Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

A complete listing of very specific requests for prayer can be found under "Prayer Requests."

For those just getting to know us, please visit the special sections to the right.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The possibilities of a French 1790s Farm fortress

11 minutes from our door to the ugly sheet metal entrance gate, by car, is a glorious farm fortress in a canola field down the lane facing the Hotel de Ville. This farm has potential for us if the Mairie (mayor's office) will agree to our project. A 1790s formidable structure is now owned by the town who has done some renovation to the roof and the outside of some of the facade. The guardien (French spelling) of the structure lives in one of the 4 houses literally attached to the barns and stables and it looks very livable and quaint. An almost 5,600 sq. foot house is the anchor for this huge property which could be a hotel/restaurant/gite for guests; our park representative tells us. The fortress is in an angular U shape.

A recent trip showed that nothing has been done to the insides of these buildings. We decided not to consider living there because there is too much work to do and we don't have that kind of time. Two spaces we loved for our work, though, one below and one above in the barn areas which have great potential for what we would like to do in the next phase of our work here. Each space is 100 sq. metres. (1076.39 sq. feet)

We were contacted by the park a couple of months ago, who is partnering and a liaison with this town to see if we would like to consider having un 'atelier de poterie'. We contacted them a year ago to see if there were any spaces available for pottery studios through the Park department and they didn't have anything at that time. They remembered.

This farm has been sitting there a loooonnnggg time not being used. The city would like to boost the economy and tourism with this farm. What does that have to do with us? They would like to see a boutique selling the art. Other artisans and artists are being asked the same questions.The place is not visitor ready at this point and from our perspective it could be months or more.

Our goals are bi-vocational:
1. English and art classes.  The country of France has now made English mandatory in the schools. Parents want their children to become fluent. They continue to lower the age of the student for starting English as they find teachers. Most of the teachers are French. Parents tell us, "We want a native English speaker to teach our kids and help them with pronunciation, too." And the parents and kids, especially, love the art component more. It's fun, and it's still in English and encourages conversation.

Parents are asking for pottery classes since they saw some of our pottery sitting around the classroom. We don't have the space now and it's a dusty, messy business. Many of you know that Russell wants to get back to pottery on the wheel. (the wheel is 'autour or tour' en français). And he loves teaching it it too. We do some simple clay projects with the kids and even the moms wish they could do handbuilding. We would like to have 5 wheels and our own kiln.

2. This farm/town is in an area that has been highly desired area to reach a new community. And if our friends want to join us for Christian events in an appropriate sized building, when things move forward, from our current village, it's not that far.  This is a government owned building, so it remains to be seen where these events will be held. We hope to have a face-to-face meeting with the Mairie as soon as we have answered all their questions satisfactorily.

Things to think/pray about:
1. They want a 3 year economic projection plan from us. In our opinion, the first year will be rebuilding the space and getting it ready for visitors. No one would even come in to visit in its present condition.

2. We are considering proposing some trade in advertising design for the park in exchange for some rent. The rent price they are asking is very reasonable, though.

3. We would love to have concerts, other future English classes in the upstairs space. It would have to be handicapped accessible. The park said they would supply the money for utilities, windows and (probably the handicapped part?). We would have to paint and decor, etc.

4. Our question to them is, "When can we reasonably move in after having the floor, windows, door and electric, water, etc. be done?

5. We will want to move to that town to live. We are still planning on continuing school here in our village now and already have new students who have just started.

6. We are recruiting!! 1 and 2 year assignments. If you or someone you know wants to come teach English and/or art and help with our other church efforts please contact us and we will send you our details.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Où êtes-vous et òu voulez-vous aller?

Has it really been a year since our last post? Our slogan should read - "Where are you and where did you go?" Instead, our school slogan reads: "Where are you and where do you WANT to go?"

A year ago in April we had already completed our France winter retreat/workshop in Normandy. Four Women from one of our team churches in Riverside, CA had come a long way to put on a great program for all our children while our team, at that time, consisted of 35 adults from around Paris who could bond, enjoy the winter beach (with kids) and work through some training.

Elizabeth had arrived by then via North Carolina, and she and I had been tag teaching together. My load had been lightened and we worked really well together. Her stint with us was almost a year and we were sad to see her go in December. Waa!

The UPside to living far away from our children and grandchildren is our thankfulness to the company that invented SKYPE. Our daughter, Emily, and I have enjoyed exercising together once or twice a week while we share a screen on Skype or watching a movie. The rest of the family, while Skyping, may be drinking something or eating while talking. We could be watching the "petite filles" dance around the house, read us a book or whatever while dad or mom are off doing something else. New baby Ruby arrived last May and we get video updates with all her new tricks from daddy James and mommy Rebekah. Today she ate biscuits and gravy for the first time.

