Today’s post is written by MK Sophie Long
and talks about:
– Dealing with your parents’ call of God
– Leaving friends & home church behind
– The importance of making new friends &
– God’s faithfulness to answer prayer
It’s 2014, I’m sitting in the living room with my brothers beside me, and my parents have just announced some big news. I sit in shock and excitement, and I realize that I will have to leave everything and everyone I know. I did not yet realize that in the coming years I was going to need God more than ever.
“In January 2015, we will be moving to France to replace a missionary couple while they are on furlough.” My dad told us. “We are estimating to be there for up to two years.”
The next year was spent doing a little deputation of our own here and there, putting things into storage, and gradually saying goodbye to our home. Then the day came. Dad, my brothers, and I packed the car up and started the drive to Montreal while mom, on the other hand, was able to fly. Before leaving, we prayed and asked God to protect us as we traveled then, having asked for protection, we started on our way to a new life. Two days after safely arriving in Montreal, we boarded our flight to Paris together.
We arrived in France full of anticipation. That excitement remained for a few days, before the loneliness began to creep in. For several nights, tears would fill my eyes as I lay in bed. I am normally an emotionally strong person and it is uncommon for me to cry, but in those moments I felt alone. I missed my friends, my church, and my home. Every night that I cried out of loneliness, I prayed: “God, I am lonely. I know that you have a reason for calling my parents to France, but if I am going to follow them, I cannot do it alone. Lord, give me your strength, and provide friends for me and my brothers.” That was the prayer I prayed every night; I had felt so lonely when in reality I was not alone at all.
My First Friend
A couple months after our arrival, dad asked me if I wanted to go to a Sunday-school seminar, at the headquarters church in Melun and I said yes. Christians from many different regions in France attended, almost filling the big church. During a break between meetings, I met a Girl named Djulia, and she became my first friend. I got to know her little by little as time went by and as we stayed in contact.
God provided me with my first friend.
Friends from Far Away
Time kept moving and I tried enjoying every second of it, because why not, I was living in France.
“Kids, come on! Hurry and get your coats on.” dad said, one evening, in a rather rushed voice.
“Why dad? I am in the middle of doing homework.” I replied.
“Oh come on, leave it, we will only be gone a few minutes. I want you all to see the sunset from the smokestacks.”
Although I was not enthused at the idea, we were all out the door several minutes later. Racing against the already setting sun, we arrived, parked the car, and climbed the spiraling metal stairs up the smokestack. It did not take long to reach the platform, however, when we did, the sun had just about disappeared. We may have missed the sun setting, but God had other plans for our little escapade. As we were leaving to go back home, we passed a mother with her two boys, and, being the Friendly Canadian that he is, my dad greeted them.
“Bonsoir.” He said in the common French greeting, except I had heard them speaking English. I told my dad, and when they came down a few minutes later, he walked up to them and said how I heard them speaking English, ultimately starting a one and a half hour conversation. During that time, we learned that they had three kids, who used to be homeschooled, and that they too had recently moved to France. At the end numbers were exchanged and an invitation to tea extended.
God answered my prayer once again, giving my brothers and I English-speaking friends with whom we can relate.
Another French Friend
One Sunday evening my younger brother and I had just gotten back from a bike ride, when not 10 minutes later, the father of my youngest brother’s friend arrived with his sixteen year old daughter, to retrieve my youngest brother’s friend who was over for a visit. I talked with her for a few minutes, little did I know that a couple weeks later i would get to spend a wonderful afternoon with her.
“Thank you Lord!”
God was continually answering my prayer.
On the way back from a vacation in Italy, my dad had made plans to reconnect with and old buddy from his younger years, when he toured Europe with a Christian choir. We were passing through and were going stay one night with this family. Upon arriving, we met their two young sons and their fourteen year old daughter, with whom I was to share a room. Although I was a little uncomfortable at first, I began to talk with the girl and we quickly warmed up to each other.
God is Faithful
Looking back on these past couple of years, I can see God faithfully answering my prayers for friends. He saw my tears of loneliness, heard my constant prayers, and little by little he answered them. I persevered and had faith in his plan and God came through for me and my brothers.
About the Author
Sophie Long arrived in France as an MK in 2015. She loves to sing, is a driven and high-performing student through Abeka Academy and enjoys writing. She plays keyboard and helps create an atmosphere of worship in the local church. Finally, she blogs at Girl in France and you can connect with her on twitter or instagram.