Youth Convention

Youth Convention

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133.1

When your week-to-week experience is in a home-missions-type setting, and your’re two to three hours away from your nearest sister-churches, you tend to appreciate this verse from the psalms in a whole new way. It was good to be in Melun last week at the annual youth convention.

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Light in Darkness…

Light in Darkness…

Yet again… France has been struck by an attack designed to kill innocents and strike fear in the hearts of the rest of the nation. The date: July 14th – France’s National Holiday (like US’s July 4th or Canada Day)… Crowds were gathered in city squares & parks all over the country and in Nice, the crowd was diminished by 84 lives immediately following the end of the fireworks display.

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Youth Convention

Stop the Presses…

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… before I do or say one more thing, I have to stop and say…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

…to my number one baker and “French Painter”Timo.

Since arriving in France he has become an incredible drummer, taken great interest in baking, cooking and making authentic Italian pizza crust from scratch (he rocks). People love being around him and he’s making more friends than he probably realizes. He’s a JOY and we are so proud of this AIMKid!

Today is the actual day but we celebrated with friends earlier in the week because dad teaches at the Bible School today. Incidentally, he is holding a home-made backboard for the basketball net that we picked up in the summer. Our next door neighbour made it for him… how cool is that!?

Youth Convention

Dammarye-les-lys, European Youth Convention, EPUFrance, Église Pentecôtiste Unie, Baron Jen Carson, AIM, AIM2Go

Last weekend we were in Melun for the national youth convention (YC). It actually doubles, somewhat, as a European YC since there were people there from Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Estonia, the UK and all over France.

Rev. Chadwick King (Santa Rosa, CA) was the guest speaker and was tremendous. In the top picture you’ll see that I was translating for Bro. King. What an honour to help in the area of translation.

Not only did our kids enjoy being around other youth, but we had a couple of young people with us who were there for the first time. They too enjoyed it much and are already excited to come back next year. Praying at the altar, they were so hungry for the presence of God and the gift of the Holy Ghost: I’ve said it before God is doing a great work in our Sunday School kids!  Thank you Jesus.

Little touch of Holland

We’d been looking forward to meeting fellow AIMers Baron & Jen Carson of Bosier City, Louisiana and it happened at YC (see pic above). They assist at the church in Dordrecht Holland and what a pleasure to serve on AIM with such great folks as them.

If you have an interest in, or burden for, Holland… check out their site: HopeforHolland.com, and consider partnering with them.

Monday Monday…

Châtellerault, la manufacture, cheminéeAfter a busy YC weekend, followed by a 3.5hr drive back home Sunday night, Monday was a low-key day at home for the most part. Only at around supper time did the whole family venture out together to watch the sunset from the old smoke-stacks at la Manufacture downtown, normally a great vantage point. With winter time now in effect and the sun moving quickly, we actually arrived just after it had set, but still enjoyed getting out in the fresh air together.

We weren’t alone up there however, there happened to be another family… a mom & her two boys who spoke English. We struck up a conversation with them which lasted nearly an hour and a half. They too were an ex-pat family who’d moved to Châtellerault from Melbourne Australia. They’d been here for roughly a year and a half and were homeschooling their kids until just recently when they’d enrolled them in school. In short… there were tons of parallels between our two families (right down to having left behind a flock of backyard chickens!!).

We may have thought we were going down there for a sunset, but I think it was definitely a God-moment and the real purpose of our jaunt down there was for that meet-up. Thank you Lord!

#ParisShootings

Bataclan, Paris , Shooting, Terrorism

Photo Credit: CNN

I didn’t want to lead off with this, because Timo & all the good things that God is doing take priority.

Nonetheless, many of you reading this will have already heard about the shootings in Paris last night.  As I write this 129 people died in shootings at a famous nightclub, a restaurant and, incredibly the national soccer stadium where France was playing an exhibition game against Germany with the president in attendance.  As a result the city of Paris will largely be “closed for business” today: any place where crowds can gather.  It’s likely not a coincidence, but France resumed passport control at the borders yesterday in the lead-up to the global environmental conference to begin in a few weeks.

Know this: Although I’m in the Paris region for Bible School, I’m some 50km from downtown so quite sheltered. Thank you for those that have emailed, tweeted or inboxed through Facebook.

Do this:  #PrayForParis #PrayForFrance … there is perhaps no day when it is more appropriate to place a call out for prayer for this country. Once again, the nation has been hit at its heart and will be seeking solace. We know the peace-giver.

Everything that happens has SOME-thing to do with the Kingdom of God…pray that God helps us recognize and seize each opportunity in the coming days & weeks.

Pray for France

Working for Fellowship

Good news: Early this morning, we hit the road on our way to Melun for the National Youth convention. The bad news… you’ll have to wait until next weekend’s post to hear about it except for some sneak-peak snippets on Twitter:

Work and Fellowship

Église Pentecôtiste Unie, Châtellerault, UPCI, France, Church Work Day

Wanting to have a lot of last minute things tidied up and in good shape for Bro. Brochu’s arrival, the entire church congregation stayed last Sunday after church and spent the afternoon together.

We started off by having dinner (Domino’s Pizza – How French is that!?) then proceeded to work. One team tackled the inside of the building while the other went after the outside, and everyone helped; even the kids hauled branches, whipper-snipped grass, etc.

The expression “Many hands make light work” was once again proven right!  We had a pile of work to do, but were done shortly after 5pm… early!

