“Bring it home” in March!

Short-term change is coming!

To this point, the majority of my posts have been directly related to short-term missions (STM) in general and our particular process leading to STM involvement in France. But in an attempt to engage a greater number of readers, I thought I’d dedicate the month of March to something a bit different and so….

March is “Bring it Home” month

By now you’ve pretty much gotten the hang of the fact that I post on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. But what I will be trying to do during the month of March is show you things that are characteristically “French” and give you tips on how you can bring a little bit of that certain “je-ne-sais-quoi” into your own home, kitchen, garden, etc.

BringItHomeI’ll start out on Saturday with bringing a pretty exotic dessert to your table… no fancy, hard to get or exorbitantly expensive ingredients though… all you’ll need is eggs, milk, sugar and flavor extracts.

See you Saturday for the beginning of Bring it Home month!

Covert Explorations


It started with a suggestion…

“You should try to get back with your wife at some point.”

@ Château de la Motte

This suggestion was made in August 2012, while I was still in France for two weeks’ worth of teaching at the Bible School.  I had experienced what I thought was God’s call, I had let it set for a couple of days, and I was speaking with Bro. Brochu.

Up to that point, the bulk of my experience in France had been just that… my experience, Liz had only been there once, in 2006.  Bro. Brochu thought that it’d be a good thing for us to come back together, experience it together, and see what/if God would speak to my wife.

Hatching a Plan

After I returned home, it happened that my wife decided to take some time, in October, to go see her parents in Belgium, along with Timo and a friend.  She wanted to take her friend to see Paris and asked if I knew anyone who could show them the city. I assured her that I could, and off they went; their guide would meet them on Friday morning at 11:00am, in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.

To their surprise, the guide was me.
(At the time, Liz worked for Air Canada so it was possible for us to get inexpensive tickets based on stand-by travel.)

I flew out 2 days after them, arriving in Paris Friday morning. We spent the day touring the city together, all four of us, and then we headed down to Châtellerault to spend the night at the Château de la Motte (behind us) just a short distance from the Brochu’s church.

The pretext was that, for our friend’s first time in Europe, it should be memorable, so we were staying in a 15th century castle, turned Bed & Breakfast (cheaper than ANY hotel you’ll find in Paris). We would attend church with the Brochus on Sunday morning after dining with them Saturday night. Following church on Sunday I drove Liz, Sally and Timo back to Belgium, to continue their time with family, and I flew back to Canada Monday morning.


It’s possible to characterize it as sneaky I suppose, because I’d not yet spoken with Liz about what I’d felt the previous August. My reasoning was this: one of the things I’d asked God was to speak some things directly to her so that, if we did end up there, she’d know that she too was called to France, that she too had a role to play, and would not simply be “tagging along with me while I exercised my call”.

This trip created an opportunity for her to experience God’s presence and the people in that place, without an expressed expectation that could color her experience before-hand. It would give an experience that could be factored into her own process of sensing God’s direction.

The takeaway

Bro. Brochu’s advice was good.

  • If you are married or engaged
    (or if “your call” will have a direct impact on someone else)
  • If you did not experience the call of God together, at the same time, and
  • If you are able to make it happen…

…a visit to the place of your calling is well worth the effort. It will only solidify the foundation that will support your ministry later.

Another way?

Can God make a specific call without both of you having been onsite?  Of course. In some cases it won’t be possible to both visit the place beforehand. In those cases God will allow other things to happen to confirm his call.

The main thing is… seek at all cost, to be on the same page with others that your call will affect. Here are two related posts, dealing with your spouse and your pastor, that highlight the importance of being on the same page.

Leanin’ into the Curve

Man! I’m so proud of my kids!

Curve in the Road

Lord willing, in less than a year, our kids will be leaving behind, for the first time ever, everything that is most familiar… for the first time: Their friends, their church, their neighourhood, and the nearby Sobeys, Tim Horton’s and Dairy Queen where we’re comfortable with them walking unaccompanied. They haven’t got a clue, but they’re totally leaning into the curve! Continue reading

The Châtellerault Church…

A bit o’ history…

Châtellerault Church, D749 et La Fontaine, Pasteur Paul Brochu

The first time I set foot in the Châtellerault church was in 2005…. but it didn’t look like this and it wasn’t in this building!

Paul Brochu, who founded the church in 2000, was in the USA on deputation that year and Steve Schobert was covering his furlough. Cécile LeDay, the first to receive the revelation of Jesus’ name, was still alive, and the church met in her large downtown home at 57 Boul. Aristide Briand, on the intersection of Rue de la Paix.

