Into the Neighborhood, Deeper In Ministry & Celebrating Our First Baptism!

As we look ahead to Fall, and contemplate the upcoming holiday of  Thanksgiving and with it a season of Thankfulness, please let me begin by saying thank you. Thank you, and we need you! It is your partnership in giving and praying with the resources God has entrusted to you which make it possible for me to be here doing my part, feet on the ground, spreading the Gospel to the nations. I’m so honored that you partner with me and I pray you’re encouraged and inspired by what God is doing among the nations here in France through us. If you’re not yet one of the amazing partners impacting Paris and the world with me, and you’re interested in joining this partnership, links at the end of this post below.

Thank you, to each and every one of you.

Our church (Église Saint-Lazare) celebrated it’s 1 Year anniversary in September 2018. Praise God!

Our Church’s First Baptism Celebration

In October, we celebrated an eternally significant day: the baptism of a dear young woman, our first baptism at l’Église Saint Lazare, and a magnificent day when this friend chose to declare her faith in Jesus and invite her church family and friends to support her in her lifelong walk with Him as her Lord.

I, among others, were moved to tears as we heard this beautiful young sister share her journey of seeking, finding, and committing to following Jesus Christ. Her path had it’s bumps, like us all, but she was radiant as she shared how Christ had set her free in so many ways. What a testimony it was as some present were hearing about who Jesus was for the first time!

OH, How We Celebrated together!!

 

The Lord God our Provider: I Have Moved house!

This means so much more than a change of address. After a year of prayer and waiting on the Lord to simply accomplish His will for my geographic location, the Lord acted faithfully (as He always does) and He most certainly gave bigger and far beyond what I could ask or dream or think or imagine. (He’s so astounding!)

On September 29, 25 people showed up to help me move from my home of 4 years in Massy, France to my new apartment just minutes away from my church plant & ministry in Paris, France. 25 people! And I can tell you, this move has a HUGE impact!

Just like they say in real estate: Location! Location! Location!

IMG_2500This means my commute to church meetings has decreased by 90%, making it 100% more possible for me to be intentionally involved at maximum capacity for this church plant in Paris’ center. I am now available 3-4 times a week for 1:1 discipleship and prayer times with others instead of only 2-3 times per month. I can now lead youth group twice as often! This move has more than tripled my capacity for investing in people, leading volunteers & organizing church services, supporting my pastors, and encouraging believers in their walks with the Lord. I finally feel I am living fully the life God called me to here in France. IMG_2798

Organizing church services, participating in staff meetings and community events is now possible every day of the week instead of just once or twice a week. This move has at exponentially increased my capacity to serve and invest in this mighty work of God. And, the day I moved–it had already begun!

In the thirty days that I have lived in this new home, my guest room has welcomed 4 different women over 15 days. One dear friend serving as a missionary in Africa, came to stay for a week of rest and rejuvenation as she prepared to return for another term of missions. A week later, another woman who serves in Madrid, Spain came to stay for a week of rest and respit after completing a year of very difficult language study and exams in her country of ministry. Then, I had the joy of welcoming a dear friend who is a missionary in another city in France. And I’ve also offered this lovely room to a friend from my church here in Paris more than once. what a JOY! to serve and care for God’s people!! Praise God that He has kicked open the doors to ministry for me here, allowing me to operate out of my gifts and passions to share His love.

Just as soon I said yes to one miracle after another which led me straight to this new home, I hadn’t even unpacked all the boxes yet and the Lord has filled my calendar with opportunities to serve and be fully invested in my community among my church now that I’m close enough to do so. Praise Him for how FULL my heart feels to be able to serve and care for people in this way in community.

IMG_3162

My new home has ALREADY happily hosted the youth group I lead, prayer meetings, 1:1 discipleship times, Bible studies, and dinners. CLEARLY God is putting to use the gifts and passions He has given me for prayer, hospitality, and community, and I could not be happier. I even invited some friends to carve pumpkins with me–they’d never done it before and loved the fun evening! There are already dates on the calendar for church events in my home for November, December, and January and I haven’t even had a housewarming party yet! OH, how the Lord PROVIDES!

Here’s a few photos of my street (daily market!) and apartment as I am unpacking & settling in:

I am truly humbled and blown away by His faithfulness, and I must say mY HEART IS FULL and for the first time in a long time, I feel ALIVE to be living out of my heart for his people in these ways. I just feel so fully ME being able to share my home like this. That would ALL be for HIS glory and our joy as we all come to know Him better, that’s the true prayer of my heart.