Bonfire Ministry

I joked to someone afterward about our bonfire ministry… because this was now the 5th time since Spring that we all gathered ’round a bonfire to finish off the day… roasting marshmallows and making smores (unknown to the French).  In fact… there is some legitimacy to what I said in jest; there really is an element of ministry there, because it brings people together to relax after sharing a common accomplishment.

Not only is there an aspect of fellowship, but working together fosters a shared sense of ownership with regard to the church building & property. We had a wonderful afternoon together and accomplished a great deal!

Pastor Brochu’s arrival

Missionary, Paul Brochu, Châtellerault, France, UPCI

On Tuesday afternoon, Bro. Brochu arrived after several days of meetings in the Paris region, but even his days in Châtellerault were far from restful. There were a number of files to get caught up on, people to catch up with and he spoke in our mid-week service on Wednesday.

You know, sometimes you wonder what missionary life is like and suppose that it’s all Bible study and preaching. The reality is that there are many practical questions to manage just as there would be in a North American setting with this difference: French bureaucracy.

For example: there is some painting to be done on the front of one of our buildings but due to zoning requirements, a project plan needs to be drawn up including photos & paint samples. It must be submitted to a committee of the Architects of France who will take 2-3 months to grant permission to PAINT the front of your building. Such mundane details are also part of missionary life (I’m SO glad the Bro. Brochu is here to work through that file).

It was good for the church to hear the voice of their pastor. We’re thankful that the Lord allowed him to come back, if only for a short visit. It’s good to reconnect face-to-face.

Looking Ahead

France at a Glance, Top 15, 2015, Missionary Newsletter

One of the other things I’ve been working on this week is a 4-page PDF document entitled Top15 in 2015: highlights the top 15 moments of ministry involvement and family life during our first eleven months as AIMers in France.

It’s something that will be available later in December to those who follow the blog via email. If you’re interested in receiving it simply click on the link below & you’ll receive one when it’s launched:

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 Prayer…

This weekend, you can support us by praying for the youth convention happening today & tomorrow. There will be 5 from our church that are hungry to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost and grow in Christ.

Thanks for stopping by to visit.
God bless your day!

From Paris to Châtellerault

It’s the end of a hectic work week for many of you, yet here you are… touching base to find out what the Lord’s been doing in France. Thanks for that!

IBF… a Bible School weekend

IBF, Institut Biblique de France, 2 Timothy 2:15, UPCI, EPU France, Église Pentecôtiste Unie

I ended off last week’s post telling you that I was headed to Melun for the first Bible School weekend of the 2015-2016 year. Here are a couple photos of the prayer & devotional time right before lunch. To the right of the top picture you can also see fellow AIMer Crystal Wallace who, along with her husband (both originally New Brunswickers) are furlough replacements for Bro. & Sis. Nowacki there in Melun (follow their AIM updates here, on Facebook).

Here’s what a typical IBF* Saturday looks like:

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p style=”padding-left:30px;”>7:30 – 9:15    Classes (then coffee break)
9:35 – 11:20  Classes
11:25 – 12:00 Prayer & Devotion
12:00 – 1:00  Lunch
1:00 – 2:45    Classes (then coffee break)
3:05 – 5:45    Classes

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p style=”padding-left:30px;”>* IBF = Institut Biblique de France
For Andy and I… this full day is followed by a 3.5hr drive home for services on Sunday!

Pray for these students that God will use them as trained workers in their local churches. That is their desire and is key to the growth of the work in France.

Partners in Local Ministry

Église pentecôtise unie de Châtellerault, prédication, école du dimanche, sunday school

I want to brag for a moment on co-labourers Christian & Vanessa Kabasele. While they’re not mentioned in every post, they are invaluable to the work in Châtellerault.

They’re an example of why it’s important to pray for Bible School students; both are IBF graduates. God used that time to train them before sending them from their home church in Melun to the mission field of western France.

Christian is a huge help with the preaching load and is great with youth. Vanessa is gifted in all things “Sunday School” (she was Asst. Sunday School Director in Melun) and leads worship periodically. They’re a well-grounded apostolic family that makes a difference!  Pray for them… coming here was a step of faith for them as it was for us and they currently have a pressing need.

School Daze

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As of this week, all three kids are back to school. Sophie’s material arrived this week so she started on Wednesday (the boys began last week).

Here you can get a sense of the setup. Soph & Dominic share a work table on the upstairs mezzanine in the Brochu’s house (mezzanine may make it sound grander than it is… it’s just an open area at the top of the stairs).

Timo’s setup is a little different. We were able to tuck a desk in under the stairway (previously just a spot for a low bookshelf and shoe rack). It’s a cool spot really… like his own little cubby hole. It also means he’s close to the kitchen and the main living level, making it easier when he needs help from Liz.

Zip… swish… crackle!

Tomorrow we’re having an event to rally our few young people and create an opportunity for them to invite friends.  After church we’re going zip-lining nearby and then will come back to church for a bonfire. Pray for safety and for great connections among our youth. I’ll show you pics next week.

We appreciate your prayers. They are vital to what the Lord does here.

Finally…

On a cultural note… while driving someone home from church, last Sunday, I came across the gate house of the Château de Baudiment, about 10min away. I’d seen the towers from the main road many times and was curious. It’s privately owned and not open to the public so I couldn’t see much, but judging by the gate house… I bet it’d be nice.

Château de Baudiment, Beaumont, Vienne (86)