#$HealthCheck … ?

As you can imagine, there are many things that need to be considered when planning a move like that which we are planning in less than 4 months!  In the context of dealing with some of those preparations, we found ourselves sitting across from a personal banking representative yesterday and I had a thought.

The Background

photoFor readers who don’t know us personally, Liz and I married in 1997 and have spent our entire married life in the same neighbourhood. Our house has been paid off for a couple of years and we have only limited debt, however there are still other financial preparations that need to be done, over and above simply raising financial support. One of the big questions has been, “What about your house?  Will you rent it or sell?” So, yesterday we went to the bank to examine our options in that area as well as when it comes to managing things like life insurance payments, pre-existing RRSPs (the Canadian equivalent of the American 401K), etc.

Near the outset of the meeting, our banker indicated that she had a few questions to ask as part of a general Financial Health Check, the answers to which would help her make suggestions that would be the right fit for us. The questions were straightforward enough: Tolerance for risk? Desired time of retirement? Investment knowledge? and so on… which leads me to the thought.


As she went through a lot of information I found myself, at one point, thinking: “Lord, help me to process what I’m hearing.” and, alternatively, “Lord, help her to help us in the best possible way.”  It caused me to draw the following parallel:

When we’re at a cross-roads in the area of our physical health, we often rely more heavily on the Lord or are at least more conscious of our need for his help. We also consult someone with greater knowledge of the normal functioning of the body and who, where readjustment is needed, is best suited to advise on how that readjustment can happen.

Similarly, when it came time to understanding multiple financial tools available, how each works on its own and how they interact when used together, we had come to seek counsel from someone with more knowledge than we have. …and I found myself praying.

It occurred to me… how often to we prepare for “average, everyday meetings” by praying?  Oh I know that when pastors or missionaries are going for a new building or a land-purchase, they’ll request prayer, but this is just “managing our everyday finances”… no biggie, right?   Wrong.

The End of the Matter

photoOver and above our banker’s very valuable counsel and advice, everything we possess is from the Lord and our dependence is ultimately on him. I was glad that I could call on Him for help to wade through the options and trust that he is guiding both our banker and ourselves.

Got questions? Pray. God’s as interested in seeing us succeed in the everyday things as he is in the big decisions. As for us and our house… well, now we wade through the options and trust that the Lord’s hand will guide us. He’s never failed us yet and we don’t expect him to anytime soon.

Thanks for stopping by… let it feed your prayers for us!
God bless you today!

Upper Kent to Sainte-Anne

We spent another weekend on the road here in New Brunswick, our home province, but this time in the northwest corner…

Upper Kent

Saturday was an awesome day!  A good friend and favourite “auntie” that we’d not seen in quite some time, visited us for coffee & conversation. After which, we officiated at the wedding of a great couple that we’ve known for a couple of years, UpperKentthanks to an ongoing community outreach. Then, at around 9:00pm we set out for a 3hr drive to northwestern New Brunswick.

The Upper Kent Church is  located just off Route 105 and up the road a bit from Florenceville, NB (home of McCain foods and French Fry capital of the world!). In the nearly 60 years that this church has been established, there have only been three pastors, preceding Rev. & Mrs Kent MacKay, the current pastor. This makes for a very stable and well established congregation.  They are an incredible missions-giving church and have come alongside us in our AIM appointment to France.

Thank you, Pastor & Sis. MacKay, for believing in us and the calling God has placed on our family.  You’ll be part of revival in France!


Roughly 100km up the Saint John River Valley from Upper Kent is another church to which we’d never been, but with which we’ve been familiar for some time: Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska. Two of their “native sons” have attended our home church for several years.

StAnneThis church is predominantly French-speaking, although there are some English-speakers in the mix as well. Rev. Keith Carter has been leading the church for the past couple of years but will be relocating in October, leaving the church looking for a new pastor.

This church already supports the three missionaries to France with whom we’ll be working: John & Anne Nowacki, Paul & Darla Brochu and Marcus & Renée Brainos. They have taken us on as partners as well.

Un Grand Merci… to Bro. & Sis. Carter as well as to the great church family in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska!  You folks are precious and we are so glad to finally have gotten to visit your church!  Vous êtes partenaires pour le réveil que Dieu amènera en France!!

