“Easter had brought a lot of homesickness for me up to this point. I had tried my best to be present, but my heart was in Georgia.. until I met Evelyne.”
“Entering Montpellier, France was like entering a new world. I’m not kidding. When we loaded our van and left ETS (the European Theological Seminary our team studies at), it was snowing. It was also April. Thus, upon leaving, we couldn’t have been more anticipant for our warm Spring Break ventures along the coast of France. Nine hours later, as we pulled into the parking lot of a local church in Montpellier, we (I) entered into paradise: jacket-less weather and the promise of sunshine.
Montpellier had far more advantages than its lovely, life-giving weather, though it was a personal highlight. Patrick and Florence Michel (in the picture to the left) welcomed us into their home church, guided us about the town, and partnered with us and their church in evangelizing to the locals. These fine people were the parents of two of our own, Louisiana and Antoine Michel. While they were family members to our beautiful, French teammates, they somehow became our family within this week. I know it sounds crazy, but these people were the catalyst that taught me what it means to be apart of an international family.
Our team got to know many of the members of the church through workshops, street evangelism and various services we ministered in. However, on Easter, I met a unique woman I hadn’t previously encountered. Easter had brought a lot of homesickness for me up to this point. I had tried my best to be present, but my heart was in Georgia.. until I met Evelyne. Florence had asked me to follow her outside to meet this kind woman who wept on behalf of her family. She was the only believer in her household and felt incredibly isolated. I remember something she said through heartbroken tears as we prayed together over her family — “I am so thankful for the family I have here.” It was amazing to me. Going home on Easter was challenging because she couldn’t celebrate her First Love with her other beloved family members. At this church with all these like-minded people, she was at home and with her spiritual family. It was safe and comforting and unifying — something she craved in her personal family.
Missing my people thousands of miles away, this struck me. While I was so far from my biological family, in this moment with Evelyne, I adopted her perspective with gratitude. I was in the midst of my spiritual family on this holiday, celebrating my Savior and King we all served . No matter what country I visited or how many miles I traveled, my family was now global. What a precious comfort this was to my soul. I so appreciate this faithful church in Montpellier and the people that love Jesus so. Thank you for reminding me of how big my family is and how limitless my God is in comforting His people.”
For more of Kellie’s account of this 9 month adventure we call Abante, click HERE!