by: Winterville Baptist
(Roy) am privileged that our family gets to spend some time in worship
here in France. I admit to you, though, that I was not able to worship
God with gladness the first month we were here. With the physical
sicknesses we were dealing with as well as other issues, it was not a
smooth transition for me. My worship to God faltered as a result of
many of these things. I appreciate worshipping through singing and
Bible study but I could not enjoy those things because I didn’t know the
language. After three months, I still don’t know French well but I
have picked up enough vocabulary to enjoy worship once more. I am
grateful that I can experience true worship in my heart again.
At school we have many opportunities to worship. We attend church service on Sundays. Each Monday and Thursday our classmates lead in worship for 20 minutes during a formal chapel service for all classes, teachers, and administration. On Tuesdays our individual classes take time for worship. Our class spends each Tuesday afternoon for the two-hour duration with grammar and vocabulary examples from the devotion that one of us led. We each take turns saying a one sentence prayer. All of these give us the opportunity to be exposed to French to improve our listening skills, be encouraged by fellow believers, and experience worship in different ways.
Worshiping with our classmates
Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise…For the Lord is good and his love endures forever. Ps. 100: 2, 4a, 5a.
I have also been given the opportunity to help lead our school’s chapel in singing. We recently had a praise and worship evening that students organized and led. It was wonderful seeing the talents displayed by so many people who put their natural timidity, youth, or inexperience of an instrument aside to perform worship songs. One man in our class performed a song he wrote himself, sharing he wrote it during a personal time of weakness. I observed so many forms of worship that evening that touched my heart. People sang along, some danced. During this time prayers were shared out loud and scripture was read that was not a planned part of the service. I was finding joy in worship once more.
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring
glory to your name.” Ps. 86:9
Since I’ve traveled to other countries and worshipped in languages not familiar to me, I have reflected that perhaps God’s greatest joy is hearing multiple languages on Sundays praising Him throughout the day. The authenticity of worship that I experience in these settings is like nothing I can compare. I know how beautiful this worship is to experience and I can only imagine how much God enjoys hearing our worship.
“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
Singing is one of my favorite forms of worship to God. Given the chance to learn songs in French and to dissect the lyrics word for word has enhanced not just my vocabulary but my worship experience. One example of this was a song I recently sang for our school’s chapel service. It’s a popular praise and worship song you may know, “Come, now is the time to worship.” The last line of the chorus in English is “still the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose you now.” It’s such a popular song that I diminish the significance of those words when I sing it. In learning the French version of this song, though, my personal word for word translation of that line is, “But the true treasure is the one who chooses you today.” That line resonated so deeply to me when I recognized it! Of all the people and nations who worship God, what He desires the most is for someone to choose to follow Him for the first time. That is his greatest treasure. And to think he has called me to the nations to proclaim His good news so that the Fulani that I will share with can choose to follow Him. How humbling that is to me!
I want to encourage you today, first to say thank you for allowing us to go to Africa so that we can share with the Fulani who have never heard the gospel. Thank you for your gifts and prayers so that we can take time to concentrate on learning language now to effectively communicate the gospel with people we will meet.
I also want to encourage you today in your personal worship and quiet time with God. Maybe you’re reading this and have found yourself in a time of spiritual dryness. Whatever gift you may have, whether it is singing, dancing, reading, or serving others, I pray that you will be bold enough to share your gifts of worship to God. I pray this letter encourages you to turn to God in worship this month.
Roy, Denise, and Abby
Roy giving a devotional to our class
Prayer Card 2018
Thagard 2018 Prayer Card
If you would like a copy mailed to you, please email CVM at PL@cvmusa.org with "Prayer Card" in the subject line.
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Roy, Denise, and Abby
17 Voie de Wissous