The Return… in more ways than one

The Return… in more ways than one

A can of Canada Dry, served in a white paper cup, proudly emblazoned with a red maple leaf… Hello Air Canada, thanks for bringing us “home”. It sounds weird to say that because “HOME-home” is Canada, but “small-h home” is France. At least for now.

Sunday in Indianapolis

We got better rates on our airfare by staying over Saturday night so we planned to go to church on Sunday and leave Monday in stead. Since we were only a short distance from Bro. Mooney’s church, Calvary Tabernacle, that’s where we attended.

We got to hear Tim Pedigo sing (hadn’t heard him in years & used to always love him), hear Bro. Mooney preach, visit with MK Jessica Sully (her parents, our friends, are missionaries in Senegal) and – unexpectedly – we met Pastor Joel Mitchell from Montgomery, Alabama. THAT was a treat!

Bro. Mitchell’s parents are precious friends and we’d gotten to visit with them in 2014.

The Return… part 1

We flew out of Indianapolis Monday morning and caught glimpses of the Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indy500 speedway on our way out. Soon we were in Toronto.

It was good to be back where red maple leaves adorned a majority of the tail-fins on the tarmac, if only for a couple of hours.

There was a two hour delay leaving Toronto and when we arrived in Paris, a security situation left us standing at a closed immigration area for over an hour. Rather than having 3.5 hours to catch our train home, we had only 15 minutes to get from arrivals to the airport rail station.

We became those obnoxious people barrelling through the airport… running, knocking others with their wheely-suitcases and yelling “Excuse me, pardon me… I’m sorry” (this last one, proof that we’re Canadian). How unpleasant. But… the Lord allowed us to catch our train.

Precious Cargo

One of the things that complicated our rampage through the airport is that on top of our 6 suitcases & 3 knapsacks, we were balancing a box of Tim Horton donuts… a special request by Timo.

We managed to not eat them while waiting in Toronto, nor squash them on the plane, nor sell them for profit while waiting at immigration in Paris. They arrived safely!

The box is now nothing but a ring-stained, empty mess, but we did manage to stretch them out over two days. They were a little stale by day two (actually day 3 if you count the travel) but who cares… it was a taste of home!

Back Together

Between Liz & Timo’s 2 weeks away, and our week in Indianapolis… it was good to be back together as a family.

The kids have done some archery and some kayaking at a city-managed park and Timo finished his first book in French – a small miracle.

When we arrived here, Timo was our “I don’t speak French.” child. The past year at school however has been nothing short of incredible for him.

Wanting to work his reading over the summer, we picked something that he could entirely read on his own and would be at a level that would hold his interest. Enter…. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in French. It’s not exactly high-brow literature, but it is a huge accomplishment for him!

Now let me wax slightly philosophical…

The Return… part 2

It’d be too dramatic to say that the return home hit me “hard”… but it did hit me. We’d just come back from “North American Church” … big church… people, a free-flowing move of God’s Spirit and collective strength. We are stepping back into home-missions life: a life of small church and limited contact.

Many of you may be aware that the young couple that had been helping us here in Châtellerault had to leave because of their work situation. This means that as we return and begin looking toward the fall, we will be doing so as the only mature, stable ministry family in the church.

In many ways… we are starting at zero.

I’ve never been comfortable with that idea.

Scott Sistrunk & I (2014)

There are people who are born church-planters – Scott Sistrunk (Plymouth, MI), Jerry Staten (Washington, DC) & Kent Carter (Shediac, NB)… I’ve never considered myself one of those men. Yet the Lord brought us here… and knew exactly how things would go.

The next few months is where our faith will have to be like rubber meeting the road. We have lots of questions & are in personally uncharted waters but we serve a great God. I think back to Michael Ensey’s message at #NAYC17 – Faith Factor, and his central question:

“What if faith rather than fear was the factor
that fashioned your future
?

Is it of any surprise that Bro. Mooney’s message on Sunday was “Just Believe” (when things look dim) or that Tim Pedigo sang a song he wrote of the same title? Maybe, just maybe… the Lord was planting a word in my heart that would sustain me through the uncharted waters.

Will you pray with us?
Together, let’s see what the Lord will do!

Thank you for being on this journey with us!
God bless you today!


(Here’s a bit of our train ride home… France at 300 km/h)

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6 responses

  1. Brother Long,

    Great post!

    Could you send me the free booklet referenced?

    I followed the link but it looked like it was adding me to a mailing list (and figured I was already on that. If not, let me know).

    God bless!

    Jim Poitras

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