Also in May I was stretched and challenged as I prepared to be the guest speaker at a women's retreat in the Netherlands. This was a very exciting weekend, meeting with women from around the world, including a Syrian refugee, and sharing "We are God's Masterpiece". My friend, Jessica, who lives in Maastricht, and I want to bring this retreat to the women in France.

Our 2 year mid-term assignment with Worldteam had finalized January 2015 and we headed back to the states once school was over in June. Worldteam had us do a "home assignment" to meet at headquarters not far from Philadelphia to give them updates on our work here in France. Then we traveled from one coast to the other letting everyone know the "goings on" and future plans. This extended to August where we rushed back to get ready for the new year starting in September 2015.

We added a weekly women's Bible discussion group last September and now 8 women are participating. Pretty exciting. The women have been inviting others and those who would like to attend, but that time/day won't work, have caused me to consider adding another day in the fall. Russell is working with 2 of our men on staff in mentoring and encouragement. I am mentoring a teammate who works in Spain. R has been focusing on French in the mornings as Sylvie is giving him assignments and encouraging him to speak more. We are on the communication team at our church with Baptiste and Sylvie and to be a sounding board for him as we work out the Magny church's programming.

We helped gather shoes and blankets for the men at the refugee camp in Calais. Some of our M team went down to Calais and also gave out Bluetooths so the people with cell phones (many of them) could watch the 'Jesus' film in their own language or read the Bible in their language. The people really appreciated that. 

In between our work we've had multiple trips back to the states from July to February. R's dear stepmother, Pauline, passed away at 98 years old in October. Gail, my cousin, with whom I've been her executor, POA and trustee since 2009, had been really ill for 2 months and at Christmas we were able to be with her in the hospital for 10 days. This gave me an opportunity to get her set up into hospice before travelin back. She  passed away on R's birthday, February 23rd. He was heading to the states to speak at a missions conference at First Baptist Raytown, MO that day when I got the call. 2 days later I flew out. Needless to say, we are 'tripped out' and don't plan on traveling for awhile.

November 8-13th we had to be in Italy for a workshop with others from the European team who had been on the field less than 3 years. "How are we assimilating into the culture?" And got helps on the things we hadn't learned yet but needed to know. At the end of this training and assessment we woke up the next Saturday morning to calls from our kids and being bombarded on Facebook from a 100 people wondering if we were there, are we okay? A couple from our team had been to the soccer game where one of the bombs exploded but had left earlier. Another had just been to the Bataclan the week or so before. One young man died whose family has a house nearby. His girlfriend was shot multiple times but still lived. One of my adult students who is a high school PE teacher told me that one of the girl's at her school was invited by a friend to attend the concert in Paris at the Batalan Theater. She didn't feel well so she didn't go. Her friend died that night. Even though we live over an hour away from these events it still touched our lives in some way. Our friends think this is the beginning of things that will escalate and some have fears. We shared the words of Jesus, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

2016 - a new year and new dreams of where we've been this year so far and where we want to go. Next Post - Joyeux printemp!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Our Pâques weekend Gospelcafé concert.

Manu and his band were ready to sing to the Lord Saturday night. I had purchased some chocolate Easter eggs to pass out. Emails and flyers had been distributed. Posters were in the Montigny area along with a few other regional locations.

This is the first time we'd decided to do a concert the one day before Easter/Pâques. I didn't know if anyone would show up with all the preparations for lunch and family the next day and the Chasse aux Oeufs (chase the eggs) games on Saturday afternoon.

The sky was cloudy and gray, Russell and I snagged a ride with friends of ours in the afternoon who were going grocery shopping in Rambouillet. Our car is at "Speedy" for a clutch repair. It may take 2 weeks before we get it back. I hope they return it fixed before the April Vacance which is the last 2 weeks of April.

Rain began to fall and it really turned cool. We were south of Magny where the Egg games and treats would be held. I was hoping they wouldn't get rained on. A little mist/rain never keeps French kids away, though when there's chocolate or candy involved. That's a common occurrence here in the Paris area. A text from a friend said the Egg event went well. It was cold though but not rainy. She met some mothers of the children who came out of their apartments.

Our leadership is hoping to purchase a building in this area. If I understand this correctly, there is a Foundation in the states who help church planting efforts with funding arrangements and even purchasing buildings. A proposal will be in the works. We are trying to increase our presence in this area to make neighbors know who we are.

