Trying to think outside the box

Trying to think outside the box

Well… I made my first visit to the Police station. …nothing major and they let me out after only 30 minutes later so all’s good!  🙂

I was out walking Pollux Christmas Eve, after the kids went to bed (around midnight), and witnessed a hit & run: someone driving drunk slammed into a parked car then kept on going. I got the license plate and reported it – fearful he might hit someone else. Yesterday they needed me to make a formal statement. Had a neat discussion with the two officers who wondered what a Canadian was doing in Châtellerault. Turns out the mother of one of the officers grew up protestant.

Neat Opportunity

upoitiersSomething’s been brewing since early December that I’d not mentioned because I wasn’t sure it’d pan out. Yesterday though, things fell into place.

For the next twelve weeks, the Lord has opened a door for me to teach two English classes for performing arts students (total 4 hours/week) at the University of Poitiers (30min from home). I’m excited, both to have contact with French young people in a university setting and to put my university studies to use (in 2008, I completed a Masters degree in the Science of Language). I pray that some great conversations can come our of my time there.

What’s more… this is not something I went looking for. They had a teacher leave without warning, needed someone to “pinch-hit” at the last minute, and approached me.

Given the type of class involved, financial benefit is not the main reason for taking on the challenge for sure, but every little bit helps.

Speaking of….

Finances

We continue to have a real need for both one-time donations (to stabilize our account short term) and new monthly partners (to provide longterm stability).

coin4_smLiz & I got to laughing the other day as we looked around and realized how much our life has changed since coming to the field (I’ll share that discussion in a STMM post in April). We went from a two-income family, earning over $80,000/year, to raising a family of 5, in France, on 2/5 of that amount.

By all accounts, that’s a crazy move in the eyes of the world, but we didn’t move here to do what would make sense in the eyes of the world. We moved here because we believed (and still do) that God has a plan for the church in France and that He has a place for us in that plan.

  • If you’d like to help us in the short-term, you can make a one-time donation through a local UPC church (designation: “Mike Long France – GM#171805) or using this PIM form to send your donation by mail.
  • If you’d like to help us in the long-term, you can register online here as a new monthly partner.

Funding Alternatives

We’re also trying to vary our funding sources while here in France. This teaching opportunity is one way but is combined with a couple other ways:

Books

You’ll hear more about this in coming months, but I’m in the process of writing two books:

  1. The first will be an eBook (less than 100 pages) available through Amazon ($3-$5 range) and will give you tips & tricks on having a great short visit to Paris.
  2. The second will be on Short Term Missions; based on our personal experience (spanning the last 30 years) as well as reading I’ve been doing on the topic.

Branding/Website/Blog Development

If you know of a small business, church, individual or other non-profit organization that is looking for a simple website / blog set-up (similar to this site for example), I would be willing to help them out both with graphic design/branding and site/blog setup as a paid service.

Why?

Why not just return to North America, fund-raise, then return to France?

It’s a good question. Here is our thinking:

  1. The boys have adjusted to school, made friendships and are growing comfortable in the language. A 1-2 year absence would un-do that progress.
  2. We currently have a 5 year residency permit and don’t want to jeopardize that by a prolonged absence.
  3. The “uprooting” (from France), the “re-rooting” (in North America… for only a year or so) and the subsequent “re-uprooting” from there to come back to France… it’s more disruption than we care to put the kids through as teenagers. Would you consider doing 3 trans-Atlantic moves in 4 years?

In short… God has allowed us to gain much ground in terms of transitioning and adjustment. We don’t want to lose that ground at this point.

As you can see, there are a LOT of things going on in our minds
and it still feels like we’re chasing a moving target.
We covet your prayers in all of these matters

STM Monday

2_how-to-choose-a-missions-destination

On Monday I’ll be posting another Short-Term Missions themed post on the question of knowing where you’re called.

If you know someone who has a burden for missions involvement, but perhaps hasn’t received clarity on where they’re supposed to serve, then this Monday’s post will be of interest to them.

Sometimes people have the “I just always knew…” experience, but that’s not the case for everyone. For others, God made it very clear at a particular moment. For yet others, the road to their missions destination was a long and winding one.

Click here to see how it worked for us.


Thank you for your love and support.
We are an extension of your burden for missions!

God bless you today!

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2 responses

    • Thanks Monica! I’m now scrambling a bit – to get the “prepared” feeling – you know how it is: assigned a new class & wanting it to go well – but very much looking forward to it.

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