12/16/17

New Event: The Paris Connection

The Paris Connection

World Team France is excited to announce The Paris Connection in 2018. The vision is simple; we desire to have YOU come and connect with what God is doing in France. We want you to meet the workers who labor in so many different capacities for the sake of making Jesus known in France. Why come to France and connect? We have found that when you come to a new environment, culture, and country, your idea of who God is becomes so much bigger. You get to see the same God working in the lives of people who think differently than you do, and maybe who look different than you do, and for sure speak a different language than you do. But we are united by the common bond of our Lord.

This is not a time where you will be in a classroom all day. We want you to participate in the Great Commission happening in France. You will be visiting current church planting projects and new projects with the most powerful weapon, prayer. We cannot do this work without the work of prayer. We depend on prayer and we truly believe that prayer is the most important work to be done. And while this is happening we also hope for you to connect in France on three levels:

  1. Connect with God
  2. Connect with the French
  3. Connect with the other participants

The Paris Connection will be centered around these three areas of connection. Our hope and prayer is that God will use this time, with you and the other participants to show His glory in France.

So join us, sign up right now for The Paris Connection over here. And don’t hesitate if you’re interested as space is limited.

07/24/17

Tour de FranceVIE: Recap & Reflections

Enjoy this thoughtful recap from Nicole, the team leader of the Tour de FranceVIE 2017…

My goal for the Tour de FranceVIE was to invest in and train 14 students over the course of a semester so that when we arrived in France to do ministry, it would not be my doing, but theirs.  So that it would not be a trip about me and my ministry, but about what God was able to do through our team.

My desire was for each of my teammates to feel fully equipped by the Lord to do ministry—to feel confident in His ability to work through them and through their prayers.  This desire was rooted in the hope that they would get to experience Him working through them to love on people of another culture.

The Lord fulfilled these desires above and beyond my expectations. From the moment we were reunited in the Philly airport, our team was ready to roll.  The first few days in France, we stayed at a tiny campground in a village called Senots.  We were staying in mobile homes, and the missionaries traveled out to join us for orientation and Bible study each day.

Then came our first day of biking.  We were traveling about 10 miles to Gisors.  There, we visited a French church plant in this old, catholic village.  We were able to enjoy lunch while learning from the French pastors—and we heard powerful testimonies from two of the individuals from their church.  We prayed over them and their church as a team.  It was a truly powerful experience.

When we took off that morning, one of our teammates became sick to her stomach within the first mile.  As we had a car following us, I offered to her that she could ride in the car with her bike, but she was determined to keep going.  In that same mile, her bike broke.  So, she ended up having to ride in the car.  It was very disheartening.  At the end of the day, when it was time to bike back to the campsite, we had fixed the bike and she was determined to join us, but the issues persisted.  It became unsafe for her to continue riding with us.  So I asked her to ride in the car.  She and I were both in tears, as it was really hard for her to have to miss out.

I turned to her and explained that Satan wants to make her think this is a big deal, but it is not.  We were not in France for the purpose of biking, but to do ministry, and riding in the car would not inhibit her ability to love on our team and other people – that is exactly why we have the car in the first place.  I told her that she had the power through Christ to choose how to respond to this situation, and that I needed her, for the sake of herself and the team, to choose to not let this bother her.

The entire bike ride back, my heart was broken for her.  But as soon as we got back to camp, she did not look the same.  She was obviously changed as her face was lit and she was full of joy.  As we had our group time that evening, she shared so many encouraging insights and reflections from the day.  She also offered to pray for the team – an incredibly encouraging prayer.

The next day, she had to continue riding in the car, as we biked another 10 or 15 miles to Meru.  As I watched her throughout the day interact with missionaries and her teammates, I cried tears of joy.  She was such an incredible blessing to our team.  She was the first person to encourage anyone struggling to bike, even though she was unable.  When tires went flat and other complications occurred, she jumped out of the car to help.  At our sites, she took on extra acts of service in order to make things easier for those who were tired from biking.

We shared time with a number of missionaries, both those experienced and those new.  We heard testimonies of God’s goodness – of a woman who miraculously came to Christ from a Muslim family and of God’s providence for the missionaries.  We prayed and we praised.  And we also got to spend time having conversations with people and playing with children at a nearby park.

When we returned to our campsite that evening, she (the same teammate who had been unable to bike) walked into the kitchen while I was cooking dinner.  I turned to her, and I said, “Do you know that I have never seen you be this joyful?”  She responded, “I kinda feel different…”  I said, “You LOOK different…What happened?”  She explained that she had never quite realized the power and importance of being intentional about how she responded to situations before.  Also, she shared she had never been this comfortable around a group of people before (our team) in order to see and feel Jesus working through them.

This is the epitome of what I love about our team.  We are family.  We love each other.  And the Lord was at work in us.  This is just one of many life-changing stories that we have from the trip, as this girl was permanently changed by the face of Jesus.

At the close of our time, we PRAISED God for proving Himself good again and again and for all of the wonderful and insightful experiences we had during the Tour de FranceVIE 2017!

06/18/16

More Observations from our Intern

Kevin returns to describe a bit more of his experience at the Prayer Conference…

Over the last couple of days we’ve taken in a large variety of information that affected many emotions and feelings. It has been a long week and we have taken in a ton of information about France, the spiritual environment and the specific church plants. Although we were exhausted we were just as attentive as day one because each church plant is just as important as the other.

