Goer blogs

Sequel

By Abby on June 11, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

Just like that, it’s my one-year anniversary of being an expat in France. In some ways it seems like only yesterday I walked through security and into France after 30 hours of airport hopping and waiting around terminals, but also a lot has happened since. In no particular order, I moved ten or so times, was near a bombing, carried a pony, gave out groceries, baked many cakes, was in a car accident, experienced the strangest film night of my life, travelled to Spain and Italy, was stalked, witnessed to students, attended Bible college in French, survived a pandemic, met many incredible people... Read more

Origins

By Abby on May 22, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

This week in my French class (sur zoom) it became obvious that I am the odd one out in the group. The class is structured around different themes, and the latest began as the others had before it: we read a bit, suffer through dictations, write a paper, and discuss it. Lately we have been talking about values and from where we derived ours. It didn’t strike me as particularly unusual until the professor opened the discussion by remarking how very different my paper was. I quickly scanned the other posted papers, and everyone else’s read like stereotypes of their countries of origin. The... Read more

Poisson d’Avril

By Abby on April 1, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

Only in France do you need to make a quick fish. Today is poisson d’avril, directly translated it means “fish of April” but in English we would just refer to it as April fool’s day. Here children make little paper fish and try to sneakily hook or tape those fish onto other people’s back. This morning when I went to the kitchen for some tea and saw little Irène, one of the three children I live with, carefully cutting out a fish, I knew I needed to get going in the fish department. Studying would have to wait a while. There were fish to be caught and given. Not five minutes after I had settled... Read more

Education in the Time of Corona

By Abby on March 15, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

There is a scene in the classic claymation film Chicken Run, where Ginger, the lead chicken says “Let’s not lose our heads” to which the other chickens say “Lose our heads?!” and run screaming. That’s basically the state of things at the moment. In the shop the other day as people were bulk-buying, an elderly French woman whispered: “It’s like the war.” People are acting like corona is akin to the nazis. That qualifies as losing our heads. We can approach things in a better way. It is a serious situation, and we shouldn’t rub our faces on one another, but panic and indulging in misinformation... Read more

My Letter to Future Goers

By Zack on February 13, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Latin America

Dear Future Goers, and to the saints throughout the world,                Reflection is a powerful tool. Often times, it is difficult to see how God is actively and presently working in our lives. This is especially true during the busy times, the stressful times, the painful times. But still, He has created creatures that He loves. And He created us to think, reflect, and pause regularly. I’ve been “off the field” for just under two months now. And the transition, as expected, and warned, has not been smooth sailing. But, by the Grace of God, He has been, and still is, using this transition... Read more

Arabian What? and Breaking Bread

By Abby on February 2, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

What do you get when you take a British-American and Egyptian and put them in a French grocery store? This sounds like the opening to a joke; in reality, it was the start of a nearly nine-hour struggle to bake feeter, a kind of Arabic bread, pastry, or pie (depending on who you ask).  This past Thursday’s theme for our English event at the university center was Arabian Night (cue the song from Aladdin). The day before, I met with Saher, my teammate who lead the event, at the grocery store to buy the supplies. One hour later we were still languishing in Geant, the larger of the two grocery... Read more

Good Shepherd

By Abby on December 5, 2019 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

Over the last week, I've had very little sleep. I've been the bergère (shepherd) for the DEFI Bible students. This means that I am responsible for the various needs of the students, I make sure people are where they need to be, I pray at meals, I have daily things prepared, and I plan a special event for the group. My theme has been gifts of the magi, so I've had a seeking the star game going, I been making gifts for each student, and I wrote a riddle-driven city-wide scavenger hunt. In short, I need a nap.              Instead, when we went down to town from the mountains, there was a sharp... Read more

Overcoming Ministry Guilt

By Steven on November 11, 2019 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

A special thanks to Katy White for sharing her notes with me. I was blessed to have you as my GoCorps mobilizer and am even more blessed to call you my friend. Defining the Problem Have you ever heard of Ministry Guilt? It’s when a ministry worker feels obligated to live more scarcely than others because of their profession.  I can easily see the rationale behind the mindset: As a ministry worker, your livelihood comes from the generous donations of others. Working for a charity or a church is not like working for a corporate business. They’re called “non-profits” for a reason, right?... Read more

The Best VBS

By Abby on October 28, 2019 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

As something of an expert in camp and VBS experiences, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the 2019 Team missions conference VBS was a success.  Before a small group of us piled into a van and drove to Spain for the week, we planned. Starting with the theme of the Kingdom of God and Matthew 19:14, we wrote out lessons for each day based on passages in the Bible and thought through games, crafts, snacks, and songs to go along with each message. Though we did have a time of group worship, game together, and were mixed for the treasure hunt, one of our main events, most of the time... Read more

Fill Your Cup: Self-care on and off the field

By Steven on October 11, 2019 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:21 NIV   That’s a verse that’ll slap awake. You can always count on the Apostle Paul to give you the honest truth. In fact, the uncomfortable directness of this verse may be why I’ve heard many sermons asking “How are you filling your cup?” It seems like a simple question, but the meaning is deeper than any cup I know.   On the field, ministry workers are encouraged to partake in self-care frequently. If your “cup” runs empty you will... Read more