Cue-up my “Inner Call Center”

I’d appreciate your prayers as I spend time this week touching base, by phone, with pastors from around North America, asking for their support.  I can’t wait. Really looking forward to it!

We only need another forty-eight, $50/month partners.

Keep pouring on prayer… God has a great work that He’s fixin to accomplish!
Thank you for your support!

Fundraising & Miracles

Neat things have happened since I last updated you on fundraising specifics… so today’s post will address some of those things.

#1:  half-way there!!!

photoWe are THRILLED to tell you that with only 4 months left, we have topped the 50% commitment level.

Thank you,
Thank you,

One-time donations:
One-time donations total $24,450.00 (40% of the total commitment). Most of these have already been received however a portion of that total is based on a commitment to give.

Monthly Partner Commitments:
Monthly commitments total $36,000.00 (the equivalent of thirty $50/month partners). This total assumes two things:

a) that confirmed donors maintain their giving for the full 2-years that we expect to be in France and
b) that those who have given us a verbal commitment, though the paperwork has not yet been received, will proceed with the giving.

Given that we only announced our appointment in January and began fundraising in March, we are thrilled that, in just over 6 months, God has opened up this level of support through youhis partners in missions.  Thank you!

#2: Every little bit counts

TypicEarlier this week I spoke at Northeast Christian College, in Fredericton NB and presented our burden for France. At the end of our time together, Rev. Mel Calhoun asked the students if anyone wanted to contribute to our support as a one-time donation. The students responded:

There was one donation of $100, one of $50 and one of $40. The rest were commitments of $5, $10, $15 and $20, yet when all was said and done, these students had committed $780.

Thank you @NCC4Ministry!

#3: Baggage bigger than Carry-On

What!? That exists?

In 17 years of married life (with the exception of Liz’s move to Canada from Belgium) we have never traveled with anything but carry-on sized luggage. Consequently, we didn’t own large suitcases. THAT would have to change in preparation for France… and it has; we got six brand new huge suitcases. The price should’ve been $700, but we got them virtually for free!!

How’d we do it?

  • We began sorting stuff that has accumulated in 17 years of married life and we prepared to sell anything that had value.
  • Yard Sale: $400 kijiji
  • Kijiji (Canadian equivalent of Craigslist):  $300
  • Bargain Hunting: My wife had been keeping her eye on some suitcases at a local store. She waited until she they came out with a “buy 1, get one 1/2-price” sale… so the total came to $590, but the sale of our stuff paid for it, so the suitcases really cost us nothing out of pocket.

The bad news…  more expenses are coming.
The good news… we still have lots more stuff to sell!

#4: Inspired Reading

GodAskKindleIn discussion with Bro. Poitras this past weekend at our missions conference, he mentioned the book “The God Ask: A fresh biblical approach to fund raising” by Steve Shadrach. It discusses the process of raising funds for either a missions trip of some kind or a church or para-church ministry or organization. I’m currently only about 30% through it… but it’s a wonderful read and if you’re considering any kind of short-term missions involvement for which you need to raise your own support… I highly recommend this book!!

$19.99 on Amazon or $9.99 for the ebook*
(prices are from Amazon.ca and could vary slightly in the USA)

#5: Postcard Results

Just an update to say that we have already seen results from our postcard mailout back in August.  Although I plan, in the next two weeks, to touching base with many of these pastors by telephone, one pastor in Georgia didn’t wait to hear from me by phone, but sent us both a one-time offering as well as a monthly partner commitment. God is blessing us beyond measure through ordinary people and pastors just like you!  Thank you for your support!

This Weekend

That’s pretty much it for this morning folks. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel to Upper Kent and St. Anne-de-Madawaska this weekend, both in north-western New Brunswick, to present our burden for and call to France.  Two great churches which we’ve never been to before.

God bless you today!

Got a call? Feed it!

We have just come through the annual World Missions Conference at our home church, Mission Point, in Saint John, NB (Canada). From the time I was a young person growing up in the Baptist church, missions conferences have had a special place in my heart and this year was no different. Being involved in the planning, in my role as full-time Assistant to the Pastor, is a real treat for me, as it gives the opportunity to get “up close & personal” with some incredible people!!