The car trunk was bulging from both families' food as we headed home to prepare for the evening. Our French director and his wife picked us up later and we were off to the restaurant to have a good night. None of our contacts were able to come. 15 people we'd never known before walked in with flyers or posters in their hands ready to hear some great music. I was pretty delighted. 2 ladies came back from the time before. One of the couples and the 2 ladies want to try out our church. 5 university students came out for the first time. Thanks to our team who handed out flyers individually to people near the restaurant and mall on 3 separate occasions and had chances to talk to some of them.

I especially loved one of the songs the GospelCafé band played, "Let Your Glory Shine!" by Lincoln Brewster - look it up on youtube.com  A big shout out to Diego for his rips on the guitar (he plays with the big named Christian bands when they come to Paris), our drummer, David, and Manu for his singing and guitar. It was fantastic. We were all up and dancing at that point. There are more concerts coming up: May 29, June 6, 21st and 27th! God is Good!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poisson d'Avril or Happy Fish Day and other days in our French life.

Once again we are experiencing April 1st in Paris, France. Our little students arrived so happy. Some were slapping little fishes on our backs yesterday. "S'il te Plait? (big brown eyes staring at me with this sad little begging voice) Pourriez-nous du laisser faire Poisson d' Avril aujourd'hui?? Puis-je avoir un scotch?" Please, Can we do April Fish today (this was March 31st) and May I have the scotch (tape)?  It's so they can tape these paper fish to our backs and run away in hopes that we don't catch them.
Russell made up a card to give to the children that reads, "Thinking of you, think of us." Since this is Easter week. I also found some Kinder treats to hand out to the children.

     Pâques/ Easter is a great time to share with people about the love of Christ. Our Church of the Vallée in Chevreuse is having their annual Pâques, "Chasing the Eggs" games on Saturday. Russell has been working very hard on lots of flyers and the church brochure these past 2 weeks. Baptiste, one of our church planters, and Sylvie, one of our small group members (her family recently joined the church) met with the Adjointe Maire in the town next door to discuss our church having worship services in their community center/gymnase every week. This is a great need. The meeting went very well. We hope to have some news soon. There is a new mayor and the council seems to be more open. They are practicing Catholics. That's good news.

GospelCafé has their next concert this coming Saturday - April 4th. It's Easter weekend and we have some things to share about the significance of the week along with handing out some chocolate Easter eggs. May 28th will be our concert next month. University students from Cairn are coming to share their music.
     This semester has been busy with 51 students including our adults. We now have an intern, thank goodness. Her name is Elizabeth from North Carolina. She is helping me on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with the younger "maternelle" children while I work with the older ones. Russell is being given a break while she teaches our 2,"art only" classes. Currently we are working with her in training and teaching together. She will begin to teach alone in a couple of weeks. 7 months is her tenure and part of her time is working with us on the GospelCafé and in Normandy with the team there as well as other projects France Vie has for her.  We are delighted to get to know this young woman and partner with her.

     Last but not least, our small group has not only been delving into the "Parables of Jesus" but also the topic of "Worldview". We have added 6 additional people to the group for these discussions.  Our story of the Good Samaritan springboarded us into the worldviews of the men walking by the poor man by the side of the road. Which springboarded us to the questions of, "What is ours  and others' worldviews?

Happy Fish Day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

I shouldn't complain it was 48 degrees today.

It's a gray day in paradise but there are still green hills out our kitchen rooftop skylight. Which is kind of surprising since it's almost February. The weather outside is drizzling, but the electric heater is sizzling, oh I wish I had somewhere to go, that has snow that has snow, that has snow.

I've been in snow once this winter on our way back from the south of France in the car. We could see some snow covered mountains in the distance and I got so gleeful when it began to pelt on the windshield. That was almost a month ago and it lasted for a half an hour, but I enjoyed it.

Paris wouldn't know how to handle the snow I've been told. Everything would come to a standstill. Of course, children are universal when it comes to hearing, "No school today!" Yay!, they would say and run out in it.

I brought my geraniums, hydrangeas and lavender inside from my flower boxes the first part of January and new flowers are blooming. How wonderful for winter. I move them around to catch the sun when it decides to peak out. If the sun is really shining by my kitchen window then my face moves upward to catch the feel of the warmth. Ahhhhh. Can't you feel it too?

The English and Art classes are buzzing. The children are doing pottery this month. They love it! Some of the moms said they wanted to do it too. I think we will have a moms night out with clay at our place. We are getting close to buying a TV to start showing movies in English. Russell wants a guys night out with Science Fiction and Westerns. I told the girls we'd do some "chick" flicks. That will be nice on a winter night with some popcorn.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Je suis Jesus

It has been almost a week since the aftermath of terrorism in Paris. We all sat riveted by whatever telecommuted device was handy. Since we don't have a television yet it was Russell's laptop for me while I was cooking.

