Tuesday, June 14, 2011
WOW!! So I think we've recovered from our trip. Dillon had a rough case of jet lag followed by a little stomach virus but I think life is settling back into the real world. We're so thankful that we were able to travel as a family and experience a little piece of life in these European cities. We didn't come back knowing for sure what we would do next, but we have a much better picture and know what questions we need to ask going forward. But let's start from the beginning.
So I know a few months ago I posted about the need for Evangelical churches in Europe, but in my heart I was still skeptical. I thought, sure, but there have been Christians in Europe for centuries so the church will be fine. But in visiting the cities of Paris, Marseille, and Belgrade, God changed my heart. In France, for example, the reformation never happened. They violently repressed any group with ideas contrary to the Catholic church. So there are relics of Catholicism everywhere, but few whose hearts have been changed by the gospel. It's a similar story in Belgrade. It's said to be Serbian is to be Orthodox, but the church is becoming less relevant.
In these two countries, some have a grandmother who went to church or they may celebrate Christian holidays, but there are other places in Europe where this isn't even true. In some countries, most do not even know a Christian. Most Europeans don't wonder if Jesus is the way, they don't even ask themselves if there is a God. So we could sit at a cafe in Paris for example, a city of 20 million, and we may not see another Christian even though hundreds of people walk past.
We were humbled by the lostness and burdened for the work started. Though living in Europe may seem like an easy thing to do, we saw the struggles of the missionaries. Some who have lived in Europe for at least 5 years and still have not seen a church planted (and not for lack of effort or reliance on God). We believe that God is moving, but it is slow work.
So what now? We came home burdened to pray for Europe and the church planters there. We also came home desiring to return. We don't know exactly when or where, but we are ready and willing. Because of Drew's degree program at the Seminary, we know that there are job openings that we could apply for. We expect to wait another year before we leave unless God directs otherwise. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to seek God's will for our family. This has definitely been a life changing process for us as we are trying to learn what it means to submit to God, and to our local church, and follow where he leads.