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

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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

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

 

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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)

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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:

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“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.
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    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.

 

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The Louvre, Paris, France

 

Video & Vision, ministry in Paris

Thank you for supporting this mission, sharing the Gospel with the nations, and discipling believers into deeper levels of intimacy with Christ, serving and caring for His Church. Thank you for your support!

Check out this incredible video to hear my personal story of being called to missions, arriving in Paris, years of preparation and learn exactly what we’re up to in ministry now. Please pray for us to constantly follow God’s leading, and please consider supporting this ministry with monthly partnership and year-end-giving here. We could not be doing this life changing, light spreading work without you!

I have been joyfully serving alongside a team of incredible leaders and believers at this church plant mentioned here, since September. Check out my last blog to learn all about it. Moving into Paris, as mentioned here, will mean an increase in monthly expenses (& support), but will translate to a huge impact for ministry where I can use my home to host bible studies, prayer meetings, meals after service; a need that currently is met only by our pastors and their generous families. I would love to serve the Church and help it grow in this way.

I praise Him for who He Is. It is my absolute JOY to be here, witnessing in 1:1 relationships almost daily God setting people free, calling them to confession and repentance, calling us to be disciples together, BUILDING community and unity in His Church, His Beloved. It’s hard work, in many many ways. I remain in AWE of who He Is, constantly working everything together for the Good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. His Word never fails. His character never fails. His promises never fail. Thank you for joining me in proclaiming the good news that He may continue to bind up the brokenhearted! (Isaiah 61)

With my love,

Jenn

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Church planting & discipleship in Paris – Pushing back darkness!

Check out this update on what on earth God is doing in and through us for reaching the lost and equipping the saints!:

FINALLY! THIS is the time we have been preparing for since 2008. It is here. I’m thrilled to be sharing this season of ministry & these answered prayers with you after we have worked for YEARS to arrive at SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

SEPTEMBER

In September, I began serving with a church plant (meeting in a rented cinema) in the center of Paris. We are made up of many ages, races, nationalities, hearts and cultures and I could not be more proud to be a part of this beautiful body of believers. The church I belonged to during my first two years in France recently launched this church plant, in the heart of Paris. I joyfully joined the two pastors and their families along with several other believers to begin this work to share the Gospel and Be the Church for each other and for the nations.

We meet together for worship, we share meals in fellowship, we pray together for unity, together we study God’s Word. We are building community and inviting the city of Paris to join us. Our small group even rejoiced with us as a few of us Americans prepared for them their first ever Thanksgiving meal!

Please pray for us that Jesus would be the beating heart center of all we do, that He would unify us in His vision, that He would give us courage and fruit in the work everyday and that we would all stay firmly attached to Him as we share the Gospel. Thank you for praying for us! We know that He is before all things and in all things and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1 encourages us that He is the head of the body His Church and that he is the firstborn among the living and the dead. We do not have to fear. We know who we serve. And, we serve joyfully!

OCTOBER

Equipping for Care

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Sampling local cuisine–Pierogis in Poland. YUM!

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In October, I participated in a week of training in member care (caring for missionaries and cross-cultural workers on this hard journey). For me, member care is just as important and a part of my calling as the role in church planting. In my heart, both are simply Being and Building the Body of Christ, just helping all believers stay attached to Jesus no matter the circumstance, and never walk alone. This session was an excellent time of training in team building and caring for missionaries serving in their first 1-5 years abroad, a very sensitive and turbulent time, to say the least. I still fall in that category and can speak to the tender struggles this brings. I was delighted to spend a week surrounded by people with years of experience and training, strengths, passion and motivation to help us all Be the Church better in caring for one another. I learned so much and I am eager to find ways to apply it with my dear friends and fellow believers all over France.  Please pray that God would equip me to share and translate this work to serve my colleagues and my local church.

 

Training for Care

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A second session of training brought me to Southern France where I attended a Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshop–offered entirely in French! This was a fun and tiring challenge. I have learned and used these materials over the years in Biblical Counseling settings. But this was a new and important time for me to complete this training in French. Now I can work to incorporate this kind of helpful relationship building and biblical healing in our French relationships and churches.

NOVEMBER

Serving Pastors in France

IMG_2204Along with a few others, I  joyfully served a room full of 50 pastors last week who came from all over France, Belgium & Switzerland to spend three days being trained and equipped in preaching Jesus in the Old Testament. This was a massive encouragement for my heart to see these men who spend their lives pushing back darkness in France. Please pray that God would call hundreds and thousands more like this to peach His name in France.

I am delighted to be settling into daily life here in church planting and caring for others in Paris. God is blessing me and meeting me in weekly routine of church, bible study, prayer, relationship building. Please pray that God would give me continued structure and routine in this season. Please pray that God would constantly cover me with His grace and keep my eyes fixed securely on Him, my only Hope, as I work alongside my pastors in this church plant.

Please pray that God would call the hearts of people like you to support this mission with monthly partnership and end-of-the-year giving. You can do so here, through my sending agency, TEAM. I literally am only here doing this work because of God providing through people like you, your sacrificial and generous giving to spread the Gospel. Thank you for partnering with me for Him!

A Very Frenchy Thanksgiving

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Friends-giving 2013 Calvary Fellowship West Hartford

One of my favorite personal traditions is Friends-giving. That is, for many years, I’d extend an invitation to anyone who didn’t have plans to be with their families on Thanksgiving, to come feast with me, and be church family together! Here’s a photo of my last Friends-giving hosted in Connecticut before leaving for the mission field. #JOY

Getting established in life here in France has been turbulent and unpredictable, and for my first three years, I have deeply missed many beloved traditions, including this one. This year, God blessed me enormously to allow me to re-establish this tradition for the first time since 2013. HOORAY! I joyfully invited two beloved friends to join me at home for a Thanksgiving celebration. 

