Salut à tous!
I meant to say, "Hey, everyone!" I've just been working a little on my French pronunciation lately. Mostly names. Did you know…
When you say, "Michel" in French, you should really say it as if it was "me+shell" instead of "me+chill" or "me+kell". "Louis" is more like "luu+WEE" than like the one in "St Louis". If your name is "Antoine", we'd call you "an+toy+n" but you'd prefer "ant+juan". If your name was Benoit, you'd really hate the way Yanks would call you "ben+oint" (like "ointment") instead of your real name, "ben+waah"!
I'm gonna need to know these things one day! I have a lots of French friends I haven't met yet…and so do you! We're gonna need to know how to say their names when we meet them!
Many of y'all know Paul and Karan Davis from the times they have visited us at C3. They have been in France for, like, forever! They have been leading people to Jesus there for years! And in each village they live in at the time, they bunch the new Christians together (in a country that has one of the lowest number of them in the world!) into new baby churches. And just like you do with other babies, they feed them, change them, and protect them until these new-born congregations are able to stand and walk on their own…Then the Davis leave these churches in someone's care and moved on to do this again in a new place! It's amazing!
Their latest one is in a little village in the Alps, named Pontcharra. They've been encouraging a few believers in Jesus there and leading the "interested in Jesus" to become believers and followers of Him! And soon they had so many gathered together in the town that they started looking for a place to meet and be a church together! 'Course, the "church" is never a building…it's people! But when you have a place of your own in those tiny, spiritually desolate towns in Europe, it gives you identity, visibility, and "legitimacy" in the minds of the folks who live there and who don't have a clue what a "born again Christian" is! Having your own place to meet, for a new church is like bringing your new-born from the hospital…You already have the baby, but now it has a home!
So…they found a place! Right in the middle of town! 8000 sq. feet! If you went to the post office, you'll pass in front of the "Evangelical Church"…the "E'glise E'vangélique"!
"Sacre bleu, Gaston! What is a église évangélique?"
"Je ne sais pas! I think it has to do with believing in Jesus…it says, 'Bienvenu!' Maybe we should check it out! We both kinda feel like somethin's missing, right?"
Wow! So many people have and will come to know Jesus thru the Davis' thru the years! And we at Triple C have had a share in supporting them financially month by month for a looooooong time!
There's an unusual story in Luke 16 (it's too complicated to get into!) that ends, "So, use your money to make friends who can receive you into eternal dwellings!"
Well, one thing that could mean is that if you give money so that people come to know Jesus, in Heaven you'll have friends you've never meet who will be waiting to give you a big "welcome" hug and maybe a kiss when you arrive! A "Welcoming committee" just for you! They'll be there because someone shared Jesus with them! And those guys could be there to do that because others gave so that they could! So loads of people will be in Heaven partially because some folks, including you, cared about their hearts and their eternal future!
It'll be clear on that day that you were one of the best friends they'd never met!
That's why, since you go to…and give to…a church that gives your money to expert, experienced missionaries that live in countries and speak languages we don't, folks they bring to Jesus are going to be your friends in Heaven! And if you don't want to be too embarrassed when you meet 'em, you might want to work on your pronunciation of their names!
We (you!) help support bunches of missionaries around the world!
The Fiores are in Italy so you'll need to work on Italian names ("Giuseppe"…the "s" is like a "z"…and "Lucia" is "loo+CHEE+ ah")
But their church in Milano, besides the Italians, also has a Korean, a Latino, and a Romanian congregation…It's a "four-in-one"!
FYI, top Romanian names are Ovidiu, Krisztina,and Mihaela…
Of course we also have the McNamees in Spain…You might want to start learning to say names like "Manuel, Miquel, and Angel"…
But then we have Victor in India leading thousands to Jesus! So, you may have friends in Heaven with names like Sanjana, Khushi and Akshara!
Plus, there are the Matthews and Melissa in Kenya and Tanzania, so you could have brothers and sisters who love you as dear friends, named Akello, Hilda, and (one of the more popular names there…) Elvis!
Along with Bill and Maria, Erica, Matt, Devo and Erin, Travis, Glen and Jane, Jed and Hallie, Pete, and Tasha working to reach folks in the States, you're gonna have loads of friends in Heaven, thankful for you…
Thankful that you cared!
And thankful that you gave!
...so that someone could share Jesus!
…so that they could be there!
Thankfully, Heaven is gonna last forever, 'cause it's gonna take a while to greet and know all the friends who will be so happy to finally meet you!