Winter: An Update YWAM Paris with jess

Hello and Happy Holidays from Paris! As the season change and the days get shorter, our schedules have gotten busier and busier. But, as Jim Elliot said, “What a joy it is to be weary with the work of the Kingdom.” Also, let's get one thing settled early on, this is more of an update spanning three seasons, but let's pretend that I've been as diligent and eloquent as those great missionaries of old. Cool?


Paula's photography skills // Paula's cooking skills // Alan!

As my position here at YWAM Paris is a part of the base staff, during the Discipleship Training School I help run a lot of the upkeep of the base. This means cooking and cleaning and general running around to keep everyone sane. Three days a week I cook the lunches for everyone on the base (about 35 people). As some of you may know, I enjoy cooking but have never really considered myself particularly gifted, so it’s been a challenge in the best way possible. On days when I’m not in the kitchen I look after local cutie and resident bundle-of-joy, Alan, the son of a couple here on staff so that his mother has time to do all she needs to.


Every week on Tuesday afternoons we lead the DTS students in a time of intercession. These past eight weeks we’ve been focused on street intercession through our neighborhood of Belleville and into the heart of Paris. It’s been really cool to see the students work this muscle of hearing God’s voice and praying out their prayers for the people and city in the streets that we walk every day. We’ve begun putting our prayers onto a map of the 19th and 10th arrondissement, and as future YWAM teams come for outreaches they’ll build off the prayers we’ve already mapped. It’s a new idea our team has never participated in before, and it’s been such an honor to lead it.

French Courses

the school // the moon after class // my second bible

A major part of my time here in France has been dedicated to learning the language. Twice a week I have a two hour French class at a local school. It’s sponsored through the city of Paris, which makes the prices of the classes affordable for immigrants and lower income foreign workers (and missionaries). I’m the only American in the class, which thankfully takes away my option of relying on English when my French is insufficient. Every week I leave feeling simultaneously sobered in regards to my current French level and excited at the prospect of learning this beautiful language.


To end the week off, every Friday we devote the afternoon and evening to have the students participate in workshops run by our staff and some guests from around France. As the focus of the current DTS is “art and food” this gives the students a designated time to learn about how to worship God through their various giftings. Art and food is such a major part of French culture and so having this time has been really beneficial to understanding the country in which we live. Every Friday evening we have a big meal as a group and hear from the participants in the different workshops which were run that afternoon. I’ve had the pleasure of leading a few baking and cooking workshops, and in December will be doing a hand lettering course for the students that’ve expressed an interest.

This past Friday we had a major Thanksgiving feast with all the essential foods. My friend Gabby and I ran around the city trying to find a whole turkey and failing miserably (FYI: Paris butcheries and supermarchés don’t stock turkeys before December 1st, as it’s more of a Christmas staple in France). We settled for two legs and a bunch of breasts and it all turned out deliciously.

The Future

In December we as a base are going to host a Fête de Nöel (or a Christmas party) for our neighborhood and explain who YWAM Paris is now that the restaurant we previously ran has closed. When the DTS is on their outreach phase at the end of December for three months in SE Asia and Africa, this will leave only three base staff in Paris (including myself). We already have multiple YWAM teams and guests interested in coming to the city to help us pioneer our refugee and anti-human trafficking ministries. I cannot understate my excitement for these developments, as I truly feel this is a major reason for my being here in Paris. The lecture phase of a DTS takes up a lot of time for everyone here, and it’s a ministry that we're all glad to participate and devote time to; but as it comes to a close we are blessed to have these opportunities open up to us. There's already so much happening in the YWAM community to address the refugee crisis, and as Paris is a city with a large refugee population and very little being done by the government. It’s the job of the church to come in and work to see the physical and spiritual needs of these people met. In January the base staff will be traveling to Biarritz, on the Atlantic coast of France as a time to rest and recoup after the craziness of the past few months we've had. I'd so appreciate some prayers for finances to make that trip possible as it is vital to our sanity to have a break from the hustle of the Parisian life.

A Few Final Things

the British embassy // a package // the laundry mat // a moto

Finally, thank you all for your prayers. I feel their protection and the Lord’s hand over my life daily. I can sense the isolation of nostalgia that inevitably comes with the holiday season being held at bay, and I thank the Lord, and your prayers, for that.

Today I read something John Stam wrote shortly after arriving to the mission field in China, "To me it has been a wonderful illustration of the fact that when we do 'seek first' the kingdom of God, although our efforts may be blundering, He does unstintingly add the 'all things.'" (Matthew 6:33) What a quote to sum up my first few months here. I do no profess to be perfect in seeking God's kingdom first (oh my word, no) but what a beautiful reminder to thank the Lord for His provision over everything, from food to money to guidance in His word.

Some Prayer Requests

If I cross your mind or you're wondering how to pray for us here at YWAM Paris, here are few things:

  • That refugee opportunities would be clear and without hinderance
  • For the final outreach money to come in for the students and staff
  • Smooth travel and preparations as outreach begins
  • For financial provision as different conferences and outreach opportunities begin
  • That I would find continued times of availability in the Word
  • And patience with learning the French language and the boldness to speak

Again, thank you for the love and support, it does not go unnoticed. If you want to donate &/or keep up with me, you can visit my blog here:

Thank you & have a wonderful week!


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Jessica Shantz

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