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There are many things about living in American culture that I have missed very dearly (all the things we do together, like the Superbowl (parties), watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the World Series, the 4th of July, watching the Ball drop in Times Square on TV, to name a few, the Oscars…).  So, it is a gift from God to be able to celebrate my culture here with people I love.This year was the first year I was able to find a full sized turkey in the month of November! It may sound bizarre, but our French friends aren’t celebrating the first union of the pilgrims and Native Americans at the birth of our country. So, their stores aren’t stocked with turkeys in November. Talk about a head-scratched….what’s an American to do when November rolls around and all we wanna do is be THANKFUL?!?!? Traditionally, our French friends eat turkey for Christmas, so it’s never before been possible to find a full sized turkey before December. God Bless America, Costco has opened it’s first ever store just a few miles from house and they very happily provided full sized turkeys to all the Americans piling in only too happy to celebrate American culture in such a cliché way–buying in bulk. Honestly, it is a JOY to shop there. It feels like going home every time I walk in. For this, I am #THANKFUL!

 

 

 

Thank you for your support in this mission. Thank you for your partnership with me. Thank you for being used by God to bring His Word to the lost and to Build Up His Church everywhere, I desperately need you on this journey with me. We are the Church. Better Together. Just as He intended.

For HIM!

With all my love,

Jenn

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“Fear Not, For I am with you. Do not be afraid, For I Am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

So, I won’t be afraid. I’ll pray and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of my faith.

Finally! The Life I’ve always wanted.

You might imagine my surprise when those words tumbled out of my mouth while in prayer, spending some quality time with God the other morning.

“This is the life I’ve always wanted.”

It’s incredible. That’s not exactly what I expected to be feeling or to say. But God and His wonderful Word have this way of reading us and revealing our hearts to us. David said in one of the Psalms “search me and know me O God” in a desperate prayer that the One True Living God would reveal David’s own heart to him, that he could even understand himself. O how little we really know about ourselves in comparison to how deeply and completely God knows us.

As my time in prayer and Bible unfolded that morning, I could be honest with the Lord. Living a life an ocean apart from my family is not something I wanted. Living on planet earth without my sister, having to wait until heaven to see her again, is quite frankly a nightmare most days. Living in a foreign culture wondering if you will ever again feel like you belong anywhere, is not a box of chocolates, shall we say.

But what God was and still is revealing to me is that this truly IS the life I’ve always wanted.

I have always dreamt in the deepest parts of my heart of a life where my priority and the focus of my time is to share the truth of Jesus with others. Got it.

I have always desired to live in Europe, to experience other cultures, to travel to foreign countries. Doing it.

I have always wanted to speak a foreign language, to have friends and to know people, God’s beautifully created people from every corner of the world. I’m meeting more and more everyday.

I have always wanted to share God’s Word with people that have never head it before. We are THERE, my friends.

I have always wanted a career in science that makes a difference in the world. Done. (I am still able to do pediatric cancer research part time from here in France! Isn’t that incredible!! I LOVE IT!).

I have always dreamt of a life where I am constantly learning and constantly being challenged and constantly offered new ways to grow.

THIS. IS. IT.

IMG_9962This past weekend, I spent time with two wonderful friends in a time of encouragement, prayer, discussing God’s Word and sharing our lives together. THIS is the life I’ve always dreamed of. My days and weeks are made up of conversations focused on helping people get connected to God, to get connected to other believers in the Church and to dive into the endless promises of God’s Word. This is what I do everyday. Praise God!

IIMG_9894n this weekend of discipleship and friendship, I also was able to make a new friend. A beautiful young woman who comes from a country where the Word of God is 100% illegal, to believe in Jesus is nothing short of treason, and to be a Christian is punishable by law.

I saw her face light up (and my heart lept with joy inside my chest) as she told us about God revealing Himself to her, her relationship with Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and her hope for the future. Praise God! He is going after his children all over this world saving people from death and hell and the grave and we get to witness it! What could be more incredible than that?!!?

Please pray for my new friend, K, as she has suffered rejection and ostracism from her family due to her trusting Jesus as the Lord and Savior. She longs to be in relationship with her mother again, and she is currently pouring herself into the life of her new church where she says “she has found a loving family”.

All this she has suffered just to be able to say out loud that Jesus is Lord and still, she didn’t even flinch telling us her stories over meals shared this past weekend. She literally LIVES OUT LOUD Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

She literally glowed, the light of Jesus Christ shining from her beautiful face and clear in her steady, unwavering voice as her confidence in God was revealed in every word she shared. IMG_9892

I had the wonderful privilege to pray with her and over her. THIS IS THE LIFE I’VE ALWAYS WANTED! I took her hands and prayed God’s covering over here, before her and behind her as the Lord promises in Isaiah 58:8: “your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” I prayed that the Lord would protect her from all attacks this world and the enemy could bring and I rejoiced through happy tears with her that we are now sisters, forever.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

The IMG_9952Joy of the Lord is truly outshining all evil this world can bring. And the sufferings of this world are not even worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us through our Lord when He comes.

Praise God with me as we welcome this new sister into eternity with us.

And thank you for praying with me that God would continue to bless the relationships of prayer and discipleship and Bible study that I have with many women here in France. We are building up His kingdom and shining His light to the nations.

THANK YOU for partnering with me like this to truly reach the world with the love of Christ.

There is a need for a few additional monthly partners to meet support budget needs for this ministry in Paris. You can partner for any amount you feel led, for any amount of time. To partner with me, and be one of the called who support this mission, give here.

With all my heart, for Him!

Jenn

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