Though technically this is not my first post of the new year (see my post on Chenonceau Castle, January 1st), it’s really my first regularly-scheduled… somewhat ‘normal’ post of the new year.

Say WHAT!? … ūüėĪ

Oh dear, things are not improving over the last half of last year…

Nevertheless… let me bring you up to date a little bit, since we’re both here after all…

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Someone Sprouted Wings

Someone Sprouted Wings

It’s been said of Canadians, that we’re not particularly patriotic…. UNTIL we go abroad, and I’d say there’s some truth to that. When Canadian young people travel abroad, you are almost undoubtedly going to see them brandish a Canadian flag on their jacket or backpack.

For this reason, when Dominic jetted off to Spain this week, we couldn’t let him go without a little bit of Canadiana and his backpack bore a little Canadian pin.

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Care Package on Steroids!

Last week I promised to tell you about the canoe in the wind… and I’ll get to that, but first let me tell you about our “Care package on steroids” kind of week!

18 boxes of Kraft Dinner*

Care Package, Kraft Dinner, Ocean Spray Craisins, President's Choice ChocolateYep…. eighteen!¬† They arrived with about 40lbs of other things. Let me explain:

One of Liz’s friends and former colleague at Air Canada was wanting to come for a visit. Because she travels light, she brought with her two extra suitcases: One filled with things that we’d left with her in Montreal back in January and the second filled with treats from folks back home, including the aforesaid KD, Craisins, Starbuck’s instant coffee (nearest starbucks is 265km away), chocolate bars, chocolate chips and chocolate chunks, baking powder, etc.
*KD is the Canadian equivalent of Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Time with Friends

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau, Azay-le-Rideau, #AzayRenaissance, Azay, Le Chantier du Si√®cleWe weren’t only glad to get the goodies that she brought, it was also nice to spend time with a familiar face from home. Milena was one of the first folks that Liz got to know when she began at Air Canada 18 years ago.

We spent a day together visiting perhaps the smallest castle in the Loire Valley: Azay-le-Rideau. I’d visited it back in 1995 but hadn’t been back inside since.

If it wasn’t the kind of place that requires some 200 million‚ā¨ in renovations (price tag of renovations currently going on), I think I could live there.

More Goodies

MK Ministries, UpWithMKs, Travel Buddies, Cylinda NickelWe recently got a couple of other things from North America as well:

Travel Buddies: Thanks to missionary Colleen Carter (Ghana, Africa) the kids got travel buddies: fuzzy critters who love to travel, who live in an Altoids box and who remind missionary kids (MKs) that someone is praying for them on a regular basis.

This is their second set of travel buddies… the first having come from the Sunday School department at Mission Point… our home church. Thank you for praying for our kids!

Discipleship Materials

The Way of God More Perfectly, La Voie de Dieu plus exactement, Timothy C. MitchellA few years ago, Liz & I translated Bro. Timothy C. Mitchell’s (Montgomery, Alabama) discipleship study entitled The Way More Perfectly.¬† It then went to Les Traducteurs du Roi for final editing & printing. We received 7 printed copies that we will be able to use with some of the new believers here in Ch√Ętellerault.

Thank you, Bro. Mitchell for letting us be part of this project. Thank you to Scott & Liane Grant, Career Church Planters in Quebec, for sending us copies of the finished project!

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Jack Cunningham, If I can do it anybody can!, Church Planting, Church Growth

A number of years ago I picked up Rev. Jack Cunningham’s book If I Can Do It, Anybody Can!. It’s the story of how he and his wife planted and grew the church of Newport News, Virginia; currently a thriving church pastored by Rev. Jared Arango.¬† It is my current “Good Read.”

New Friends

Le lac de la for√™t de Ch√Ętellerault, Baignade, Lake, Swimming, SplashingAhh… at last. The kids have been getting to know two kids who’ve been spending lots of summer-vacation time with their grandparents, who live across the street from us. Last night they went for an evening swim at the same lake where S√©bastien was baptized.

They’ve also played some soccer, basketball and dominoes games together…¬†(ever heard of “Chicken Foot“?) Lots of fun and finally… seeds of friendship!

Canoe in the Wind

OK… I’ll tell you about it since I promised it last week.

After his day-job was done, my dad’s was also as an Old Town Canoe distributor. He did a lot of paddling himself and guided trips as well. Though my brother has followed dad’s lead more than I,¬† I do still know a bit about flat water paddling.

canoeIf you find yourself in open water and the wind kicks up you can easily get in trouble given the canoe’s shape and the way they ride low in the water. The canoe will rock & roll with the crests & troughs if you remain¬†parallel with the waves and, if they are rough enough, you can easily capsize. Still, it’s not impossible to safely navigate such water… the secret is to drive the canoe into the waves… crossing them perpendicularly. In this way they slice the waves, rather than being victim to them. We would do well to face trial & difficulty head-on as well: Tackling and mastering it rather than hesitating and falling victim to the agitation that it can bring.

Just a thought!

Thank you!

…for all the love that we’ve felt in recent weeks and for your prayers, we know it makes a difference. God bless your day today.

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No more pencils, no more books

Remember the little rhyme that we’d chant on the last day of school?
“No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks…”

I don’t mean to reflect poorly on you teachers among us (I’m one myself) but if my kids knew this song, they’d pretty much be singing it this week (maybe I’ll teach them).

