45 and Growing Up!

I’m 45, have moved half-way ’round the world, am raising one – soon to be two – teenagers and I’m starting to GROW UP!

Convention de Pentecôte

At this time last week, we were packed up and on our way to the Pentecost Weekend Convention in Bordeaux, just under 300km south-west of us. I’d asked for prayers and today I’ll tell you why… but first, let me give you a quick run-down of the weekend.

Across France, the Lord allowed several to experience their own “Personal Pentecost”:

– 43 were filled with the Holy Ghost and
39 were baptized in Jesus’ name.

Église Pentecôtiste Unie, Bordeaux, epubordeaux.org, baptême

The Convention in Bordeaux contributed 6 (Holy Ghost) and 4 (water baptisms) to those numbers, with probably upwards of 160 in total attendance over the two days.

The kids quite enjoyed themselves as they got to hang out with other youth their age. On Saturday night, following the service and fellowship, they went downtown for a walk along the waterfront and a twirl or two on the giant Ferris Wheel… they got back to the hotel (by tramway) at around 11:45pm (nope… we weren’t waiting up for them, nope, we weren’t nervous… haha – we were totally waiting).  …Next morning the youth sang together in service…  Sophie & Dominic among them.  Very cool!

After the Sunday service & lunch we headed downtown for a stroll.  This made me much appreciate our quiet little provincial French town of Châtellerault (38K people). Bordeaux has about 800K and I’m sure they were ALL driving or walking downtown that day…

Growing up

Leading up to the convention, throughout the week last week, I felt a tremendous amount of spiritual unrest: facing a great deal of anxiety, fear, worry, unease… you name it, and I know exactly why. I was the main speaker for the convention. I had been preparing for a number of weeks, speaking is not new to me and I trust the Lord’s faithfulness, but I was bearing a particular responsibility for the weekend which translates to: spiritual TARGET!

This was, in one sense, new to me. Up until this point I’d primarily been a “second man”… in an assistant-to-the-pastor role, and as such I didn’t carry the bulk of the weight… that fell to the pastor, I just helped him. To some extent, for the the first time, I felt like I was bearing a greater share of the burden for that conference that would normally have been the case if, say, I was just attending.

I’m growing up.

Thank you Lord that you ultimately carry the load and accomplish what needs to be accomplished… both in the life of the preacher as well as those who are listening.

In Addition….

Did you notice?   …something’s different!

See the yellow & orange buttons at the top right corner of the screen (towards the bottom if you’re on a mobile device) you’ll see the following two new buttons:



Newsletters: If you’re a periodic reader or you’re involved in promoting missions in your local church, you may want to check these out. They’ll sum up key highlights and are published bi-monthly.

Top 10: If you’re NEW to the blog… this page will give a look at the blog posts that have been the most well-received by other readers.

Happy “French” Mothers’ Day


(peonies from Sis. Brochu’s garden)

Tomorrow is Mothers’ Day here in France, so we have a few extra things planned. Liz wasn’t all that comfortable “preaching” so she will share an “encouragement” or a “testimony” before the main message is given.  Also we will pay tribute to the moms in our congregation. We’re expecting a couple of new faces as well.  If you’re a mom reading this today… then hit up your kids or your hubby and tell them/him that in France it’s your day… (as long as it’s Mothers’ Day SOME-where in the world… mothers ought to be spoiled, right!?)

Try this out & leave me a comment to let me know what they said!


Bible School & AYC Planning

Today I’m in Melun to teach a class at Bible School (life of David) and to do some “heavy lifting” planning for the AYC trip coming up at the end of the month of June… Liz & the kids and I will accompany the group throughout northern France for 10 days or so.  LOTS to do!

Thank you for reading and again… please let what you read inform your prayers for us. You are part of what God is doing here… you are “Partners” in “Missions.”

Top 10 Posts, AIMLong.ca, AIMLong, Mike Long, Châtellerault France

AIMLong.ca is the story of an average family, doing our best to follow God’s lead for our life. At this point in the journey, His leading has us serving a local church in western France.

