Thursday, October 30, 2008
Post Christian France
About a week ago, 20 or so New Hopers hung out for the evening with Dave & Carolita Fraley. The Fraley's have spent the last 30 years as missionaries in France. We had a great time together eating, laughing, praying, and hearing about the ways in which God is building his church in France.
I was struck by many of the stories Dave & Carolita shared. They spoke of how important it is for the people to whom they minister to see their love above all else. They talked about how no preaching or program could outdo just merely loving the people they came into contact with.
They shared that many have given up on France because there seems to be so little fruit, but then they went on to share some of the fruit. They talked about people that have grasped God's grace and are living in that grace in amazing ways. There are a handful of multi-cultural pastors that are full of faith and God's love and are living that love to everyone they meet. There is one church building in particular that houses 3 churches in it. They gather at different times to make the best use of the space and still they are running out of space.
They shared how many of the people they've encountered in France live life very cognitively. They are not apt to be swung by an emotional event. They also shared that in France, Sunday is a day for family. So to work within the culture, they have begun having Saturday night dinners and conversation. Saturday keeps Sunday free for family. And the conversations allow people to think through things and see God in it.
Dave & Carolita ask that we continue to pray for God's mission in France. In particular for the leaders who are rising up to be the second generation leaders.