My Mission Trip to France=$3800

I have raised $3,857.00 to date. My support raising is complete! Thank you!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here's a copy of my prayer letter.

Dearest friends and family,

I watched the sunset from a surfboard my last night in France. It was beautiful; the water was glassy and calm as the sun sank into the sea. It was a rich time of beauty and joy, a description most exemplary of my time in France this summer.

Through our hostel ministry we were able to give bibles to 3 guests, and clearly communicate the gospel to many more. When our guests found out that their hostel staff was with the church, many of them exclaimed,
“Wow, you haven’t tried to evangelize us yet…you sure you're with the church?” Our love and genuine care lead to many intimate conversations on life and God. God literally gave us the nations as we hosted people from nearly every country in Europe. Our prayer was that our guests’ barriers to Jesus would be broken down by how they encountered our faith. Many of our guests came to our church plant in Hossegor, and one night we had 11 nations represented in our service.

Here’s one story: We saw one woman, Noelle, come to know Jesus during her stay. At first, we found her very argumentative over Christianity, and she proclaimed herself a very strong Buddhist. However, one day she asked our long term missionary to talk with her, and when he shared the Gospel, she accepted Jesus into her heart. Praise the Lord! That very same day, which happened to be Bastille Day, she asked to get baptized. We took her to the beach, and with great enthusiasm, she ran into the waves, proclaiming her life was not her own, but Jesus’.
Since then, Noelle still struggles with a severe nicotine/alcohol addiction, and is very scared of the demonic activity that surrounds her old Buddhist cult in Paris.
Please pray for angels to surround her and for demons to flee. Pray also for freedom from her addictions and for a Christian community that can rehabilitate and grow her in the Lord.

Too many times this summer did our guests ask, “Are you Mormons?” This was so disheartening and humbling each time. My heart for missions greatly increased this summer. God’s heart is to make His name great among the nations. This is truth, and I developed a heart to pray Christians will be known not only for their works, but also for their fervor in spreading the Gospel of Christ.

This Gospel is communicated in God’s Word, which transforms lives, as we witnessed in our French community this summer.
Here's another story:
Victoria is a French girl in our bilingual church about to embark on the great adventure that is university. Many of your know my heart for student ministry, and loving Victoria this summer was just so natural for me.
Victoria lost her dad to cancer three years ago, and we instantly connected through our mutual experience of losing a parent. She loves the Lord and likes to write worship songs to Him. She is also a devout Catholic.
We had a sleepover, and in that time I got to encourage her in her purity and in pursuing a godly life. I expressed that though many of her French girlfriends don’t live this way, she is not alone because many Christians walk with God in purity while single, me being one of them. I told her I would love to encourage her in this, even from America. I also got to encourage her to read her Bible.
I walked her through our team devotional, and she shared how she had never tried to interpret the Bible before (Catholics don’t believe laypeople have the authority to read God’s word), but that she liked learning about God this way. I connected her with our long-term missionary, whose heart is encouraging French Christians to read their bible and multiply their faith. P
lease pray for her to continue to grow in the Lord through his Word and in living a godly life.She’s off to Paris for university, and I truly believe that God has great plans for using her in His kingdom.

Fear is an emotion that has dominated much of my life, but the Bible preaches, “God’s perfect love casts out all fear.” God is teaching me a lot about being fearless in his love. As autumn approaches, I am trying my hardest to fearlessly leap into uncertainty. I’ve committed my next four months to prayer and seeking guidance. I am open to being a missionary overseas, and now have realized that I indeed could survive and thrive in France. We’ll see what happens, as there are also some beautiful opportunities stateside that I’d love to follow the Lord into. I’ll keep you updated!

Thank you for your support this summer. The prayers, hopes, and loves of my support team were so encouraging to me during my time in France. I want to emphasize that my ministry there is YOUR ministry as well, because it’d be impossible without you. That being said, I’d love to invite you to continue to pray for our French family.

