On Saturday I was delighted to have the opportunity to take part in The March for Jesus in Strasbourg - the perfect place to pray for the nations of Europe! And there was certainly a very European theme - at the end of the march we were even given the honour of having a meeting in the European Council - this Europe theme really spoke to me of the plans God has for me concerning Europe (not just France!)
We (I went with a surprisingly small group of people from church - I was surprised that more people hadn't wanted to take part - for me the idea of marching through the European capital, praying and worshiping God was just SO exciting!!) began the march next to the European Council and not far from the European Parliament - flags and banners waving, voices in tune and smiles of joy all round as we brought the light of Jesus to the streets of Strasbourg. There were a number of different open back vans with worship bands on each one and the crowd followed them, distributing tracts to bystanders - there were mixed responses - some were hostile, some were mocking and
others were completely uninterested (or pretended to be, but let's be honest, who could ignore such a spectacle especially as we were anouncing the coming of God's Kingdom.)
We stopped briefly in front of the European Council to watch some German flag wavers - standing there like that with Bible verses in French, German and English waving about everywhere on big wooden banners and a big sign in front of us with Jesus' name stamped across it, right by the European Council with the flag of every European nation flying over us, was just incredible and really excited and touched me. And as one woman pointed out to me, this is just the beginning of what God has for me. What an exciting thought!
I remember a time when walking in public like that, making such a spectacle of myself and my faith would have killed me with shame but gone is that person. Thanks to God, I was able to walk with confidence, boldness and an overflowing joyfulness which made me smile at different bystanders and ask God to bless those who refused a tract or turned hostile at being offered one. It made me smile to
myself to think how much they need God.
Before or since then (I can't remember which), God brought to my attention the story of Joshua and the Israelites and the way in which they claim the Promised Land - God had already given it to them but it was up to them to step out in faith and courage and go and take it - God even said "I will give you every place you go in the land". It's the same with the nations of Europe - God has promised to give us the nations but it's up to us to go and claim them. So as we walked across the heart of Strasbourg and the symbolic heart of Europe we were claiming the land that God has given us and it's something we have to do throughout all the European nations.
Like I said, our final destination was the European Council and it was with great excitement and honour that I took my place in a big, comfy seat with a microphone and earphones positioned on my desk just like I've seen in news pictures. The meeting involved a few speeches, watching a live video conference
of another meeting that was taking place in Brussels with l'Ensemble Pour L'Europe and then a song at the end. At the time, the importance of what we were doing didn't really strike me (I was rather occupied by my drooping eyelids and my poor rumbling stomach) - it's only with hindsight that I realize how awesome and powerful it was - to have worshiped God in the European Council! I did pray that God would bless the European leader who sits in the same chair after me - I pray the Holy Spirit whacks him! It might even be Francois Hollande, the new French president - how cool would that be!
All I do know is that I was meant to be a part of that day and I'm so glad I was - I sense God giving me a heart for Europe and I'm excited - there's no knowing where I'll end up with Him!
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