*We're beginning to make great connections with people from the Montpellier Church of the Nazarene, including a language partnership with a woman in the church that Betsy has initiated.
*We're beginning to really cultivate some friendships with our French neighbors and landlords
*We're also really enjoying connections with the other "etrangers" (foreigners) in France - a couple American families, a Canadian family that Dave met on the playground and our relocation lady who has becoming a great friend to us!
Regarding the coffee shop; I think often of Didier's words about doing God's work in France..."...it takes patience." Unfortunately, in the culture we grew up in where one's success is based on outcome and benchmarks, having patience can be extremely difficult.
A Good Model for the French:
*Betsy's professor said in class that in the last 10 years special cafes, based on discussion groups, called "troc cafes ("troc" is french for "exchange")", have come to France and are becoming very popular! This was extremely exciting to hear and encouraging to know that the French like this format!
*One Day Didier was telling us that when he was at a radio station, he heard from another Protestant pastor in France that a Coffee Shop is an ideal way to reach the French...having discussion in a constant environment of love. The name for the cafe the pastor mentioned was: C.A.F.E. -- C - Cafe (Coffee), A - Amour (love), F - Foi (Faith), E - Esperance (Hope).
We're Learning How to Communicate with the French about the Coffee Shop:
*For the first time Betsy was able to explain in French to a member of the Montpellier Church of the Nazarene about our vision for the Coffee Shop - since it is a very new idea for the French. She was encouraged to not use the words: "being the church", which is confusing for the French but say we want to be a place where those who might not go to church, come. This was helpful!
*We spoke in length with our landlord's son (this time in English), who is a German living in France, about the coffee shop. He asked, "Doesn't France have enough Cafes?" But, after listening, he understood our vision and agreed that many are disillusioned with God and the "institution" of church, and the the coffee shop could be a non-threatening way to be Christ to them.
*Of course these are the things we don't have yet, and are continually praying about. But, we are trying to focus on taking one step at a time, and trust that God will reveal how and when to proceed with these.
PRAY with us, as we move forward with navigating and fulfilling the vision God has given us to reach France...through a Coffee Shop ministry.