My time here in Lyon has been filled with great food. If it wasn’t for all the walking I’ve been doing I would probably be flying back to Vegas ten pounds heavier. This past Monday night I had the wonderful opportunity of joining the Lewis family for dinner. I originally met them through email. Before I came to Lyon I was looking for a church here and I stumbled across their website. They’re a family of missionaries from Louisville, Kentucky (three families to be exact). I was inspired by their story. I met them in person once I arrived in Lyon, and soon after the Lewises invited me to join them for dinner. We had salmon and pasta with bread and butter. Now as much as I love French food and culture, it felt so nice to eat something I was familiar with. At dinner we talked about how they ended up in Lyon. Their story is such a testimony to how God guides our lives, if we will let him. I could feel the passion in their hearts as Drew’s wife Lindsey talked about their church in Louisville- Sojourn Community. They mentioned how much of a challenge it was being in Lyon, the language barriers as well as being so far away from family and what’s familiar. I could definitely relate to that but hearing their wiliness to go wherever God led them was so inspiring.
With the Sojourn Lyon team there are a set of three families, the Lewis Family (Drew and his wife Lindsey, whom I joined for dinner), the Wainright family and the Leightenheimer family. These three families reminded me so much of the group of amazing people I do life with back in Las Vegas. They all love Jesus and are all connected by maybe one or two common dreams, but overall their so different and they have different goals their reaching towards.
Lindsey told me about their church back in Kentucky. How centered on missions it is. She went into detail about remembering when this church only had four-hundred members but now there are three different bases in Louisville. She’s now watching missionary after missionary go into new locations all over the world and change the environment around them, as well as the three bases in the communities of Louisville.
I believe the Lord spoke to me so much through them. For a slight moment I believed that me being in Lyon was something that just happened. Then I remembered who I placed in charge of my life. Nothing is by coinsidence. Sojourn in Louisville reminds me so much of Oasis back in Las Vegas. I was reminded of the visions I have for the church back at home and the dreams I desire to see come to pass not only through the church but also in the city of Las Vegas. I was reminded of my heart for missions and how long term missions work isn’t something that’s impossible or untangiable, it just takes time… relationship.
Talking with this family helped remind me to not forget what I desire to see in the church and what I have fought for for so long. I was so encouraged by them, the way they stick together through it all as families should. The way their hearts are still for the Sojourn Community even though the Lord has them elsewhere for the time being.
Ask me why I am in Lyon, I will tell you I have no idea. Other than the obvious, studies, dancing, etc, etc. I never planned on liking it here as much as I do. Previously when I thought of missions work, it was always in third world countries but believe it or not, those people are usually in better spiritual health than the materialistically rich countries (i.e. America, France, London, etc). With a 1% Christian percentage in Lyon, I’d say this place needs missionaries as much as Kenya and Egypt but places like this are often overlooked.
Being in Lyon has been so eyeopening thus far. I am forced to reevaluate what I stand up for and what I believe in as a Christian, a missionary, a daughter of God, and a future world changer.
I don’t know if the Lord would ever want me to come back to Lyon after this season is over, though I am certainly not opposed to it. I never saw myself doing long term missions work in a place like France. Though I never really knew what long term missions work was… and honestly I still am not quite sure. All I know is that I trust what God is doing in my life. The places we end up, the obstacles we go through, and even the people we meet, rather for a short time or a long time. I know he has a plan for it all.
Upon talking to the Lewises my future felt bright again, so full of mysteries and adventures and I am not sure where they all fit in. But I am determined to continue on this journey called life, walking with God, knowing that with each step I take, he’s guiding me.
“Jésus, s’étant approché, leur parla ainsi: Tout pouvoir m’a été donné dans le ciel et sur la terre. Allez, faites de toutes les nations des disciples, les baptisant au nom du Père, du Fils et du Saint-Esprit, et enseignez-leur à observer tout ce que je vous ai prescrit. Et voici, je suis avec vous tous les jours, jusqu’à la fin du monde.” – Mattheiu 28:18-20“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:18-20)