If you are reading this blog, then you know that I will be spending the next year serving with YASC in some foreign country. But until this point I have not written anything about where I will be going and what I will be doing. Why it has taken me so long to fill you in? I have no idea!
So here it is (drumroll please): sometime in August, I will be moving to Paris! Whhhhaaaaaattttt?!?! Yes, you did read that right, I will be moving back to France this coming year!
It's crazy and never in my wildest dreams did I expect it! And to be honest with you, I was, in a small way, disappointed at first. Now before you go thinking that I've lost my mind, let me explain. Going into this I fully expected to be traveling to a country that we (at least I) typically think of when we think of missionary work: a country in Africa, Central America, South America, etc - somewhere that I've never been. I was thrilled about this prospect; I love visiting new places. Sure that can be scary and definitely out of my comfort zone, but I thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to challenge myself. To rely fully on God and the people I would be meeting there. And almost as important, I would learn to further trust in myself.
And then the email arrived, asking me if I was okay with my placement being in Paris. As I've mentioned, I was shocked. I spent a year studying abroad in France. I visited Paris many times. I am, in many ways (excluding language skills), comfortable in Paris. God, why are you sending me there? So, like I always do when I am confused and questioning, I called my dad. AND HE LAUGHED! Laughed because this is hilarious. I did say I wanted to go back. And now I can never say that God doesn't listen to my prayers!
I realized through this conversation with my dad and a few others (all of whom laughed when I told them) that God is calling me to Paris for a reason. Maybe God is putting me there because God wants me in a comfortable place so that I can be in more uncomfortable situations. Maybe there is another reason. All I know is that I am meant to somehow further God's kingdom in that community. And I am still going to have to rely fully on God, the people I'll meet there, and myself.
So what will I be doing in Paris? I will be working at the American Cathedral there, working with youth ministry and outreach programs. This incredible church community wants me help to bridge and grow these two programs. And honestly, I couldn't be more excited. I LOVE outreach and I LOVE working with youth. God knows what God's doing. And even though I was slightly hesitant at first, I cannot wait to get started!