We have only been back one week, but it has been week of going nonstop! We got off the metro and almost immediately began our adventure back in Paris!
The first night we got back, we hosted our very first birthing class! There is one other couple that comes, around our age, the husband is French and Portuguese and his wife is Australian and Irish. They are pregnant with their first as well and we have already totally hit it off! We are excited about this new friendship! Our instructor is a very friendly British woman who is extremely helpful in answering all our crazy questions about birth in France.
We had Sanctuary (our monthly worship time) two days after we arrived. Still jet-lagged, Justin and Katherine led worship in French and English, while Frank had a great message about a part of David’s life. It was VERY encouraging to hear how some of the people coming (who are not yet Christians) heard from God on that night. It is so exciting to see people getting involved in what Vintage is doing! We also had two different girls come who had never been to a Vintage get together, one of which was new to the city and the other who had heard about us through one of our good friends, Klaus…who despite living in Germany, still finds ways of connecting people with Vintage!
The following Sunday, we had a prayer walk through a part of the city that is desperately hurting. It is an area known for all sorts of sexual immorality. As the ten of us walked down one of the streets filled with prostitutes, our hearts hurt. We prayed that God would take away their shame, give these women grace and show them their value. Our hearts were very heavy for them. As Justin and I walked these streets, it became clear to us that God was confirming our thinking that this was the part of the city God was calling us to move to.
Every day has been packed with searching for apartments on the internet, looking at apartments with the landlords, and walking around possible future neighborhoods. We are more excited than ever to move to a new part of the city. We really see this as a need for Vintage to expand to different areas of the city and we are excited that He has called us to this new adventure! It will be fun to begin to write a new chapter in the life our church!
We did find what we have been calling “our dream apartment”… This apartment is on the SAME street as all the prostitutes and sex shops that we had our prayer walk. In fact, right in the entry way to where you would enter this “dream apartment,” are a few prostitutes, waiting for business. The apartment overall is amazing! You walk into a HUGE room that is a living room/kitchen combined, with a little mezzanine over the kitchen. The ceilings are really high with windows all the way to the top. It looks like a warehouse that was turned into an apartment. Very artsy! There are two bedrooms off the huge room for us and the baby. We pretty much were in love with the apartment and in love with the neighborhood. The problem? We didn’t realize it when we went to look at it, but it is 172 dollars (135 euros) over our budget. It is still less than what we pay now, but we are really wanting to pay less! Justin and I are going back and forth about whether or not to pursue this apartment and would LOVE your prayers regarding this decision. We are already under what we need to be raising for support and don’t know if this would be the wisest thing. But then I HAVE to think that sometimes we have to sacrifice to really get in the heart of a city, where people desperately need to see God’s love! Justin and I can’t stop talking about how amazing it would be to be able to be in these women’s lives EVERYDAY! They will know us, will know our baby, and hopefully, one day know Jesus and His love for them. It is funny because as soon as I saw the apartment, I thought, “nope, not this neighborhood,” but neither of us can stop thinking about it. Justin called the landlord today to talk with him more about the apartment and, unfortunately, he is meeting with someone tomorrow to possibly sign papers on the apartment. Please pray with us that we would have wisdom if we do get an opportunity to pursue this apartment and that God would place us in the place that He wants us. We are willing to go above our budget if it is a place God has called us to. He is bigger than our budget, right?
It was so great to see a lot of you while we were in the states! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement while we were there! Thank you too for the baby gifts! Our French friends have been SHOCKED at the amount of clothes we have for the baby (as are we)! We are thankful to have so many on this adventure with us! Keep praying because God is doing great things here!!!
As the fall kicks off specifically pray for a couple of things:
1. The discussion groups that are being started up again. Jeff is kicking off his French group through the Gospel of John and Frank is starting another leadership development group with some more of our leaders. I’ll (Justin) be starting a group after we get into our new place in October.
2. Our ‘Rentrée Soiree’. We have a big party at the beginning of the fall to get all of our church together and welcome new people into our community. Pray that we make significant connections with people and that people are drawn to being a part of Vintage.
Thanks again for being a part of our lives…we are so grateful for all the time you spend with God talking with Him on our behalf. Continue to check out our blogs for stories, updates, and pictures! Talk to you later!
Grace and Peace,
Justin and Jen Powell
Our goal is to have our account balanced by the end of the year!!! If you are a monthly supporter or would like to give to our ministry in Paris please send your gift to:
Christian Associates International
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, CO 80132
Put on the memo line: Justin and Jen Powell – 41695