#AYCFrance is HERE!

Today started with a 6am wake-up call and a 1-hour bus ride to meet 41 of North America’s finest… but let me come back to that after telling you about the rest of our week first.

The original cook-out!

BBQ, Armenian, Châtellerault

Not sure I’ve ever had a Barbecue like the one we had last Sunday. Hayko and Knyaz are two Armenian friends that we’ve been getting to know since arriving here. We went to Hayko’s appartment where they’d prepared enough meat to feed an army… cooked on a sword-like skewer set atop a halved metal barrel in which they’d begun a bonfire before our arrival. Supper cooked over these coals while Liz & the kids were upstairs with Hayko’s wife and their little boy. This is an open door through which we aspire to bring our relationship with the Lord.

Feelin’ the Love

Eiffel Tower, Care Package, Note Cards

Tuesday we got a wonderful surprise by mail: A thickly padded envelope stuffed with note cards from folks in our home church.

We know that folks at home are praying for us, but there’s something special about receiving “snail mail”. …feeling the texture of the paper, reading the handwriting, etc.

Some were from adults, some were from families and some were from our kids’ good friends!

Thank you!

Dominic’s Birthday

Birthday Cake

Wednesday was Dominic’s birthday… his first in France. On Sunday afternoon, Bro. Kabasele (our assistant Pastor and a trained baker) made a triple layer Genoise cake and decorated it in Dominic’s honour.

Timo got him a soccer ball… not a rubberized plastic one or a foam one… a real one. Sophie & Liz went out shopping and set him up with some “French style”… and he’s wearing it well.

He’s all excited to finally be a teenager and Timo is somewhat concerned by the fact that he’s now the only one NOT a teenager… convinced that he will be blatantly mistreated and manipulated by his conspiring older siblings. (gotta work on his trust factor).

Family time pre-AYC

Family Selfie, Palace of Versailles

We headed to the Paris region a day ahead of schedule. Dominic had learned a bit about the Palace of Versailles in his history class and was keen on seeing the Hall of Mirrors. So after a final pre-arrival meeting with Bro. & Sis. Nowacki and Sis. Despinoy, we took the afternoon and headed out.

It was a beautiful day and after purchasing our tickets online, we were told that children under 18 do not pay for museums in France. (Hmmm…. didn’t say THAT on the website.  Now begins the attempt to get a refund… we’ll see how that goes.)

Not to have our spirits dampened… we thoroughly enjoyed discovering the palace, although Dominic couldn’t understand why we didn’t just go in the main door and hit the hall of mirrors… ummm…  “HUGE palace”!!

We eventually got there, through the throngs of tourists, audio guides, go-pros, video cameras, digital camera & iPhones (it’s a wonder that we could even see the paintings on the wall with all of that other stuff going on!!) and managed to get a “GROUPIE” (is that the plural form of selfie???)  IN the Hall of Mirrors.

(ps. it’s REALLY amusing to watch some people attempt to get the PERFECT selfie – strike a pose, flit the hair, tilt the head, brush away bangs, make sure the sleeve falls just so… O my word!! take the picture already!)

AYCFrance, AYC2015, #AYCFrance, #AYC2015, Apostolic Youth Corps, General Youth Division

As many of you are reading this… we’ll be doing our first orientation session with the AYC team who arrived earlier this morning. Over the next 10 days they will be involved in 7 services in 6 churches and will be part of handing out nearly 5,ooo invitations to church in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (a virtual city-state on France’s eastern border) with AIMers Jeremy & Khrista Favors.

We’ll keep you in the loop and may have and extra post or two over the coming days. Keep your eyes open to our some of our other social media accounts where updates through the week will be more frequent:

Facebook + Instagram + Twitter

You’re making a difference

Thank you for staying aware of what our weeks look like. By staying current on what we are involved in, you are better able to ask God to go before us and prepare the way. We want to be found faithful!

Pray that he leads us and strengthens us this week to help lead this group of young people. Exposure breeds a burden… so who knows what God could do as a result of this week.

God bless you today!

GC Workshop #1

In today’s post I’m going to start a series of posts that will give you highlights of some of the workshops that we attended while at General Conference and how we think that they will help us to see God’s work move forward during our time in France.  First of all though, let me tell you about the…

Warm Welcome in St. Louis

UPCIGC14 welcome

I was surprised to see the extent to which the city of St. Louis rolled out the red carpet (or at least, the red banners for us). These banners were all over the downtown core along with similar themed welcome signs in several of the hotels & welcome areas as well.

