Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oui were in Paris!

This is just a brief update on our time in Paris, since I have been home for five hours and leave again in less than an hour for Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, for the Commonwealth Games and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In Paris, we worked with Paris Je T'aime, a festival/camp that does open air performances around Paris in the evenings. Our team performed dance, musical, and theatrical numbers, then spread through the audience to speak to the people who stopped to watch. I performed three songs that my teammates wrote while I was renewing my visa. The fashion interns made a beautiful costume, and Melody, our team make up artist, did different make up on me and Laura, my theatre intern, every night. It was a blast to perform and get to speak to the audience members.

I do not speak French, but Melody helped me, and in Belleville, a bit of a dangerous neighbourhood (and on the night there was a shooting in the Metro and protests all over Paris), we spoke to a man who had never heard that Jesus did not just die for Christians, but also died for him. He asked me why, and when I told him that Jesus died for him because He loves him, the man nearly cried. I have never before looked into somebody's eyes as they realise the love of Jesus, but it is a sight that I don't think I will ever forget.

I was truly amazed by the people in Paris Je T'aime. They came from countries all over the world, and they gave two weeks of their time to pay to fly to Paris and to do evangelism. They had such good hearts about it, too, and they were excited to give their time for Jesus. It inspired me and gave me new excitement about the awesome life God has called me to. I get to do this again for two weeks in Scotland!

And before I dash off, here are some photographs of Paris (I was not the photographer this time, so the photographs of performances will have to come later):

The Eiffel Tower

My make up after the first performance

The Arc de Triomph

Leading worship at the camp meeting.

On the rooftop of Lafayette.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Two Sides of Home

After two months back in the States, the time is here again: on Wednesday, July 9th, I leave from Savannah, and on Thursday, July 10th, I will arrive back in London.

The past two months have been amazing. I have traveled all around the Southeast to spend time with various churches that have been a part of my life and people who are still big parts of my life, despite the ocean that normally separates us. I know that people always say this, but it really has been humbling to meet the people who pray for and support me. For a while, your names were names I saw in emails and prayed in prayers of thanksgiving to God, but this summer, I got to pray with you in person and hug you and thank you face to face. It was a humbling experience because I saw how big God is, and how, although I am just one person, there are so many people who consistently lift up my name to God, who pray for the work I do, and who don't forget me, no matter where in the world I am.

If you are just joining my journey, welcome! There is a post here that will tell you how to support me via Paypal, but other than that, this is a place where I tell everyone what I am up to, where in the world I am, or what God is working on in my life. You can leave a comment to talk to me, or you can email me directly at deborahestevenson@gmail.com

Anyway, back to my update. In three days, I arrive in London, and on July 13th, the whole arts ministry leaves for Paris, where we will be performing in a festival in front of the Eiffel Tower. As we perform, members of our team will also be in the audience, telling people about Jesus. I have wanted to participate in this festival since I heard about it over a year ago, and I am so excited to be able to be there for it this year.

After the festival in Paris, we will head up to Scotland for the Fringe Festival, then back down to London to host Bones, a camp to which we invite people from all nations to come join us for Notting Hill Carnival. I will try to keep this blog updated, but I will not be in London for more than a few days until the middle of August.

But before I leave, here are some pictures from my time in the States!

My first weekend in Savannah, Georgia, my brother came up, and my whole family went out to find alligators. We saw 39.

I learned my way around Savannah, since my parents moved here while I was in London.

 At Donielle's wedding in May in Greenville, SC.

I got to take part in Shandon Baptist's VBS in Columbia, SC by acting and writing the script for the worship time.


Spending time with Donielle in Raleigh, NC

One of my favourite little buddies, who I reunited with in Columbia, SC.

I spent the 4th of July visiting my brother in Orlando, Florida.
It has been nice to be back in the Land that I Love, the Home of the Free and the Brave (can you see that I enjoyed the 4th of July? It was my first one in the States since 2011!), but I am excited to return to London. Please pray for the safety of me and my team as we embark on our summer outreach, and please also pray that we stay energised and excited. If you could also pray that I remember my French while I'm in Paris, I would really appreciate it.
Bye, America! It's been lovely! 
Hello, London!