These past two days have gone really well and we’ve seen God move in amazing ways. One of the things our team desires to do is not to simply “do ministry” and be here for our agenda but we desire to bless the missionaries on the ground here while we are here. We asked them: “What can we do for YOU?” They simply asked us to clean their ministry space.
So yesterday, we cleaned Genesis. We scrubbed, we cleaned, we squeegeed and did our best to make it look spotless. I’m not telling you this to have you pat us on the back by any means. My purpose is to point out that our missionaries on the ground need to be thought of by us when we are off and on the field. God is using the this Envision team to do incredible things and they need our prayers and support!
The other day as we were taking time to do devotions and listen to God, I received a word I knew was for a young gentleman about his being a trailblazer and unconventional in his approach to ministry. I think too, it is fitting for the work that Envision is doing here in Paris. It came out of the story of the woman at the well (John 4:1-44). Jesus and his disciples were on a journey and as Jews, they normally would skip Samaria and walk around it. This would take extra time, but the average Jew was so racist against the Samaritans, the extra time spent would’ve been worth it to avoid any interaction with Samaritans. Jesus was different. He purposefully walked through Samaria with his disciples rather than go around it. This would’ve been an audacious thing to do. Even his disciples were probably confused. There confusion was about to get even worse.
Jesus was tired from the long journey and asked his disciples if they could figure things out while he rested at the well, which was in the center of the city. This again would’ve been unconventional, especially because when he sat it was the hottest part of the day. The disciples however probably whispered amongst themselves: “He’s Jesus, let him be”. So they left his there alone and went off to do what they had to do. While there, a woman came to draw some water. She was obviously avoiding something, since she too came at the hottest part of the day. Yet, Jesus didn’t ignore her. Here again, he is being unconventional and stepping outside of the normative relationships not only between Jews and Samaritans, but men and women as well. This conversation by no means should’ve happened even if both of them happened to be there because culturally none of it was “right”. Yet, Jesus broke the mold and began a conversation. He allowed the Spirit to speak to Him about this woman and used this insight to lead her to living water.
This Envision site is Jesus at the well. It’s unconventional. It’s unexpected. It’s a trailblazing site in terms of missions. This site in Paris does not exist to dig holes, build houses or bring aid to a city that needs relief. These are all “normal” or “conventional” types of missions. This site is a trailblazer that seeks to simply meet people at the wells of the city and ask the Spirit to speak to them about the people and use the insight to lead them to living water. God has given them the ability to dig wells in this city as well. The God-given ability to create wells where people gather. It has been incredible to see the living water shooting up around this city because of their faithfulness.
One of the best things that happened yesterday was the opportunity to hang out with some young adult Parisians. Jen and I were invited to a BBQ party by one of the Genesis attendees and we had an amazing time connecting and having fun. We played the game of “Guess Who” where our neighbor gave us a famous persons name and we had to guess who we were based off of yes or no questions. It was fun being able to have fun with folks from different cultures!
We interacted today with many people. There are simply too many stories and conversations that were had to sufficiently describe them all. Today was a GREAT day and I hope to allow the students to give some quick snippets of some of the great conversations that happened today on tomorrow’s blog, because I know many happened and many people felt loved as they interacted with the refreshing water from the well at Genesis!