Happy New Year! I had a request to share what our calling actually is here in the South of France so I thought I would share it here on my blog which is a part of me..
DH and I head up an office called Derek Prince Ministries which is known in 150 countries. There are offices all around the world and we meet up with every office for 10 days each year to share and pray together.
We have a French team who edit and translate Derek Prince's materials as he has written near to 50 books (in 100 languages) and there are numerous tapes, DVD's, CD's etc available. His radio ministry is very popular all over the world bringing simple Biblical encouragement to millions of homes!
About fifteen years ago my husband was called by God to make this teaching available to the French church to build it up in the Word, as there was such a void in foundational knowledge! We made a commitment to serve God as a family in this Ministry. We are part of a big Church in Holland who serve as our 'umbrella' and spiritual covering. We believe in authority and accountability!
France is a very dark country spiritually and this kind of teaching is ideal as it touches every domain of life.. marriage, family, husbands and fathers, Israël, rejection, divine exchange at the cross, spiritual conflicts, blessings and curses, thanksgiving, praise and worship, guide to the end times etc. etc.
I went through a culture shock and transition period of adapting to a totally different spiritual atmosphere and traditional structures. I disliked France in the beginning, although the country is beautiful - but living somewhere is different than just being on holiday!
It hasn't all been easy sailing!! We have had to persevere amidst alot of hostility and rejection! The name of Jesus alone implicates a sect in many of the villagers minds and they are very wary! Ous sons have also suffered at school but God has been gracious and they have had friends so that they didn't feel unaccepted.
One village we lived in for six years was perhaps the worst period in my whole life where I had to confront aggressive youth who were looking for trouble - and my only weapon was the Word of God because I didn't have enough knowledge of the French language! I just stood in front of them quoting scripture and saw how they stopped in their tracks, turned around and left us. Many times things would happen when my DH was traveling to teach students in Africa and I would be alone with four young children, no warmth from friends and family! I had become friends with one neighbor lady but it had taken two years to establish.
In 1999 we had rainstorms which brought flooding to our whole area. I was alone with the boys and during the night looked out of the window to see that the vineyards had disappeared - everything stood under water! My car had floated away too! I didn't know what to do because it looked like we would have to evacuate during the night. Luckily our neighbors were all outside and waiting to see how high the water would rise before their houses were at risk. As by a miracle, it stopped raining when the water had reached our doorstep! What a blessing!
Stones were thrown at our house and our car and I have to admit it wore me out.. I had serious health problems because of the tension but through it all God, in His time and when His plans were met, healed and restored me. All things work together for good... even in our marriage we learned strong Biblical principles to keep us together, keep us going, through many conflicts and miscommunication! God gave me a special revelation about my place next to my husband in our relationship. Now two years later, God is opening doors for us to minister in Churches on this very subject. I have prayed for many women who could relate to what I went through and who have come to a new knowledge of where the problem lies! God has blessed this so much that René and I have written a book about it - fun, honest, and open in three languages! It is not ready yet, but when it has been printed I will write about it here.
My work in the office is to send out the orders we receive for the books to book stores, individuals, churches etc. and other daily administrative tasks which I do every morning. We are active in all French speaking countries which includes Africa, Quebec (Canada) and some European countries.. We have a medium size office and work with four people. We want our lifes to be a personal testimony to what God has done and is doing in our lifes everyday for everybody who searches for truth and light! We pray with earnest that the Light of God who sent His Son to the Cross for all mankind will break through to be a message of healing and restoration, joy and peace to the people around us.
We have been isolated in our Mission here and sometimes I was very lonely. Through circumstances we were able to have a house built in Olonzac, where we now live, and the time of grace started for me.. God couldn't seem to find enough ways to bless us! I found many new contacts via the Internet through my card hobby - alot of ladies from America who I find particularly friendly and warm. We are in a Church where we feel united spiritually with the French community, where love and acceptance is normal AND our son Joël chose to follow Jesus this year and is at a Bible School in Holland! This boosted our faith and joy level exceedingly!
This is very short but I hope will give you an idea. For those who have told me they pray for us and will continue to do so in 2009 - pray that God's Kingdom will be established in this huge country that has chosen it's very humanistic life style and that our Ministry whether it be to teach on Biblical principles or pass them on in book form or our lifes will be prospered and blessed by the Heavenly Father!
The other day I read this in a book:
"Others are watching. What they're trusting in doesn't work, and they're wondering if what you're trusting in does. Your faithfulness to God and HIS intervention on your behalf will touch their lives in ways your theology never will"!
That is my prayer and my dream - that GOD Himself will reveal Himself through His Chruch and through our Ministry... we want to impact our mission field and here we have the chance. We can make a difference!