Top 10 Posts

As the site grows, it can become tough to know where to start, so the purpose of this post is to introduce you to the best of the best: ten posts that have been the most well-received by other readers, starting with #1:

  1. Got a call? Feed it!How inspiration and preparation make the call of God clearer and bring it closer to fruition.
  2. 7 Short Term Missions MistakesSeven common Short Term Missions mistakes and how to avoid them.
  3. MK Ministries on a 3-day VisitCylinda Nickel of MK Ministries (MK = Missionary Kids) spent a weekend with us in February 2017… read about it here.
  4. Published!I wrote a Paris Travel Guide – for sale on Amazon – as an alternative fund-raiser for our continued support. See the pre-launch video here.
  5. STM can be Frustrating! – in 2017 I began a series of posts on the experience of Short Term Missions… this one speaks for itself.  🙂  You can see a general introduction to this series here.
  6. DepartureOur final few weeks in Saint John and the people who shared those weeks with us.
  7. A Hallelujah Moment A milestone in our preparation as well as part of my testimony about being re-baptized.
  8. …on becoming #AIMKidsHow we prepared our kids for leaving home, friends & family, to move 1/2 way around the world.
  9. A Week in the Life…A sort of “What does a missionary do?” kind of post.
  10. Paris in JulyPreparing to lead a team of 14 people to France in July 2014.


Kids’ Ministry

If you’re involved in Kids’ Ministry and would like lesson add-ons that will help bring missions “closer to home” for children… check out our AIMKids Missionary Moments (a series of nine lessons – 5-7 minutes each – with fun facts about France and how to pray for missionary kids).


Next Step?

Still looking for more?

If you like what you see, please subscribe to the blog for regular updates and let what you read inform your prayers for us and for the work in France. We won’t overload you; we post each Saturday morning at 7:00am Atlantic Standard Time (our “home” time zone).




Pentecost Weekend

God morning friend!  Thank you for stopping by for a glimpse into our life this week.  I’m going to be very brief today as, in a couple of hours, we will travel to the south-western city of Bordeaux to be with Pastor & Sis. Paul & Melissa Majdling for Pentecost weekend.

Special Visit

This past week, we’ve been enjoying the visit of a very special friend. Carolyn Fudge along with her husband Randy, were Liz’s host family when she spent a year in the USA as an exchange student during high school. They remained in close contact over the years and Carolyn was Liz’s matron of honour when we got married. We don’t get to see them all that often (it seems like the pattern is just about every 10 years), making this week even more special.

Château de Chenonceau, FranceRandy & Carolyn are currently working with inner-city kids in Dublin, Ireland; putting their love for God to service with World Partners mission organization.

Yesterday we took the afternoon and went to visit Chenonceau Castle together, on the banks of the Cher River, roughly an hour away from Châtellerault. The Lord gave us a perfect day.

We’re thankful for long-term friendships that are based in a common love for God!

Pentecost Weekend

When this weekend in Bordeaux was originally planned, it was to be a national convention and Rev. Derald Webber of The Pentecostals of LaFayette (Louisiana) was to be the main speaker. At the beginning of April, however, it because evident that because of the dedication of a new soccer stadium in the city (and the anticipated 40,000 soccer fans in attendance), it would be very complicated to have the conference as planned.

Preparations were scaled back and rather than using a rented venue near the soccer stadium, it was decided that this would become a regional conference… which could be comfortably housed in the local church were Rev. Paul & Melissa (Hardin) Majdling are Pastor. Bro. Nowacki organized a conference in the north, where Bro. Webber would minister, and Centre Évangélique le Rocher, Bordeaux, France, PentecôteBro. Majdling asked if I would minister there with him. (This photo of us and the Majdlings was taken in 2014, when we accompanied a team of young people from New Brunswick.)

This is a well established church of 80-100 people but this weekend there will also be another 40 or so from around France and 14 from our church in Châtellerault.

I would appreciate your prayers as I will be speaking this afternoon (Saturday) and again tomorrow morning, for Pentecost Sunday. What an honour to minister alongside, and in the church of, this fine ministry couple. We’re grateful for the invitation to minister.

I’ll give you the “run-down” next week. I covet and appreciate your prayers. The Lord is about to do a wonderful thing!

Did you know?

In France, the Monday following Pentecost Sunday is a holiday here, much the same as Easter Monday or le 14 juillet (France’s version of Canada Day or the Fourth of July).  Interesting eh!?  French government is very much for the separation of church and state… but just try taking away some of the religious based work-holidays and see how far you get.  Not gonna happen!

Lost in Translation

Château de Chenonceau, Translation, Translation errorTo end with today… a bit of “Translation humour.” Can you see the mistake in this photo?  (Are you a member of The King’s Translators?  Yet more proof that France needs you!  🙂 )

Leave a comment if you catch it…

God bless you and Thank you again for stopping by… let what you read inform your prayers for us and for France.

Now THAT’S a Bonfire!

