This is a God-given season of harvest in France. LYDIA International has partnered with an evangelical church in the southern port city of Marseille to reach children and families with the saving love of Jesus.
God has used LYDIA International and the local team to lead forty-five children and adults to the throne of God where they discovered the wonderful love and forgiveness purchased on the cross. They chose Jesus as their Savior and King, and eternity changed! It is exciting to see the lives of these individuals from three different culture groups drastically changing as they are learning more and more about God’s love and are becoming His disciples.
Weekly Gospel Clubs
Two clubs are hosted each week for the children in the neighborhood. One club for the boys and one club for the girls. Club time includes a Bible lesson, prayer, songs, games, craft activities, a skill-learning activity, and a snack. Parents who generally avoid all contact with all Christian churches as well as those who do not trust people outside their family clan (which is one reason their children do not attend school regularly), have been eager to have their children participate in the clubs. Many of these children have given their hearts to Jesus, and are now sharing the gospel with their families. It has been awesome to see some of the parents giving their hearts to Jesus. We continue to pray that entire families would know God’s amazing love.
In Fall 2011, an average of thirty-two to thirty-seven children participated each week in the two clubs. Children as young as three years old join with children as old as thirteen years old to sing, learn, work, and play together. There are four older alumni club children that have become regular club assistants. They energetically set up the tables and chairs, translate, and clean up the room. It is great to have the help of these young assistants and they love being part of the team and they still enjoy being able to participate in the games and crafts too.
A familiar question that is often asked by the children on the street is, “How many days until the next club time?” The children are excited about coming to clubs. They enjoy learning about God’s love as well as learning to be disciples of Jesus.
Illiteracy is common among the poor immigrant families in that live on our street. During club times the children learn to write their names, to count in French and Spanish, to cut with scissors, as well as practice some basic manners. The children are also achieving an oral understanding of the French language. It is exciting to see the children learning so many things, but our time at clubs is limited. Both individual and small group tutoring sessions are offered to address specific skills and subjects for the neighborhood children who are struggling academically or who do not attend school regularly. Mathematics and Language Skills are the most common lessons, however lessons have also included English, Spanish, and Science. The tutoring sessions are not limited to just the children either. One grandmother was delighted to have her very own tutoring session.
French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s prayer echos the cry of our hearts,“Lord, help us do great things as though they were small, since we do them with Your power; and small things as though they were great, since we do them in Your name. “
Prayer is Crucial
We know God hears and answers prayer. Will you partner with us in prayer to reach these precious souls in Marseille? We need and appreciate your prayer support. Please pray that God will continue to use us to show His love to these hurting children and families, to make disciples among the neighborhood, and to break the cycle of generational illiteracy.
For Financial Support
Tax-deductible gifts may be mailed to:
4300 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60641-2525
Please mark “France” on the memo line of the check or money order.
To email the team in Marseille, or to receive email update letters, click here