Here’s some photo highlights of all this great ministry happening:

Teenage girls’ youth group (at my house):

IMG_2858  IMG_2861

Middle school youth group:

 

Church Service Leadership & Coordination

A massive part of my ministry here in France is organizing and coordinating our church services among our church plant. This means I am able to lead the volunteers serving in each church service to both free up our pastors to focus on their leadership roles and invite our church members into service and evangelism. This is both discipleship, service training and administration and organization for our church. Caring for people, training them up and making church happen. It’s a lot of work and I absolutely love it! Our church attendance averages about 45 weekly, a huge success for churches in France, and we have over thirty of our members serving in one way or another. I love seeing the fruit of people being energized to serve as they grow in their relationship with the Lord and understanding of the reason why we serve–because He first served us in love. My pastors and their wives tell me all the time how thankful they are that God brought us together and I tell them exactly how I feel: it’s reciprocal. I couldn’t be more convinced that God brought us together as a team to care for people and share His Word. My cup runneth over.

The Truth About France

This week I had a conversation with a friend who said that she recently met someone who said that she was the first Christian they had ever met in their life. This is a something I have also experienced more times than I can count during my four years in France.

It may not be always obvious, but this is a common reality in France. There are millions of people here who have never held a Bible, never met another Christian, never set foot in a church or heard the Word of God preached. We are advancing the Good News and a part of changing lives forever. Thank you.

And please don’t forget, this is nothing I could do alone. And that is just how God intended it. His Church (that’s all of us) partnering together! We’re partnered together for Him and His life-saving Word! I need you. I need all of you who are currently supporting to consider a special one-time gift as the end of the year approaches and I’ve moved into this new season of more intense ministry in the city center. I need all of you reading this to understand that moving to Paris is touching more lives but also a financial investment. The reality is life in the city is completely strategic for ministry, a blessing and an honor and more expensive, absolutely stretching me and challenging me to lean into God who has always provided all thats’s needed and to ask you to begin financially supporting me allowing ministry to happen much more deeply and frequently in the lives of people here in Paris.

Please prayerfully consider how you can be involved and Partner here. And, you can click here to learn a little bit about me and my journey to France.

It’s an honor to be here on this journey with you.

With love in Christ and all trust in Him,

Jenn Hylton

IMG_2710

And I will lead the blind
    in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
    I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
    the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
    and I do not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16

Advertisements

Celebrating Our Church’s 1st Birthday, Youth Summer Camp & a BIG Move!

Happy Birthday, Église Saint-Lazare!

Happy 1st birthday to our Paris church plant!

IMG_1318

We are praising God for a huge milestone celebrated in September here in Paris: the FIRST Anniversary of our church: Église Saint-Lazare!

We are thankful beyond words for the year of Gospel messages preached, prayers lifted up in faith, weekly bible studies across the city, and many people taking next steps in their personal relationship with Jesus.

IMG_1316

IMG_0338

During the last year, I have been able to serve by starting a youth group for our teenage girls. Our times together of bible study and prayer have been a ton of fun as I have rejoiced at these girls’ thirst for the Word and incredible insight.

IMG_0335

I simply LOVE investing in them and journeying with them toward Christ. It’s truly what I’m made for. It’s an honor and a privilege. I’ve also been able to lead our volunteers, planning church services and discipling young leaders for a culture of Gospel-centered service. Praise God for growing us all in Him as we serve others and each other as He has served us. It is such a joy to be a part of this body of believers. Praise Him for this first year and we are looking forward to many many more to share His good news and to know and enjoy Him more everyday!

IMG_0858I had the great pleasure of welcoming supporters and friends from ValleyBrook Community Church when they came to visit Paris recently. What a JOY it was to share with them the incredible ministry God is leading here. Thank you for investing in proclaiming God’s Word here in France. For His glory and our joy!

Milestones in Ministry

Wow! “Never felt more ME!”

That’s what I’ve been saying when asked how my week at youth summer camp went, where I was among 15 other leaders serving a group of 45 teenagers for a week long Gospel-focused, action packed summer camp. I have never felt more ME! Alive, beautiful, FULL of life! Praise God for the ways He filled me full-to-over-flowing during camp Interaction, where my life was to be ME just how God created me, living out of my passions and living in community, sharing the Gospel with teenagers all week. I was literally MADE for this.

IMG_0801IMG_0792

A typical day at camp began with waking up the 6 girls who were in my dorm group which I co-led with another awesome woman. They’d be off to breakfast and I’d grab a cup of coffee on my way to our daily planning meeting with all the leaders.

fullsizeoutput_2986

Next was morning meeting with all 70 people at camp present, where we did a survey-timeline of the Bible over the course of the week. Then morning activities, sports, crafts, games, conversation, and we’d all gather together for lunch in the cafeteria. Afternoons were full of large group games for the whole camp, always a wild adventure, sometimes a hunt around the grounds, a long walk through the country or an afternoon canoeing. Before dinner, we’d meet up with our dorm groups again, for small group bible study conversation from the book of Luke. And every evening we’d have another group meeting with the whole camp, continuing to move through the Bible timeline.

