Nantes Go Team 2008

26 Mar
Sorry for the delay in getting this post up. For a brief moment I feared the Messenger report would be out first! My computer is deadly slow at uploading pictures so more will be added in the future, consider this a working in progress.
A few years ago I visited Nantes with my family during our summer holidays and expecting similar 30 degree heat I boldly packed my flowery shorts for the week of the Go Team this Easter. Despite really enjoying the week the weather failed to provide an oppertunity for an Easter tan so that is the last time I will choose a Go Team for the climate!

We all arrived in Nantes on Saturday 15th March despite Alistiar Rolleston’s problems getting through security at Belfast International due to the hairdryer in his hand luggage, understandable I suppose that a guy with short hair carrying a hairdryer would raise suspicions. We flew via Standsted and arrived on schedule around Saturday tea time and upon arrival Erin excitedly informed the other team members that on the flight to Nantes she had been chatting with “A magician… he plays the harp for a living”.

Mark, Belfast International Aeroport- Awake, Alive, Alert, Enthuasiastic

On Sabbath we worshipped with the fellowship in Nantes and enjoyed a meal with the congregation during which we made conversation through a combination of French, English and charades. During the afternoon our team leader Andy McKelvey (aka P10) lead our first Bible Study of the week, each one was based upon a different Bible character. There was also great laughter at the news of a marriage proposal to one of the team members by someone from the fellowship, we’ll refer to him as “James McC” to hide his identity.

Our work began in earnest on Monday morning as we started our principal task of distributing “Reflexions”, a leaflet containing the gospel message, to as many homes as possible. The part I found to be the greatest challenge was not the miles of walking but my stumbling attempts to convince people that they wanted to open the front door of their apartment blocks to allow me to put Reflexions “dans des boites au lettres” however by the end of the week we had succeeded in distributing a colossal 28,000 leaflets, making the area of Nantes which we covered over10 times the size of Dromore. Noticing all the different names on each of the thousands of letterboxes I was struck by how important this work is and how we need to pray that God will change the lives of those people who would open their letterbox to find this leaflet. Pray that people will respond to these leaflets and that God will grant Malcom wisdom as he deals with responses.

Beaucoup des Reflexions

Mark in Action

Andy Tackles An Apartment

On Tuesday evening we organised the “Soiree”, an evening’s entertainment for the people of the fellowship to invite their friends to, we held a table quiz with a musical interlude (starring Andy, Charlotte and Catherine Ball), an epilogue by Malcom Ball and refreshments afterwards. The evening was quite successful and there many non-Christians present, pray that God will use the message to bring them to a saving faith in Christ Jesus.

Malcom warms up the crowd with a rendition of Robbie William’s “Angels”

As leaflet distribution continued I was given a different task on Wednesday afternoon, mentally exhausting rather than physically, leaving Mark to walk the streets of Nantes alone. Malcom had arranged for me to spend the afternoon with a fourteen-year old french boy named Julian with whom Malcom has been helping with occassional English classes. I found the afternoon very rewarding and thoroughly enjoyed it as we talked about school, holidays, music etc. Pray that God will use this simple, practical help and expression of Christian love to break into Julian’s life and that he may be saved.

We also spent an evening with a few teenagers connected to the fellowship and Andrew McKelvey impressively succeeded in explaining “Ah-Saw-Ohh” in French. We played games together, had supper and then they asked us questions about our faith and what it was like to be a young Christian in Northern Ireland.

On our afternoon off we ventured into the centre of Nantes with Denise Ball as our tour guide. We saw the sights of Nantes including: a theater, a strange elephant, a fountain, a cathedral and a castle. My favourite sight however was the delicious crepes which enjoyed for tea! I definately preferred the crepes to the snails which we tried for a starter on the second on Sunday of our team.

Apparently quite a similar design to the new Cullybackey building

Nantes Go Team Eat Snails

We returned to Northern Ireland on Monday 24th after 9 days abroad. I was quite relieved to be able to understand what people around me were saying and being able to read some English again. I really enjoyed the week in Nantes and it has helped me as we remember the mission work in prayer to see the difficulties facing our missionaries. Nantes is a team which involves a lot of practical work so french isn’t essential and I think every young preson should take the oppertunity to go to Nantes at least once to encourage the people there and to help you to pray more specifically for the work. If you are any good at French I would go further and say it is your duty to use your gift at languages to help the church in Nantes. Remember to water the seed sown during this week of outreach through your prayers as God’s blessing is essential, we are entirely dependant upon him.

“Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain”
Psalm 127v1a


5 Responses to “Nantes Go Team 2008”

  1. Anonymous April 7, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    any particular reason you were in that cathedral james??the secrets out…

  2. Anonymous April 8, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    yeaa……. he loved it!!
    like he took too many pictures to just be a curious tourist….

  3. James McCullough April 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm #


    no comment


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