Please pray for:
Our Pioneers missionaries in France. They’ve just purchased a property that they hope to turn into a Christian café/second hostel next summer. In addition they will resume their English business this Fall. Ministry opportunities are so great; pray they would receive guidance on where to focus their energies.

Our French church community. Pray they would develop a great fervor for the Word of the Lord. Also, pray they would receive a pastor, as their church is desperately seeking one. Also, we saw our church plant in Hossegor double this summer. Pray it would continue to grow.

Community for our French youth. Pray specifically for Victoria, Pauline, Theirry, Pauline, James and Helen. Pray specifically for Marion, as she doesn’t know a single Christian who attends her highschool – pray the Lord would send her at least ONE friend.

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity this summer. I humbly pray the Lord will use our offerings to the glory of His kingdom.
And as always, please let me know how I can pray for you. :)

Most lovingly and humbly,
Sheena

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

home.

I am home. Literally.

Our debriefing for our trip is here at Pioneers headquarters, in Orlando, FL, which is conveniently the same city I live in.

Yesterday I drove my car.

Things felt different from before. When I came back from Europe last fall, everything was strange, and weird, and big and different.
This time around everything feels normal, like maybe I never left. I miss France, but I feel the reality of my current location. I also feel very ready to be here, right now, present and in Orlando.

Praise the Lord.

More to come later, so much more. There are some beautiful things I have been learning with God and I can't wait to share them with you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

adieu.

God is beauty and God is love.
I have found the loving, patient, strong face of the Lord in the beauty I see in this continent.

Tonight I walked with the girls on my team around London. Each step down these streets is steeped with history and reminds me of the immense power we have to change the world when we surrender our lives to God.

What a beautiful Lord we serve.

What a GOOD Lord.

Tomorrow, I'll be home. Goodbye France, Goodbye Europe. Hello next step.

And arm and arm with Jesus, I'll go...

Monday, August 2, 2010

in the morning (a verbal vomit ramble)

[indulge me.]

I've been sleeping in the hostel this week. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at it...sounds of partied out guests thundering up our wooden stairs don't wake me...as they should.
"Excuse me, it's 3am, can you please be quiet for our other guests?" are words that should be utter from my lips every night.
But they don't wake me up. Just everyone else.

Oops.

But I love seeing them in the morning.
Waking up and seeing a big beautiful kitchen, with 14 places set.
Knowing that different faces and stories and lives will soon fill their spots.

Ok. First things first. There must be coffee. There must be tea. "How many people are here this morning? Where are they from?"
Experience has shown me that if they are from England they like tea; Aussies and American's like coffee. It's a toss up otherwise.
Ok so make both, great.

"Chloe, what are we cooking for breakfast?" are the next words naturally out of my mouth. We discuss our options while setting out cereal, fruit juice, jams, honey, milk and sugar.
And Nutella.
Of course.

French toast it is.

"Hello good morning!" mhmm is the normal mumble. Occasionally there are the chipper ones - morning birds. Gotta love 'em.

The usual "Where are you from?" "Why are you here?" is passed between strangers, as they become friends one slurp of cereal at a time.

"Would you like coffee or tea? Perhaps a bit of toast? We're making french toast today, it will be ready in just a moment?"

Words I say everyday. Like a computer, on repeat. But I'm sincere. I love serving them. I love hosting them, letting them know that here, in our walls, they are taken care of.

We wrap up, it's 10am and breakfast is over.
Cereals away, yogurts in the fridge, juice and milk as well. "Is there any more French toast left?" Yes!" I grab a piece as I do dishes. Chloe sweeps, and then we must mop.
Chairs on the table - here we go.
Recycling and garbage outside. Off to the bins I go.

"Bonjour!" mister man who always walks his dog at the same time every day. Good to see you again.

Back in the hostel. Kitchen is clean and closed.
Ten minute power nap. Is anyone on Facebook or Skype? Hmm, I must read my bible before our meeting.

Okay. *God*

"Is the kitchen still clean?" I think. One last look.
Ahh, voila! It's perfect. Ready for more stories, more faces.

