YWAM Madison DTS Youth With a mission discipleship training school france romania prayer outreach

Overcoming Discouragement

“Look, it’s a rainbow!” Marie said.

I didn’t believe her at first — it hadn’t been raining. But I looked in the direction she pointed and saw she was right. A shimmery rainbow arched over the small French town of St Hippolyte-du Fort. It was like God had painted that rainbow just to encourage our team with the promise that He was with us, even as many of the people we had encountered were rejecting us and Him. France’s religious history is riddled with violence and chaos–and many of the French we encountered were completely turned off by the idea of Christianity.

My team stood on the steps of a church, worshipping God and seeking Him for that day’s plans, just as we had for the last ten days. But after seeing the words “Dieu est mort” (God is dead) spray-painted on the church’s steps, we were feeling a bit discouraged. Besides, the overall tone of the town was not receptive to hearing about God.

But that rainbow…it felt like this time something would be different.

We prayed that morning that God’s light would enter the town, and prayed for specific sections of the town. I remembered a small shop that displayed handmade puppet heads in the window. It was definitely creepy. Plus, it was rumored that the owners were involved in the occult.

Bri and Kari, our team leaders, felt that God wanted them to visit the people who worked in that shop. They were invited inside and had a friendly conversation for a while. Eventually, Kari and Bri asked if they could pray for them. The two shop owners surprised the girls by saying yes.

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a huge deal to be given permission to pray with someone. But to me, it felt like a turning point. Our team had spent many days walking the streets of this city, praying for people to be open to God’s truth. And now, finally, they were! What a precious reminder that God is truly alive and waiting for His people to pray for Him to heal our lands.

by Noelle Olsen, January Spark DTS student

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