There were also some black ones around town for another convention that was being held in the same venue: Organo Gold; a network marketing company that sells pre-packaged coffee (Someone did try to recruit Liz as she sat drinking her Starbucks one day: “Does Starbucks ever send you a cheque for drinking their coffee?” the salesperson asked… oh dear!)


You may have noticed a change to the top navigation menu since the last time you visited the site. If not… take a quick moment to scroll up and look at it now.

I’d been wanting to add a “Contact Us” page to make it easier for us to connect, but with 7 menu choices already there, that would’ve been a bit much. The compromise… I grouped The Destination, The Dream and The Team beneath a single heading The Mission” , allowing me to add the new page and still reduce the options across the top, making navigation a bit more simple.

This is just one small tweak (for now) after being inspired by Rev. Lee Wells‘ #UPCIGC14 workshop…

Social Media & Church Planting

LeeWellsNot only is churchplanter Rev. Wells pastor of Landmark Fellowship Church, in Rockwall Texas, but he is also founded iChurch Marketing which aims to provide churches with new tools for a new generation. The workshop gave me ideas to help improve this blog, but it will undoubtedly lead to things that we’ll implement when in France as well.

Thanks Bro. Wells, you likely just became part of revival in France!

Here are the top 3 tidbits that I took away from that seminar:

  1.  The church’s website and social media presence have become the church’s new front door.
    (90% of potential guests will check the web first – looking for your church’s website or Facebook page – before they ever approach your real front door. If they don’t find us, they will find someone else.)
  2. 75% of Google search users never go beyond the first page search results.
    (Make sure you do everything possible to ensure that keywords and other SEO measures are optimized for your site so that you’ll be on that first page)
  3. This year, web searches from mobile devices are expected to overtake searches from a desktop or laptop.
    (Websites therefore must be mobile compatible)

When in France…

The church in Châtellerault currently has neither a website, a Facebook page or any other online presence. This is not entirely uncommon in France. There has traditionally not been as much emphasis on web presence there as there is in North America. I believe this will actually work to our advantage, because as we develop an attractive site and web presence for the church there, it will certainly stand out there in the region. I will, of course, let you know when that comes online.

Upcoming post…

Finally for today… do you remember the post where I talked about the “Big & Little Crowns” that surround Paris and how God used that image to speak to and through me on the day that he called us to France? I’m going to come back to that image in Saturday’s post, I hope you’ll come back to pick up on it.

If you don’t remember that original post, why not go here and read it to refresh your memory.
See you Saturday!

France at a Glance

Today’s post is simply an “at a glance” overview
of the United Pentecostal Church in France and
general numbers around religious adherence there.


United Pentecostal Church, France, Église Pentecôtiste Unie

I created this infographic using Piktochart:
An online web service for just that purpose.
Pretty easy to use and if you’re a church or
a not-for-profit, they give a discounted rate
for the full version and are wonderful to
deal with… I highly recommend!


They say you can tell a lot about a person by the people they surround themselves with!

Perhaps in our online world… another version could be, “You can tell a lot about a person by the people / things they connect themselves to.”  As we have gotten and continue to get closer to being on the field, I find myself wanting some new connections in addition to the ones I already have.

Disclaimer: I don’t intend to leave folks out….
just intending to give a smattering for now, not a complete directory:
For that, you can check out my profile @RevMikeLong

Entity Twitter Feeds:

North American Missionaries:

Global Missions & AIM:

Interested in Missions?

twitter-logo-birdI recently read a great article by Rev. Mark Hattabaugh (@HappyHattabaugh) in a recent Pentecostal Herald article entitled The Power of Exposure. In it, there is a zinger of a quote (among many):

“You get a burden the same way you get the measles… by being exposed!”

If you’re at all interested in missions – whether in North America or around the world – begin to tap into folks who are already involved in missions. A great way to do that is through twitter.

  • You’ll hear reports of things happening (baptisms, bible studies, Holy Ghost infillings, miracles)
  • You’ll come across links to articles on missions
  • You’ll begin to become aware of key players that are involved

Don’t see someone listed above for an area that you’re interested in?

It’s one small way… but it’s a start if you’re not already connected to the world of Global Missions.

Go ahead, I challenge you. Find and connect with two new Missions tweeps today.

“Bring it home” in March!

