying, and through internships and mission trips (and enjoying the seminary fellowship), God rebuild my heart for mission.
At the same time, as I learned more facts about God, the bible, the church & world mission — God formed my heart and my personality. I grew in my self-confidence, learned how to stand in front of people and speak and how to take responsibility and lead a team. So finally, after 4 years I was ready for full-time kids and youth ministry (in Germany). I love(d) doing kids camps!
But after some time God reminded me that there is also more mission work — outside of Germany. He didn’t directly tell me where he wanted me to go. But I didn’t have peace to just ignore his voice and wait until I knew the exact place in Europe (this was already clear for me). So I got in contact with DMG (a German mission organization) which works all over the globe with different partners like World Team. So finally, I got to know World Team France and they introduced me to the Team in Méru which had prayed for a leader for their youth ministry! And here I am since the middle of November – after two month of language school in Paris.
And now? I have already met with my youth and teens several times: we made Christmas cookies and Christmas decoration for the christmas party of the church. We spend time together, we eat or play UNO. My goal is to help them follow Jesus, to share the word of God and encourage them to disciple others as well. But for that my French has to become fluent…
I’m really at the beginning of trying to find my place in the French church (France and Germany are not the same – even though they are neighbors!) and the American missionary Team.
But I know – this is the place God wants me to be!
Thanks for all your prayers!