Some of these kids were Christians. Some are not. The camp is AWESOME for a million reasons, not the least of which is it is totally bi-lingual. Many French kids come to work on their English. Lots of native English speakers come to improve their French. My gorgeous favorite language, Fr-anglais, was a PERFECT fit for this camp. Half of my sentences in French, half in English, and everyone understood me and admired my mastery of both languages. 🙂IMG_0695IMG_0627

The truth is I am worshipping God for His great love, as I saw so many miracles during the week!

I saw teenagers pray and ask Christ to be Lord of their lives more than ever before! I prayed with some amazing young people as they asked God to show Himself to them, as they asked God to answer the questions of their hearts. I saw some incredible young people encourage one another against all odds, and build each other up instead of tear one another down.

I felt as if I was savoring every moment of camp and constantly being astounded at how rich and deep and gorgeous community can be when it’s God’s people living in community as He designed us to do. I walked alongside other leaders as we spurred one another on to use our gifts and strengths to do whatever it took to show these young hearts the Gospel message of Jesus Christ–the literal life saving news. I can’t help but believe this is how God intended it to be. Gospel centered, community life where everyone is encouraged to be their best uniquely beautiful “them” together.

Recently, Bible study among my church family here in Paris, we looked at romans 8:31-39. Paul is writing to encourage, convince, if you will, the Romans to support him in his ministry of being sent out as a missionary to share the Gospel in far off lands and plant churches. That’s not exactly what we might have thought was happening when we first read these verses–but it’s true. Paul explains the unsearchable, the irrevocable, the completely immovable love of God for us who believe in Him. How nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. And why wouldn’t he use that illustration to convince others to support the mission of sharing the gospel and church-panting?

What BETTER could we do with this one life than literally change eternity for people by introducing them to Jesus?

What better thing could we possibly imagine to do with our resources, Paul asks the Romans, than to invite people to come to know the love of God which will remove from them condemnation forever, as Jesus has literally already died in our place?

Nothing.

That’s exactly why I am here. And that’s exactly why you have sent me, partner with me and continue to invest in this mission with me. We are inviting people to know Jesus, and thus forever change their eternity. For His glory and our joy!

 

An Urgent Prayer: Moving into Paris

I have a chance to move from the suburbs (a 45 minute commute to my church plant) into the city center of Paris. This will mean being able to live in that community, alongside my church family here in Paris. This isn’t required. But it’s something I want to do so I can be a part of community alongside the body of believers that God has given me to be a part of here in Pairs. This will allow me to use my home for ministry in many ways, and to care for my soul in wholly investing myself there alongside my church. This will also open the doors for me to share the Gospel with neighbors and to invite people to church regularly. The Lord has already provided more than miracles to open doors for this to be a possibility. But we still need a few more mountains to be moved, and at least one more miracle to be provided before Friday, for this to become a reality. Will you please PRAY with me that God would keep moving to make this possibility a reality and that no matter what I would continually trust Him FULLY every step of the way? Thank you for being a part of changing eternity for people by using what God has given you, with me, sharing His Good news!

In Christ,

Jenn

IMG_9724

 

 

 

Re-entering French life: Two homes, One Mission

Hello from France!

The “re-entry” is a term often used for folks like me who live and serve in a foreign country. It sounds turbulent because it is, well, turbulent.

It would take a lifetime to describe all the emotions and physical bumps that come with the life of an ex-pat if you haven’t experienced it yourself, so I’ll not try to do that here.

I will just share that I live between two very real realities.

I am certain that God has called me, and is continually equipping me one day at a time to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in France. I experience increasing peace and joy year by year as I live and serve here, and I feel increasingly at home here in France, too. Jesus meets my every need. And Praise Him I see Him building His Church here and changing lives!

And the other reality is that I am often homesick, lonely, and miss the USA, my community in CT, my family, my homeland, very much.

These are both my realities. And it’s okay, because Jesus is true and real and present. And we can and do count on Him everyday for everything, even to meet all the needs in two true and separate realities.

So, thank you! Thank you for welcoming me home when I came to the states in June.

IMG_9218IMG_9233And thank you, to France and all of my beloved friends here, especially my church and TEAM families who welcomed me “home” again when I came back to France in July.

I came back just in time to celebrate France being the World Champions taking home the World Cup in men’s soccer (!)(football), and to celebrate France’s independence day on July 14th.

