In the midst of a pandemic, it’s easy to see the hardships, the struggles, the trials. But if we look with eyes to see and ears to hear, we might just see God at work. He is always working.
In southern France, for example, a long-established café culture exists. Almost everywhere, you can find small, individually owned café-bars where people congregate on a daily basis. In a culture where the church hasn't been at the center of the community for centuries, this café culture is at the heart of French daily life. It brings a natural connecting point for people. At cafes and restaurants, people can find a sense of community and a source of encouragement.
Our Communitas missional staff, François and Julie (names changed due to the nature of their ministry), have participated regularly in this café culture. They have developed and invested in friendships with many French neighbors and business owners. The recent prolonged closure of these truly “essential” community gathering spaces, coupled with a 6pm curfew, and the increase in people working remotely, means that many of their friends are suffering from increased loneliness and isolation. In the midst of that though, François and Julie are seeing people searching for friendship, community, strength, and guidance.