Week 39 and #UPCIGC15

Did you know that we’re starting week #39 of 2015?
Week 38 was pretty cool, if I do say so myself…

Ziplining & Bonfire

Aven'Thuré, Acrobranche, Ziplining, Thuré, Châtellerault, Église Pentecôtiste Unie, United Pentecostal ChurchLast Sunday after service, we embarked on a much anticipated afternoon!  We’d planned a youth outing which included 4 hours of ziplining, followed by a bonfire back at the church for roasting marshmallows and hot-dogs (generally uncommon for most European kids).

It was a bit of a task because I was the only participating adult that day… so it involved balancing the younger ones’ need to remain on easier courses and the older ones’ longing for death-defying heights!  We struck a good balance. There were 9 kids in total which was awesome!  First time we’ve had that many since the Spring.

Between the “Tip-toeing through the tree-tops” and “fire-side fun”, it was a great bonding time for this group of kids.

Mid-week Prayer

#UPCIGC15, Châtellerault, EPU, UPC, United Pentecostal Church, General Conference, Nashville TN, PrayerOur midweek service is typically a Bible Study format. This week, however, we did something a little different:

We’d been looking at prayer for the past couple of weeks, so we took a time and focused on prayer. Each one present wrote down a couple of key prayer requests, sealed them in an envelope and we’ll open them up in several months to give God glory for answering specifically.

Each one prayed on their own for 30min or so, then we came together to pray corporately. We prayed for the requests that had just been made and then capped off our time by praying around a map of the US (where we’ve been tracing the Brochu’s deputation travels). Specifically… we focused on Nashville, TN where Thursday night was the Global Missions service, the outcome of which would impact the Brochus return.

#IAmGlobal

#UPCIGC, #UPCIGC15, France, #IAmGlobal, Paul Brochu, John Nowacki, Missionary, UPCI Global MissionsThat Thursday night service was incredible. I caught the livestream which, with a 7hr time difference, meant that church for me began at 1:30am and went until after 4:00am (four late nights all in all and coffee has been my friend!).

Back to Thursday… I could listen to Bro. Mooney preach for hours! Pictured from the livestream are France’s two currently-deputizing missionary families, the Brochus and the Nowackis, on the platform. Results of the incredible #IAmGlobal offering are as follows:

  • $3,2 million dollars pledged
  • 22 missionaries return to the field
    (including the Brochus & Nowackis)
  • Combined 7 years of deputation travel eliminated.

We serve a great God and are part of a great body of believers!
I’m THANKFUL for the family of God.

Impact for us?

The next logical question is:
“What does an earlier return for the Brochus mean
for the length of OUR time in France?”

The short answer:  it’s a bit soon to tell yet, but we do know this:

  • Generally speaking, we feel like we’re just getting settled in!
  • We’d mentally prepared for 2 years and don’t foresee a return before then.
  • Interrupting the kids’ school year is not ideal so any return would likely happen outside of the kids regular school year.
  • There’s still lots of work to do in France… So for now, keep giving and keep praying.

Fall Garden

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In other news… I planted lettuce in the garden this week (surely different from back home). I turned over a small plot in the backyard so it’d be better ready for next Spring and when my neighbour noticed it, he asked if I’d like some lettuce: He was thinning out his and assured me that we could easily have another month or two of growing season. Very excited to see what comes of it.

Aside from our itsy-bitsy plot… our neighbours – on either side – have blessed us several times (including again this week) with overflow from their gardens: a couple baskets of tomatoes, apples, parsley, basil, zucchini, rosemary, cherries, and lots of tips. I love having such good relationships with our neighbours… they’re a little bit like family really.

À bientôt…

That’s it for today. Whether you’re reading this from home over coffee or in a plane somewhere on your way home from General Conference… thank you for checking in again this week. Let what you read inform your prayers for France and for us!

From Paris to Châtellerault

It’s the end of a hectic work week for many of you, yet here you are… touching base to find out what the Lord’s been doing in France. Thanks for that!

