Good Friday has drawn to a close and we’re in that “in between” moment… waiting for Easter Sunday to arrive.
It’s been a while since you’ve had a “regular” blog post from me (I hope you’ve been enjoying the #3GoodThings posts), but it just felt like time to do one. Sooooooo…. here’s a little bit of what’s been happening:
Supporting a New Caledonia Mission
Last Sunday we hosted the first French AIMers to be sent overseas – Jeremy & Marina (Majdling) Soufflet. They are from the church in Bordeaux and will be spending 6 months in New Caledonia (near Australia).
If New Caledonia sounds familiar, you may have a New Brunswick connection. The Soufflets will be working alongside Eddy & Della Mae Kennedy, both of New Brunswick Canada
This will be the first time our little church in Châtellerault partners with missionaries in a “sending” capacity (having been long time on the receiving end of missions funding). The local church is blessed to be a blessing and our folks were very excited to have them minister to us last Sunday.
Want to follow the Soufflets mission? You can do so on their Facebook Page.
Yard Work at Church
Since Spring has yielded its place to summer, we have been able to get back at doing things around the church yard. We’ll be having a church work day next week – mostly focusing on the building – but in the mean time, we’ve been work away at other larger tasks that are ongoing.
There are a few trees on the property that are in rough shape but which, with some pruning, could regain some of their vigor. Such was the case with this old willow (Salix matsudana tortuosa) until Dominic took a bucksaw to a couple of big old limbs.
Also… you can see on the lowest photo why “the hedge” is an ongoing project. See the dark trees to the left of the willow. At least 14 years of neglect means that it became more a tree-line than a hedge. We’re trying to slowly bring it back under control. There are literally years worth of work here (we can do it bit-by-bit as opposed to paying a tree-limbing company 1-2,000€ to do it. They did the bottom part of the hedge and all but killed it).
“What does it mean to live?”
That’s what the poster boards say on the wall behind Dominic in this photo.
The occasion? It was a 1/2-hour seminar being organized by the Spiritual Care team at Dominic’s school which is part of the Catholic School Board.
Dominic has made a habit of going to the chapel to pray just about every Thursday at lunch time… so people know him and asked him to take part in the seminar. A number of people talked about prayer, and church, and “doing what makes you & others happy”, but Dominic was the only one to mention the name of Jesus… even God! He sang “O Come to the Altar” with one of his school mates (who asked to join him for prayer in the chapel later that week). Proud of this young man!
We’ve had the opportunity to have some special visits over the past 2-3 weeks.
You may remember Jeannette, I’ve mentioned her before. She continues to be an example of faithfulness in her old age.
We were out of town to visit with Alberte the other day. She had a knee replacement two months ago and has been at a rehabilitation center since then. She misses church but continues to trust the Lord. She was in great pain early on and called on the Lord all the time (so much so that one nurse in particular was a bit perturbed… that didn’t stop Alberte from going to the one she knew could help!).
Finally… an extra special visit last Saturday (after teaching at Bible School). Our friend Yolène knew Liz & I before we were Mr. & Mrs., but we hadn’t been in touch with her for 18-19 years or so. Recently though, her husband reached out to us and we were able to share in some birthday cake in the city of Versailles. Lovely, lovely reunion! We thank the Lord for long-term friendships!
Fire at Notre Dame
Finally, if there’s one reason why France has been on just about everyone’s mind at least once this week, Notre-Dame is likely it.
Monday night we were just finishing supper when we got the news that Notre Dame was on fire in Paris. We’re a long way away of course, so in one sense, it doesn’t impact us directly, but on another hand… it has impacted all of France, so indirectly… it has had an impact.
The last photo I took, showing the roof and spire of Notre Dame, was back in January when I was visiting there with my mom. As we watched the fire rip through that iconic building this past Monday… we were gripped by a sense of disbelief. It was like something timeless was all of a sudden betrayed by time altogether. It’s an incredible loss for sure.
Perhaps it will facilitate discussions around the relationship people have with houses of worship or even… with the God that those houses were built to honour.
(January’s photo was to promote my book:
Paris, You Take my Breath Away.
Would you love a 100-page, wonder-filled Paris read
that also supports our work in France?
Paperback & Kindle versions are available on Amazon.)
Thank you for continuing to support, pray for and follow the work that the Lord has called us to do in France. We are privileged!