Nantes is a beautiful city and is seen by more and more people as a great place to live. We have been blessed in many different ways by people coming to Nantes for shorter and longer stays. Over the years of work in Nantes there has been a steady stream of students coming to work or study in Nantes for an academic year or a semester. For example, Helen McKelvey (pictured above) from the Irish church has just finished her second year as a language assistant in a local school, a position which we were able to arrange for her. Helen’s presence here was a great encouragement and if you know her you’ll know how happy she was to be here. Incidentally, Helen’s first contact with the work here was through a short term mission team, another excellent way to partner with us in our work.
Much to our great pleasure, Lydia Pollock, again from the RPCI, has just taken up a position of English Language Assistant in Helen’s former school and both Andrew and Heather Lytle have had opportunities to take various lessons in this private Catholic school. Jacob and Kaylee Martin from the RPCNA have also recently arrived in Nantes where Jacob will be working as a language assistant for a year. We are delighted to have them as part of our fellowship.
Just in case you are thinking that opportunities are only for young people or students, let me tell you about Mike and Priscilla Heft from the Los Angeles RPC. They have decided to give their “retirement” years to help and encourage us in our work here. They have sold their home in California and are in the process of settling in to life in the West of France. Already we have seen a glimpse of some of the many ways in which they will be able to serve, especially among the many English-speaking students who worship with us.
Is it easy to move to the other side of the world to a country whose language you don’t speak? At any age, younger or older, the answer is “no”. It requires sacrifices, saying “no” to self and putting the needs of others before your own. But isn’t that the life of discipleship to which we are called? We see many who move to France from around the world, making huge sacrifices to further their career or studies. Are God’s people prepared to do the same for the advance of the Gospel?
France has for a long time been considered the Missionaries’ graveyard but in recent years there have been signs of increasing spiritual hunger. Perhaps more than ever before there are opportunities for Gospel work but are God’s people prepared to respond to these opportunities. I urge you to consider how you can join with us in the partnership of the Gospel!
Andrew Lytle, RPCI Missionary in Nantes