- Published: Thursday, 05 October 2017 10:33
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There are many singular days we could focus on, as there are many aspects to our ministry here in France: days spent with campers and colleagues during our camps (about two to three months/year), days spent alone or with a co-worker building or fixing things around camp (about four months/year), or days spent working at the resort alongside people who don’t know or who have never heard the truth about Jesus (about five months/year). While our favourite thing to do is have conversations with people about their walk with Christ, this doesn’t happen everyday and there are many other things that happen (and need to happen) before we’re able to have these conversations.
By ‘need to happen’ we’re not saying that God cannot or does not allow these conversations to happen out of the blue with random strangers. What we have found, however, is that here in France people do not usually open up AT ALL about anything serious until there is a real relationship. Religion (I would argue that Christianity is not a religion but a faith, but that’s another article!), money and politics are known as the ‘big three’ subjects that you don’t discuss in France. Evidently these topics do come up (and we try to make sure they do), but not straight away.
As I’m writing this, Candide is having two or three ladies over for a knitting get-together, which is part of her mission field and something she has been planning to do since we moved to this area (there are five neighbour families with children of Jack’s and/or Henry’s age). Of these ladies, one is from a Turkish background (and from a Muslim background, though not necessarily practising now) and the others have French/non-religious backgrounds (though when digging a bit deeper you find out that most have had some kind of Catholic input, whether directly or via their parent
Whether a ‘full-time missionary’ or a ‘full-time something else’, the mission field is everything and anything we do as Christians. Obviously our mission field here in France is quite different from your mission field back in Australia. Since we have shared about the camp ministry on previous occasions, we’ll share about what happens for us during winter when we’re not at camp.
One of the main differences between the mission field in France and the one back in Australia is that most French people of 20-40 years of age have no concept of Who Jesus is, as most of these people have not had any Christian upbringing or input. (Traditional French families used to attend Catholic services and have their children go through catechism. Due to the lack of reality of what was preached (many Catholics don’t take the Bible as fact, but as stories), the children who went to church twenty or thirty years ago now do not attend and don’t see the need to send their children to church.)