Sarah B. has gladly contributed to the blog with a list of her experiences as a global intern in France. Here are her thoughts:
Q. What does your housing look like?
A. We live in a two story townhouse that has four bedrooms, one full bathroom, two WCs (a room with just a toilet), and one half-bath (just a sink and bathtub). Of course, we have a lovely kitchen, laundry room, and a very large room that serves as the living room/dining room. It’s a lovely house, and we are quite close to the neighbors, so we see this as an opportunity to run into them more! Oh! Did I mention we have a back yard? It may be small, but it’s lovely for the summer time.
Q. What does communication with home look like?
A. We are blessed to be able to call home free any time we want to. There is a very cool deal that you can get in France where you have a box that lets you call using the internet, so it’s cost-free! I try to talk to my parents every week, which is possible to do and I talk to friends at home regularly. It’s just the time difference that can get a bit tricky, but it usually works out well!
Q. What are the people like?
A. I have found Nantais people to be more friendly than in other places in France. They are hard to get to know, for French culture is so private and closed, but I think being a foreigner helps to break that sometimes. There are also many foreign people in this city that are easy to get in touch with. In Nantes, the Muslim population is growing, and there is also a very large amount of North African immigrants here.
Q. What are some interesting things you’ve done?
A. Something interesting that I had the opportunity to do here is travel to many different parts of France doing ministry and with going places with friends. So far I’ve gotten to go to Paris, St.Nazaire, Normandy, and Marseille (area) with OM, BGU, and just for fun. It’s been great to see other parts of France and the differences between them! Something else interesting I’ve been blessed to have done is visit the island of Malta for my mid-internship break. I didn’t even know the country existed until coming to France but discovered it’s a popular (and affordable) vacation spot for the summer. It was a great break!
Q. What does ministry look like?
A. Right now there are a couple of ministries that I am involved in. The one that I am most involved in is the ministry with prostitute women, who are mostly Nigerian. I am in contact with a few of the women who have left the streets to follow Jesus and I visit them, go grocery shopping with them, encourage them in their new found faith in Christ, and stay flexible to help them at any time. Other ministries we are involved in as a team are, Café de Langues (where we make contacts with people through speaking English), hospitality ministry (inviting people into our home for meals or events), LinkUp (an organization that works with the youth of Nantes), and friendship evangelism. It’s very flexible here and new ideas are always welcome by the leaders!