When Judy Carmean’s children graduated from university, the last thing she thought she’d do was move to France; but God often has a funny way of changing our own plans.
Judy decided it was time complete her own undergraduate education at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and graduated in December of 2008 with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. During her final semester at OKWU, Judy felt the Lord calling her to an early graduation and that summer, she felt a calling to reach out to the French people and culture. Almost immediately, an opportunity came to enroll in a missionary school in France. After completing her time at the missionary school, Judy attended a language school in the suburbs of Paris. While there, she connected with a church plant started by one of her classmates and worked with that ministry until moving to Rueil Malmaison, France—the town famous for the Chateau where Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, lived.
One of the words Judy uses to sum up her life in France is bienvenue—welcome—because of the incredible welcome she has received from so many new friends. She quite literally lives on “the Street of Friendship”. Building friendships with neighbors and others has become the focus of her ministry, much of which she attributes to her time at Oklahoma Wesleyan. “Having been taught this way,” she says, “I now attempt to do exactly the same in France: bring the Truth in excellence in an atmosphere of caring for the people.”
Today, Judy is active in the organization Alpha, an evangelical program created by Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London. The course is a ten-week program with meetings that are held once a week in which people can gather to learn about the gospel, ask questions, and share a meal. Judy acts as facilitator for three of these sessions per year and has witnessed intense growth and turn toward Christianity.
In addition to her work with Alpha, Judy has developed friendships and partnerships in several other ministries including a community ladies’ meeting, a language club, gym classes, and others. In prayer, Judy asks for protection not only herself, but also for the people of France. While her journey in France has stretched her to new challenges and the people of France have been shaken by recent terror attacks, Judy’s hope and joy are strong.
“I am joyous (joyeuse) to serve Him in France; I think it is important for people to know that obeying God is fulfilling. Knowing that fact and following God’s lead should bring fulfillment and many joyous times. Bringing people to the Lord is the most joyous thing there is!”