IBF… a Bible School weekend

IBF, Institut Biblique de France, 2 Timothy 2:15, UPCI, EPU France, Église Pentecôtiste Unie

I ended off last week’s post telling you that I was headed to Melun for the first Bible School weekend of the 2015-2016 year. Here are a couple photos of the prayer & devotional time right before lunch. To the right of the top picture you can also see fellow AIMer Crystal Wallace who, along with her husband (both originally New Brunswickers) are furlough replacements for Bro. & Sis. Nowacki there in Melun (follow their AIM updates here, on Facebook).

Here’s what a typical IBF* Saturday looks like:

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p style=”padding-left:30px;”>7:30 – 9:15    Classes (then coffee break)
9:35 – 11:20  Classes
11:25 – 12:00 Prayer & Devotion
12:00 – 1:00  Lunch
1:00 – 2:45    Classes (then coffee break)
3:05 – 5:45    Classes

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p style=”padding-left:30px;”>* IBF = Institut Biblique de France
For Andy and I… this full day is followed by a 3.5hr drive home for services on Sunday!

Pray for these students that God will use them as trained workers in their local churches. That is their desire and is key to the growth of the work in France.

Partners in Local Ministry

Église pentecôtise unie de Châtellerault, prédication, école du dimanche, sunday school

I want to brag for a moment on co-labourers Christian & Vanessa Kabasele. While they’re not mentioned in every post, they are invaluable to the work in Châtellerault.

They’re an example of why it’s important to pray for Bible School students; both are IBF graduates. God used that time to train them before sending them from their home church in Melun to the mission field of western France.

Christian is a huge help with the preaching load and is great with youth. Vanessa is gifted in all things “Sunday School” (she was Asst. Sunday School Director in Melun) and leads worship periodically. They’re a well-grounded apostolic family that makes a difference!  Pray for them… coming here was a step of faith for them as it was for us and they currently have a pressing need.

School Daze

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As of this week, all three kids are back to school. Sophie’s material arrived this week so she started on Wednesday (the boys began last week).

Here you can get a sense of the setup. Soph & Dominic share a work table on the upstairs mezzanine in the Brochu’s house (mezzanine may make it sound grander than it is… it’s just an open area at the top of the stairs).

Timo’s setup is a little different. We were able to tuck a desk in under the stairway (previously just a spot for a low bookshelf and shoe rack). It’s a cool spot really… like his own little cubby hole. It also means he’s close to the kitchen and the main living level, making it easier when he needs help from Liz.

Zip… swish… crackle!

Tomorrow we’re having an event to rally our few young people and create an opportunity for them to invite friends.  After church we’re going zip-lining nearby and then will come back to church for a bonfire. Pray for safety and for great connections among our youth. I’ll show you pics next week.

We appreciate your prayers. They are vital to what the Lord does here.

Finally…

On a cultural note… while driving someone home from church, last Sunday, I came across the gate house of the Château de Baudiment, about 10min away. I’d seen the towers from the main road many times and was curious. It’s privately owned and not open to the public so I couldn’t see much, but judging by the gate house… I bet it’d be nice.

Château de Baudiment, Beaumont, Vienne (86)

Busyness to Madness

Thank you for stopping by to check in with us today!  I just have a short post as I’m up in Melun for the beginning of a new Bible School year.

Île Cognet

Île Cognet, Châtellerault, Pont Henri IV, La Vienne,Last week you’ll recall that l’Île Cognet is what put “exploration” into the post. Well… on Sunday afternoon, we decided to go back as Liz had not been with us on the previous trip… and we wanted to change that!

Once again, the kids split it up between looking for frogs, playing hide ‘n’ seek and climbing trees while Liz & I explored on our own.

Not only did we see a rat on one side of the island, but we saw another, on the other side, get this… carrying a piece of baguette!  I kid you not.

…must truly be a French rat!  We’ll call him “Ratatouille”.

Week of… “madness”?

Here are some positives of the week:

  • We got the lawn mowed at the church (HUGE lawn and using an electric-mower… slow and tedious, but a great time of prayer).
  • I got the remaining paperwork off to the government concerning residency. Please pray that it things go through there.
  • Dominic started school on Wednesday (he’s our “I like structure” kid… so he was glad to start back up).
  • Timo began his new school year on Thursday… someone say “AMEN!” for a staggered school start – this explains why Liz is still in one piece!
  • Sophie’s books were only shipped from Abeka this week so it’ll be a few days before she begins classes… she did, however, read a book that she’ll need to do a report for later in time.

