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Mission Trip to Paris, France
August 3-12

Information on our Prayer Walking Mission Trip
On August 3, our team left on a mission trip to prayer walk through Muslim communities in an area called Isle de France. This area runs northwest to northeast of Paris, France. We stayed in a hotel owned by a Muslim family, just one of the many for whom we would be in prayer.

Monday through Friday, we traveled out to a different city north of Paris to spend time walking and praying. The SBC area strategy leader, and our other missionaries serving in that area work with approx. 1.5 million Muslims who have primarily immigrated from North Africa. Kids clubs, Bible studies, sports events, and other activities are planned and organized to share the gospel with these people. Our team helped with the distribution of 800 children's books (French and Arabic) and 38 Jesus videos (French, Arabic and Kabiel).

The team wants to thank you for your financial support and for your prayers. The flights went well and we stayed well throughout the trip. We would walk 2 hours in the morning and stop for lunch. Lunch was usually in an area restaurant that served food of a particular people group. In the afternoon we might walk another 2 hours. God gave us strength, as well as cool breezes and nice weather all week. The work being done in that area is amazing and we were able to see our Lottie Moon and Cooperative Program dollars at work.

Next year the theme is "Light the Gate". Team Paris (our missionaries working in and around Paris) plan to reach 300,000 families with literature telling the good news of Jesus Christ and your help is needed. In March/April 2003, Team Paris wants college students to come for one week and begin the distribution process. Starting the last of May and on through the fall, they ask that volunteer groups come for one week and spend time prayer walking and distributing material. Are you interested? Will you start praying now as to how you will let God work in your life? Please contact Kathy Smith at 297-9283 if you are interested or have any questions.

Prayer Walking in areas north of Paris
By Eleanor Weaver

Walking around the apartment complexes with our missionary leading the way was a real eye opener to the way of life of the Muslim people. I saw children playing in the streets and I would pray. I saw women going to the markets and God would touch my heart to pray that they may all one day have a chance to hear the true gospel message. We placed children's books (in French and Arabic) in the apartment building's mailboxes that told the stories of Cain and Able, Noah, Joseph, etc.. I prayed that God's word would touch the lives of these people. My heart was changed and I realized the need to spend more time in prayer for people all around the world.

Comments from Erin Taylor
The things I saw and learned about while walking & distributing amongst the Muslim people of Paris opened my eyes to the hunger and need of these people. While working I saw the huge buildings and was amazed by the number of North African and Middle Eastern families that were packed in them. Most importantly, I could see the individual people for whom we were praying. During the distribution of the JESUS films, I got a chance to see their hunger for the truth. This trip not only opened my eyes to how much work we need to do; it has made me realize how much God himself can and will do for the Muslims of the world as long as we pray and serve Him.

Rhonda Goode's Reflections
Prayer-walking, flying, and being out of the United States are new experiences to me. France was nice, but there is no place like home. Home to the Muslims, where we prayer-walked is a small apartment in the public housing projects outside of Paris. They are in large groups of very tall buildings that are somewhat separated from the other people of France. One housing complex reportedly has 20,000 residents.

These Muslim people groups have come to France to improve their children's lives. Particularly for the females who would otherwise be restricted from getting an education in their home countries. Some also work to help support their families in their home country. The missionaries in France who work specifically with the Muslim people groups have established relationships with people in many of these areas and are trying to church plant in homes. This is a major task because there is estimated to be 1-2 million Muslims in the Ilse De France.

Men missionaries are desparately needed to encourage and witness to the Muslim men. Women can not interact with the Muslim men on a one-to-one basis. This trip has made me realize how much they are in need of volunteers like us (short term), summer missionaries (students), and journeymen. It has also opened my eyes to the different people groups that exist as Muslim. There are 51 known people groups some of which are Morraccan, North African, Tunisian, etc.

We as Christians need to step out of our comfort zones and help with the mission work at home and abroad. Even as I flew over the Atlantic Ocean I wondered how on earth God was going to use me. But as I flew back home I knew he used me in exactly the way he had planned. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. God Bless you all! Rhonda Goode

Prayer walking mission trip
By Kathy Smith

Prayer walking can be done anywhere, but God laid it on our hearts to join with our missionaries north of Paris to walk and to pray for the Muslim people.

One day as I walk through a Muslim community, I see a huge apartment building that is being torn down, and I can hear the wrecking ball as it hits against the walls. I think of how Satan is tearing down the lives of these people with his lies. I pray that the light of God's word would reach them. God is knocking at the door of these people's hearts. How will these people receive God's word if we don't go?

The team placed 800 children's books in mailboxes (legal there) in apartment buildings and we prayed. In an open-air market we handed out JESUS videos and we prayed for the people who accepted them. We walked past houses where people have become believers and we prayed. We walked past houses of women who are attending a Bible study and we prayed for them and their families that one day their hearts would be open to receive Jesus. God has placed on my heart the need to spend a lot more time in prayer - prayer for our missionaries and their families, and prayer that His word may reach to all the world.

Only un paragraphe?
by Colleen Taylor

Only un paragraphe? C'est impossible! The work was very satisfying. The language was facile (I actually learned only about five phrases). "Be nice to people and they will be nice to you" worked fine for French, Moroccan, Algerian etc. people alike. The clothing was gorgeous, especially that of North African & Middle Eastern women. Color and design are in nearly all architecture, including public housing. Flowers abound from windows and balconies. Being my father's daughter, I know no stranger. So the Muslim custom of separating genders to the extent that I could only talk to or look at half the population-women-was a big adjustment. Paris needs you men to come communicate with the male half! The school system was interesting and in some ways superior to ours. The socialist government providing housing and schooling for lower economic peoples is a big incentive for refugees and immigrants to come to Paris. Parental lack of education and/or the French language keeps many Muslim children from receiving the help they need at home to graduate, resulting in their not meeting that requirement for employment. Neighborhood schools keep children from integrating with people of other economic levels and ethnic backgrounds, including the French.

Our intensely dedicated IMB workers need multiples of Volunteers (YOU are welcome!) to come help pray and distribute printed materials starting in March, 2003 in the "Light the Gate" project of getting the Word to all (about one million) Muslims in the Isle de France. I was sad to leave.

Thanks
Without the generous support of a number of our churches and individuals we would not have been able to put this team together. Each of the team members want you to know how valuable your participation was in this exciting and rewarding ministry. Will you pray about your part in missions? Let us know how God is speaking to you. There is much work to be done!


Strawberry Baptist Association
163 W. Main Street - P.O. Box 91
Bedford, Virginia 24523

Tel.: (540) 586-8345
e-mail: sba@sbava.org

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