Our Mission Statement
To be in relationship with others through the love of Christ;
inviting others into the love of Christ through relationship with Him.
People are always God's focus. At its core, the gospel is all about relationship. The first calling that God has given us is to serve the local church. We have been called to work with Assemblée Chrétienne Mulhouse (ACM) to support their ministry efforts and to bring extra capability to expand their ministries into new directions.
Every church is a part of the local community. ACM is committed to reaching out to the city of Mulhouse and the surrounding areas to spread the gospel and support the community. We are excited to be a part of the vision the church has for reaching out and impacting the city of Mulhouse and the region of Alsace.
Impacting the city is an important goal for any church, but ACM is looking beyond to reach the entire nation of France. The primary way they plan to do this is through raising up and sending out church planters from the church to reach other parts of France. We will also support equipping churches through media and communications.
Laïcité, or secularism, is a central part of the French approach to government and individuality. For many French, faith is a private matter that is best kept inside of your home or place of worship. Conspicuous evidences of faith are often seen as rude or intrusive. As a result, many French people view conspicuous displays of faith with skepticism or even outright hostility.
France is a secular society where only 15% of French citizens believe religion—any religion—is important in their lives. In large part, thanks to the dominance and power of the Roman Catholic church during the Enlightenment period and the French Revolution, people saw democracy as a way to liberate society from the rule of the church. The culture has embraced postmodernism and relativism of beliefs and morality, but this has come with an emptiness that has left the French looking for more.
Three years ago, God set us on the path of this adventure. We weren't expecting anything more than to continue our comfortable, "normal" life here in central Ohio. But God stepped in and changed everything. Seven years before, our church sent out a church planting team to Amsterdam. We started a little "joke" that if they ever sent a team to France, we'd think about it. The church never did, but God took our "joke" seriously.
As we continued to feel God's calling on our hearts, we started to look into what it would take to answer that call and move to France. Initially we looked at moving to Alsace as "tentmakers" (i.e., getting a job). We would do ministry as a "side job" and wouldn't have to worry about the issues of raising support and other logistical challenges. The more we thought and prayed about this, though, the more we realized this wouldn't work for us, for several reasons. First, it is very difficult for non-EU citizens to procure jobs in France. Second, right now, in the USA, we have seen the challenge of trying to have full-time jobs, raise a family, and find time to do ministry in addition, and we barely made it work. We knew that the way forward would not be to repeat the same challenges but in a new country, with a new language, in a new culture. After talking to a pastor who had served in Europe, we realized that we needed to find a missions organization to act as our sending agency to get us to France.
In writing there is a moment called the "inciting incident" which thrusts the protagonist(s) into the main action of the story. Sometimes this is a father dying suddenly, or war being declared. For us, one year ago our inciting incident came in the form of a sudden job loss while on vacation.
Mid-March, I (Kristy) felt a nudge from God to apply to Renovaré Institute for Spiritual Formation. I have been interested in Renovaré for a few years and have regularly listened to their podcasts, participated in their book club, and received their weekly digest. The application process involved completing an application and having people submit a character reference and a pastoral reference.
Read more about how our journey began by checking out our introductory blog posts!