 

But not before I had an excellent send off celebrating America’s Independence day on July 4th in Hartford, Connecticut at a gloriously American baseball game surrounded by friends. What a true JOY it was for my heart to celebrate the 4th ofJuly on American soil for the first time in 4 years!

 

 

During my time stateside, for those who were able, big thank you for welcoming me into your homes and into your churches to join in studying God’s Word together and to share details about the ministry of church planting in France. It was SUCH a blessing to be with you during my visit stateside in June, to study God’s Word together and to share the ministry needs. 😊

I thank God for the support through prayer and meeting financial needs that come from each church and individual like you all who make this ministry possible! While God has opened doors during my time visiting CT in June and provided some of the financial partnerships needed to continue ministry in France, we still need partners in prayer and 25 new monthly financial partners at $50 each to meet the ministry needs.

Please pray and consider if you are able to be one of those partners!

If you have any questions or want to hear more specifically about the ministry in France, I’d love to speak with you personally about the youth group we’ve started, our new church plant, or my ministry in childhood cancer research globally.

Check out this great video to hear more details about the ministry we’re building together: ministry news! (an interview with me pastor Bill Lamorey starting at the 25 minute mark of this video)

If you’re ready to be one of the partners we need to keep sharing the Gospel in dark places, I’ve included a link below how to do that online but this can also be done over the phone with a TEAM representative or via postal mail with TEAM if you prefer. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! Partnership can be one time or regular monthly. Thank you for partnering with me!

Here’s a direct link how to partner: https://team.org/givenow/us/details?v2did=83552

As you know this is God’s work building His church and I need your partnership to continue sharing the Gospel and discipling believers in France where the need is great. It is certainly no kind of work I could do on my own, without you, so thank you for partnering!

I look forward to staying in touch! Please always feel free to contact me anytime.

All for Jesus!

Thankful for you,

Jenn Hylton

 

I’m here! Connecting in Connecticut

I am delighted to announce that I am spending the next 4 weeks in the Hartford area TO MEET WITH YOU!

I am in Connecticut until July 5 and there are many opportunities to come hear in-person all the news and updates of what God is up to in France, all the God stories and how to partner! Send me an email (Jennifer_hylton@hotmail.com) for details to any of these events.

Saturday, June 9th: Host home event 3pm in Simsbury, CT.  Join us for a fun and casual time to connect in person and hear all the ministry news & needs.

 

Sunday, June 10th at church: I will be sharing at ValleyBrook Community Church in Granby, CT on June 10th. Please come!

June 10th: You name the spot! Let’s do lunch after church to catch up and share the ministry news and partnership opportunities!

Monday, June 11: You name the spot! Anytime after 1230pm I’ll be free to meet for coffee, lunch, or a walk. Let’s connect! Dinner plans? Let’s meet up!

Sunday, June 24th at church: I’ll be sharing ministry updates, tons of greats photos and stories & partnership opportunities at my AWESOME home church Calvary Fellowship on June 24th. It’s going to rock! Come!

Sunday June 24th: Host home event at 3pm in Bristol, Connecticut. Join us for a fun and casual time to connect in person and hear all the awesome God stories from France.

Thursday June 28th: Host home event at 7pm in West Hartford, Connecticut. Join us for a fun and casual time to connect in person and hear all the awesome God stories from France.

Sunday July 1 at church: I’ll be at Calvary Fellowship in West Hartford and would love to see you there to answer any questions, share the God stories and partnership opportunities, or find a time to meet 1:1–which is my favorite.

I will be bringing with me all the life changing, church planting, disciple making, Bible teaching GOD stories you can imagine from the absolute incredible work God is up to here in France that I’ve been able to see and participate in –along with your partnership!–over the last four years.

Please find a time to meet with me!

If one of these times above doesn’t work for you, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email and suggest another moment. I’ll have time available during afternoons & evenings, weekdays & weekends throughout June to meet with people 1:1 and to come share amongst family and friends in homes.

The whole reason I am coming is to meet with you! So, let’s do it!

 

Youth Group Weekend Retreat in Paris, France

Thank you for praying for our recent youth group retreat with the middle school kiddos in Paris France. It was a moving time around God’s Word and FULL

IMG_7152

of very active fun. I was personally filled with gratitude at the end of the weekend, when the kiddos went around and shared what their favorite part of the weekend was. One young boy said that his favorite part was hearing God’s Word taughtIMG_7216 by one of our leaders, in a message about the reality and history of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen! A very sweet young girl shared that her favorite part was having Christian friends to be with. I cannot over-estimate how eternal our investment is in these young lives as being a Christian in France means being counter cultural and always the minority. We praise God for the chance to give them a safe place to meet Him. Thank you for your prayers and partnership!

