Team Burkina 2016 was in Paris, France from November 23rd until December 2nd, and we loved it. We stayed the first week in a house boat on the Seine river by the Eiffel Tower, and we spent the second week debriefing at a retreat centre just outside of Paris in a small town named Ecouen. Three of our days within Paris were spent partnering with and learning from MB Missions. During our first day working with MB Missions our team separated into two tiny groups – one group taught english and played uno(because of Burkina, it is a new favourite card game to some of our team) with kids in the afternoon, while the the other group taught english and played games in the evening with adults.
The next day our team joined the MB Missions folks at the North African markets where they led us in a three part market exploration. When we arrived at the market, MB Missions split us up again – but this time each tiny group was going to participate in all three activities, just at different times. One activity was a neighbourhood walk-around and pray time, one activity included exploring and observing the market in its abundance of life, and during one activity we handed out tracts – pamphlets used to spread the gospel. Before we started handing out the tracts I very apprehensive of the activity because the only thing I knew about it was the picture of people being ignored as they stood with their shelf of pamphlets beside a train station. I also thought I was going to feel uncomfortable due to the unfamiliarity of the situation, but we all jumped right into because on Outtatown it was normal to extend our leaps of faith and jump into the unknown(and it was super worth it). A blessing I received while handing out the pamphlets arrived through a little wonderful old lady. When I met this lady and handed her a “Dieu vous aime” pamphlet I accidentally addressed her using the informal tu instead of the formal vous, and ta da(!) she noticed I wasn’t a native french speaker. This started a long conversation about how she wanted to find somewhere for her grandchildren to learn english. I eventually talked on the phone to her daughter in both broken english and french, awhile later I gave up and introduced the lady to one of the partners in Paris who could answer here questions better than I could. Before this lady I and parted separate ways we had shared some laughs, I was reminded over and over again to use vous, and I was taught that even in a city such as Paris it is possible to find the friendliness that we encountered everywhere in Burkina Faso. And as I said goodbye she pulled some sweets out of her bag and gave them to each member of our team that was nearby, a little token to say thank you. It was cool.