God brings encouragement in the City of Lights
I've been feeling a little frustrated as a “missionary” in recent months, because I don't have many friends that aren't Christians, as I work in our OM France office in Paris. But we've been trying to think of ways to overcome this issue and be light and salt to our few contacts.
Little did I know God had His own plans.
During this time of discouragement, a woman phoned the office asking about OM. She didn't have a clue what we did, and it turned out she seemed to be looking for a church or group of Believers to meet with. I invited her to come to the office to meet us so we could point her to our local church.
The next day, I wasn't feeling like going back to work after lunch, but when I walked in at 2pm, my colleague Simon was chatting with a woman, Nicole, and her husband, Ferdinand - the same woman that had phoned!
Simon excused himself from the discussion and left me to continue. Nicole introduced herself as a Christian, and it turned out Ferdinand has a Jewish background, though he now holds to some cosmic beliefs, as many French people do.
Thinking Nicole was on the same page as me, I tried to turn discussion with Ferdinand towards spiritual matters and the Bible, especially the Old Testament. As we chatted, I noticed they both listened intently when I spoke (unusual in people that have their own ideas on faith), and suddenly, Nicole interrupted and said, "Can I just ask you a question? Why, when Jesus was on the cross, after living a perfect life, did God abandon him?"
What a wonderful invitation to share the Gospel!
So I started at the beginning, with the Jewish sacrificial system, and progressed to Jesus, so I could explain how He took our sin.
As I made the parallel between the perfect lamb and Jesus' perfection, Nicole, visibly shocked, exclaimed, "So you’re telling me that Jesus came to earth as a sacrifice? And are you saying that He's the only way to reach God? There's no other 'Jesus' today?"
I went on to finish my explanation with how that is actually good news, and Nicole is hoping to come to church on Sunday.
How cool that God, in His grace, when I am stuck in an office feeling frustrated at my lack of contact with non-believers, sent them to me!
Not only does He love the “unreached” enough to put them in the path of the Truth, but He also cares so much for me, His child, that He would make this opportunity coincide with my needs and lift me out of my frustration!
This is missions: Our God, the master-strategist, connecting the dots in peoples’ lives to achieve His grand purposes.
Please pray with us for Nicole and Ferdinand, and hundreds of other Nicoles and Ferdinands on the lead up to Easter, that they will search for the truth and meet our wonderful, gracious, loving God and decide they want Him in their lives for real!
And thank God for the encouragements He gives in our personal lives. He loves us more than we can imagine.