With all my love,

Jenn

fullsizeoutput_1cfd.jpeg

Ready to Be a Partner with this incredible team? Click here!

 

Paris Outreach & Youth Ministry (& BIG NEWS)

Pray Right Now!

As you read this, all the members of our growing church plant in Paris’ center are preparing for an evangelical outreach TONIGHT! We have planned and prayed for months now to show the film Case For Christ in the cinema in the heart of Paris where we have our weekly church services. That’s right, we meet in a cinema and, in partnership with the cinema where we meet, tonight we are showing the movie Case for Christ (in French it’s called Jésus L’enquete).

Evangelical Outreach in Paris

Our whole church has been inviting friends and neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances for months to this showing. While many people here wouldn’t bother with a question about a personal relationship with Christ, wouldn’t be likely to accept an invitation to church, many people would be much more likely to come see a true story film about a journalist who set out with all his investigative skills to prove that Jesus was a lie.

PLEASE PRAY as we are preparing even now!

Here’s a photo of some of us after a preparation meeting last week, and a picture of the invite cards we’ve been sharing to invite folks for over a month.IMG_6821

jesus l enqueteOur pastors have even set aside three evenings this month to invite folks to come to a meal and discuss more in length what they’ll see in the film tonight. So, for everyone in attendance tonight, they’ll have the opportunity to come share a meal and discuss what is Christianity and who is Jesus over three evening meals this month. Praise God!

Thank for praying that God would move the hearts of all in attendance tonight to know Him more, that lost people would be saved, and that this even would grow us all closer to Him!

Youth Group & Girls Discipleship

Also, thank you for praying the heart of my ministry here: investing in the young people God has brought into my life. This weekend I will be leading another bible study and time of prayer with the most precious teenage girls.

IMG_5847
goofing off in Paris with two of my favorites! ❤

I am constantly moved by their thirst for God’s Word and their desire to know Him more. I am burdened to walk with them in prayer and support as the journey of a Christian in France is a lonely one, and that of a teenager constantly moving counter-culturally as a believer is an enormous test of faith. Please pray for us as this Sunday we will dive into God’s Word together again!

God has absolutely filled my heart to overflowing to walk alongside these incredible young people. It’s MY JOY to love them and move toward Jesus together.

 

Middle School Youth Group Weekend

IMG_4250

Each year, along with friends and leaders here in Paris, we take the middle school youth group kiddos on a weekend retreat to spend time in God’s Word, to play and pray together. May 26-27 are the dates for this year and we are looking forward to all the crazy wild fun that a weekend of teens undoubtebly brings!

IMG_4252
Me telling everyone to shout “cheeseburger” for the photo

Please pray for these awesome kiddos that God would prepare their hearts even now, that He would speak a fresh word to them and call them into deeper relationship with Him. Please pray for us leaders that we would be faithful and humble before God’s Word to present only as the Spirit leads and that God would cover this weekend and keep us all safe. Thank you for praying! It is such a JOY to invest in these young people, to see them asking questions of God’s Word, to see their trust in Him growing, to know that we are helping grow the future leaders of faith in France.

Praise God!

~BIG NEWS~

I’m coming home!

I will be Hartford, Connecticut June 6-July 5 and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU!

I will be bringing with me all the life changing, church planting, disciple making, Bible teaching GOD stories you can imagine from the absolute incredible work God is up to here in France that I’ve been able to see and participate in over the last four years.

Please find a time to meet with me!

I will be sharing at ValleyBrook Community Church in Granby, CT on June 10th. Please come! I’ll also be sharing at my AWESOME home church Calvary Fellowship on June 24th.

I’ll have time available during afternoons & evenings, weekdays & weekends throughout June to meet with people 1:1 and to come share amongst family and friends in homes.

The whole reason I am coming is to meet with you! So, let’s do it!

5ee7a5d7-b712-4dc9-8f85-78a6de12872265de0453-a7e9-4b6b-b67e-75c3f9699f9dThis is me dancing in the street about how HAPPY I AM that I FINALLY get to come home to share with you in person this life in ministry in Paris! (And also because it is my FAVORITE street in Paris and it’s breathtaking).

If you’d like me to come, let me know, I’d love nothing more than to spend an hour (or more if you like) with you catching up and sharing about the ministry that’s happening, the vision for future ministry as this church grows, and the need for partnerships from incredible people like you. I’ll have some super cool videos and photos to share.

I absolutely cannot imagine a more exciting thing to invite you to than to be a part of lives being saved and God transforming Paris into a true city of Light through His Word!

