Hello, Bonjour

Hello friends!

My name is Beth and I am a missionary working with Global Ministries and serving primarily in Guadeloupe.  Guadeloupe is a group of islands located in the French Caribbean.  (Near St. Lucia, St. Martin, Martinique, etc.)  Guadeloupe is a department of France and is, therefore, under French law and government.  This also means that the culture here is a fascinating mixture of French and Caribbean cultures and that French is the most widely-spoken language.

While I am here, I will primarily work with Men a Lespwa, an organization started by the Reformed Protestant Church in Guadeloupe. A primary focus of Men a Lespwa is working with prisoners: accompanying them while they are in jail through chaplaincy work and providing for physical needs, as well as accompanying ex-prisoners as they seek to re-integrate back into life outside the jails.  While I am here, a significant part of my work will be working in the prisons – leading weekly bible studies and meeting with prisoners. As I am starting out, I will primarily focus on the English speaking population in the prisons, which I have been told is approximately 25% of the prison population here.  It is certainly challenging but holy work.

I arrived here on September 25th, 2014. Since then, it’s been a bit like “Baptism by French,” but I’m understanding more and more each day.  However, that will be another focus of mine during my time here – learning as much French as I possibly can.  French is a difficult language to learn (verb conjugations, anyone?), but it’s so important that I become more conversational in it in order to better connect with people.

So, that’s the basics. 🙂  Prayers are certainly appreciated for the work in the prisons and as I work to progress my French. Prayers are also appreciated for the partners here – The Reformed Protestant Church and Men a Lespwa.  I’m excited to see all of the ways that God will be at work over this next year in Guadeloupe.