Year Abroad student Joseph Gooddy reports on his recent experiences
Like many Modern Languages students, I had the exciting opportunity of going on a year-abroad in 2018-2019. From September to March I worked as a language assistant in Barcelona and then from April to July I was a stagiaire (intern) in two small churches in the suburbs of Paris. I’ve wondered for a while whether working for the church is something God is calling me to pursue, so this year seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go! Paul Cooke very kindly helped organise a placement for my 4 months in France and at the beginning of April I set off.
For my placement I was with the Perspectives churches in Le Pré Saint Gervais and Romainville, and their pastors Jonathan Vaughan and Khévang Sely. As a stagiaire, I really enjoyed throwing myself into the lives of both churches and developing friendships (and sharing English tea)with both congregations.
I learned a huge amount during my time in France – and not just on a linguistic level. No two days were ever the same which enabled me to help out with many different kinds of things. Amongst other things I had the opportunity to plan and lead or attend twice-weekly Bible studies, lead and play for services, sing in a Gospel choir, study New Testament Greek, lead the singing for an ecumenical walk, teach English classes, and spend time valuable reading and studying.
I’m really grateful for the warm welcome that I received during my time in Romainville and Le Pré, and especially to Jonathan and Khévang and their families, for their kindness and guidance. It was a real encouragement to have this experience of the church in France and to see how God is working in the lives of His followers over the Channel.
“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!” (Psalm 67:5 ESV)