Our first stop was in the village of Chevreuse. The Barrs have a very different ministry that connects with French people deeply. Russell is a potter and graphic arts designer. Carol is an artist and teacher in her own right. Because of their arts background they have been holding art classes in their home for children. Additionally they have been teaching English lessons using the Bible for discussion. The French children and families have responded extremely well to this combination and their classes have outgrown their current space.

The second church plant that we visited is in a new, upper middle class town (Montigny-Les-Bretonneux) that includes the largest business district outside of Paris proper. The whole dynamic and atmosphere of this town is completely different from the narrow, old, and hectic atmosphere of Paris. The Manu and the Plasters have been building relationships and making contacts in several ways, including asking to pray for various strangers in the streets, and playing Christian music in a local bar. It is phenomenal how willing the World Team workers are to make themselves vulnerable in order to connect with the French.

Finally we visited another group ministering in a Muslim community outside of Paris. All of the church plants have their challenges but the additional challenge of penetrating the barrier of Islam made this stop an especially heart-warming one.

The diversity yet laser focus of World Team’s work in France is remarkable. Lasers are in focus and the same size no matter how close or far away from the surface they are directed. Although the team have to site and aim at targets of differing distances or different terrains, they all use the same laser focus of multiplying disciples and communities of believers. Please pray that God will do amazing things and work out all of the details for the teams to keep pursuing that simple, powerful purpose!

06/16/16

First Day Impressions from Kevin the Intern

Kevin came to France about a week before the Prayer Conference Participants as one of our interns. He followed some orientation and mentoring as well as a crash-course in the Paris Metro system, and this week he is helping to guide participants throughout the week and follow up on other tasks behind the scenes. Here was his report after the first day of the conference.

We are now starting our 2016 Paris Prayer Conference! Most of the guests arrived on Monday, and we officially began with our orientation dinner in downtown Paris. At a glance, France seems similar to the U.S. apart from the French language and their myriad beautiful old buildings. But as we will learn and observe this week, France is actually very different from the United States.

Tuesday morning everybody managed to overcome their jetlag to get up early for a train ride. We made it onto the train we wanted, which was an answer to prayer in and of itself for many reasons. First, everyone had to be up on time despite jetlag. Second, we all managed to get on the metro before the doors closed (barely). Third, when we arrived at the train station and found the correct platform, our train was just pulling up, otherwise it would have been probably a 20-30 minute wait. Fourth, we didn’t get lost in the labyrinth of trains and metros. Finally, there were no strikes on the train. French people are notorious for striking and had planned a huge strike for Tuesday. Thankfully we had no issues though. As you can see, God is clearly already watching over us and working out the details.

At the end of the train ride we visited the Gisors and Meru teams. Both teams have relatively mature churches, and both are looking to transfer the leadership to a permanent, local pastor. World Team’s ministry focus is to “reach, invest in, and equip others to release them into ministry.” These teams are looking toward the releasing stage and are only waiting and praying for the right people to lead. It was wonderful to hear from the brothers and sisters investing in these church plants, eat with them, and pray with them.

What stands out the most from the day is that God is working in France and the teams all have stories of people who have come to Christ, but the work is hard, slow, and difficult. The churches in general grow by only a couple people per year. France is very dark and spiritual matters are rarely, if ever, discussed. Additionally, the team members all have individually challenging situations. Some have major health issues, some have spent years trying to raise support, some have been working at a church plant for many years and only a couple people have trusted in the Lord for salvation. The Lord is definitely at work bringing the French to Himself, but Satan is also working to squelch believers’ influence in France. Please pray that God would open the French people’s hearts and fortify the church in France.

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06/14/16

Paris Prayer Conference Begins

Yesterday attendees arrived for the 2016 Paris Prayer Conference. Last night’s opening banquet gave them an overview of what to expect during the week. This year participants will experience two days of site visits and two days of presentations in Paris along with a day of attending WT France churches on Sunday. Transportation strikes are keeping things interesting, but so far things are off to a good start.

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Today the group traveled north of the city to visit the Gisors church plant in the morning and the work in Méru in the afternoon. Director Jerry Moyer gave an introduction to the work of WT France and the teams in each town described some developments of their work and ways to pray.

These annual meetings always provide an opportunity for reflection on what God has done through the years as in answering our prayers. A second-time participant mentioned being in Gisors in 2007, three years before the project began, praying for God to send workers. In 2011, participants were led by Kevin and Stephanie, the newly arrived church-planting couple launching the project, and they prayed for the start of an Alpha Course and that God would provide homes for new teammates. In 2013, participants met in those homes of the Hamlets and the Shorbs where they heard about how the Alpha courses came together, and they prayed that God would provide a public meeting place for the church. Today, the group met in that church building.

Here are some ways to pray with and for us:

  • Praise God for the 10 participants and 2 interns. Pray that they would persevere in prayer this week as they learn about the state of the church in France.
  • Pray for the many details and logistics of the week: transportation amidst interruptions, speakers, visits, etc.
  • Pray for a growing core group at the church in Gisors. Pray for spiritual growth and maturity. Pray that leaders would be raised up to take on ministry responsibilities.
  • Pray that God would provide a new meeting place for the church in Méru. Pray for spiritual unity as they proceed administrative steps to become a fully established church.
  • Pray for interns Rachel and Kevin in their responsibilities this week. Pray that they would discover ways to serve God in the future.

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