Peeling back layers & the Big Chill

Peeling back layers & the Big Chill

I realized that I did something last week that I’d not done a terribly great deal up to this point… I peeled back the layers a bit.

Often, my weekly posts are “Here’s what we’ve done” posts whereas last week there was a greater measure of “Here’s who we are” exposed for you all to see… it was a bit risky.

I think there was a time when a certain missions mindset would respond as follows to my comments about resisting 3 trans-Atlantic moves in 4 years:

“Trans-Atlantic moves with kids (regardless of their age) is just part of the life of sacrifice that missionaries sign up for. It’s expected and accepted. Wanting too stable a life and living the ‘missionary life’ don’t really mix.

Here’s what I’m NOT saying when I express a desire to resist North American deputation at this point:

I am not saying that there is no value in deputation. In fact you can see a post I wrote here that expressed just the opposite. Bro. Brochu expressed to me, in 2012, that you have to view deputation as part of your ministry or you may end up resenting it. For him there are some very rewarding aspects of deputation. I don’t disagree in the least. For us it’s simply a question of timing.

  • Sophie‘s just over one year from high school graduation and the subsequent life direction decisions that go along with it
  • POA, Pentecostals of Alexandria, MKs, Missionary Kids, MK MinistriesIf we were to deputize for 1-2 years, at this point, Dominic would arrive back in France and have to jump back into the French system for his senior year. Talk about a risk!
  • Timo would likely be the least impacted given his still young age. His greatest challenge would be jumping back into a language that he’d begun to learn for a year then was separated from for two years… all while facing more complicated subject matter in school. Not a recipe for success.

Balancing all of these things weighs heavily on our thoughts… regularly, and cause me to appreciate the old chorus:


p style=”text-align:left;padding-left:60px;”>Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand,
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.


Université de Poitiers classroomI did something this week that I’d not done since roughly 2005-2006… I stepped into a university classroom to help facilitate second-language learning. It felt good… very good!

In Canada I spend roughly 6 years teaching first and second-year French to students at my alma mater, the University of New Brunswick, on the Saint John campus. This time, however, I was teaching English to performing arts students.

Interestingly, UNBSJ has an exchange program with the Université de Poitiers, so I was not unfamiliar with the institution. Indeed, I met my good friend Sylvain (whose wedding I attended in 2015) through time he spent in Saint John as a Poitiers student.

“le Grand Froid”

“le grand froid” means “the Great Cold.” It’s a term being thrown around a lot this week, even provoking an urgent meeting between President Hollande and his principal ministers. There have been threats of power outages (due to offline nuclear reactors) and assurances of the contrary (thanks to renewable energy sources like hydro-electric dams, wind power and solar energy). As Canadians, we’re looking on from the outside so-to-speak.

Only a few areas are expected to see temperature extremes like -11 to -19 (at night); for the most part it’s in the -6 to -10 range and, of course, warmer during the day. 2017_01_21-insulateThe French absolutely do not know what to do with temps like this where, for us as Canadians…. a winter of -6 to -10 is downright balmy!

One difference is that homes & buildings are less-well insulated than they would be back home, which is why Dominic & I spent Wednesday afternoon insulating some pipes in another building owned by the UPC of France here in Châtellerault.

To our US friends

trump-inaugCongratulations on the inauguration of your new president! You’ve had quite a ride over the past 18 months.

Yesterday, we watched the inauguration live and joined with you and with leaders like Franklin Graham who prayed that God grant wisdom to your new leadership.

I’ll say one thing!  You know how to do pomp & spectacle!

Special Guest Speaker

Today, Liz & I are in Melun for a Ladies’ meeting  to kick off the new year in the local church. We’re not there just as spectators though, Liz is the guest speaker and I’m her personal chauffeur.  🙂 It’ll be a quick up & back in the same day.

These ladies have an extra special guest speaker, let me tell you!

3 responses

  1. Mike,
    I understand what you are saying with regards to your children. It is hard to know sometimes, isn’t it?
    My family wasn’t a missionary family (in fact, a far cry from it) when I was a child, but we moved over 50 times from my birth to age 19 when I married (and then embarked on more moves!). It was difficult to feel any stability and to make any friends. Another advantage was it was all within the US and didn’t involve continental or trans-oceanic uprooting.
    I still get restless if I stay any one place for very long, and making friends is a challenge, too.
    Wow, that is cold!! I’m a southern girl through and through! If it gets below 40, I’m freezing!
    God’s Blessings to you and your family!!

    • Hi Robbye!
      Thanks for the comment. I don’t know why, but for some reason I’m just seeing it today…. a long time after you left it. My apologies. Wow! 50 times is indeed a lot. I have moved very little in my life and so the thought of it gives me “heebie-jeebies” (a highly technical term, I know 🙂 ). I think the shortest I lived anywhere (aside from missions work) was 7 years. Thanks again for visiting! God bless!

      • Mike, that’s no problem, I found it happens frequently.
        My sisters and I have a running debate as to whether it is 50 or 60, but either way, it’s a lot!
        Heebie-jeebies is definitely a highly technical, and very good, word!
        You are welcome, I enjoyed the visit and plan to stop by again on occasion.

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