So, this whole "moving to Marseille, France" deal is kinda overwhelming. When God started speaking to me about leaving San Diego & moving to Marseille, I knew it was a big deal, but only because it meant I'd be leaving home & those I love most here in the states to move half way around the world & start a church. The full implications of this move have really only began to hit me. Holy Moses! This is HUGE! I tend to be a "roll with the punches" kinda guy. God told me over 11 years ago that I was gonna leave Austin & move to California to plant a church. I just said okay & rolled with it. I got to San Diego with next to nothing in my pocket, no job & nowhere to live. God was faithful & within a week I had a job & an apartment. You may have heard the saying "where God guides, He provides". I believe this to be very true. I've experienced it first hand... many times. So, my immediate, natural response is to approach this in the same nonchalant manner. *Ehhhng* Wrong answer! I mean, I definitely know that God will still meet my needs & walk with me through this, but a little more is going to be required of me this time around. A lot of decisions need to be made and, depending on what's decided, a lot of work will be needed to see that I get to France... I need a plan! Here are just a few things I need to accomplish before leaving for France (oh yeah, by now I guess you've figured out that I have determined I'm moving to Marseille):
1) Learn French, or at least get a good foundation. I am using Rosetta Stone now & plan to take a community college French 101 class in the spring. I will attend language school in France until fluent.
2) Travel to Buffalo, NY in February to take Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) Training.
3) Start raising my support from San Diego.
4) Travel to Marseille in the Spring to meet up w/Matt to "scout out the land" & look at housing.
5) Get my financial accounts & records in order.
6) Apply for a long-term Visa (which has to be done in person in LA... stupid).
7) Possibly travel to Kansas City, Texas & Arkansas to raise support.
There is a lot to be done, but it's worth it. I've started doing research on Marseille & found that it is a city that desperately needs Jesus. Though it is considered the "gateway to the French Riviera", it is not all paradise. It is estimated that 40% of the population is at or below the poverty level & unemployment is higher than most of France. Behind Catholicism, Islam is the largest & fastest growing religion in the city. This is largely because Marseille is the primary port of immigration into France from North Africa. Protestant Christianity accounts for only about 20,000 people of Marseille's more than 1.6 million residents. There is intense racial tension. Just this past weekend there were riots in Marseille between the Algerian & Egyptian residents after a soccer match the Algerians lost to Egypt in Cairo. Secular humanism dominates the universities of France. You get the point. Marseille needs Jesus. Click here to see Matt Rasch's heart & plan for Marseille. I'm so excited about what God is going to do. I have had a heart for Europe & North Africa for years. Now I will live in Europe at the doorway in to North Africa. Even if I don't get to go to North Africa for a while, I don't have to. They will come to me... I forsee much evangelism to the Africans from the ports of Marseille. That is all for now. I'll keep you posted with more details as I figure them out. Thank you all for your prayers & support!
“On earth as it is in heaven” ~Jesus Christ
3 years ago