Sometimes ministry happens in national meetings, other times it happens with 24 young people in a converted car dealership and other times still, it happens with a single elderly saint in her apartment. Today I’ll tell you about all three.
Precious, Tired & Faithful
I first met Jeannette in 2009. She came to church at the invitation of founding church member Sis. Cécile, a former Catholic nun. Jeannette LOVES to worship God & I have a short video of that 2009 visit, of her in the front row, kneeling with hands raised, in worship. These days, in her late eighties and with limited mobility, Jeannette is unable to attend services, so we visit her regularly.
People in her nursing home are closed-minded to the things of God so she often refrains from participating in group activities, preferring instead to read her Bible voraciously and to read the stories of & pray for persecuted Christians around the world.
Without fail, we end our visits in prayer and she lets the gift of the Holy Ghost flow freely from her lips. It is plain to see that these are moments of refreshing for her. Last week the kids came with us and we finished off singing together…. “Hallelujah, He’s a prayer answering God…” She was very moved.
Your support is helping us encourage and strengthen this tired but precious & faithful lady.
Bible Quizzing… they WON one!
Last Saturday was a really great day for our church in Châtellerault with 24 people, mostly youth, present for Bible-centered fun & friendly competition.
Unlike in North America where district and regional quizzing tournaments are the norm, distance and number of churches involved in quizzing means that such regional matches are absent from the French quizzing calendar. Partly due to a number of newer quizzers this year however, and partly with a view to making quizzing about more than simply the final tournament… organizers are adding training & exhibition days to the calendar this year.
Quizzers spend two hours in the morning doing group games aimed at educating them on the TYPES of questions that they can expect & how to answer them and encouraging the SPEED & CORRECTNESS of their responses.
After lunch they quizzed against each other… both as churches and as mixed teams. To their surprise and delight, Soph & Dominic won one of their match-ups. Huge encouragement to them!
What was built as a small car dealership is now a house of God where young people are learning His word!
Another very neat moment during the day came during the lunch break when, after they were done eating, many of them gathered around the instruments for an impromptu jam session… of worship choruses. Various young people took turns on the instruments and at one point I looked and Soph was in the middle, on the keyboard. How incredible to see this connection; kids to each other and collectively, both connected & connecting to the Lord.
You really need to read Sophie’s blog post about the day!
Praise God for the ministry of Bible Quizzing!
Paris this weekend…
We drove up to the Paris region last night.
Today Liz & I will be attending the national Annual General Meeting alongside pastors and licensed ministers from around the country. It will be a time to not only look back at activities, accomplishments and challenges from 2015, but also to look ahead at the year before us and see how God is directing the United Pentecostal Church of France.
Tomorrow morning, Sunday, all five of us will be ministering at the church in Paris Centre (located in Ivry-sur-Seine). Although I have been there a number of times already, this will be the first time for Liz & the kids. The local church has been very anxious to meet them.
We may… just MAY be able enjoy a Starbuck’s together for the first time since October! Just let that sink in for a moment… the last time we all enjoyed a Starbucks together was October… don’t you know it’s gonna be a TREAT!
Pray for us this weekend…
- That God would direct national leaders & pastors as they grow the work in France.
- That God would use us to minister to the folks at Paris-Centre.
Our bi-annual car inspection was done this week and the cost came in higher than what was anticipated since we needed 4 new tires on top of a few other regular maintenance things.
Final tally: $1,600 USD / $2,100 CDN
If you are not already giving regularly but would like to make a one-time donation, this would be a great cost to help underwrite. On top of the $5,100 USD / $7,000 CDN in annual health insurance costs last month… the first 6 weeks of 2016 have put considerable pressure on our account in St. Louis.
We can serve because you have sent… Thank you!
God bless you today & may you be enriched and strengthened as you worship this weekend!