Short-term change is coming!

To this point, the majority of my posts have been directly related to short-term missions (STM) in general and our particular process leading to STM involvement in France. But in an attempt to engage a greater number of readers, I thought I’d dedicate the month of March to something a bit different and so….

March is “Bring it Home” month

By now you’ve pretty much gotten the hang of the fact that I post on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. But what I will be trying to do during the month of March is show you things that are characteristically “French” and give you tips on how you can bring a little bit of that certain “je-ne-sais-quoi” into your own home, kitchen, garden, etc.

BringItHomeI’ll start out on Saturday with bringing a pretty exotic dessert to your table… no fancy, hard to get or exorbitantly expensive ingredients though… all you’ll need is eggs, milk, sugar and flavor extracts.

See you Saturday for the beginning of Bring it Home month!

Spreading the Word

I’m about to make a real “DUH-statement”… are you ready?

The main reason we have this website / blog is to easily and effectively spread the word about our upcoming AIM appointment to France (beginning January 2015).

But what’s perhaps even more important than that?  Stating another something obvious… we can’t spread the word by ourselves. Would you help us out with that? Here’s where you can find us in the Social Media-sphere:

  • Twitter: 
    • Follow me:        @RevMikeLong
    • Use hashtag:     #AIMLong
  • Facebook:
  • Instagram:
    • Follow me:         @MikeLongSJ
    • Use hashtag:     #AIMLong
  • Blog:
    • WordPress users:  Click the blue Follow AIMLong button in the top right corner of the page. Updates will appear in your WordPress Reader.
    • Email: Find the Follow Blog via Email link (located at the bottom-left and top-right corners of each page of this blog)  & click “Follow”.

Thanks for taking stopping by!

Why not start sharing the love with this very article?
Click the Twitter-bird below to share this post with your Tweeple!
Tweet: Just spreading the word about Mike & Liz's AIM appointment to France... http://ctt.ec/a7d1y+

Dream Days…

Mondays are my Dream Days.

I can almost see the rise in social media traffic as people voice their disbelief at what I just said. Poor Monday, above all other days of the week, is the butt of just about every joke in the book. Nonetheless, it seems as though Mondays truly are my dream days. For example, If you were to look at my Instagram feed, you’d see that three of my four #24HrRead -tagged items were finished on a Monday.

What are Dream Days? How would I describe them?

  • They’re days when I get to spend with my family.
  • They’re days when I can drink a second cup of stove-top espresso at 9, 10 or 11am… in sock feet.
  • They’re days when I can take off in the car at the drop of a hat and stop to take pictures of a half-frozen stream if the fancy strikes.
  • They’re days when I can dream. Dream the dreams that God has put in my heart without a dozen interruptions, by phone, email or footstep.

What’s involved in the dreaming?
I can…


  • Marvel at the fact that God would allow me to dream, confide his dreams to me and invite me to take part in his dreams.
  • Be intermittently fearful at the prospect of such big dreams. They’re so big. They require such change. The demand such faith (do I have such faith? Today, yes. Tomorrow, no. The following day… without question. What a ride!).
  • Plan the dream. How would I do it? Which experiences do I draw from? What fits my personality? What suits the personality of the community I work in (or will work in)? What about my personality does God want to override in favour of His Spirit within me?
  • Share the dream with those who will take the ride with me. If this is God’s dream, then it’s more than just my dream and it will take more than just me to carry it out. If I will share the dream with people around me, those that I lead… they will have a greater opportunity to understand it, take part in it and share in the joy of accomplishing it.

This is when I’m truly alive. When I can dream.

This is when you are truly alive…. when you come alongside of God and are quiet enough, focused enough, without some of the other daily distractions… to hear His Spirit speaking into your spirit. Living for God is not merely walking through the drudgery of daily life with simply a different world-view… at least, not if we’ll get close enough to Him to hear his heartbeat (His dreams).

Psalm 126:

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. 3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. 4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

What happens when we are living the dream?

Our mouth is filled with laughter & singing and even people who know nothing about nor serve God will recognize that He does great things for us dreamers (v.2). Sometimes there are tears involved in seeing our dream come to pass, but if we’ll keep pursuing it, in spite of the tears, we’ll bear the fruit of the dream (v.5-6).

By now, you probably get the fact that because of my work, Monday is my day off, which is why it’s my dream day.

On what day are you invited to dream?
What do you do with that invitation?