By Kerrie-Lee Amoson
PARIS— “Those of us who live here are more aware than ever that it is a place of great darkness,” wrote Missionary Kristi Colas.
On the night of Nov. 13, explosions and shootings marred this “City of Lights.” Millions in the following 24 hours broadcasted their support and grief saying “Pray for Paris.”
“The terrorist attacks have made a big impact on French culture in general. We have been under a state of emergency for over a year,” said Colas. “The police can do searches without warrants, we get our purses checked in big shopping centers, and there is much higher security everywhere. Lawmakers are trying to figure out how to balance personal liberty and the need for more government surveillance.”
France, still bleeding from its wounds, is searching for peace and salvation. However, only the Great Shepherd can lead by still waters. Only His salvation is real and takes the sting from death and the heartache of this life.
Kristi Colas has her own prayer for France. Her prayer is that those around her would come to know of His salvation. After eight years in France, she now works with two other American missionary families in a church plant in Sarcelles in Paris’ northern suburbs. Sarcelles is one of the most multi-ethnic communities in the whole country. She serves in the church’s music and children’s ministries, special programs, evangelism, and discipleship of women. Last year, she started English clubs for neighborhood children. Several families signed up even when she advertised that Bible stories would be included to teach English. She tells, “I was delighted when several families signed up, knowing the very negative perspective that most people have about the Bible here.”
Colas also has a burden for what God is doing beyond France. Her heart is burdened to see the Gospel carried to other nations. The Lord has opened doors for her to minister on a regular basis throughout France. She has also made a few short trips throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Because of her burden for cross-cultural missions, she eagerly encourages French churches to be more involved and interested in cross-cultural missions as well. “Most French churches see very few missionary presentations, and their missions programs are very under-developed,” she said.
Her passion for music also causes her to reach beyond France. She heads up her Ecclémusica ministry. Ecclémusica is a little group of French people that help Colas with different music and missions projects. Her passion for music has grown into a strong desire to train better music leaders, instrumentalists, and pianists through church music seminars. She uses this passion as part of her ministry to local churches where church music is not very developed. In Central Asia, she has been able to teach music seminars in dangerous regions. Her recent music seminar had to be cancelled due to a terrorist attack.
For some time, the field of ethnomusicology has interested her. Church music training has interested Colas for years along with teaching music, and studying music education. It makes up her two passions—missions and music. Last year, she began working on her masters degree in this field to “help train believers in other countries around the world in developing worship that reflects their culture,” she said. She is excited about other places that the Lord will lead through her music ministry.
“My light feels very little indeed, surrounded by such pervading darkness. But by God’s grace, I’m gonna let it shine, thanks to your prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit . . . the Lord reminds me often that all He asks of me is to faithfully sow; He will take care of the harvest,” Colas writes.