How to connect:

  • Sharing at Church: Can I come share at your church on June 17th or July 1st?  Get me in touch with your church to do just that!
  • Sharing at Home: Open your home, invite a few friends, and I’ll come share in person all the great updates and ministry needs for the future. And it will just be a JOY to catch up with you! This can be morning, afternoon or evening, weekdays and weekend times available. Let’s make it happen!
  • Join us for one of the gatherings already being planned! June 9th is the first one on the books, you’re welcome to come! more dates to follow!
  • Let me know if you want to meet 1:1 and I will be there! There’s so many dear friends to see, let’s do it! I can’t wait!
  • Share this blog and this ministry and my story with a friend!

Ready to be a partner of all this incredible life-saving, world-changing ministry happening in the heart of global activity in Paris? Partner here!

With all my love and such a heart of gratitude for you all being on this journey with me!

Jenn

Stories to Live By : Jesus Proclaimed in Paris

I’ve known for sometime that she has been questioning her faith, the reality of God’s existence, His character, His relevancy in her life. Over the last couple of years, I’ve prayed often for this sweet young girl to know for herself how deep and how wide and limitless God’s love is for her. I’ve taken many chances to pray with her, for her, and to share God’s Word with her, among other precious young teenagers I’ve met during my first 4 years here in France. A while ago, while travelling to an event in Paris with many church friends, this sweet young girl along with one other kiddo from our church, asked if she could ride along in my car. Little did I know, God was giving me a divine appointment–He had planned this all along.

En route, what felt like quite out of nowhere, she asked me “Jenn, have you always been a Christian?”

My heart literally LEPT within me when she asked. I thought, ‘God! You are SO awesome, you’re giving me this incredible chance to tell this sweet young girl who you ARE, who you have been for me, how you have proven your character again and again and again. With an enormous smile on my face, I took a deep breath, thanked God in a brief thoughtful prayer, and turned and looked at this precious soul and said, “No, my darling girl. No, I have not always been a Christian. I didn’t meet Jesus until I was 16. I was 16 years old when I got saved.”

It’s a JOY for me to just write this story for you. I’m sitting in a café right now, enjoying watching people coming and going, breathing in the sounds and smells of this familiar place, thanking God for the sun shining (finally!) outside. And I feel JOY to simply sit here and reflect and worship God for this amazing chance He gave me to share candidly, privately, naturally who He is and what He has done for me with a beautiful young girl who is searching for Him.

This, my friends, is what life is made of. The profound unmatchable joy of telling the truth about who God is and literally giving hope to another soul. This is what I live for.

Just then, the other sweet kiddo, riding in the back seat of the car, said “what’s that? what’s that mean, ‘you were saved’?” Another rush of joy swelled in my heart and made the enormous smile on my face grow even more. I replied: “to be saved means that we trusted God for the first time ever, we believed in Jesus, that He really did die for our sins and saved us from sin and death, and we asked Him to be Lord of our lives and decided to follow Him. That’s just one way to say it ‘to be saved’.”

I was moved and humbled by how intently they both listened as I spoke. I was overcome with gratitude that the Lord (and these sweet precious kiddos) trusted me to speak to them about such things. I was praising God internally throughout the whole conversation.

Continuing to reply to the young teenage girl, I shared my story of salvation in a way I hadn’t exactly said it before. Maybe it was because I was praying internally the whole time, or because the Lord knew I wanted so desperately to make this moment count to help them know Him, but I felt the Spirit guiding my words.

These are the moments I live for.

I shared that while I was growing up, sometimes we went to church, and I always had a desire to go to church and often asked if we could go. I learned many things as I child, I think, but somehow I never understood that all those stories about God were real, that the people of the Bible were actually historically real humans who lived here on planet earth. I simply never knew it was literal history, it happened, it was true. And, by God’s grace and plan, it happened that I attended a protestant church service for the first time when I was 16. And the pastor preached a simple message from the Bible and explained who Jesus was and what He did and why, and what on earth that had to do with our daily lives today, in the 21st century as humans. As I listened, I simply knew with complete certainty that everything he was saying was completely true.

“It felt like home in my heart.”, I said.

When that pastor invited anyone who wished to pray and accept Jesus as Lord and believe Him for who he is, I raised my hand fervently, joyfully and I prayed. I prayed and I was saved. By God’s grace, and absolutely nothing I had ever done or could ever do. And from that moment on I was “all in”. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about every single one of those people in the Bible and their lives and their history and where they lived on earth. And I became addicted to God’s Word and that addiction has only led to good things in my life everyday and has grown and deepened more and more over time.

They listened intently, often looking at me as I drove.

I was silent for a moment. And then I looked at the sweet girl next to me and said “It was the best day of my life. That was hands-down without a doubt the best day of my life and the best decision I ever made.”

“Why?”, she asked.

