This year marks the second year in a row that I have had the good pleasure of going on a mission trip with BSSM to France, and the third time in total of going to France. In fact, since 2015, apart from coming to California for BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry), I have not traveled anywhere other than France! I truly do love consistency haha.
So, why did I choose to go back? Surely I must have already seen what a tourist would typically see on a trip to Paris since we were in Paris last year as well. Actually, yes, that is true, I didn’t really see anything new in Paris in terms of landmarks or the city itself. The only thing I did this year that I haven’t done in Paris before was going up the Eiffel Tower, all the way to the top. Simply put, it was worth the long lines and wait times. It was quite breathtaking being 320 meters up in the air, able to see the metropolitan expanse laid out before my eyes, stretching off into near eternity on almost every side.
But, that is only one new thing on this whole trip, so, why would I go back? Simply put, I had in mind something beyond a change of scenery. I wanted to see momentum in France, especially to be able to see an increase and lend confidence from my experience from years past. I wanted to see what the Lord could do by being willing to persist in the same thing.
Initially, I thought that we would be seeing a lot of the same people on this trip from last year and be able to continue relationships that we had built. In reality, I saw only one person who I had met last year haha. But, still, we saw such a huge momentum shift from last year. Compared to last year, where we had probably about 15 people healed on the whole trip and about 3 people saved, this year we saw at least 85 people healed and at least 12 people saved! That’s a huge increase, about a five-fold increase. And, that isn’t even a full count, that is just the number that I know of, but I know that there are more than that if I were able to get an accurate count from everyone on the team and from the churches in Paris. That increase, that view of momentum, was so worthwhile redoing the trip, and it is in longing for even greater momentum that I would love to go back again next year if I am able to!
This year, one of my biggest highlights was having the opportunity to be able to preach twice during the trip, in French! Admittedly, I was quite nervous for this, since this was my first time ever preaching in a church, and my first time also preaching in French. And, though I know that my level of French is good, and I know that I am able to explain theology well, I was understandably nervous about the thought of looking stupid on stage if I ended up stuttering or speaking slowly or unable to form correct sentences or just making a bunch of errors unknowingly. Both times I shared on the subject of physical healing, my journey in pursuing praying for healing, disappointments, victories, and then also demonstrating my own particular flavor of praying for healing. I approach healing in a different way than most in that I often do not pray at all. Rather, I will lay my hands on them or hold their hands, wait a few moments, then ask them to test it out. About 70-80% of the time, they are healed, which is actually more frequent than before when I would pray. This practical method, though, is such a good way of demonstrating the principle of the simplicity of healing and that it barely requires anything from us except that we are obedient in faith leading to the action of praying for healing. And, by my demonstrating that I can do almost nothing and people still get healed, it opens up the door to reassure people that they can also do it since I am not praying eloquently or doing anything that they cannot do. In fact, on several occasions, I would take people who came up for prayer, pray for them, they would be healed, and then I would recruit them to pray for the next person, and that person was healed as well. I do this in order to put the theory that they have heard and seen demonstrated into practical effect in their life so that there is no room left for doubt in their mind as to whether they are capable or not of healing the sick. But, since it is a matter of power and not of words, anyone can heal the sick, since it was never them doing it in the first place, it has always been the Lord acting through them!
On Sunday, the first time I preached, 7 people were healed during the sermon by members in the church laying hands on each other, and in total, 31 people were healed during the ministry time after the sermon with our team praying for people. The total size of the church, though, was only about 60-70 people, yet 31 people were healed within that service!
On Tuesday, the second time that I preached, at another church, there were again about 7 people healed during the sermon by the congregation laying hands on each other, and, in total, at least 18 people counted as healed after the ministry time was over. Also, one woman present, who was raised Catholic, told her friend afterward that this was the first time that God became real to her!
Surprisingly though, even though I was nervous about speaking, I felt so alive and free in preaching. I laughed outrageously as I told stories of my own missteps, explained theology, demonstrated healing, and expounded on the goodness of God towards us as shown through the nature of healing. People on my team told me, afterwards, that although they did not have a clue what I said because they didn’t speak French, that I seemed so incredibly comfortable and natural in my presentation, and all of them were surprised to find out that these were my first times preaching in front of a crowd like that! What a relief haha. I was hoping to simply not fail, but, because the Lord so engulfed and empowered me, I was able to actually speak and preach beyond my experience so that it ended up being a veritable success!
On that same note, it was actually French that was one of my biggest challenges throughout the trip. At times, because I might miss a section of a sentence or perhaps I couldn’t seem to get across what I wanted to during a conversation, I felt rather foolish. This ground against my inherent desire for excellence and I had to constantly remind myself to have grace for myself. For, even though my level of French is quite good, I know that I still have quite a ways to go in mastering it and feeling fully comfortable in presenting my thoughts and feelingsAltogether though, I am so grateful to have been able to be on this trip, to have been a part of such a whirlwind of seeing God’s goodness manifested in our present lives and amidst the French people, who were so hungry to experience God’s love towards them. I want to thank everyone who donated towards this trip and who have sacrificed financially so that I was able to grow and pour out so much through this incredible trip. There was certainly much more that the Lord has done on this trip, and so much more that I could write about, but the Lord certainly was faithful towards us, and please feel to ask me if you would like to spend some time hearing more of what happened on the trip