I have fond memories of Sis. LeDay who was a former nun and had impeccable French. The fact that I was a French Teacher at the University of New Brunswick at the time, meant that we had some great discussions about the finer details of the language. She would, from time to time, gently correct my use of a particular structure or expression. More than a French resource though, she was a faithful lady who wholeheartedly served the Lord in Spirit and Truth; truly an example of discipleship in action. She always sat in the back row, on the right side (even at that though, given that we were meeting in a living room, she was still only about 15′ from the pulpit!) 

Click here to see Bro. Brochu, preaching in that building in 2006.

Our first look at this building…

In 2006, we were on a family vacation in western France and joined the Brochus for service on Sunday morning. Following the service, they took us out to see the new building, just outside the city. God had blessed them with an incredible property and building right on the Ave. de Richelieu (Route Départementale D749, at the corner of La Fontaine, directly across from the Centre d’Équitation). It wouldn’t be until 2009 that I would set foot in that building for the first time.


The building had once been a small manufacturing building so the large hangar (top pic, left side) was the workshop and the smaller section (top pic, right side) was the office area. It would be repurposed… a workshop yes, but for assembling and repairing lives broken by sin, with the power of the gospel of Jesus.

The building had been damaged by fire and so the church initially met in one of the smaller offices and could comfortably hold about 20 people. I preached there in 2009 and the Lord spoke to Sis. Jeannette about her need for baptism in Jesus’ name. Over the next 3 years, work progressed on the larger office area which would, in 2012, be dedicated as the new sanctuary.

Dedicated to a Dream

The picture below is a pretty special one. It was taken on September 22, 2012 during the dedication service for the new sanctuary. Though it wasn’t taken by me (I wasn’t in attendance), it’s special to me for a number of reasons…

  • Bro. & Sis. Brochu can be seen front and center, being ministered to rather than ministering (for Pastors in smaller churches, this can a rare occurrence).
  • This ministry couple have indeed been dedicated to a dream: planting a church in the heart of western France.
  • This photo represents my dream as well… a full church in the city of Châtellerault. It is my prayer and my desire to see 100 people, regularly worshipping in this church, by the time the Brochu’s come back from their deputation.

Is that a daring dream? a big vision? Yes.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? No.
… and so, I dream!

church crowd_b

If you’d like to partner with us and be part of the dream coming true… click here.

…on becoming #AIMkids

It wasn’t always easy to keep our plan from the kids, but it was necessary.

Kept in the Dark

Although Liz & I have mentally been “in process” for over a year now, our kids found out about our “new adventure” on December 31, 2013… New Year’s Eve.

Why we waited? …to maintain a tight reign on who knew about our plan until it was announced to our church family at MissionPoint. We didn’t want any other churches or groups to know about it first and then have it filter back to our home church second hand… via social media or in conversation.

At the same time, it wouldn’t be fair for our kids to find out only on January 5th, at the same time as everyone else. So, for a couple of reasons, we decided to tell them on New Year’s Eve:

  • Given the holiday break in the church schedule, it would give them a few days to “digest” the news, without seeing their church friends (again, protecting the flow of information).
  • New Year’s provides a natural opportunity to talk about new projects, new ideas, new plans and a new direction. 2014 would definitely be all of that for us.

Given the fact that we are a homeschooling family and therefore together nearly all the time, it wasn’t easy to be discreet about our plans… but thankfully it worked.

Unveiling the Plan

It was important to us to root the plan in the Word of God, so after our New Year’s Eve company had left, I opened the Bible to Joshua chapter 1 (the passage that began this process) and read verses 1-9: highlighting the following:

  • As Joshua’s life was taking on a new role and a new direction… God met with and talked to Joshua.
  • 3 times, God says to Joshua “Be strong and of good courage” (vv. 6, 7 & 9).
  • 2 times, God says to Joshua that if he wants to have success, he needs to take in, meditate on and observe the law of God or, God’s word. (vv. 7 & 8).
  • Kids' JournalsGod would be with Joshua, wherever he went (v.9)

I also gave each of the kids their own personal travel journal inscribed as follows:

“Sophie / Dominic / Timo …  Here is a place to write down your thoughts, questions and yes, perhaps even your fears, concerning the next great adventure that God is about to take our family on. Write them down and you will see that God will answer your questions, honor your thoughts and calm every fear. He’ll do it because he loves you and wants to do something incredible both in and through your life.

Love, Mom & Dad”

We then let them know that within a year or so, we would be moving to France, possibly for as long as 2 years, to replace Bro. & Sis. Brochu as missionaries, under the AIM program.  Following our discussion, we prayed together as a family.

The Reaction

They were very surprised, but also very, very excited. There were a barrage of questions, some of which we didn’t yet have answers for (including…. “Can we get a dog?”).