I felt my smile grow again, and sighed a deep breath of sheer pure relief at the thought. “Because I am not afraid anymore.”, I replied. “I used to be terrified all the time. I can’t even explain it. When I was a kid, I was always afraid. I was afraid for the future, I was afraid for my family, I was afraid for myself. I was always afraid. And now, I know for sure 100% completely no doubt in my mind that I don’t have to be afraid anymore. Because I KNOW who Jesus is. I know His character, I know His kindness, I know how GOOD HE IS. Because of His Word, His Spirit, being in a relationship with Him everyday. And I know He is in control and He is Good and He has a plan for everything and He loves me more than I could ever know. And I know everything is going to be okay, because of Jesus.

We smiled at each other and I reached over to hold her hand.

I felt like this divine appointment from God wasn’t quite finished yet. I asked her, “How about you? Are you a Christian?” I felt myself hold my breath and continued to pray in my head that God’s Holy Spirit would guide me and speak through me if He wanted to.

She replied, “I don’t know. I am not sure if I believe all this because it’s what my parents and other people have told me or if I really believe it.” Whew. Deep breath. More prayers racing from my thoughts to God’s ears.

I replied, “You’re right, darling girl. You do have a choice to make. You do get to choose whether or not you actually believe that Jesus is who He says He is. And you know what?, He’s listening. You can ask Him. If you need proof, if you need to hear His voice, if you need Him to tell you, just ask. Just ask Him. ‘Lord, are you real? Are you there? Who are you?’. And I can promise you that He is listening and He will answer. Because He is faithful and He loves you.”

I told both those amazing kiddos they can count on me to pray with them and for them and help them ask their questions in any way I could. And, just then, we arrived at the event and it was time to park the car and head in. I could have done cartwheels down the street I was so happy. At the same time, I feel very acutely the weight of eternity on my chest when I think about how important it is to share the truth and how desperately I want everyone to really know who Jesus is. I love those kiddos so, so dearly. Will you please pray with me for them, that they would know God personally and experience the depth of His love for them individually and specifically and know Him as their Father and Savior?

Thank you for praying with me.

THANK YOU for partnering with me in support–YOU are making it possible with your support for me to be here, sharing God’s truth, making disciples, caring for God’s people, and inviting everyone to know Him.

We are pushing back darkness together. Thank you.

There is a immediate need for new monthly partners to support this church planting and discipleship ministry with me in Paris, at whatever amount is right for you and your investment in missions. 19 new partners at $50 monthly will meet our monthly needs to keep on going with this amazing work! If you would like to be part of this team of incredible people following the Great Commission, click here

  • Please pray: for our beautiful (young) church plant, that God’s Word would be center always and His people would love His Word
  • Please pray: For upcoming trip stateside to visit supporters, supporting churches, and invite new partners to support this gospel-proclaiming, church planting, discipleship ministry in Paris
  • Please pray: against spiritual attack on God’s people here in Paris
  • Please pray: for the annual conference for TEAM missionaries in France that I am organizing to care for, build up, and support our great TEAM network across France. Please pray that God would use the time to mold us into His image more and more. We come together twice a year and I pray for God to build us up as His church so that we may serve out of a place of strength and centeredness on Him.

With all my love,

Jenn

IMG_9724

Your Ministry in Paris, we are reaching the nations!

Everything I do in Paris to share God’s Word is also what YOU are doing to shine Light in the darkness. I can only be here, serving in church panting, discipleship and caring for people because YOU give faithfully every month to make it possible. You give financial partnership, you give in powerful mountain-moving prayer, you give every time you share this mission with others. Thank you! Without your monthly support, this would not be possible. Every one counts.

We Have Officially Started a Youth Group!

IMG_3137Our church meets in a cinema in the center of Paris, where we rent a room from the cinema to have services every Sunday since September. We are very strategically located in the center of Paris with easy access from all corners of the city. I’m delighted to announce that I have begun serving the teens of our church with regular bible study and fellowship. We officially have a youth group! Our first meeting was a resounding success, the girls were so delighted to be together and I was truly moved by their thirst and hunger for God’s Word. With the partnership of my pastors and their incredible wives, I am honored to walk alongside these girls to help them be equipped and rooted deep in Christ and His Word, no matter what life brings.

IMG_3136

We even had a fun overnight event in February and the girls were again delighted to come together around God’s Word, to pray together and to share life. #JOY! I thank God for opening His Word to us and for helping me show these girls what God’s Word has to say about who He is and who we are in Him. I learn from Him just as much as they do during our times together.

Knowing that these young girls face a very unique set of challenges in this culture, I have a heart of compassion to support them and point them to Jesus. Thank you for praying for us.

Our Church: Shining Light in Paris’ center!

