As some of you are aware, I have been going to Paris rather frequently. This week I will be making the fourth trip in 13 months. Some have asked, “Why Paris?” I would like to share a little today about why we are going there.
A little over 10 years ago, while on a personal retreat, I felt the Lord speak to me saying that just as He has poured out His Spirit upon the Spanish-speaking world, He was going to do the same in the French-speaking world. I sensed this so strongly, I immediately began taking French classes at our local community college. (I should mention that though I can understand spoken and written French fairly well, I am very far away from being fluent). As a church we began visiting France and meeting people. We began praying. Over these years, the Lord has given us some precious relationships there, especially with some Christian workers. However, it is beyond the scope of this blog entry to tell of some of the amazing ways we have seen God working.
There is another reason for focusing on Paris. We have discovered that France is a very influential country. The French-speaking world spreads around the globe (Europe, North Africa, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific islands, etc). And much of these areas lie in some of the most spiritually unreached and dark places of the world. France, and in particular Paris, leads the French-speaking world. In the English-speaking world or Spanish-speaking world, there is no one city that dominates the culture like Paris does the French-speaking world. We believe Paris is a very strategic city in the purposes of God today.
There are some wonderful people and wonderful Christian workers in Paris. But it has been a very difficult road to travel. There is much spiritual resistance in Paris. There has been a large Islamic influx into France in the past 20 years or so. In fact, there are more Moslems in Paris than there are Christians in all of France! There have also been many disappointments and setbacks for the Church there which I do not have the time to explain. I believe, however, that God is using all this resistance and all these trials to strengthen spiritual leaders and workers that can lead the Church in Paris into all that He has called her to be. Tribulation and trials have a way of purifying God’s people. That is what is happening today in Paris. God is preparing a people that are going to be mighty for His Kingdom.
Judy will be traveling with me to Paris this week. In addition to visiting with many people, I will be doing a workshop on Saturday, May 12, for a group of Christian leaders. The topic will be on building Biblical discipleship into our churches. Please pray for us while we are there. There are many we need to see, but so little time. My goal (no promises, though) is to write one or two times while we are there. I will share some pictures as well as some personal observations.