Our friends in the states told us first what was unfolding. I was a news junkie in my former life. I do miss seeing the news in a more fluid way. Politics have definitely changed for me since moving to France. It is interesting to learn about the life political here.

I was able to live stream the horror of the last few days and so I live streamed my prayers upward. A couple of parents expressed their distress regarding the lockdown of their kid's schools. One mom also teaches some after-school English classes and was worried walking the children from the school to another building on the day of the hostage taking. They live farther away to the CDG airport area than we do, where all the drama was taking place by train. From our house on the train, it's an hour and 10 minutes. We are a 5 min. drive to the train station. Everyone in Paris was nervous and sick at heart. I suggested to this teacher friend to read Psalm 27.

One of our Book study small group friends was trying to come home from the airport on the day of the hostage siege. He saw the helicopters overhead, heard the radio and was traumatized on the freeway for 3 hrs at 4 - 7 pm in the afternoon as he headed back here to his house. We all needed to talk about what had been happening and encourage each other. It was book night but we decided to do a dinner and let everyone talk.

Life still goes on. School and work didn't stop for most of the schools and companies in this 10 million peopled city. One friend is coming every week to improve her English. This past week was no different. She is a new empty nester experiencing loneliness since her husband travels for business most weeks and her last child has gone off to college. Her parents both have dementia and still living at home. She's going crazy and trying to keep up with her work and keep her parents healthy. That's an impossibility now and so her search for a home for her parents is ongoing. "I can't take it any more! She said. I think I'm going to cry." I embraced her and said, can I pray for you? She said, " I would like that."

Sunday morning our town held a "Je suis Charlie" vigil to remember Charlie Hebdo, the police and for the hostage families. Some said this attack was very symbolic like France's 9/11 against our freedoms. But they won't forget or give them up. They brought their pens and pencils holding them high near the Town Hall memorial and stood there for a half an hour. We left to go to church with this on our minds.

We can relate to the terror that's happened here and truly empathize and a need to reach out is stronger than ever. The freedoms I have and the freedoms I want to share about go way beyond the freedom of speech. They are far more encompassing and everlasting. But, I have a calling to be like someone else.  Je suis Jesus.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Play Ball!

Living in France has been a wild ride. It’s a good one that sometimes has curves or we get whacked in the head over something. But we’ve also experienced some great saving slides. In between all that, I’m waking up many nights around 1 am to 2 am through 5am since the World Series began and watching some fantastic baseball on mlbtv.com. Yes, it’s affected the rest of my schedule. But our English/art school is on vacay for over a week and who would have thought I could do this crazy thing by watching TV back home in the states and see my hometown team at the World Series facing the Giants. Goliath entered and David has his slingshot. We are now 3 games tied and tonight is the deciding game. Winner takes a huge trophy, lots of money and commercial deals and is Baseball’s World Champion in the USA for a year until everyone tries it again.

Most French know nothing about baseball. They don’t play it. They play basketball, and even have some American football teams. Americans are playing European soccer/futbal more than ever. Our civilizations are coming together more and more. But, why not baseball? Our baseball gloves , a softball (no bat though) were thrown in a moving box with our bocce balls and horsehoes as we prepared to leave Kansas for Europe. It’s time we teach our French, German, Swiss, Angolan, British, Irish & Guadeloupean friends how to play the game.

My KC Royals large blue and gold banner came in the mail today. Just in time. Do my neighbors in our town know why I’ve put this outside our 3 story building? Probably not. Maybe they will Google it. I hear words coming out of their mouths like “Google or Facebook” so I know they’re using the same social networks.

I’m more pumped up than ever, not just for baseball, but God is batting home runs out of the park for each person who is seeking him or believing in him.  Sometimes they don’t see the opportunities for a long time or don’t know what to do. Two new couples to our town and one of our church couples are coming to our weekly Book study.  All families are excited to have fellowship, looking to explore their love relationship with the Lord himself . 

One family is seeing how God is moving in their lives like never before. After 18 years of keeping it bottled up inside, attending mass because their wasn’t a Protestant church in their area, there is a new awareness and excitement to learn how Christ can make a daily difference. This is showing through to their children. Another is under conviction of the Holy Spirit. Russell and I helped one of these mom’s explain how to lead her daughter to Christ and she told her mom that she wanted to follow Jesus last week! An older son from one of the families is in one of our conversational groups and is wondering what is going on? “What are you talking about over at Russell and Carol’s?”, he asked his mom. He’s looking at his dad’s study book. As it comes to mind would you pray for these people God is bringing our way?

When the song “God Bless America” is sung at baseball games I am reminded how God is blessing and leading his people all over the world and saying, "You're Up Next". ...Carol

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Adrenaline rush!

