Tonight is December 7th. Three weeks from November 13th, the night where violence and evil attacked this normally calm and peaceful city. The people of Paris have adjusted to the new normal and are back into the swing of things with a few more security guards and bag checks than before.
Ten days after the attacks we met Mark (not his name) at our language group. It was his first time and he said he was there to work on his English. He started to tell his story of moving to France with his family when he was young and said he had spent his childhood in California. But needed to get his English back to a better level. I connected him with our intern David who had just recently arrived from California and then left the language group in the capable hands of teammates and interns so Raeni and I could figure out some logistics and plan a few things for the future. Later that night as we reviewed the day David told the rest of Mark's story. After the group Mark stayed at Genesis chatting with those who were there. It turns out Mark was supposed to be at concert where the attack happened. He had decided to stay home so his friend instead went with his friends brother. During the attack Mark's friend's brother jumped in front of his friend to shield him from flying bullets. His friend was shot, as was the brother. As Mark shared the story he explained that his friend's brother had passed away and that his friend was still in the hospital. His friend's family had not yet told the injured friend that his brother had passed away and they had asked if Mark would tell him the next morning. Mark was pretty shaken up and immediately those who were there said we are going to pray for you. And instead of just saying it they gathered around and prayed for Mark to have the words to convey compassion and love to his friends.
Last week Mark attended the young adult ministry of Trinity International Church and attended church Sunday for the first time in fifteen years. Mark has heard the gospel and found a group of people to befriend him in this difficult time. Please pray for Mark and David as David continues to share the gospel with Mark and that Mark would respond to the gift of the gospel during this Christmas season.