Submitted by: Ben Gallarda (Paris, France)
It is difficult to truly understand the Lord’s need on the continent of Europe without visiting. And to get a thorough view of the depth of the Lord’s burden, one must migrate. By the Lord’s mercy, and through His leading in fellowship with the Body, our family was able to migrate to Paris, France just over a year ago. Based on our experience over the past year, three things stand out as lessons we’ve learned that would be useful to share with all the saints.
First, the Lord truly takes care of all our needs (Matt. 6:31-33). Despite not knowing much French, our housing, school for our children, and financial needs were all met through the Lord’s sovereign hand. Even when the dollar was weak against the euro, making things more difficult financially, we found ourselves asking the Lord to allow more Europeans to travel to the United States for trainings due to the exchange rate favoring their currency. In each situation we had to face, the Lord would come through above and beyond what we could ask or think, not only to meet our needs, but even more for His desire to establish a stronger testimony in France.
Second, we must be one with the Lord as the Head (Col. 2:19). Because of the history of the Lord’s recovery in the United States, there are a good number of large, healthy localities where it seems the Lord has a way to exercise His will. It is easier, as a young adult, in such localities to follow the leading of those the Lord has appointed to bear responsibility for the direction of His recovery. Years of experiences in the gospel and shepherding has taught us effective ways to reach and gain typical Americans. Not so in Europe. In every instance, we have had to look to the Lord again, asking Him for His leading, and being almost afraid to do anything without it. Doing what we had always done in the United States often had little or no effect in France, and the mentality of the French people, although hungry for reality, needed it presented to them in a way that didn’t offend their strikingly different social and philosophical tendencies. Yet our glorious Lord of the harvest knows what these people need, and by being absolutely one with Him, we can be that as well.
Third, we must coordinate in and with the Body. The depth of the Lord’s burden here is paralleled by the opposition of the enemy. There is no way we could exist in such an environment without the other saints. Being vitally linked to others here is not simply important, it is a necessity to survive. And caring for one another’s basic needs, problems, and situations is just as important as coordinating with them to help the new ones. We’ve realized through our time here that the Lord is building up His Body with us as the material. And while gaining new ones, particularly those born and raised here is something for which we desperately pray, we will not labor simply to gain new ones while ignoring the care for the saints who have taken this way.
Praise the Lord for His move to Europe. How can He gain the rest of the world without establishing a strong testimony here? We hope that many reading this would be led of the Lord in the coming years to migrate to the key cities here, and as they do, may they simply know to be one with the Lord as our Head, to fellowship and coordinate with the Body for everything, and to trust Him for every need.