Sis. Else Lund… “Mother Ghana”

photoSis. Else Lund was appointed as a missionary to Liberia, Africa in 1962 and spent three weeks sailing to the land of her calling on a ship named the African Glen. She fulfilled a number of roles in multiple west-African nations until retiring from Global Missions in 2004… some 42 years after her initial appointment. A great deal of those 42 years was spent in Ghana and at one point, every ordained minister in the UPC of Ghana, had been taught by Sis. Lund… hence the nickname “Mother Ghana.” What a heritage.

Let’s Talk Missions!


Saturday morning, as we did during last year’s conference, we organized a brunch for anyone who either (a) felt a call towards or (b) was curious about, short term missions. It was a chance to glean from the experience of our guest missionaries who discussed a particular part of their journey toward missions followed by discussion afterwards.

Our panel: (beginning top left & clockwise):

  1. Rev. Jim Poitras,
    (Director of Education & AIM, UPCI)
  2. Sis. Colleen Carter, (Missionary to Ghana, West Africa)
  3. Sis. Else Lund
  4. Lauren Summers, (Her parents, Rev. Stephan & Debra Summers are UPCI Missionaries to Cyprus)

Here are a few highlights from that panel discussion:

Colleen Carter: (Colleen spent eight years in Ghana, West Africa, under AIM appointment before receiving missionary appointment in 2007.)

“My call to missions goes all the way back to and began in childhood. As a girl in Sunday school we all had to pick a missionary to whom we’d write to and for whom we’d pray. I chose the Everett & Lois Corcoran family, at the time missionaries to Pakistan. Sis. Corcoran always wrote back and God used that connection to draw me, over time, into missions.”

Lauren Summers: Lauren was the youngest voice on the panel but a valuable one. As an MK (missionary kid) she was in Cyprus because of her parents’ call, not her own. Quiet by nature, Lauren said a LOT in a few short words: She reminded us of the need to uphold missionary kids in prayer and to encourage them whenever possible.

“Initially, I wondered how I’d fit in, what I’d do, but I loved kids and loved doing puppets and the like so I sort of found my place. Sometimes, though, it got lonely and the only thing that kept me was the fact that I’d get messages on my (Facebook) wall from friends back home.”

Else Lund: Sis. Lund spoke longer than the first two ladies, but her tale was riveting! Just two short quotes from her… one, a testimony from her past, the second… a call to those present.

“It was polio that brought our family into truth, so I’ve never regretted having polio.”

“If you have the smallest feeling or hint of a call on your life… FEED IT… PRAY!”

Rev. James Poitras: Bro. Poitras was the last member of the panel to speak, but did a superb job of tying together all that the others had shared. He began by stating that “Whom God calls, he equips.” From there I’ll pull out what is, in my estimation the…

TOP 5 List

…of things to know about the equipping process, as shared by Bro. Poitras in that brunch meeting:

  1. It involves work… preparation.
  2. It involves partnering with, or at the very least paying heed to, the apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists & teachers that God has placed in your life. He put them there for the purpose of equipping you.
  3. It (the equipping & preparing process) never stops!
  4. It involves academic preparation, spiritual preparation and ministerial preparation* (meaning: the basic needs of humanity are the same everywhere. If you learn how to minister right where you are, you’ll learn how to do it in the land of your calling).
  5. It is like finding the will of God for your life: …you must find the next right step and just do it. All those steps together, lead you into the will of God or, in this case, into that state of prepared-ness.

In short…

What a great time of inspiration and formation all rolled up into one!  If you’ve got a call… Feed it!  That’s what we’ve been doing and what we continue to do as we prepare ourselves for our departure in January.

Come back Saturday morning when I’ll have an update on our financial preparations… Exciting news that you won’t want to miss. We’re praising God for great things!  We capped off the weekend by having the Poitras’ in our home for supper the night before their departure back to St. Louis. We’re thankful for their enthusiastic encouragement and their friendship and for believing in us!

See you Saturday!


Supper & visit with the Poitrases in our home. What a treat! Treasured moments.