School’s out!

#AIMKids, MK, MIssionary Kids, La Roche-Posay

These pictures were taken last Sunday afternoon in La Roche-Posay, a neighbouring village, for a walk, however it could also sum up Sophie & Dominic’s reaction to finishing up classes: Carefree!

The back-story is that I was trying to get a nice picture of the boys, the sun behind them as we walked along the¬†Creuse river. Sophie, however, decided that she wanted to photobomb the boys’ shot… so in she comes! Fair enough… but I’ll use the shots just the same!¬† ūüôā

La Roche-Posay… does the name sound familiar to those of you reading this in Canada? If you shop at Shopper’s Drug Mart, it should ring a bell… it’s a line of skin care products.

This little village in France, well known for it’s dermatological laboratory, has been a wellness center for years. In fact there’s even a fountain in the middle of town where folks will stop to fill water bottles as they drive through, because the water is said to have¬† “miraculous” properties.

As to School being out… Sophie and Dominic have officially finished classes and have only a couple of tests to complete while Timo has about another week of classes to go. The important thing is… he’s getting there.

Summer School?

So what happens to our kids during the summer?¬† Even though school’s out, they’ll work mornings three days a week – that’s our typical way of homeschooling: It keeps them in the rhythm a little bit and stays off the “I’m bored” comments that often come. Oh it’ll be more relaxed than during the year… but there’ll still be some work to do.¬† The focus:¬† Improving their French

 Home Team

AIMKids, MK, Missionary Kids, Youth Group

The kids had a chance to connect with their “home team” this week and it would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that in the lead-up, they were vibrating with excitement.

Wednesday night is youth group back home so this week, they skyped into the meeting. Not only did they get to joke & jabber with friends, they stuck around for worship and the Bible study as well.

ahhhh technology!

This was a pretty big deal for our kids… Thank you to youth pastor Nick Graham for making this happen!

Any of you Youth or Sunday School staff that have adopted our kids on as prayer projects: if you’d like to connect via Skype or FaceTime – for a Q&A session, or to pray with them… it’s a great way to connect your kids / youth to missions, we’d love to discuss the possibility. Leave a comment below and we can set it up.

Today & this week

Today I’m teaching at Bible School up in Melun. We’re almost at the end of that for this semester. There is only one more teaching day after today and that will happen on the 27th.

This week we will head out to accompany the #AYCFrance team that will arrive from all around the USA. We’ll head up to the Paris area on Thursday, have time together as a family on Friday and then begin our tour with the group on Saturday morning.

Still some last minute things to prepare, but it’s gonna be great for the kids to get to hang with other youth!¬† They’re doing great in a number of ways, but they do miss other young people.¬† Keep praying for them!

Good news…

Poitiers, Titre de Séjour

I finished my residency paperwork this week.¬† Liz & I drove 30km to Poitiers, the regional capital where all such administrative things are handled, and afterward, enjoyed a coffee & croissant on the main square… it was like a rare date.¬† (No worries… we eventually DID go back for the kids!)


…for checking in on us again this week. Let what you read inform your prayers for us. We value them greatly and by them you contribute to the work of God here.


Top 10 Posts,, AIMLong, Mike Long, Ch√Ętellerault France is the story of an average family, doing our best to follow God’s lead for our life. At this point in the journey, His leading has us¬†serving a local church in western France.

Top 10 Posts

As the site grows, it can become tough to know where to start, so the purpose of this post is to introduce you to the best of the best: ten posts that have been the most well-received by other readers, starting with #1:

  1. Got a call? Feed it!How inspiration and preparation make the call of God clearer and bring it closer to fruition.
  2. 7 Short Term Missions MistakesSeven common Short Term Missions mistakes and how to avoid them.
  3. MK Ministries on a 3-day VisitCylinda Nickel of MK Ministries (MK = Missionary Kids) spent a weekend with us in February 2017… read about it here.
  4. Published!I wrote a Paris Travel Guide – for sale on Amazon – as an alternative fund-raiser for our continued support. See the pre-launch video here.
  5. STM can be Frustrating! – in 2017 I began a series of posts on the experience of Short Term Missions… this one speaks for itself.¬† ūüôā¬† You can see a general introduction to this series here.
  6. DepartureOur final few weeks in Saint John and the people who shared those weeks with us.
  7. A Hallelujah Moment A milestone in our preparation as well as part of my testimony about being re-baptized.
  8. …on becoming #AIMKidsHow we prepared our kids for leaving home, friends & family, to move 1/2 way around the world.
  9. A Week in the Life…A sort of “What does a missionary do?” kind of post.
  10. Paris in JulyPreparing to lead a team of 14 people to France in July 2014.


Kids’ Ministry

If you’re involved in Kids’ Ministry and would like lesson add-ons that will help bring missions “closer to home” for children… check out our AIMKids Missionary Moments (a series of nine lessons – 5-7 minutes each – with fun facts about France and how to pray for missionary kids).


Next Step?

Still looking for more?

If you like what you see, please subscribe to the blog for regular updates and let what you read inform your prayers for us and for the work in France. We won’t overload you; we post each Saturday morning at 7:00am Atlantic Standard Time (our “home” time zone).