Christmas Cheer and Looking Ahead

Christmas Cheer and Looking Ahead

Got your New Year’s resolutions ready?  If not, don’t worry too much about it… you know what they say:

“A New Year’s resolution is just something that goes in one year and out the other.”
🙂

In just a few hours, we’ll say good bye to 2016 and hello to 2017. We’ll spend time recalling God’s faithfulness through yet another year and we’ll look with anticipation at what He will do in us and through us in the 12 months to come. Is that how you approach the new year, with hope and anticipation? God is faithful and has a plan for your new year… our hope is in Him!

Let me tell you about our week…

 

Christmas Day

Christmas Day, Noël, Christmas Dinner, Turkey DinnerWe spent Christmas Eve watching the movie The Nativity. It’s become somewhat of a family tradition over the past several years.

Had we been in Canada, another Christmas Eve tradition is fish chowder, but since fish is more affordable back home, we opted for a simple corn chowder in stead.

On Christmas day, we did not have service, allowing folks to spend the morning with their families. Although we’d planned that weeks ago, we found out mid-week that we’d have family visiting as well. Liz’s brother and his family arrived Christmas morning in time to open gifts together and then devour the Christmas turkey.

A sister from church joined us for dinner as well. Her family lives away and she was unable to be with them this year, so she celebrated à la Nord Américaine as well.

 

Family Outings

Saint Savin Abbey House, Abbaye de Saint Savin sur Gartempe, UNESCOWe took advantage of Liz’s family being here to show them one or two sights here in the area.

On Tuesday we did a quick trip out to Angles-sur-L’Anglin (one of our favorite spots which, if you’re a regular, you’ve read about before). Then yesterday, we visited the Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, a place we’d never been, even though it’s located only about 45-min from Chatellerault.

The frescos on the ceiling were handpainted using earth-based pigments and on wooden scaffolding some 18m (54′) in the air!

What struck me more than anything else though, was the use of such vibrant yet subtle colors on the pillars and the ceiling as opposed to the typical grey-stone standard. This was perhaps the warmest and the cheeriest church-monument I’ve visited here in France.

Timo is still on crutches so his mobility is greatly reduced, but he was still able to get out & enjoy these two spots. He has an appointment on Monday to check the progression of his recovery.

 

Prayer Focus moving into 2017

Prayer and FastingJanuary is a month set aside for focused prayer and fasting to begin the year on a solid footing and the church is France is no different. The national work has focused on a 21-day schedule, beginning next week.

If you are not already taking part in a P&F schedule in your local church, I’ll have a few more details next week on our focus areas for prayer moving into 2017.  I’ll be presenting some of this to our church tonight.

 

Something New:

Short Term Missions, Short Term Missions Monday, AIM, AIM2GoLast week I mentioned that the New Year would bring a new type of post once or twice each month, Short Term Missions Mondays. The goal being to address broader questions about short term missions that I don’t get to in my weekly posts. the first one will drop on Monday (Jan. 2) and over the coming months you can expect to see posts on:

  • Surviving the holidays far from home
  • Choosing where to serve out your STM calling
  • Avoiding seven common STM mistakes

If you know someone who’s considering involvement in Short Term Missions, would you send them the link below. The first post goes live Monday, January 2nd.

First STMM Post:   http://wp.me/p42rKn-1q9

A New Resource:

This week we received the WNOP Prayer Net poster, a visual reminder to pray for the churches and pastors to the North, South, East & West of us. I adapted it for use in our local church in French. If you would like to use the French adaptation, click on the image below to download a full resolution version: One has a world map, the other, a map of France.
(note: they are in A4 format)

entoures-de-priere-france_sm entoures-de-priere_monde_sm

 

Bonne Année!

Thank you for your faithfulness in 2016. We serve in France as an extension of your personal interest in and burden for missions. When you pray or support us financially, you are part of the work here. Any victories that we experience are your victories as well.

Here’s to more victories in 2017, for all of us!
God bless you & yours.

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