The train ride from Geneva to Paris was beautiful. Coming through the alps onto the plains was a sight to behold. The Parisian train station was right next to the Notre Dame so we walked over there to meet our host for the second leg of the trip. Paul Robelot worked for TEAM in member care and described himself as a church planter by hobby. He drove us back to his house that night in the Paris suburbs. Paul and his family lived in the beautiful farmland outside of the Paris core.

We spent the Paris leg doing several different kinds of activities. One of our first days we went and worked with a missionary who had a relationship with a local Imam. He took us to the mosque to meet the Imam and we got a tour of the mosque. It was Kurdish mosque, and it was very interesting to hear how this group had struggled against persecution from other Turkish groups. It was a great opportunity to ask questions about Islam and the different practicies. We ended the tour being served tea and gifted a Quran.

That same night, we went to a evening service focused on welcoming refugees from the area. A handful of guys showed up and we went around the room introducing out selves and telling our stories. It was amazing hear the journeys these guys had made to escape the struggles in their home communities. It closed with a short message about Jesus being more then a prophet, but our messiah.

One of Paul's close associates, Bill Bogges, was the TEAM leader who had been in charge of the entire France region. He and his wife were preparing to retire back to the states and hand things off to Jon(who we met in Bonneville) at the end of the year. We got to spend a lot of time with Bill hearing how France had changed in the last ~30 years. He also spent a day showing us around the city and talking about life and community in the area. It was a good chance to ask a lot of logistic questions about living in France, going to school there, meeting people, and sharing the gospel.

Several times during this leg we got to sit with missionaries who ran different programs. I got well versed in sharing my story and why I was there in France meeting them. One of the important things I came to realize in those visits was how important it was to the people were visiting. Several times the local ministers were brought to tears just explaining they had never had visitors from the states come listen to their testimonies.

Another big aspect for me for this leg was feeling the grind of living life in this region. Because Paris is such a big town(with a lot of traffic) we spent a lot of time sitting in cars delayed by accidents or other things that happen in large cities. Missed meals were commonplace, as we prioritized time with locals over getting to a restaurant before it closed. In a city like Paris it is very easy to romanticize living there without realizing the struggles that come with living in such a place.

One of the final days here we went to Trappes. Trappes is a Parisian suburb which is thought to be 98% Muslim. It was like entering a North African community, full of people in African garb, an giant open-air market akin to the Souks you would find in Morrocco, and all the smells that would go along with it. We met up with Sam who, along his family, had felt called to minister to this area. It was the day before Ramadan started, and the large market in the center of the city was filled with people preparing. Sam showed us around the market while we talked about different elements of sharing the gospel with Muslim populations. He also graciously invited us to his home and prepared some food and tea while him and his wife told us their story.

There was so much beauty to witness in this entire trip. God's people are so full of joy no matter where on earth they live, and that commonality transcends any earthly comparison. I don't know what my next steps would be in this journey; I'm currently taking stock of possible options and where next I could go. I thank you for taking time to read this, and participate in my story.