Friday, July 12, 2013

Franco Fridays: Metro-Hopping

Our Monday morning started out meeting Randy Owens, the IMB team leader for South Asians in Paris.  We were divided up in teams and given literature to pass out.  Each team would ride a different line through the city.  Before getting there I wasn't really sure what "Metro-Hopping" would look like.  Many men who come into Paris from other countries set up stands in and around metro stations, selling fruit, jewelery, souvenirs, or even just popcorn.  We were looking for people who were Bengali or Punjabi, from Bangladesh and India.  We wanted to share the gospel with them if we were able or to give them a movie about the life of Jesus with information that could put them in contact with Christians who spoke their language.

 Randy explaining the process

I'm so thankful for the providence that put us in a group with Cedric and Reema.  We had so much fun getting to know them.  Reema's family is from Bangladesh, and we could not have gotten by without her translating for us!

  On the Metro

We were assigned to the Nation line of the Metro.  It started out as a rainy day, so there were not as many people out selling as we hoped.  With Reema translating, we were able to have a conversation with one man running a fruit stand inside one of the stations.  It definitely made me nervous not understanding what was being said at times.  We bought the biggest grapes we'd ever seen as a kind gesture after he gave us his time to talk for a little while.

  KJ snapped a quick picture when he moved on to another customer.

Once the rain let up we were able to take out my camera and capture a little of where we were.  Cedric said this area of the city reminded him of Brooklyn.

 Catching the Metro

We saw some really pretty stations.  I loved those old columns.

We opted to just pick up a quick lunch at one of the bigger Metro stops.  I ordered a panini with thon, having no idea what that was.  The description said it contained Samurai sauce, which I'd heard Parker talk about, so I went with it.  Turns out thon is tuna, and I like tuna, so I was good.  And the Samurai sauce is like a spicy mayonnaise. I also jumped on the chance to buy some caffeine.  The French are more into their coffee, and there weren't vending machines everywhere as in America.

Cedric was a willing participant in different photography experiments all week.
It was a lot of fun.  We had a friendly competition going on to see who could
take the best picture at Versailles. I don't think that's been decided yet...

I'm sure this is the case in any big city, but it was kind of funny just how many pictures I had where a pigeon photobombed at the last second.

Our group found another man to share with before running into Parker's group.  He was selling popcorn and had a fire there where he was roasting peanuts, of which KJ bought some.

On our way to meet the rest of our group we ran into another man, and we were able to watch Parker in action.  It was good for us, who were just learning, to watch Parker, who's been doing this for several years.  He made interacting with these men seem so easy and natural.

Monday was a really good day of ministry, I thought, and getting to see the need for the gospel in people in another place, and later that night getting to meet with Punjabi believers.  I'm so thankful I was able to go on this trip and for the ways it stretched me. 

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