The Call

Becoming a missionary and moving to France were not a part of our life plan! Before coming to the mission field my husband, David was running a flight school and I was the Director of Women's Ministries at Life Center Foursquare Church in Spokane, WA. We loved our jobs, we had just remodeled our house, and our boys were thriving in a private Christian school. Life was finally, well, easy. And we liked it.

In October of 2007, David and I traveled to Paris to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary—one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences! It was purely a pleasure trip, or so we thought. We went to the Eiffel Tower, we sat in cafés, we strolled along the Seine. The whole vacation was romantic and fun and not one bit spiritual! We may have prayed before meals, but we certainly made no special efforts to go to church or to seek the Lord.

However, on the flight home, God spoke to my heart. As I was thinking back over our time in France, I began to picture the great cathedrals in Paris. Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, and Sacre Coeur all danced though my mind—each one unique, each one beautiful, each one clearly designed for God’s glory, and each one empty inside. They were made for something sacred, but their purpose was lost: they were lacking the Spirit of God.

In that moment, God interrupted my thoughts. I know it was him because the idea that presented itself was foreign to me. God said, “The way you see those cathedrals is how I see the people of France. They are unique, beautiful, and designed for my glory! But most of them are empty inside, they lack my Spirit.” Suddenly the images in my mind switched to the faces of the people we had met on our trip: Adele, the young waitress; Muriel, the patient clerk at the hotel; the two brothers who owned the crêpe stand.  Unique. Beautiful. Empty.

A hollow feeling stayed with me for the rest of the flight and then plagued my jet-lagged attempt at sleep our first night home. Bleary-eyed at 4 a.m., I finally gave up on Mr. Sandman. I tiptoed out to the living room, and against my own will I found myself on-line, searching for mission organizations that serve France. A few hours later, David woke up and casually asked, “What are you doing?”

 “Actually,” I replied, “You don’t want to know.”
I had not yet verbalized any of the thoughts that had been haunting me since the flight home, and I was pretty sure they would sound completely crazy to my ever-stable husband.
“Why?” he asked innocently, moving towards me.
“Just trust me; you do not want to know what I’m doing. You at least need to have some caffeine before we talk about it. Grab some coffee.”
Starting to look worried, he moved behind me and scanned the computer screen. I’m not sure what web-site was opened, but it was obvious that I was looking at something that had to do with becoming missionaries in France. The first words out of his mouth were “I know we’re supposed to go.”
So there we were, ordinary American Christians who were on the verge of living the American dream, faced with a major dilemma. God had clearly taken what we planned as a pleasure trip and turned it into a missionary recruitment trip without asking for permission. He left no doubt about what he was asking us to do, because without even consulting each other, David and I had been convinced of the call. The only question left was this: “Would we go?”
Would we leave a life that finally, finally, felt ordered and neat for the chaos of the unknown? Would we risk moving our children across the globe during the trying years of adolescence? Would we abandon everything for the sake of the Gospel?

Yep. We would. And we did. We left the jobs, the house, and the school. We moved to France in 2010, and this blog is the story of our journey. 

Four Christ followers. Four broken beings. Four fun-loving pranksters. Four borderline introverts. Four flawed people called by a perfect God to share His love in a foreign land. Four for France.

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited about your blog! My husband and I and our 5 brave children have a similar story and we have found ourselves away from our beautiful home, our 2 thriving business in beautiful Colorado Springs to be here in France following God. I wonder sometimes why would have a chosen us? We are in Albertville for a few more months learning language and then will see what is next. Please feel free to contact me with any of your advice. I would love to hear from another family who is on this same adventure! Wow! God is so amazing and fun! Blessings to you!