Hey y’all — Emily D here again.
This trip was a really good trip – not at ALL what I was expecting, but when is a mission trip ever what you expect? (Unless you’ve been there multiple times… but even then!!)
We did many things throughout the week… we would do community projects – like picking up trash in the park or pulling weeds at an old established church. We all had matching t-shirts — for 2 days of this – so older people would point this out and ask what we were doing – this presented a good opportunity for whomever the person asked. We would hang out in a park right across from the Bed & Breakfast where we were staying — seeing if we couldn’t strike up a conversation with somebody.
We also did a whooooole lot of praying & prayer walking. I believe this was a MAJOR part of what we were doing… without it, I doubt anything would have happened at all…. this sort of thing is something that God has to do, alone…. we are just along for the ride. (Which, is true of missions in general, but in this context it’s felt a bit more. People aren’t as open to just talking to anyone here – like at home -… you have to have a reason to speak.)
By Saturday – things were moving along well. We talked to quite a few people – probably at least 15 or so as a group. I was getting a bit discouraged at this time, because I hadn’t spoken to ANYONE yet, and our trip was coming to a close. This whole time I had been praying that God would send someone for me to talk to – to share the Gospel with. For the first half of the day, everyone I said hello to — only spoke French… and I can’t really do more than greet people and ask if they speak English, in French – much less have a full on Gospel presentation.
After spending the morning sort of discouraged, the ladies (5 of us including 1 under 18) split off from the park and went down a little bit to see if we could meet some people in the shops & surrounding areas. We met one lady from Venezuela – named Gabrielle (pronounced with a heavy French accent) – We weren’t able to share the Gospel with her, but we were able to talk for a bit & invite her to a church plant (Renaissance Church) here in Little Burgundy (which is a neighborhood in the larger city Montreal — Sort of like the Highlands or St. Matthews in Louisville – same idea). She asked that we pray for her family & her business. She doesn’t really go to church… she used to be Catholic when she lived in Venezuela… she didn’t really seem to claim it anymore.
Then we split off into pairs… divide & conquer sort of thing. So Bethany & I went off… and we passed a few shops, went into one or two…. no luck starting up a conversation… THEN we passed by a park. There was an older lady sitting in a chair (that was just sort of provided by this park area). She had a book but as we approached she put it down and watched us… I greeted her in French, she started talking… I promptly asked if she spoke English… and Oh. My. Word… yes, she did. I was so happy. haha. We talked about several things…. Her former job & now retirement, cats (which was great… because I got to show off my kitty cat), and sort of segued into the Gospel & visiting the church plant. Just being able to share with her was a breath of fresh air — but she told us she didn’t believe in God — that she grew up catholic and was catholic for awhile because her parents were… but once they passed on she dropped it. She said she respected people who do believe & thought we were doing a good thing — and was curious about what we were doing. We gave her a business card & explained where the gathering met, she thanked us and we went on our way. Her name is Carol (Also pronounced with a very thick French accent… and yes, she laughed when we tried. Indiana/Kentucky accents & French don’t really mix that well. ha).
Carol didn’t show this morning… nor did Gabrielle…. there was one visitor they had besides our team, but he was a believer & goes back and forth from here to St. Louis, MO for work… African, but has family here in Montreal.
Each of us on this trip (9 of us) had many conversations like the ones I described. Aaron & Samantha (the church planters) have many teams lined up to do the sort of thing we did this week all summer. Please keep them in your prayers – their church planting team, Renaissance Church, and everyone we talked to – and those that future teams will talk to. Pray that God will open doors in this mostly lost community (I believe it was around 95% or higher?).
I also want to take this time to remind y’all about our own communities — and think how many lost people there are in our own cities & towns. Montreal is not very different than say… Louisville, KY… just a slightly different context. Be praying that God would give you opportunities to speak & ask that He would give you boldness to share the Gospel…. because the Gospel is REALLY IMPORTANT. 😉
THANK YOU for the prayers for this trip & for for sending us!!! It makes a BIG difference.
We will be back in Louisville, Lord willing, around noon Monday. Looking forward to being with y’all soon!