A lot happened since we sat down together last Saturday (Youth convention, a birthday, etc.)… so let’s get right into it shall we?!
This time last week, we’d all piled into a car and were heading to Melun for National Youth Convention: 3 services between Saturday and Sunday, with roughly 1,000 in attendance from various parts of Europe.
One of the first things we did was recognize the 2019 graduating class of the French Bible Institute. Just as a reminder…. Bible School here in France doesn’t work as we’d expect in North America – Students are not on campus, studying day in & day out for several years. Here in France, students come 1 Saturday per month and spend a full week, each summer, for two years, in order to earn their diploma. (many students have full time jobs, studies, or family lives in addition to their studies – they are to be commended).
Pastor Aaron Bounds (Zanesville, OH) was the guest speaker and Boy! Was he on point! I can’t speak for others, but he was absolutely led by the Spirit to minister… each message was like an arrow, hitting the mark.
He talked a fair bit about loneliness and how that can blind our spiritual vision to the things that God would like to do in and through us. He also talked about being spiritual first responders… not hesitating when God’s spirit leads us.
In just about all the services, Dominic exampled what it was to be a first responder and was one of the first to the altar at the close of the service. He also made the decision to Bible Quiz this year in addition to it being his final year of high school. Proud of this young man!
Though not in Canada, we still proudly wear our Remembrance Day poppies. It’s a neat conversation starter as the French do very little, outside of official ceremonies, so people often ask about it.
Wearing the poppy is something I grew up doing and it would feel strange not to show respect for our army veterans in this manner. I’m glad to be able to do it.
After a few years though, our poppies are getting a bit tattered, so if anyone has an extra couple at home and wanted to help us renew ours…. that’d be great!
Timo celebrated a birthday this week by having some friends over on Wednesday (no school that day). We celebrated again, as a family, on Thursday. I asked if he felt different and he replied:
“Well… I feel like maybe my age is finally catching up to my body.”
(referencing the fact that he has always been considered tall for his age.)
Timo is among the top in his class – not bad for a kid who only started French school 3 years ago. Also very proud of this guy!
“American Hot Dogs”
This doesn’t have much to do with anything else, but it’s too funny to not share.
Some grocery stores periodically have “American week”, where they bring in specialty products that are often otherwise hard to come by (eg. Marshmallow Fluff). As you can see… the marketing is all stars and stripes as Liz picked up hot dogs & hot dog buns.
Upon closer examination however (besides the fact that hot dogs are packaged in a bottle of water), the fine print indicates that the hot dogs are “made in Germany” and the hot dog buns are “made in Poland”.
How very American. LOL!
* bewildered emoji * 🙂
Finances can be tough at times. You already know that I work here, not merely for the pleasure of it, but because it’s a necessity. For some reason, we’re seeing a pattern develop, whereby our support levels decrease in the fall. During the past 2-3 months, our support totals were roughly halved. If the pattern stays true to last year, that should pick back up as we approach year end.
That being said….. God’s got this… We had two specific financial blessings this week.
- Even though we’re renters (not homeowners) we still have a yearly residence tax which, in past years, has been roughly €1,300.00. This year we received our bill and, as a result of government tax cuts, our bill was roughly 10% of that amount. God took away 90% of that major expense.
- Secondly… Remember how Liz’s parents’ flight was 6h late arriving a few weeks ago? Well, European law stipulates that for flights delayed over 3h (not for weather-related reasons), the customer is entitled to be compensated. Since Liz had purchased the Ryanair tickets the reimbursement would come back to us. That reimbursement was roughly 10x the amount of the low-cost airfare that we paid.
I can’t even tell you how stressful finances have been at times (less so recently), but the Lord’s blessings are faithfully renewed every morning and we have not lacked for the essentials.
Quite a week!
Again… it’s been quite a week and indeed the culmination of several long weeks. We are very glad to have NO EXTRA PLANS this weekend and will likely do very little moving about other than church tomorrow.
So let me leave it there for now and wish you a wonderful week.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support.
God bless you!