On my last mission update, I (Ardis Nelson, member of the CR leader team at PLCC) was preparing to give my testimony at the Celebrate Recovery meeting at the Klein’s church (E.P.E.G.E.) in Grenoble, France. That was my last full day in France, so the day was spent in preparation to travel to Spain and also working on our bi-lingual PowerPoint presentation for the seminar. There were lots of spiritual attacks on both fronts.
I take no credit for translating anything, just using an online translator at times and matching English and Spanish documents side-by-side. I have a much greater appreciation for those who speak multiple languages. I found out later that it was International Translator’s Day. It felt like a heavenly sign that He was watching from above.
Sharing my testimony in France was a highlight of my time in the country. Marvin invited me to do so when we first met three years ago in Washington State. I was flattered, but only took him half-seriously at the time. My testimony includes part of the story behind how all of this came to be—coming to France and birth of the seminar in Spain. So when I started to share that part of my testimony, I got a bit choked up. My heart was filled with gratitude and awe at how God had orchestrated all of this.
Tears are welcome at Celebrate Recovery. It promotes my healing and other’s healing as well.
During the open share portion of the meeting, Susan, the woman who translated my testimony into French, also translated what others said. I can’t share what she translated, but I can say that there are no language or cultural barriers when it comes to the pain and burdens we each carry inside. I was honored and blessed knowing that God was using my weaknesses to strengthen others and encourage them on their recovery journey.
Leaving France the next day was very bittersweet for me. I spent a wonderful week with friends who share my passion for healing and spiritual growth in the Body of Christ. They showered their hospitality on me and showed me amazing sights near their home in the French Alps. It was a place I never considered visiting until Marvin’s invitation three years ago.
During my week in France, I prayed from the mountaintops and in the grandeur of Notre Dame for the French people. I met people who also share the desire and the longing for spiritual renewal in their country. I will continue to pray for them, and watch what happens from across the world.
While I didn’t want to leave France, I was also excited about the next leg of our mission into Spain, where I already have a heart for the people and the country. On the way to the airport I shared with the Klein’s the scripture that felt anointed for this very day, October 2 (read as ‘ten-two’).
Luke 10:2 says: He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
This team is a dedicated group of harvesters. We were on our way to a new field. It is (was) a field that has been prepared by the prayers over this mission and on my prayer journey in Spain last summer. It was with Godly anticipation and boldness that we stepped onto Spanish soil. What was going to happen next was surely in His hands.
One last note about France…The French version of Celebrate Recovery is “Une Vie Renouvelée.” That literally translates to “A Life Renewed.” It is such a powerful name for the program, and true to the core of how Jesus renews and restores our lives through the guided sanctification process that is the Biblical 12-Steps. I’ve often heard it said that the American name for CR should be the same as in France. Alas, that would have to be brought up with the head of CR at Saddleback Church. Regardless of the name, the result is the same…a life renewed…in Christ.
I leave you with a slide show of some of my favorite images of France.
Farewell to France! Welcome to Spain!
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.