Posted by: grantmiho | February 17, 2010

France Trip – Ministry in Clermont-Ferrand

Cooking a Japanese meal with the youth group

Playing Japanese trivia during youth group

Grant's preaching at youth group

Praise time during Sunday service

Miho's preaching at Sunday service

Sunday worship

Men's group

College prayer meeting

College prayer group

We just came home yesterday from our wonderful trip to France. We had a couple of days in Paris to spend with our old missions friends and do some sightseeing before we headed down to Clermont-Ferrand, the birthplace of our relationship. We met during a missions campaign which took place in this city. The church we served at then invited us back to speak. Since this was our third visit at Les Eaux Vives Church, we were able to build on top on the relationship that we already had.

Our schedule was pretty intense. As soon as we arrived on Wednesday, Grant had a Bible study to lead. He taught in French on God’s work in the midst of our problems, while Miho shared her testimony at the college group where a lot of Chinese students who are seekers attend. There was also a Japanese girl that came to hear Miho speak that night who went to Christian schools in Japan but is not a Christian.

We had another prayer meeting to attend the next night. Due to the unusual snow, there was a small turn out but we had a very intimate time of prayer with one family.

On Saturday, we hosted a once a month youth group under the theme of Japan. The meeting is evangelistic in nature where teens, college students, and young adults can invite their non-Christian friends to this event. We made a Japanese course meal: salad with wasabi dressing, nikujaga (beef, onions, and potatoes cooked in fish broth, soy sauce and sugar) and rice, and green tea ice cream. You cannot satisfy the French with an incomplete course menu. : ) We played Japanese trivia and other games related to Japan. They were surprised to find out little things they never knew about Japan. Grant preached that night, sharing the gospel with the group. All in all, it was a fantastic night with lively music, much laughter, good food, and the gospel. It so much reminded us of the old youth group we had back in Boston. We had so much joy serving and relating to all the young people. The Japanese girl Miho met the night before again came out that night, which really delighted us.

Come Sunday was Miho’s first time preaching in France. As requested, she first shared her salvation testimony with the congregation, which spoke to some students who are under the same kind of academic pressure Miho once felt in Japan. She preached from Gen. 15 and tied it into the sacrificial love of God. Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, many people expressed their appreciation for her message after service. We pondered upon the love of God as we took communion together. And knowing that we are going to be missionaries in Japan, the pastor collected love offerings for us at the end of service which blessed us greatly financially.

Time had flown by so fast by then. Monday was already our last full day in Clermont-Ferrand. We concluded our stay with the men’s group. Men of various age groups attended and sang, heard Grant’s message on utilizing our gifts, discussed, and ate together. Of course, a course meal, starting with a salad and bread, chicken and pasta, cheeses, and three kinds of fruit tarts! We were surprised but also encouraged by how vulnerable they were during discussion and how each participant was eager to share, correct, and advise to other members with minimum initiation from the pastor’s side.

With daily ministry and fellowship, we were physically very tired. But our spirit was so alive. This trip gave us further internal confirmation as to how we are called to ministry. We love what we do, and can’t wait till we start full time ministry in Japan! Although God has called us to Japan, not France, we believe that God will utilize this wonderful relationship and network we have in France in our future ministry. We don’t know exactly what form yet, but we are hopeful and excited as to what God may have in store for us with them.

Many praises to God and thanks to all of you who have prayed for this trip. It was a success!!!

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