What does the team look like that is moving to Descartes? 5 people from 4 different countries.
And in all of this, I feel blessed. It adds a certain sense of richness when we begin to consider each one’s prior experiences, cultural heritage, and way of looking at the world. It also is a constant reminder that the church is something global, not something American, or French or …. and you can insert any country’s name there. God’s church is worldwide, His harvest is worldwide, and His workers come from everywhere. The leadership here, for me, is a microcosm of that fact.
But this is also something about which you can pray for us, our team, our network of churches, and frankly, all of the ministries that are working in France right now. We have met many missionaries and church leaders who come from various countries and now are working together with the French people. It is indeed a beautiful thing. But working cross-culturally can have its bumps and difficulties. Many of us are here working in a second, or possibly third, language. We have our own cultural norms and habits which may conflict with that of our host country or, more possibly, with that of a coworker’s. And while most of us have probably learned how to “cope” with cultural differences in a French context, the French ministers don’t always have the same preparation when it comes to working side-by-side with a missionary or foreign teammate.
That being said, I feel like we have been warmly welcomed among our fellow ministers and leaders, both here in Loches and in our region. We have been enjoying getting to know everyone, what they do, where they are from, and how they are all working together in one manner or another to make disciples, create and grow healthy churches and be representatives of Jesus in a land that has relegated Him to ancient history.
Some brief news:
We recently had the pleasure of a visit from Rob Harris, our KontaktmissionUSA director. It was great to spend a few days catching up, show him our new place in Descartes, do a little sight-seeing and have some serious talks about our roles here.
Next week, Alex McCormick, a KontaktmissionUSA intern will be coming. He’ll get to help with our team’s move to Descartes, see what ministering in a small French town looks like, and have a (hopefully positive) memorable experience of living with us. He'll be doing various jobs for the Loches/Descartes church and possibly the community at large. We are excited for his arrival!
We are about to take the first half of our B1 level exams tomorrow (May 26) and will take the second half next week. This is an in-house exam and will allow us to complete our agreement of reaching B1 language proficiency that we have with France Mission. We will continue our language studies in the fall because there is still much to learn, but we are making good progress.
- cross-cultural communication amongst our France Mission leaders - that we will all continue to communicate clearly and work together in a spirit of unity and humility
- Kontaktmission’s short term missionary event this weekend, which ends with all the short term missionaries and some KM staff heading to various countries for the summer. Alex will be starting his trip with this event.
- internship - that we will be wise in how to help Alex make the most of his time while serving here, that he will be comfortable in the language, and that living together will go smoothly
Know that we are thankful for and praying for you!!