Gare Saint Lazare
Saint Lazare train station

This is a snapshot map of Paris showing it’s borders and 6 primary train stations (‘gare’ is the word for train station in French) which serve all the Parisian metros, French regional trains and TGV trains that travel across Europe. Our church meets just across the street from the Gare Saint-Lazare. (center left)

gares Paris
Gare Saint Laazare – that’s us!

We are thankful for the blessing of friendship and ministry we have with the cinema owner and employees. We are so proud to say that we see new-comers at church every week. During our Christmas service, an visitor shared that even though they were an atheist, they really enjoyed the service. They heard the Gospel!

Last week, we served hot coffee to and shared conversation with a few police officers who were walking the neighborhood before the church service began.

This week, we welcomed a homeless man and shared coffee, croissants and conversation with him before the service. Praise the Lord that we were able to welcome him and lets pray we can serve him again soon.

Recently, a friend shared with me that they invited their friends to join us for church and were delightfully surprised when they said yes. This couple joined us for service and fellowship afterwards. In their fifties, this was the first time either of these two people had ever in their lives attended a church service of any kind.

Please pray for all of these opportunities, that God would use them for His Glory and that we would faithfully serve in whatever opportunities God gives us.

These are just a few examples of the ministry that YOU are doing for the Lord with your ongoing prayer & monthly support. Thank you! Please keep it up so we can keep shining the light!

Jesus On The Train

Just a few weeks ago, I was traveling from central France back to Paris after a TEAM conference with my missionary colleagues. The train was about a three hour ride and I found myself sitting at a table of four seats facing each other–the best kind of seat to get on the train, if you ask me. There were two other women at this seater-booth with me. We began the journey as most do, getting settled in, pulling out books or music or calendars, whatever we planned on occupying ourselves with during the journey. IMG_1548

Shortly after we began moving, a fellow passenger began a very loud phone conversation, awkwardly capturing the attention of everyone on the train. Many of us tried hard not to laugh but myself, along with the two women sitting with me, caught each other’s eyes as we stifled a few giggles and this opened the door for conversation among us. We began to chat, and to our delight and surprise, we spent the entire 3 hour journey sharing about everything from family, loss, marriage, career, divorce, ambition and even faith. I shared the entire Gospel message with these women during the course of our journey. It just happened so naturally, I was literally praising God in my head and heart for His goodness and joy in this opportunity while I was talking. Because we shared so much in conversation over these hours, they felt comfortable to ask many questions and the Holy Spirit helped me answer them all! They asked:

  • what is a Christian?
  • Who was Jesus?
  • What’s the difference between being Catholic & being a ‘Christian’?
  • What are the differences between the Catholics & the Protestants?
  • You can’t earn salvation?
  • What’s the Reformation?
  • Why are there so many religions in America? (religion versus denomination)

It was INCREDIBLE! One of these women is a 21 year-old college student who had just completed her first year of medical school and is looking forward to the next 7 years of study in Lyon, France to become a physician. The second woman is in her late 40s and currently lives in Canada, she moved there from central France a few years ago. After a visit to family, she’s returning to Canada to get married this month. What a journey we shared! I  don’t think I realized exactly what the Lord was doing until the next morning, I woke up, and the first thought that came to mind was:

IMG_3153

“I shared the whole Gospel with those women, strangers on a train, in French!”

I rejoiced with dancing! In case you’re not aware, talking to strangers is neither easy nor common here in France. (One of the reasons why culture shock was so hard for me–I LOVE talking to strangers and feel so trapped when I can’t!) Praise God for using me! We even exchanged info and have stayed in touch. Please pray God would use this to plant a seed in their hearts to reveal Himself to them more and more, and that the Holy Spirit Himself would correct anything I might have said not perfectly!

Thank you for rejoicing with me in all the reasons I shared above to Praise God for His faithful steadfast love and for the many answered prayers! Praise God for the two amazing pastors and their families He has given me to serve alongside. Praise God for His Word being faithfully preached through our church. Praise God for the location, which allows us to reach many!

Please pray:

  • That God would provide the additional needs in monthly financial partnerships to support this ministry. 15 new partners at $50 month will meet this need.
  • Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 7.34.22 AM
    This is the journey from home to church.

    That God would speak and provide clearly if it is His will is for me to move into Paris center to be near my church plant, church family, the people we serve. My home since arriving in France in 2014 is 40 minutes away from Paris center. This was strategic during my language school & internship years and much more cost effective. I would move into the city center to better serve our church in hospitality and using my home for church events (like bible study & youth group) if it is the Lord’s will. Let’s seek Him together and wait on Him.

 

Thank you for praying! Thank you for giving! If you would like to join the amazing team of people supporting this ministry, click here.

 

TR0A8231
The Louvre, Paris, France