We began our Sunday, joining in worship with another church in the Clermont-Ferrand area. I can't describe how amazing it was to sing and pray with other believers who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds. The pastor of the church is Jean-Pierre, and he is from Togo, Africa. The presence of God was so strong in that church as we lifted our voices together. I think the most significant aspect of the service was the realization that I finally got to meet the people that we have been praying for for the last 8 weeks. Our family has lifted up prayers for the people and churches of Clermont-Ferrand, but I know that many of you have been doing the same thing for weeks as well. It was such a humbling honor to be a representative of God's work, sent by his Church, to the people of France.
|The pastor of the church is Jean-Pierre, pictured here at the far right.|
Today was special, because it was Jean-Pierre's 39th birthday, and we were able to take part in the celebration.
Following our time with Jean-Pierre and his church family, we went back to the church in Clermont-Ferrand that serves as our staging point. We spent several hours training for various outreach activities that we'll participate in throughout the week.
|Steph Dixon (OM Missionary) conducting training for the Kid's Clubs.|
|Paul Dixon (OM Missionary) conducting training for the "Sketchbooks" outreach.|
After we completed our workshop training, we took a short tour of Clermont-Ferrand to get an impression of the town and the people that we'll be working with. Like most of Western Europe, the people here do not readily recognize their need for God. They equate faith to superstition. It is a sad truth that a church that thrived at one time, has withered away and for the most part become something very different.
|The Cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand|
|Inside the Cathedral|
Inside the cathedral, just to the left of this picture, is a statue dedicated to the Roman gods of Mars and Venus. We were also shown a masonic inscription on the outside of the cathedral, and we were told that there are actually Satanic meetings that take place in the basement of the church.
|On the streets of Clermont-Ferrand|
There are very real obstacles in the path of reaching the lost in Clermont-Ferrand, but we believe that nothing is impossible with God. I know that I don't have to ask, but please continue to pray for our outreach efforts this week. Pray that God will lay out a path before us, and that He will prepare the hearts of the people.
I hope that you are finding these updates helpful, we want to do our best to keep our team updated on our progress.