When Sis. Brochu shared the picture below on her Focus on France Facebook page, she started like this: “The UPC of Châtellerault, France has a new pastor!”
It’s quite something to see really.
On a typical Sunday, the kids play music, Liz leads worship and I preach as the Brochu’s also pastor an international work in Paris. This Sunday, however, they remained in Châtellerault in order to officially transfer leadership of the work over to us.
The kids had a break from playing as Sis. Brochu looked after things (as she’s done for the majority of their time here) and Bro. Brochu was slated to preached on the I AM statements of Jesus in the book of John… Incredible message!
Since the kids got a break, Liz was glad for a bit of a break as well and she handed me the baton, so to speak… so I led worship for the first time in a number of years… (All my North American Missions friends tell me that “flexibility” is the name of the game and since that’s about the size of things here… flexible we are!).
One of the neat things that I greatly enjoyed in the service was that Liz & I got to sing “God of this City” as a quartet, along with Bro. & Sis. Brochu. Without question there is something kind of cool about the four of us singing that song…
Greater things are still to come,
Greater things are still to be done in this city!
That pretty much expresses the reason that they came to this city some 14 years ago. It is the reason they have stayed here. And it is the reason that our family has joined them in western France. We share a strong and determined belief that God has got greater things in store for Châtellerault!
I might add that that same belief is also what brought Bro. & Sis. Christian & Vanessa Kabasele to this city as well. They are originally from the church in Melun but have been helping out here over the past year or so and moved here back in the fall. Very much looking forward to working with this gifted couple!
After the service we gathered in the larger of the two Sunday School rooms (it seats about 20) and had dinner… wait for it… Domino’s Pizza complete with pasta salad and a shredded carrot salad (THAT is very French). I know, I know… it’s not the fancy French cuisine that you may have come to associate with France… but it was every bit as sweet given the company. THIS is our church family here… it is this group that God is going to use to further his work in this city.
Back to Work
After the celebrations of Sunday… we were back at getting our hands dirty on Thursday.
We have spent three full Thursdays hauling and burning brush that was trimmed from the church’s hedge last fall by the electrical company… and this past Thursday we just about finished. There are only a few bags worth of smaller twigs that we’ll be able to take to the recycling facility where they’ll use it to make compost.
The kids each took turns driving the little lawn tractor behind which was a large tarp that facilitated hauling the branches up to the fire. They were only too happy to help (when the tractor came out!) … hehe! Each one of them did great… afterwards we got to sit around the fire with some of the church people and just enjoy the satisfaction of rest after a hard day’s work!
One final note…
This may be a bit tough for anyone along the east coast to see without feeling a bit of seasonal jealousy… but in preparation for the services last weekend we spruced up the flower bed at the entrance to the church. Primroses are in full bloom and now’s the time to plant them sooooo…. off we went to get some. Nights still regularly get frost so there’s not a great deal of things hardy enough to withstand… but primroses and pansies are readily available at all garden centers.
ps. garden centers and hardware stores… even the large chain stores… close from noon until 2pm here allowing their employees time for a good lunch break. Pretty cool huh!
Thank you for staying on top of what is happening with us!
We need and appreciate your continued prayer support.
Brother and Sister Long, and Precious Family:
Hello from California. Sister Poitras is doing a local church ladies conference somewhere in the mountains. I’m hanging out with Brothers Allard and Sones and will be preaching services here tomorrow. Enjoying a little downtime in the hotel catching up on some elements of work.
I love this blog post. Excellent. I love your writing style. Superior. Face it: I love your family. Special.
Keep up the splendid work!
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Thank you Bro. Poitras! We so appreciate the love, concern & encouragement that you so often express to us. It means a great deal! Bro. Allard is great… I met him through French Evangelism Conferences in Quebec. Your Christmas card is on our fridge here so we think of you daily (in fact several times / day, depending on where the “hunger-meter” is hovering 🙂
God bless you & Sis. P!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy these weekly posts but also how much it makes me miss your family. All the time you were posting in preparation to leave I wouldn’t read most of your blogs – confession of a friend in denial :). Once you left I sat down early one Saturday morning and went back and caught up with your written story – it was a great read – I had tears in my eyes the entire time. The Saturday before last I was reading your post and feeling very nostalgic and there was a picture of Liz leading in worship and I just started to cry – realization of how faraway you all are and for how long. This isn’t meant to make you feel bad at all only to tell you what an impact you’ve had on my life and how much I value that our families were also personal friends in each others homes etc and becoming a minister, assistant to pastor and now missionary has not changed your or Liz at all from the perspective that you are first and foremost genuine, humble Christians and true friends. I am so proud of what you are doing and all you will accomplish. Know that your are greatly missed by many and are always in our thoughts and prayers 🙂
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