FRANCE KIDS’ CAMP
By: Meg Magee
What comes to your mind when you think of France? Buttery pastries? Stinky cheeses? Imposing monuments and ornate chateaus? While the country had a rich history with the Church, we rarely associate it with Christianity these days.
When I stumbled upon the list of globalX trips last year, I immediately disregarded the France options. What would family and friends think if I said I was “raising support” to go to France? Fortunately, God is persistent and prompted me to apply to be a team member for the trip designated to lead a kids’ camp at one of North Point’s partner churches, Église de la Brie, just southeast of Paris.
Over the course of the months leading up to our July 6th departure, our group met many times and shared ideas for activities and planning. Despite all of our efforts, it seemed that we were entering a situation with countless unknowns. Our leader had only been able to correspond with her French counterpart through e-mail leading up to the week of the trip, and since this was the first summer that the church offered the camp, we had no idea how our involvement and plans would integrate with the French team.
The French team was incredibly welcoming and gracious. I laughed more in that week than I had cumulatively over the previous six months. The kids could not have been more precious and were a blast to be with. Over the course of the week, we played lots of games, but the biggest hit was Water Olympics! At the conclusion of our week we miraculously (literally!) put on a production for the parents, showing them all their kids had done and learned during the week. God seemed to use our camp to impact the hearts and lives of these French kids in order to spark some curiosity in the adults.
Upon returning to the U.S., I couldn’t help but wonder why God would allow things to go so smoothly. Why did our team click so well with the French team? Why did the foreign language barrier not pose problems? Why was the weather absolutely perfect? I have always associated mission trips with significant obstacles, discomfort, and hardship. Maybe it’s that God wants so badly for France, a country that seems to have no need for him, to know him and, maybe he chose to remove those obstacles so that we could do our best to point the children and families to him. Whatever his reason, I feel blessed to have been part of this trip and am excited to see him continue his work in France.