Later on in the week though (Thursday & Friday) a few things just turned weird (not with us personally, but with some folks that we know in the community)Please pray that God gives us wisdom in working through a few things with this family. To God be the glory, great things he will do!

Paris-Bound

Yesterday I headed up to Paris earlier than I normally would because there was a couple of errands that I needed to run in the city. When those things were done, I was able to spend about an hour in the Garnier Opera… my all time favorite place in Paris! It was my first time back inside since 2012… ahhh… like going to see an old friend. (see pics below)

Today I’m at the church in Melun kicking off the new Bible School year. There will be administrative things shared and then 6 hours of classes – of which I’ll have two… starting the Pastoral Epistles (I & II Timothy + Titus).  Looking forward to a great day!Opéra Garnier, Garnier Opera, Salon des Glaces, Ice Cream Parlor Opéra Garnier, Garnier Opera, Grand Escalier

Thank you again for stopping by… please let what you read, fuel your prayers for us, for our church and for the nation of France.

Dogs, Poultry & Exploration

What can I tell you about this week that you don’t already know?  Let me begin by saying that it was both mundane and extraordinary at the same time.

Bible School Housekeeping

From a work perspective, this week consisted primarily of Bible School housekeeping. After last week’s full week of teaching, there was a fair bit of marking and grade calculation to be done. I also finished marking & grading the last straggling tests & papers from the Spring session as well. It feels very good to have this off of my plate.  (You know that feeling you get when you look at that “one particular pile”!!).

It was done just in time too. The 2015-2016 Bible School year begins next Saturday.

La Rentrée

The North-American term “Back-to-School” is translated as simply “la rentrée” (the coming back). It refers not only to the return to school, but also to the return from summer holidays and the recommencement of clubs or organizations that have taken a break for the summer.   Several folks who have been away on summer vacation are beginning to make their way back to church as well… vive la rentrée!

Replacing Jayc

Chicken Coop, Dutch Bantams, Poulailler Nevada, Gamm Vert, Rooster, HenRemember back in July when we were excited to welcome a Beagle pup, named Jayc, to the family. Well… within 24h, Jayc was paralyzed in the hind quarters. The breeder came & got him, took him to the vet and that was pretty much the end as neither cause nor cure could be found. The breeder replaced him with a second pup and after 5-6 days, again, signs of severe illness. The breeder came back and took him to the vet as well… same result. In the end, this well established breeder’s kennel had been hit with a bad virus and lost 47 dogs.  We weren’t ready for a “round 3”, sooooo…..

This week we welcomed a pair of Dutch Bantam chickens into the family (we’ve had small animals before – chickens, quail, rabbits & homing pigeons – so we were in familiar territory!)Meet “Jayc (remembering our beagle pups) and “Ginger (*think… “Chicken Run”, the movie*). Sophie is our “Chicken-ista” and handles them like a pro!

Thursday we put their pen together and now can enjoy their pecking, scratching and clucking all day long (along with the occasional crow).

Exploration

Île Cognet, Châtellerault, Pont Henri IV, La Vienne,On Thursday, Liz spent a few hours at the church with one of our ladies who regularly cleans the building. Afterwards this sister came to the house and joined us for supper.

The kids had been wanting to visit l’île Cognet, a small island in the middle of the Vienne River that flows through downtown Châtellerault. It can’t be visited year-round, but during the summer there is a bridge facilitating access. It turns out that our sister from church had never visited the island either, although she’s lived here many years. Following supper, rather than diving straightway into dessert, we opted for a stroll to discover this quiet haven of virtual wilderness right downtown.

The kids enjoyed a wild round of hide-and-seek  and it allowed views of the Henri IV bridge than we’d not previously seen.

Prayer

Could I ask for your prayer support in the following 3 ways?

  • I’ve had conversations with a few church members that reveal heavy needs. Pray for the Lord’s wisdom in working through situations with them.
  • The boys will begin school this week and Sophie a little later. Pray for strength for Liz and the kids.
  • My residency application process – although it should be straightforward there are still a few hoops to jump through before October 10th.

Thank you for your support… It is an incredible feeling to know you’re in the Lord’s will for your life! We are… and you are part of that!

#PrayForFrance