The “LIFE” in “Missions Life”

The “LIFE” in “Missions Life”

Have you ever heard people talk about “Missions Life”?

Out of those two words, Missions carries the most semantic weight, because we all have a pretty good idea about what life entails. “Missions” defines what kind of life we are referring to… and we tend to think of is as being exciting, exotic and highly rewarding. It is definitely all of these things… but just like people in our passport country or home culture… there are mundane, daily things that need to be tended to as well.

It feels like this week was a concentration of those kinds of rare joys!  😉

Ironing on the fly…


Sometimes in missions, you find that your teenager – with a closet full of choices – has  opted for the freshly washed shirt that has yet to be ironed. They put it on and you only see it just before the hurried departure for church. Unwilling to let them go as-is and without the time to do a proper iron job… you opt for a quick lie-down-steam-job.

Sometimes, that same teenager catches a “gastro” … or stomach flu  and spends a couple extra days at home during the week… trying to keep food down and sleep it off.

Sometimes… this is part of the life of missions life.

The Brace Race

I forget what it’s like to set up an appointment for braces back home in Canada, but here, we called to make our first inquiry in December 2016 and got an initial appointment for Timo in October 2017. After several exploratory visits, (once we were IN the system) his braces were scheduled to be installed this past week.

Knowing how important it is to not miss appointments (given the time it takes to get a new one), you take (you think) ALL necessary precautions to meet in town at such-n-such a place at such-n-such a time.

Sometimes though, the meet-up location is not as clear as you thought and the cell phone has died unexpectedly… causing you to arrive, not 10-15min early as you’d like, but at the exact minute that the appointment is set to begin… stress and exasperation written all over your face.

Sometimes… this is part of the life of missions life.

Information Overload

On Thursday & Friday I resumed teaching an English workshop at the University of Poitiers (roughly 45min from home).

Poitiers is also the city where Dominic & Sophie attend high school. They’re not in the same school because they’re pursuing different areas of study, and their schools are roughly on opposite sides of the city.

Thursday night Dominic’s school had the ‘back to school information meeting’ and Friday night it was off to Sophie’s school for the same thing. Such meetings are especially important because

  1. The school system is VERY different than in North America meaning there’s LOTS to learn and
  2. Both kids will have important exams at the end of this year.

Given the early start to the day, the meetings and the travel time back & forth, it meant that we were out of the house for the better part of 12-13 hours both days.

Sometimes… this is part of the life of missions life.

Moments in the midst…

In the midst of this week of daily life… we’ve tried to find moments of calm where we can breathe a bit… here are a couple:

Missions Conference back Home:

Last weekend was the annual missions conference back home in Saint John and thanks to the wonders of technology, we could “be there” as well.

Our church has pledged to give over $226,000.00 to missions in the next year (knowing that last year they pledged UNDER $200K and gave more than that). We’re part of an INCREDIBLE church!

Big ol’ Ice Cream:

While Soph & I were killing time in Poitiers between the end of the school day and the information meeting, we found THE DEAREST little tea room that served delicious ice cream sundaes (is it right to even call this a sundae?).

Watching the Bees

In August I became proud dad to about 10,000 honeybees. I’ve been interested in hobby-beekeeping for years and France’s mild winter climate makes it much easier to be a beekeeper than the harsh winters in Canada. It’s also a much less costly hobby here. (This is a Warré-style hive. Conceived by a French monk born in the late 19th century.)

Sometimes, I’ll just walk over to the hive and watch the bees coming and going. Some bringing in pollen & some defending the hive against Asian Hornets. These are calm-in-the-storm moments.

Remembering our co-laborer

This past Sunday, not only did we have a few extra folks back from summer holidays & wanderings, but we also had a first time guest who came “just out of the blue”.

Little things like that remind us that this is really God’s church and while sometimes we plant, water and tend in one area of the garden, God is at work in other parts of the garden … drawing people to himself.

Paul had it right when he told the Corinthians that we are co-laborers with Christ (1 Cor. 3.9) and I’m thankful for it.

Whatever you undertake for the Lord… know that you’re not at it alone and don’t have to do it in your own strength… you’re a co-laborer with HIM and he who has started a good work is faithful to complete it both in and through you.

Thanks for stopping by & have a great week!!

3 responses

    • Hey there DDGirl!!
      Great to read you again.

      I quite love it. The hardest part is refraining from opening them all the time out of curiosity (the less you disturb them, the calmer they are). I’ve only gotten 3 stings to date:

      1 because I foolishly tried to help one up that was on her back in the grass not moving much…. she didn’t read “compassion” in my gesture and stung my thumb after climbing on.

      2 others because I opened up the hive one night without suiting up (with the jacket/hat combo + gloves). Got me twice – once in the ankle & once in the wrist.

      All in all not bad though. I DEF-initely recommend it!

      • Three stings ain’t a bad number to start with 🙂 But I also heard that they are intelligent to figure their way in through the suit. That is to be admired eh? Enjoy the process of discovering more and more ways to parent them, Mike. Hope the weekend is going well.

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