It's school time again. We put off our start up date to September 29th because we had a lot of work to get ready for this week! Classes finally started whether I was ready or not. Our first week is over. It's Thursday night and we have thoroughly enjoyed it. (like always). I tend to do a little ringing of the hands in worry (in my mind) until classes are under way. There are sooo many details to attend to.

We have 10 classes for children in English and Art and 7 classes for older students and adults who can hold a conversation in English. Pretty exciting and daunting. Another English as a Second Language teacher told us recently that people who want this kind of learning can suck the life blood out of you with their demands. We do have to be careful with our time. We gave in on some areas of our schedule. For instance, a new Saturday morning class was arranged for working parents who can't get their children to fit into our work week schedule.

A woman came into the storefront/classroom on Tuesday asking if she could come to that night's new book study. I told her that it's called Teachings of Jesus, unlike all the other classes which are secular. "Yes", she said. "That is the one I want."

She said she her family had recently moved to our town 10 months ago. They didn't know there was a  Protestant church in the area and didn't hear of one so she began attending the nearby Catholic church. She was raised Catholic. Her life journey changed in her 20s and she told me that someone shared to her about Jesus coming to earth to sacrifice his life for her and how she could have a relationship with Him. She traveled to England for a while and was able to study the Bible. Her travels back home in Germany brought her to a Baptist church. When she received our flyer in the mail she realized not only could she practice her English but she could study the Bible.  "I told her of the Protestant church we were involved with nearby. Tears began to form in her eyes when she heard that. Her experience at this recent church left her feeling like she still couldn't find "community" and it was too "high church" and ritualistic for her family. She and her husband came that night back to the classroom and we had quite an enjoyable time.

We prayed with another new friend 2 days ago for her to be able to lead her 9 year old to the Lord. It sounds like she is ready. The mom really wasn't sure how to go about it. It was an affirming time.

 God, through our flyers, and association day brought two Christian families who recently moved here to us where we can lead them to a church, encourage them and to our new book study. Worry has changed to excited adrenaline. - Carol

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Hitchhiking Taxi and other cool conversations

In the United States it's generally frowned upon to pick up hitchhikers. Picking up hitchhikers is not new to us but I generally don't do it anymore by myself. I remember the time Russell came home late at night, 1 AM, getting off a job and picking up someone who lost his car at the gambling casino in Kansas City.

The Hitchhiking Taxi continues here in our village. It is very common for young adults and others to not have vehicles. It takes 35 minutes to walk up to our town from the gare (train station) so we see working women and men and young adults or teens hitchhiking.

We've been working very hard, as well as many others, to get ready for the annual trek to the community center for Association day. Lots of clubs and small businesses have a booth to sign-up everyone for activities they want to be involved in for the year. Saturday was a very busy day talking to families/singles, hugging children & speaking about our English and art.

I was "too pooped to ponder" (as Russell says) on Sunday and yet there was another Association day in the next town over. My trojan horse, or "ma honey" put on his hat and road off into the sunrise next door to sit with some of our friends at a table and pass out flyers and talk to people once again about English and art.

I want to back up a bit to give you an idea of what we've been doing after finishing up the last school year in July. We were getting ready for traveling, meeting and working in the US (MO, KS, IL, IA, CA) arrived July 22nd returning to France Aug. 20th. Early morning, the 22nd of August we left to drive to Budapest (fortunately with teammates helping with the drive heading through Austria, Germany & Hungary) . We had 6 days of European team training with all of our teams represented to study up on Leadership Development and a lot of other "good stuff". In other words, what do we look for in men and women leaders and how can we develop them on their journeys PLUS keep ourselves accountable with our teams. It was a great time getting to meet others, not only from Europe, but further away.

Needless to say we were tired when we arrived back to get ready for these association days. Saturday was completed with new sign-ups for our classes and we were hoping the next day would be too. Russell enjoyed meeting new people. One young man came to the table saying he was searching for something. More conversation was had, a Bible was shared and an invitation.

The end of the long, tiring day ma honey walked out and got in his car across the street near the gare. A young man in his 20s had his thumb out. The taxi driver opened the door and conversation flowed as they travelled up the hill.  "You are a pastor? I've never met a pastor. And certainly not one like this, in a car." He was fascinated by what we are doing in our church planting and spoke very good English. The young man told Russell that he thought they were destined to meet. All of a sudden Russell was revived.  ......Carol

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Urgent prayer request from Anne Graham Lotz

Here is a letter that I received today by email from Anne Graham-Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter. It is a time sensitive letter and an urgent call to prayer. Carol

Blow the trumpet...sound the alarm...for the day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand-- Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God...
Joel 2:1, 13  

As you may know, my husband is in declining health. I am no
longer traveling and speaking as much as I have for the last
26 years since I am staying home to care for him.  As a
result, I have had time to be quiet and listen more to the
whispers of the Spirit. He has revealed things to me in the
stillness that I'm not sure I would have heard in my
former busyness.