France at a Glance

Today’s post is simply an “at a glance” overview
of the United Pentecostal Church in France and
general numbers around religious adherence there.


United Pentecostal Church, France, Église Pentecôtiste Unie

I created this infographic using Piktochart:
An online web service for just that purpose.
Pretty easy to use and if you’re a church or
a not-for-profit, they give a discounted rate
for the full version and are wonderful to
deal with… I highly recommend!

MP Missions Conference 2014

If you attend MissionPoint, then you’ve already seen this video, but for those of you who don’t… you’re in for a treat. Starting just two days from now is our annual world missions conference and I put together this video to highlight the enthusiasm that we’re already feeling.


This year we will have the following missionaries with us:

  • Bro. & Sis. Jim & Linda Poitras
    Former missionaries to Ghana, West Africa.
    Currently Director of AIM & Education for the UPCI
  • Sis. Colleen Carter, Ghana, West Africa
  • Sis. Else Lund
    Retired missionary with 42 years of service in various African countries.
  • Bro & Sis Stephan & Debra Summers, Cypress
  • Bro. & Sis. Nick & Pam Sisco, Ghana, West Africa
  • Of course, we’ll be presenting further details of our time in France as well.


Watch the video and ask us if we’re excited!


Join us!

If you’re in the Saint John area… come join us. We’d love to have you!
The service schedule is as follows:

Friday       7:00pm
Saturday  7:00pm
Sunday     10:30am & 6:30pm

Thanks for stopping by again today. Let what you read, feed your prayers for us.
God bless you today!

What do you say…?


For today’s post, I’m reaching back to an experience that happened earlier this year.

I was in Montreal doing some administrative things in preparation for France and the person I was working with had no connection to the church. In the course of making small talk while filling out paperwork, the individual asked a pointed question and it opened up an incredible opportunity to talk about the LORD.

It got me thinking….
(video length 2:44)

It reminds me of Matthew 16:13-15

13 …Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, and he asked his disciples, …Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 

What answer do you give?

If someone were to ask us honestly… “Who is Jesus?” …how would we respond?
If someone were to ask why they should give up their Sunday morning and spend it in church… how would we respond?


I know there’s a risk that this video may come across as preachy a bit, that’s really not my intention. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t get it right 100% of the time either. The conversation that prompted this was as much an eye-opener to me as to anyone… a wake-up call to the opportunities that we may regularly let slide by.


Not this either.  It’s as much about trying to vary up the format of the blog as anything else. Since the launch of this blog, the most-viewed post was the introduction video back in January. It’s also no secret that web-surfers engage with video content better than many other formats. This post is less about me getting a kick from talking in front of my iPhone than it is about presenting an idea in a different format.

This next chapter is arguably one of the most important things happening in our life and it takes the help of many other people to make that happen. In order for them to help, they need to see a compelling reason to help.

Would you help us find fertile soil and plant seed in France?
Click here to see how you can.

Thanks for coming back today!
What do you think of the video format? I’d love to know your thoughts.

10 Great French Phrases

Thought I’d break it up a bit today and share part of a neat article that I found on the Fluent U website. (See end of post for details and a link to the original article.)


As a French learner, which would you rather hear?

“Your French is so good!”
“You sound so French!”

If you’re like most people, I’m guessing that it’s the latter.

To help you get there, we’ve racked our brains and put together a list of informal, everyday French phrases and expressions.

10 Casual, Everyday French Phrases and Expressions


1.   Ça roule?

Ça roule is a very colloquial statement, meaning that everything’s great and life’s going well. Therefore, in the form of a question, it simply means ‘How’s life? Good?’ Otherwise, the more standard question used to express this same idea is Ça va?, literally meaning ‘is it going?’

2.   N’importe quoi!

For all those who tend to have a dissenting opinion, this casual French phrase is a must. It simply means ‘whatever,’ and is commonly used in French when someone is exasperated and wishes to openly display their disagreement in a simple, informal way.

“Je te jure! Je n’ai rien fait! » : I swear, I didn’t do anything!
(“N’importe quoi…” : Whatever…)

Similarly, in some other contexts, n’importe quoi can mean ‘anything,’ like in this example:

‘I would have given anything and everyting!’
‘J’aurais donné tout et n’importe quoi !’

