Had the amazing blessing of attending our first French church service yesterday. What a treat! There were only about eight people in the service, each from a different country of Africa, but the little room was full of excitement, energy and passion for “the Kingdom” as they kept calling it.
Pastor Daniel is from Burkina Faso and he preached an incredible message on trusting in God during “l’impasse” – he preached from Exodus 14 (when God parted the Red Sea for Israel) and encouraged the congregation to look to God when they’re surrounded by trouble and things seem impossible – rather than complaining about your circumstances and wallowing in despair. But, trust God, believe in His miracles, and call on Him to help you – and He will!
He would preach a little in French and then go back over what he said in English. Not just for us “white people” but he said that’s the way he’s been doing things.
The service was advertised to go from 2:00 – 4:00. Us “westerners” arrived promptly at 1:50pm and walked into the little room to find the pastor walking around by himself praying. We were “anxious” to say the least and hoped that we could spit out 1 or 3 correct phrases in what little french we know. When he saw us, he smiled and walked up to us and began speaking to us in english. I was relieved. We shared who we were (I’d been emailing him a bit of our story) and he was very excited that we were there. And so we chatted for a bit.
By 2:30 no one else was there. Pastor Daniel smiled and said, “The people here are still on African time.” But, he got started with the prayer portion of the service and before long some black smiling faces showed up.
It was completely awesome to sing songs and hear God being worshiped so passionately in another language. After the service, Pastor Daniel introduced us to the rest of the congregation and told them what we were going to be doing. Everyone came up to us and shared how excited they were for us. One small elderly lady said, “I’m so envious of you! Here you are, willing to leave America and go to MY country! You are so young, and you are going to do the very best job in the whole world!” She was very funny. She even gave us a card that she’d written in to thank us for coming to their church and invited us to their Christmas party.
Needless to say, we’ll be going back (unfortunately not for the Christmas party) but for their next services and we’ll be bringing our boys to see these wonderful people and experience a little slice of Africa.