One of the things He has impressed on me is that we are
living at the end of human history as we know it. In light
of this, He has given me some practical assignments. One was
to be the Honorary Chair for the National Day of Prayer 2014
this past May. He gave me the message I was to deliver,
which was from Joel 1...the Day of the Lord is at hand. It
was a message warning that judgment is

Just recently, He has given me another assignment, which is
to call His people in our nation to prayer. This assignment
came indirectly from a Syrian pastor through a National Day
of Prayer attendee. In obedience, I am blowing the
trumpet...sounding the alarm...issuing a national prayer
initiative entitled 7 7 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer. 
The Call is for God's people to pray for each of
the first seven days in the seventh month-July 1-7. Then on
the 7th day, July 7, we are to pray and fast for 7 hours.

The purpose is... For God the Father to restrain, protect, and
deliver His people from the evil that has come into our
world. For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives. For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.I'm asking you to
partner with me, and send out the word to everyone on your
email address list, or who follows you on facebook or
twitter. I will be sending out an eBlast this week and next, which you can access at http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer/.
Please feel free to use it, and place your name in the
paragraph that includes mine to make it more personal for
your constituents. Feel free also to forward this

I will provide a prayer I have written for each of the 7
days to help unite us in one spirit and one voice as we cry
out to God. Those who receive the eBlast are invited to sign
up for the daily email prayers. Please be assured there is
no other agenda in this initiative. This is not about
promoting anything or anyone.  This is all about
calling God's people together to pray, before it's
too late, and judgment falls on our nation. 

Anne Graham-Lotz 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Driving in France - another hurdle which can be overcome.

Recently we were turned down to exchange our driver's licenses from Kansas with a French one. We have a friend in Claire - who we call our "woman of peace" who has gone before us in so many situations in helping us with our school and everyday life. She has helped us with many governmental things. Once again Claire has come to our rescue. She has worked at the Hotel de Ville (city government office) in Versailles for many years (Versailles is the prefecture for our area). Recently she decided to take a year off. (can you imagine?) She can return later to her job. She wants to spend time with her older children and especially with her 9 year old Guillaume. The French allow a mother to stay at home for a number of years (15 if I remember right - someone correct me if I'm wrong) while raising children and can go back to their jobs later. I know, it seems hard to believe from a USA perspective.

Claire looked on the French diplomat website and found that, INDEED, Kansas has a reciprocal agreement with France. I don't know what our sous-prefecture was looking at when they said we didn't but we are going with Claire. Let's hope when we show this webpage to the office - via letter as they requested - unless Claire intervenes even more - then we may have strong reason to celebrate. I have been emotional about this whole ordeal. Believe me, it is an ordeal - not that it can't be overcome but I'm just trying to drive in this town with a stick shift. I was practicing with my son-in-law Joe with his car in the states so we are making progress. It's been since 1979 since I drove a stick.

I really didn't want to have to pay tons of money (1000 euros per person minimum if we pass the tests and could go up to 1500) and go back to driving school and take 2 exams. Using the analogy of a track runner, we have all been jumping over many hurdles in life and we are hoping to jump this hurdle with more ease and less cost.

Monday, June 16, 2014

My feet were made for walking and that's just what I'll do...

This is Day 1 of the Paris Prayer Conference. It's France Vie's 13th year. It's not a huge crowd maybe 60 or so. Each day is a little different. Many are coming from far away. They will hear about France's Christian and Secular history from French leaders. There are 5 days of venturing around downtown and out in the suburbs of Paris to hear from other leaders in their locations for example and participate. Our "protestante evangelique l'eglises are in and around the city.

We will personally get to talk and walk with the 4 groups Thursday and Friday about our work helping young French Christians who want to start a protestant church in certain areas in our region. We have been coming alongside them mentoring and in the Word together, praying with them and encouraging them whenever we can.

One of our focuses this week will be sharing about our English and Art school. Using our background and experience in this area has been great and a fun way to get to know people, and help children and adults advance their skills. Our neighbors have been excited to participate. There is much to be grateful for what has been accomplished so far in less than a year.

Friday, June 13, 2014

"Oh the times they are a changing."

I needed to spend some time back in the states three weeks ago to come alongside our daughter and son-in-law and was able to spend a little time with other family before returning back to France. Russell took over my classes and everything, really, while I was gone. By the time I got back and acclimated again (one week later), we needed a break. 

