Planting Roses

She was smoking, as people of surprising ages are more likely to do in France, and had an edgy yet sweet vibe about her.

I started the conversation by asking if she spoke English, and she was eager to practice Anglais. I learned that she loved music, and was looking forward to hearing our band. Her name, translated into English, meant “Sweetbriar Rose.”

It had been a painfully hot day of setup out on the cobblestone square, but the sun had finally dipped behind the apartments and given us some relief. It was La Fete de la Musique – the week of the music festival, which happens annually in Southern France around the time of summer solstice. I stood beside the fountain with my new friend “Rose”, listening to the music, and afterward she asked some beautiful questions. As she unraveled her own story, I could see that Christ had already been pursuing her for some time.

I was struck by a thought, resonating with warmth through my soul: If God wanted me to come to France to encourage just this one sweet young woman, then that would be enough. At previous concerts, very few non-believers had come, which had been discouraging for some of our band. But as the lead guitarist told me, “If only one person were caught in an avalanche, wouldn’t search and rescue crews give all their time and resources to save that one life?” God loves us that much, I marveled.

Some of the conversations after our concert led to decisions of faith, with others expressing interest, as Rose was doing. Our friend, who had worked for two years to get permission to host this event, was thrilled with the responses that evening. His dream was to plant churches that would, in turn, help plant those that came to faith through these events. Perhaps, I thought, Rose would be a part of that dream coming true, and be herself planted in God’s kingdom.

Pray for Rose, and others who heard the Gospel through these concerts last summer. God is building his church in France, through evangelism, through music, and through your prayers.

By Natasha Stobbe