“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!“
When your week-to-week experience is in a home-missions-type setting, and your’re two to three hours away from your nearest sister-churches, you tend to appreciate this verse from the psalms in a whole new way. It was good to be in Melun last week at the annual youth convention.
Youth Convention: Quick overview
- Attendance: over 1,300 throughout the weekend
- Guests from 8 other European countries: Holland (8), Switzerland (15), Belgium (37), Norway (12), Serbia (3), Scotland (10), England (3), Greece (10)
- Auditorium: Our 1,000 seat venue was to capacity for three of four services. We will require a larger facility next year.
- Gospel Concert: 850 were present, including many guests from the community.
- Bible School Graduation: 5 Students received diplomas after three years of study
Dominic was asked to help out with a little bit of theatrics….
In hand-to-hand combat, two warriors, each armed with a sword and a shield, are more or less on an even footing. Remove one soldier’s sword however and he is at a distinct disadvantage, falling easily prey to the blows of the other.
So it is with a Christian who is not familiar, or is only vaguely familiar, with God’s word. France’s Bible Quizzing ministry is meant to equip young people here with the sword of God’s word.
Over the past 4 years, God has been raising up a strong Spanish-speaking work in Paris. Their pastor used to live hard in a network of notorious drug runners, but God radically turned his life around and now he lives just as flat out for the Lord… evangelizing wherever and whenever he has a chance.
Pictured here are two men from his church leading in worship. Bro. Guillermo (left) can often be found playing Spanish accordion music in the Paris metro but on this night he lit the place up with praise to God.
No Greater Joy
We’re grateful for the chance our kids had to attend this year’s youth convention. They rarely have the chance to be around other Christian young people and are most often leading in worship in the local church. This was a chance for them to receive and be ministered to… in the second photo… Timo is praying with Dominic. There is no greater joy than to see your kids pursuing growth in God.
Speaking of blessing our kids… we say a HUGE Thank You to Pastor Melvin Thacker of River Falls, Wisconsin. Children from his Sunday School raised a $750 love-offering for our kids by milking goats, selling eggs, mowing lawns, etc. One child sold his bike to be able to give and another brought in his savings!
What generosity on the part of these kids!! We are grateful to them and to their teacher, Lori Lee, for being a conduit of God’s love for our kids.
A Birthday Boy!
Monday saw Timo celebrate yet another birthday… “I’m FINALLY eleven!” he said at one point.
Celebrations were a bit more low-key (ie. no birthday party) this year given that we’d just returned from Youth Convention. Liz made up his traditional basket of goodies and we had supper at McDonalds, followed by Liz’s oreo cheesecake at home.
McDonald’s is actually a rare family outing because it’s surprisingly expensive here. Our bill came to roughly 45€ ($50 USD or $65 CAD)… and that’s with Liz & I sharing a drink, sharing the kids’ fries and just having a double cheeseburger & wrap. Yikes!
Thank you, again this week, for being part of this journey with us…
to God be the glory, great things are happening!
(Click below for more pictures and a 35-sec excerpt of Friday’s gospel concert.)