Saturday June 7th, was the last GospelCafé, of the season. Each concert was unique and our team needs to assess how we will move forward. We always had gospel music with one secular song each evening that might be familiar to guests. This last concert the band's secular song was, Bob Dylan's, "You Gotta Serve Somebody". Wow! powerful. A lot of whooping and hollering went on after that one and from the staff at the restaurant. So true.

Change is brewing here in Chevreuse. Summer is upon us. (weather wise, but the children are in school until July 5th so I have 2 more weeks of English/Art classes.) Everyone is into summer mode, it's noisier, motorcycles are out, move over velos and people looking to leave. We had hoped to have one more concert this season as part of  "La fete de la musique" but it was too much work for us to get it ready. Every city participates in this and in every town of France one hears music. 

Manu, our teammate, and the driving force of this project, in recent months has had to put in many hours per week on his script and copy writing job in Paris to fulfill his work requirements. We really need a bigger team. 

A two day trip to Normandy during this past weekend of the 70th anniversary of D Day (and our own 34th) was quite exciting, sobering and emotional.  We had never ventured to the coast and decided it was time. Only 2 1/2 hrs of a lovely countryside drive awaited us. The apartment we rented in Caen was right near a German prison who held French prisoners during their occupation; a sober reminder of those days. Who would have thought to have neighborhoods surrounding this un-used prison. Our journey took us to Pointe du Hoc where the thousands of mostly American, British and Canadian troops landed along with smaller numbers from other countries. The crators and German bunkers or remnants thereof, are still there. The coast is absolutely beautiful and the English channel can be seen on the other side. The lyrics to another Bob Dylan song, The times they are a changin" could speak to 1944 on that June 6th night. The coast that night was not beautiful and many men were slaughtered as they reached the top, or drowned before they could get up the cliff because equipment was too heavy. It was an 80 day campaign to change everything. And they did.

We visited the American cemetery and 19 heads of state came for this special weekend and visited or spoke at various sites around these beaches. By the time we got there they were tearing down the bleachers at the cemetery. Flowers from all over the world were still laying about. Junior High children made wooden plaques for their individual soldiers that were on Omaha beach at it's memorial. We are so grateful to the French who have lovingly cared for our soldiers. Each tombstone is assigned to a family who take care of it and the grounds are immaculate.

The town of Caen was bombed by the allied forces to take over the German sites. Leaflets were distributed by Airforce from the sky and unfortunately many did not get those leaflets. 20,000 civilians died that day. The Caen memorial museum is the most well done WWII museum in the world.

I had plucked a yellow camillia off a bush at the American cemetery on our way out. That one bush had 1000s of flowers on it. The flower was tucked behind one ear and we were transported back in time as musique wafted out of the radio on our way to Chevreuse listening to 1942 Glen Miller Swing.  In French the disk jockey shared how Glen Miller was a formidable musician and the troops loved him. It doesn't get any better than this.


Morning Walk After Hiatus

I've had to take a hiatus from my morning routine of walking and praying through Chevreuse. I somehow injured my leg scraping and painting a neighbor's gate. (Any of you who know her, don't you dare tell!) Carol was in the States for a couple of weeks and it was difficult even walking up and down our stairs. Then we went to Normandy for our 34th wedding anniversary, etc.
     This morning I got up and decided it was time to go back to old habits. It felt in some ways like I was starting over. But it felt good to be out and seeing the village begin to stir. I always pray for the specific people as I pass them in the street. Sometimes I get a real impression to pray for specific things for these people. Sometimes there is a sense of urgency, sometimes not. As I passed a man out walking his dog, the phrase "safe travel" came to mind. Don't know where he and his dog will wind up today, but he was prayed for. The Holy Spirit enables us to engage with the culture around us in ways that we cannot hope to explain to them. But I pray that someday this man will know what it is like to hear the Spirit whisper undeniable things to him.
     I walked over to a hill on the other side of the valley. Standing on a country path, looking north across the river at Chevreuse, with the fortress plainly visible opposite me, another phrase popped into my head. "The measure of a man is what he sees from a high place." Sobering.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Joyeuses Pâques!

We woke up this morning where one says, "He is Risen!", and the other - "He is risen indeed!"
(Manu, our French teammate told me The French may say, "Christ est ressuscité! Il est vraiment ressuscité!) Vraiment can mean "indeed", and comes from truth.
     This song immediately came into my being. I was so surprised and quite happy. I sang it for Russell and he said, "I can't believe you remembered all the words." I usually make up words or twist half of them.

Here it is composed by Alfred Ackley 1933:
I serve a risen Savior He's in the world today.
I know that he is living whatever man may say.
I see his hand of mercy I hear his voice of cheer
And just the time I need him He's always near.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives He LIVES W-i-t-h-i-n My Heart!
(ha ha - for those of you who know this song, can't you just hear me singing it at the top of my lungs?)