"Lord, let them know here they are safe. Let them know here, they are loved.
Lord, let them know here they are prayed over and cared for. "

Time for our daily meeting. Great. Now everyone cane echo this prayer too.

And we do.

Everyday.


Monday, July 26, 2010

a Photo Journal post: I went to Spain and jumped off a bridge, cont'd

Meeting up with friends in San Sebastian - yay Spain! Becky and I with our heartattack burger. Way to rep America!

I COULD NOT figure out how to get under this railing. SOOO NERVOUS. Apparently, in times of fear I become a statue. Lol.

Did it. Twas awesome. Like flying!

I just kept laughing and screaming "That was awesome!" :)


Our wonderful hosts made us pancakes WITH SYRUP for breakfast. Mandy and Nathan are proud to be Americans.

San Sebastian! is beautiful!

Marina! Look at that beautiful blue sky!

hmm...basque protests....cross the border and the basque presence gets more intense...

san sebastian theatre

Spain+France EDGE girls! Just a lovely time with some lovely people.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Puenting en España

translation: I jumped off a bridge in Spain today.
It was fun. :)
video

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Je voudrais une glace, s'il vous plait.

...translation: "I would like an ice cream, please." One of my most commonly used phrases...

I have found a glacier that sells ice cream made from sheep's milk, which I am not allergic to. It tastes better than regular ice cream, and I am so thankful for it.

In other news.

Life since my last update seems to have only accelerated.

Here are some fun things that occurred two weeks ago:
The girls on our team, and one long term staffer, all went to my favorite beach, Cote des Basques, to go surfing. It was awesome. The waves were small, but many, and that made surfing a little hard because you just kept getting pounded...


That same night, my teammate Mandie and I went to the beach again and saw the most beautiful sunset and waves.

We had a petanque social at the hostel. Many people came out and it was lots of fun.

After working at the Picone's, I invited Victoria and all her friends over to our apartment for a movie night. After watching the sunset from our balcony, I made them pizza and popcorn, which is rare here, and we watched a Nooma video on the story of Job. Afterwards we read the Bible, and discussed what we could learn about Job with each other. It was a really beautiful, really rich time.

Later on that week, a woman in our church in Biarritz, who is actually a missionary with another organization, had a hip-hop recital. It was in the huge ballet theatre downtown - everyone went and it was a really great time.

The week after that was a really big soccer week. Biarritz is a 30min drive from the Spanish border, and every win for Spain has been HUGE here. Dancing in the streets and such (which is pictured below). My teammate Mandie and I got to witness a little bit of this after the huge win that put Spain in the finals.
In addition, there was a Basque festival that night, so we got to see some traditional Basque dancing.



One of the weekly events that happen here at team meals. It's time when we can get together as a hostel staff family twice week and share a meal. This time has always been fun, crazy, and just wonderful - all things you can expect when feeding 15+ people, I suppose!


Another lovely thing has been Lake Marion, a beautiful lake 5min walk from the hostel. I like to run here.

The past week has been a whirlwind as well.

RoxyJam, the international longboard women's surf championship, was hosted in Biarritz. So many concerts, art shows, and festivals came out of it. It was such a fun time. I helped lead worship at Hossegor again, which was wonderful. Then we sat in our allpurpose/church room downstairs from the hostel with all our hostel guests, church members, Edge team and families, and watched Spain WIN.
What a night, vive Espagne.
As well, the two girls from a Pioneers Edge trip in Spain came to visit for a bit this week. We had a girl night and watched Gilmore Girls, dyed our teammates hair, and saw went to the local theatre to see Twilight...in French. Which was hilarious.
In addition, we had a fun karaoke night for our "Apero Night", or our bi-weekly hostel socials.

Pictures coming shortly.

Oh, and some things to look forward to this weekend:

I'm going to Spain for the weekend, our whole team is, to visit the Edge girls in San Sebastian. Bungee jumping off a bridge might be one of the activities included....

again, pictures coming shortly. :)

laters!