As I sit to share our week with you… I’m pretty much bubbling with excitement. I’ll get to the reason why somewhere between now and the end of the post, but let’s start at the beginning of the week…

Old Friends

Dynamic Duo, from UNBSJ to France, After my three hours of teaching at Bible School last Saturday, I was able to get away and share some high-French cuisine (McDonald’s) with an old friend. Sylvain was my student marker when I taught French at UNBSJ some 14 years ago. He lives close to Melun so we’ve been able to see each other a few times already. Honestly… McD’s tastes better with old friends!  We will also get to attend Sylvain & Camille’s wedding later this summer. Very excited to be able to be in France to share this special day with a good friend.

Dreaded Monday

Few people like Mondays in general and many pastors say that it’s even perhaps a bit worse in the ministry. As much as Sunday services involve both a spiritual and an emotional high, the physically drained Christian is sometimes more prone to spiritual attack or simply just negative feelings on Monday. I’ve experienced it a few times myself so this week I decided to meet Monday on my terms.

Targé, Commune de la Vienne, Mairie, City Hall

La Mairie de Targé

I spent a couple of hours out in the community. I prayer-walked through a neighbourhood that we didn’t get to finish on our church prayer walk two weeks ago. After that, I also drove out to the village of Targé (about 10min from Châtellerault). This is the town hall (also known as “La Mairie”).  This is fairly typical of village municipal offices here… small & quaint. Lord, let your Spirit move in Targé!


Fear is quite a thing! What I’ll call positive fear can push us to be cautious in unfamiliar situations but negative fear can almost paralyze us (taken to the extreme, irrational fear often does)… even in relatively normal circumstances. This week I have faced both. Not only is there fear associated with not being in the will of God, there is also fear associated with being in His will. It can be the simple fact of being placed outside of your comfort zone and dealing with the unfamiliar on a regular basis and it can also be a case of wondering “what next?”.  We are currently, for all intents and purposes, homeless; having sold our home in Canada and living in a “borrowed home” in France…  What happens when the Brochus return and what are the implications on our future, our kids, etc.? (This might have something to do with “Dreaded Monday”)

Worry, Fear, overcoming worry & fear, Luke 12.25If I think too much about it, it becomes un-nerving but it’s always there in the background. In those times I am thankful that I can put both my present and my future in God’s hands and know that if we’re in His will, then He is working for our good. Matthew 6.34 says not to “worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has worries of its own.” The previous verse, 6.33, says to “seek first the Kingdom of God (His priorities) and all these other things (my own worries & concerns) will be added unto me.”

Thank you Lord that your word and your presence calms my fear!

Drive-thru Groceries

IMG_0531We tried something new this week. Several of the major grocery chains have a “Drive-thru” version of themselves where you place and pay for your order online, then specify a time for pick up. At the appointed time, you drive to the depot, where a friendly staff member loads it into your open trunk. Time on the road: 15 min.

I could get used to this kind of grocery shopping. One fringe benefit is that there are fewer “impulse purchases” as you walk down the chocolate or chips & dip aisles.  (…mixed blessing?)

For our “birder” friends

As I write this post, the patio doors are open on a shady side-yard and many sounds are flooding in from around the neighbourhood… the distant barking dog or revving chain-saw, but closer still… the sound of many birds.  The sound of mourning doves is very common and takes me back to living in Acamac, on the edge of the woods; a sound I missed when living right in Saint John. There are a number of smaller songbirds as well. Yesterday, however, I heard something I’d never heard before, although it was immediately recognizable… I heard a cuckoo (you know… as in the “cuckoo clock”?). How cool is that?!

Fire & Fellowship

Last night was an awesome, unplanned blessing!

Our “Church Prayer Meeting” can vary in location and format. Up until late fall it was mainly prayer walks through Châtellerault, but with the onset of winter it moved inside, generally on Fridays. Two weeks ago we took it back out into the city and this week I was unsure about what to do… prayer walk on Saturday morning or meet at the church Friday night. I was waiting to see what weather would do. The deciding factor, however, was that the nephew and niece of one of our church members expressed an interest in attending on Friday night. Decision made.

I was aware of a situation that was happening in their life and so in addition to spending time in prayer, we also sang a couple of songs and I shared a passage of scripture. They were quite engaged during the prayer meeting.

bonfire, campfire, church fellowship, Châtellerault, roasting marshmallowsIn an attempt to prolong our time together and get to know them more, I suggested that we have a bonfire since the evening was fine.  (Remember the trimming I’d being doing on the property?  The trimmings made for great firewood). We made a call to another family that wasn’t in prayer and by the end of it, there were 21 of us.

Do you see the size of that flame?!
(no gasoline added)

We had an incredible time together and stayed at church until about 10:30pm. Our guests tasted toasted marshmallow for the very first time and quite loved it. (There may also have been some roasting of “Ferrero Rochers” involved… it may or may not have been delectable!)  They thoroughly enjoyed the evening and a great connection was made. Lord, add to your Kingdom.

