We spent the first two months back in France settling into our house, getting the kids ready for school, and meeting all the new people that have come to The Bridge International Church while we were gone. Paris is such a transient city, the average time that most people stay there is 2 years. So many from the international community moved away during our year in the U.S., while many new people arrived. One thing we’ve learned is that people are always hungry for a spiritual home, even in the middle of “secular” Europe.
We are so grateful for our team that has done such a great job here. Now that September has arrived, we have launched all new small groups and held one of our major outreaches of the year called “Open Doors.” This event was part festival, part open house, part church service. With over 150 people there that day we were introduced to people from around the world, including a family who had lived within 2 miles of our meeting location, but heard about us and visited for the first time. One of the family members attending my Bible study in the week since, and volunteered to help with the children this Sunday. God has people all around us that are hungry we’ve just got to find them. 5000 flyers helped us this month as we visited train stations along the line near the church at rush hour. Your prayers help even more though– thank you!
We are finishing our month (I know it’s October, but it still feels like September to me) with a water baptism tomorrow. At least four people representing four different nations will be testifying about their desire to follow Christ!
Have you ever gone through a season where everything was changing? We’ve been through that the last 6 months. We’ve had 4 of our team members moving away from France, in bittersweet transitions to their next phases in life (with several more departures on the horizon… be praying for those who are coming to join us in the next year!). At the same time The Bridge has surged forward into fresh, dynamic community life.
The Bridge is an International English speaking church. But it’s also the vision of a great ministry center raised up in Paris. There are many goals (building, new church plants, partners for multi-ethnic ministry, etc.) that are still in progress, but so much has already come to fulfillment. We have over 15 nations represented on any given Sunday. We commemorated the 1 year anniversary of the church and an incredible Easter celebration back in the Spring, along with our first baptism. We’ve seen over 100 people at The Bridge almost every week this fall (with 125 on two occasions). Teams have continued to join our ministry for short trips– enabling us to spread our impact to the community around us. We just celebrated the opening of a new building of our sister church in Les Mureaux at which so many teams have done renovation work.
Even through the transition of team members leaving, several have joined us– divine appointments with people who had come to France for other purposes, but whose callings brought them to join us working at The Bridge. God is truly an amazing God & he shows me every day in some way that His plans are bigger than mine. Feel free to browse The Bridge’s newly redesigned website– www.thebridgeparis.com. Our “Team” page is not complete with new members yet, but will be soon. We will also have fresh newsletter material this month, so look for that. Click here if you are not on our email list.
Now we wait to see what the next season brings! Our prayer requests are for a building for the church, new team members preparing to come, finances to stay strong for the remainder of our first term here in Paris, and for strong lay leaders to continue to rise up here at The Bridge. Thanks for taking this journey with us.