Glen and Jessica Shady
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
With much gratefulness we can see that God has blessed us, helped us, and directed us over the years in our journey to the mission field. Our greatest blessing has always been our family. We were married in December 2007, and have since had three wonderful daughters: Elizabeth (2009), Hannah (2011), and Madeline (2015). Now, as a family, we are excited to go to France in January 2017.
We first met at Ball State University in 2006 through our involvement in the Christian Student Foundation. Jessica graduated in the spring of 2007 with a degree in Business and Glen transferred to Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) to pursue a future in ministry. After getting married later that year we were full of excitement to serve in the Kingdom, which led us to Lancaster, OH where Glen served as Youth Minister for four years at the Fifth Avenue Church of Christ. He continued his degree at CCU during this time and graduated with a B.S. in Ministry and Leadership in 2010.
In the midst of this amazing time of ministry at Fifth Avenue we were able to visit Europe together in 2011, where we traveled through parts of Germany, Belgium, and Austria talking to various Kingdom workers. A fire for missions in Western Europe grew in our hearts as we heard the testimonies of those serving there. This ultimately led to us leaving Lancaster and moving to Cincinnati in 2012 so that Glen could pursue a Masters of Divinity in Theology at CCU (anticipated graduation May 2016). While working on this degree, Glen had another opportunity to visit Germany in 2012, and spent three weeks in France in the summer of 2014. Our time in Cincinnati has been very fruitful, and we are continuing to grow in our faith and passion for global missions.
Relationships and connections have always been important to us. We had great mentors at Ball State who encouraged a youthful exuberance and growing maturity in our faith. At Fifth Avenue we learned about the importance of family, both in the home and in the church, along with the challenges and rewards of ministry. In Cincinnati we have had great people who have supported us and encouraged us to learn and plan for our future in missions. As we venture onto the mission field we look forward to forging new relationships which will be important to our future. We hope that you will partner with us and become a part of God’s blessing in our lives and work in France.
the need for missionaries is real
Facts About France
- Population: 66 million
- Geography: Largest country in Western Europe
Christianity in France
- Catholic: 61% of total population
- Only 15% label themselves as "practicing Catholics"
- Less than 5% attend Mass weekly, and only another 5% attend even occasionally
- 31% do not believe in God
- Protestant: 3% of total population
- Only 10% attends church weekly
- 20% read the Bible weekly
- 9% do not believe in God
- Evangelical: 1% of total population
- Only 1 church for every 30,000 people
- 60% attend church each Sunday
- 74% read the Bible every week
Outside of Christianity in France
- Islam: 11% of total population
- Non-Religious: 25% of total population
- 44% of the entire country do not believe in God
- Over 50% of those ages 34 and younger
- 35% of the population's people groups have not even heard the Gospel
France is a highly secularized, post-Christian country. No matter where they fall in these percentages listed above, only 13% of the people in France feels that religion is important to them. Spiritually this is a very dark country which desperately needs the light of Jesus.
vision and goals for french christian mission
Short Term Goals
GOAL #1 ~ LEARN
Our first 11 months in France will be dedicated to learning the language and culture of our new home. We will be attending Les Cèdres in Massy, which is a southern suburb of Paris. One of the primary reasons for choosing this language school is that it exists solely for those individuals wishing to learn the French language for missionary and ministry purposes.
Mastering a foreign language is much more than simply knowing what words to say in conversation. During this time, our family will be learning what it means to "be French."
GOAL #2 ~ CONNECT
For the first few years (2-5) following our time in language school, we will be in our connect phase. At this point we will be working with existing believers and churches so that we can learn more about how to "do church" in France. Another way to view this phase is to think of it as an apprenticeship phase.
We also want to focus on forming relationships with churches and believers, and beyond that to strengthen our relationships with non-believers. We want to continue to be sponges during this time, so that we can grow in our understanding of how to most effectively minister to the French people.
GOAL #3 ~ PLANT
Our ultimate desire and goal for our duration in France is to plant churches. There is only 1 evangelical church for every 30,000 people in the entire country! We know of people who drive over an hour (one way) to get to church. Due to the lack of trained ministers and resources, some churches are unable to meet weekly, sometimes only meeting once a month for services. These are problems that with the grace and help of God, we want to remedy.
Long Term Vision
Our priority and number one goal in France is to plant churches. Over time we would love to go beyond that and begin creating resources in French, tailored specifically to the spiritual landscape in France, to train and equip teachers, leaders, and church members. This could be done through creating written materials, conducting workshops, and establishing a training institute. Our hope is that we can look clearly into the needs of France to help provide solutions.
1509 Parlor City Dr.
Bluffton, IN 46714