Time Together

I quite enjoy preparing these posts… not only do I get to share with you what life is like in our world, but it’s also a time when I think of many of you… (those we’ve “birdwatched” with, those we’ve “bonfired” with, those we’ve “feared” and “overcome fear” with), and that makes me feel good. The knowledge of friendship, despite the miles, is both a comfort and a joy.

Thanks for your time…

Let what you read inform your prayers for us and for the church in western France.

Paris and back!

Hey there!  Good day to you… got your coffee in hand?  Want to hear about the past week?


United Pentecostal Church, Paris-Centre, UPCI FranceLast Sunday was another opportunity to train up to the capital and help out with the church in Paris-Centre.

The congregation is primarily made up of Filipino and Sri Lankan Christians and they rent a local in the south eastern part of the city. It’s a bit away from the “touristy-center” but still very much the capital.

United Pentecostal Church, Paris-Centre, UPCI FranceI preached from Joshua chapter 1 as they are a church in transition right now… in between Bro & Sis Brochu (who are on deputation) and Rev. & Mrs Dean & Loreen Byfield (AIMers who will stand in the gap until the Brochu’s return…. Incidentally, Sis. Byfield is also Bro & Sis Nowacki’s daughter). As it turns out, the guest minister who was there the previous Sunday also preached from the same chapter… I’d say that there was something that the Lord wanted the church to hear and be encouraged by.  God is good!

Another Funeral

On Tuesday I participated in the funeral of M. Henri Leday (brother of Cecile Leday, the first member of the church here).  For a number of years, M. Leday resisted the gospel and was tolerant, at best, of his sister’s faith.  With time however, the Lord softened his heart. In 2007, Sis. Cecile was admitted to hospital and ended up never coming back out prior to her death, however, the Sunday before she entered the hospital, her brother did join her for service… he never stopped for 3-4 years until his own health would no longer permit him.

He was buried from the church that his daughter attends, in a neighbouring city, but we were asked to participate in the funeral service and then to look after the graveside service as well, which did take place in Châtellerault. What an honour.

I met M. Leday back in 2009 when I was here to teach in the Bible School so he was not unfamiliar to me. I had a chance to visit him again a few weeks ago with Bro. Brochu… but his health had already declined greatly.

*thankful the Lord still softens hearts hardened by any number of things or circumstances.*

Heavy Lifting

Thursday was a very productive day in terms of just plain ol’ hard work.

I started by attempting to mow the church yard (about 1.5 acres).  The ride-on mower was out of commission so I figured I could use Bro. Brochu’s electric “yard mower” to just get a 20′ perimeter around the building and at least “take the edge off” … so it would look less like a pasture!

It was a task, to be sure, but here’s the silver lining… at one point, I saw an older gentleman across the street. I waved at him and kept on mowing, but he was back near our fence a few minutes later.

Thinking he might need directions, I stopped the mower, went to greet him and asked if I could help him with something. It turns out that he was wanting to help me. This was the first time I met M. Poirier, the church’s neighbor. He has a large John Deer, dual-blade lawn tractor and he offered to finish up the rest of the lawn.

Incredible! Though not hostile toward the church, he’s not had all that much contact in the past so this was quite something. It’s opened up the possibility of inviting them for a meal at some point as a means of saying thank you…  *Lord, let our contact with the Poiriers bring you glory*

Compost, DéchetterieAfter the church yard, I returned home and trimmed the hedge at the Brochus. This is about a 4-hour deal (with Liz and/or the kids coming along behind to load up the trimmings). We’ll likely have to repeat the trim once or twice more during the summer growing season, but it’s sure easier than scraping & painting a fence!  Here are the kids helping me transport the trimmings to the church yard where I’ll use them for mulch / compost.

A Few More Highlights:

  • We visited with an older couple who are related to someone in church. It was a very warm visit and I’m confident we’ll see them visit church one day.
  • Wednesday night was the 3rd night of a series I’m doing on the basics of salvation. We’d already discussed repentance & baptism and this was the first of two lessons on the Holy Ghost. There is a gal there that needs it and is also not quite ready to be baptized… *a matter to keep in prayer*
  • Today I am teaching at the Bible School on the books of 1st and 2nd Corinthians then driving 3.5 hours back home.

In a Nutshell

La Manu, La Manufacture, Les Manuchards, Châtellerault, France, EscaliersThat’s pretty much been our week in a nutshell… Thanks for taking the time to stay on top of our goings-on here… let it inform your prayers for us and for the church in Châtellerault. God DOES have greater things in store for this city… and you’re part of it!

God bless you today!