They were quite excited about the idea that they may need to be involved in music in the church after the Brochu’s leave, kidsjournalTimo_sm440because they both look after music (our kids have varying degrees of piano skills, Dominic is learning guitar already and Timo dreams of playing drums).

Two things sum up well their reaction.

  • First, Timo’s first journal entry
    (see pic)
  • Second, Timo’s prayer:
    “God, fill the people of France with the Holy Ghost.”
    (talk about melt a parent’s heart!)

Summing it up:

Without question, we believe that the Lord has been preparing the hearts and desires of our kids in the same way that he’s been preparing us. They are now… #AIMkids.

Other posts on how patience has played a key role in the process to date: 
Patience is a Virtue

Controlled Burn

Paris… the quiet city

One evening, while searching for some video footage of France in general, and Paris in particular, I came across the video below, filmed and edited by Andrew Julian.  At first, the title intrigued me, because when I think of Paris, I do not think of a quiet city, but after seeing it and stopping to think about it; Paris in the winter, is indeed quiet compared to Paris in summertime when throngs of tourists flood the city.

If you have 4 minutes to spare (plus a bit of time waiting for the video to load)… this is an absolutely incredible look at the beauty and magic of Paris and well worth the look!  Thank you, Andrew, for putting together this amazing package!

The Quiet City: Winter in Paris from Andrew Julian on Vimeo.

Mid-Winter Church Growth


I  love the subjet of Bro. Mike Noel’s email at 6:29am Thursday morning…

Life changing moment begins in 12 hrs!

Amid the incredible stories of our neighbours to the deep south being stuck in the grips of winter conditions that they’re sorely unaccustomed to… here in New Brunswick, winter is running it’s normal course. But in the midst of that, we gather at Capital Community Church in Fredericton, NB for the purpose of Life changing moments.

Local world-changers…

Looking forward to hearing from a couple of young men, heroes from our district:

  • Bro Mike Hennessey is the student pastor at Capital Community Church. Neat story… about 2 months ago a young lady called the youth pastor in Saint John. They’d gone the web, looked for a church and drove 45min to get to us (they were from close to Fredericton). They met with Pastor Carter who put them in touch with Bro. Hennesssey who taught them a Bible Study. Two weeks ago, one of them received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and last week they were both baptized. God is changing lives.
  • Bro. Kent Carter is a church planter in the city of Shediac, New Brunswick… doing an incredible job and, like Daniel of the Old Testament, has an excellent spirit!
  • Bro. Tom Barkley who pastors in the Town of Sackville, NB, a university town and seat of power given the many “thinkers” who have walked through the streets there.
  • Bro. Donald Hood who pastors the church in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: a quiet man in person, but who speaks loudly in the realm of prayer.

Katy, TX World Changer…

Pastor Rob McKee  of The Pentecostals of Katy Texas, did an incredible job as main speaker! (He only found out, roughly 24h prior to the first service, that he was coming up here, after the original speaker was unable to come). Thank you for the great things you gave to us!

Between BOTT last week and this Mid-Winter Church Growth Conference this week… I feel like I’ve been drinking out of a fire hose… barely able to digest it all. Both at BOTT and here, it’s amazing the number of things, relating to Mission Point, that we are already doing.  I find myself wondering, time and time again, how this or that could be used, implemented, adapted, etc. in France. Which brings me to…

Banner time!

At this conference, I wore two hats, as indicated by the two banners.

  1. On the right you see a banner for the Pentecostal Messenger, the official publication of the Atlantic District, for which I’m the editor.
  2. On the left, you can see a banner for our AIM project. The goal is to begin, even now, to generate awareness of our project and engage in some discussions about the specifics as they relate to ministry once onsite as well as financial and other considerations leading up to our departure.


Thank you, Atlantic District ministers, for your warm welcome (as usual) and for expressing interest in having us come to share our burden with your churches. We’ve already had several invitations for Fall and are appreciative of these opportunities.

Prayer time…

Lord, thank you for speaking to me in these meetings. Help me to properly discern the meaning and timing of all these things. I want to be a living, breathing example of the fullness that characterized your ministry while on earth and continues to characterize your ministry through the Holy Ghost and the apostolic New Testament Church.


Presentation Schedule

banner setup

Below, you’ll find a “calendar view” and a “table view” of our schedule to date.

Given the interest to date, many are looking to welcome us in the fall, which will, I suspect, fill up quickly. If you’d like us to come and are able to take us earlier in the year, it would allow us to visit as many churches as possible.

*Note* there are some problems with the google calendar display on mobile devices (shows simply “busy” in stead of the presentation locations. Recommendation: check out “table view”).

Calendar View:

Table View:

No upcoming events

Thank you for your interest in having us come!