When God Speaks Clearly

At the beginning of 2020, our church started the year with 20 days of prayer and fasting. It was Sunday 5th of January that we had our first Sunday Encounter Night of 2020. As a family with four young children, evening meetings were always a struggle to get to, but with some persuasion, Amy managed to make it. During the meeting Andy, a friend of ours and a fairly new Christian, came up to Amy and said that he had a picture for us. He went on to share the picture, and thankfully sent it through to us by email the following day.


This is what he shared; "The picture I had for you guys was Jesus saying to get in your car and put this number into your sat nav and this is where you are going and will plant a church. The numbers are 75016. I also saw you driving to the coast and the sea splitting in two and you driving through the middle of it and up the other side."


When Amy came home that evening, she shared Andy’s word with me, and so we opened Google Maps on my phone and typed in ‘75016’ to discover the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Interesting, we thought.


The following day, I shared with Steve Alliston (our lead pastor) and then emailed Nathan Lambert (Église Fireplace) to find out if that part of the city was of any significance to them. He shared that the 16th was a part of the city that God had called them to majorly focus on. It is also one of the three arrondissements that share the Arc de Triomphe. Fireplace have had two prophetic words about the church being like the Arc de Triomphe, and the square that surrounds it, as a place where people from all over the city congregate; but also because it’s a place that then sends people out to the various corners of the city.


A few weeks later we were able to share a meal with Nathan and Beki at the New Ground Together weekend in Liverpool. We shared stories, asked lots of questions and really sensed a fresh impartation of faith for what God is wanting to do in Paris and across the nation of France. The whole weekend was themed around marriage, family life and being on mission together.


On our return, Amy and I decided it was time to share with our children, at the time aged five, four, two and one (yes, we’re slightly crazy). So, we spoke to them about what had been happening, what God had said and asked them what they thought about the idea of moving to Paris. Of course, we felt they needed some context and so we showed them Paris on Youtube; Disneyland, the Eiffel Tower, food, fountains and fun – they thought it was a great idea!


Later that evening, in the carnage of bath time, our eldest daughter Eloise asked me the ultimate question, “Daddy, when are we going to move to Paris?” to which I wisely responded, “Well, that’s what we’ve got to ask God.” Within less than a second, she confidently responded, “16th June.” To say that I was a little surprised would be an understatement. I then responded and said “If you think we’re moving to Paris on the 16th June, you’d better go and tell your mummy,” which of course she did. So bounding gracefully into the bathroom, she tells it straight, “Mummy, we’re moving to Paris on the 16th of June… on a Tuesday.” When I mentioned that I was surprised before, to have a day of the week assigned to a date that had come from nowhere felt bizarre. I looked at Amy and said “if the 16th June is a Tuesday, we’re in big trouble.” It was, we were and God had yet again got our attention.