3.   Laisse tomber…

This is a useful French phrase, meaning ‘just forget it,’ or ‘never mind that.’ It literally means ‘drop it,’ but doesn’t have quite the same snappy tone behind it as ‘just drop it!’ does in English. Although…it very well can with a spiteful enough tone…

‘Et alors? Est-ce que tu as eu ton augmentation de salaire ?’
‘Laisse tomber…L’entreprise a fait faillite !’
(So? Did you get your raise? –Forget it…The company went bankrupt!)

4.   Ça te dit? / Ça vous dit?

Meaning ‘You up for it?’, this casual French expression is great for suggesting outings with friends or restaurant choices.  It can also mean, ‘Sound good?’ So, whenever you get a marvelous idea for a Saturday afternoon or evening, tack this on at the end as a way of politely asking your friends if they’re interested. Use the latter when addressing several friends, and the first when hanging out with just one.

‘Il y a un petit resto chinois pas loin de chez moi…ça te dit?’
(‘There’s a little Chinese restaurant not far from my place…sound good?’)

5.   Tiens-moi au courant!

‘Keep me up to date!’  This is the perfect French phrase to use as you’re waiting to see how things play out in a friend’s life. Perhaps they just started a new job, or moved to a new city, and you want to know how things are evolving. End your emails or conversations with this little phrase to ensure you get those little updates!

Also, inversely, the response to this would be
‘Ouais, t’inquiète pas, je te tiens au courant.’
(‘Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll keep you up to date.)

6.   Bref.

Bref is only ever used to summarize something or to give one’s final impression of something after a lengthy story has been told, and it’s an easy little word to recall, due to that the English equivalent is almost the same; ‘in brief.’ Another synonyms would be ‘all in all’ or ‘in short.’

Elle m’a appelé hier et m’a dit qu’elle n’avait pas les mêmes sentiments pour moi, et qu’au final, elle veut qu’on reste amis. Bref, elle m’a largué.
(She called me yesterday and told me that she didn’t have the same feelings for me, and that in the end, she wants to remain friends. In short, she dumped me.)

7.   T’sais?

This casual French phrase is used so commonly in casual settings that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation with friends without hearing it. It simply means ‘Ya know?’ and is oftentimes tacked onto the end of a sentence to emphasize whatever the speaker is saying.

‘Non, mais j’en ai marre, t’sais?’
(‘No, but I am sick of it, ya know?’)

8.   C’est naze / c’est nul / c’est pourri !

These are all lovely little French phrases to use to say ‘that sucks!’ or ‘that’s stupid! or ‘that’s terrible!’ The general implication is that whatever is being discussed is either a total bore or totally ridiculous.

‘Ça, c’est marrant! Par contre, ce cours est nul!’
(‘Now that’s funny! This class, however, sucks!’)

9.   Ça te changera les idées…

‘It’ll take your mind off things…’ Use this French phrase when consoling a friend who’s down. Offer to go with him/her to a movie or  to a café to grab a cappuccino. Make your proposition, then use this argument to get them out of their funk.

‘Allez! Tu ne peux pas rester enfermé dans ta chambre! Viens avec moi au ciné! Ça te changera les idées !’
(C’mon! You can’t stay cooped up in your room! Come with me to the movie theater! That’ll take your mind off things!”)

10.   Tu t’en sors ?

‘Doing okay there? You managing there?’ This is a common French phrase to use while observing a friend who appears to be having difficulty doing something.

‘Tu t’en sors?’
-‘Pas trop, non. Je ne sais pas comment faire un créneau…’
(You managing there? –‘No, not really. I don’t know how to parallel park…’)


Note to AIMLong readers:

  • There you have it… 10 easy to learn & use French phrases that will take your French from blah! to FAB! Put ’em to good use & then come see us in France!

Note to Original Authors:

  • I did not simply republish the article as-is because, given the nature and readership of this blog, there was – in the original article – an image that some might find questionable.  The full article can be accessed here (where the full article can also be downloaded as a .pdf document).
  • The intent is to fairly give full credit to the original authors. If, however, the authors would prefer that I remove this post completely, please let me know and I will immediately do so.