We had a lovely Pâques day. Our service was held in a beautiful old farm that houses special needs adults. There is a place for worship on the lovely grounds and that is where we were. It was supposed to be rainy but the sun came out and it was glorious. There is a lake or river near the buildings and of course it's green everywhere in the Paris area with jonquils, poppies, some tulips, ranunculus and pansies along our way as we travelled by car. Driving up the hill we saw wisteria springing forth with a profusion of purple hanging over fences and walls.
     In France, the people at our church eat together following the service. We have quite an international group so many of the dishes were recipes from Angola, Guadeloupe, France, German, US, etc. (baguettes, green salads, couscous, ratatouille, large chunks of fish, black-eyed peas, spinach, beef bourguignon, rice, chicken or maybe it was dinde (turkey) I didn't see it. It was gone by the time we got to the table. Desserts were tartes, one layer simple cakes, Tropezian - oh la la - creme filled cake with crystalized sugar on the top. (from St. Tropez), pineapple upside down cake, my cookies, etc. They serve cheeses at the end and then coffee for those who want it. They had nescafé in packets to add hot water. Some of the men objected and our french friend Carole went back home to get a real coffeepot and serve the real thing. That made them happy.
     I made Tartiflette (France - potatoes, lots of smoked ham bits called lardons, oignon, garlic, & reblochon cheese layered) and Bunny Butt cookies (USA). hee hee. I'll have to see if a picture turned out of my cookies and I'll add it later. I couldn't find jelly beans here to help with the bunny feet so I used icing which was a little more sloppy then I would have liked. The crowd devoured them very fast. This is the third time I've been here over Easter. This is Russell's second. It's hard to believe!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends!

Being in the marketing/advertising and "other" category of business for 35 years we have always striven (is that a word? like driven? no) strove? (archaic), strived to give our readers, clients and target market plenty to chew on when it concerns what we are doing. We've taken a back seat to this blog for a while and are going to offer the blog to those who want to continue by adding a password. Please let us know.

We have been a wee bit busy getting our Gospelcafé concerts off the ground and promoting more of our classes, doing logo designs for a lot of people lately within ministry and for two of our children and their freelance businesses. There will be offerings of english/art camps (1 week each)  this April and July during "vacance".  Another flyer needs to be designed and distributed. Here is the front and back sides of our flyer/poster.

Prayer walking is a daily occurrence for Russell. He's been walking throughout the town about an hour or hour and a half around 6am - 7:30am. I'm not an early riser and the winter weather puts a little kink in my "getty up" at such an early hour. The sun is starting to shine and the jonquils are out along with other beautiful colors. The birds are singing and so I have joined him sometimes in the afternoons. We have a letter to the Mairie's office to check out some locations for our church plant as possiblities. We are too crowded and the owner does not always keep up on his bargain to let us meet at his location. Government buildings are closed during the holidays. This makes it difficult for visitors and even members to know where we are meeting. Some Sundays, if most show up, with children, there can be 60 people! The little theatre is really too small.

Yesterday, Russell and a new friend were distributing flyers together. It's been fun for them to get better acquainted and they have the ceramics gallery in town. He will soon begin English classes with Russell. They have offered their kiln for us to fire our children's pottery and generously gave us clay! We now have about 30 little animals ready to fire. So cute! We will walk them down the street for pottery wheel demos at the end of this month.

I began reading the book of John with a woman last week grappling with a particular verse on grace. I'm hoping we can clarify that. That is a difficult passage for some here. She asked for Russell to weigh in also. I enjoy my times with the women and children. Including this young man who is starting, we have 30 students now!

A is retired from the textile industry. I've learned so much about weft, warp, weave, jacquard, damask and looms. She wants me to see her loom and what she is working on. Very interesting. Her husband is getting quite disabled now and can't get around so we offered to work in her garden or do something inside with her "honey do" list.

She brought me flowers yesterday from her garden and said, "...because you don't have a garden or anywhere to have one". She and another friend said I could come and work in their gardens any time I wanted to. Maybe I will. Jonquils and other flowers are popping up now. So pretty. I am determined that I will have window boxes with flowers this spring. That means I have to have curtains with my shutters permanently open to do this.

Our new anglephone friend came over yesterday for lunch while her kids were in school. It was so fun to talk about her area of the world and the international community here, her husband working far away, We chatted about the Ireland Cultural Center downtown and one of my student's mom's works there. She's Irish. This community seems to be well connected. Maybe we'll spend a little time with them on St. Patty's day as the French don't celebrate this holiday. It was a delightful afternoon.

Here's an Irish blessing, "May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours where ever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours. Carol Button Barr (Kelly Sinclair O'Sullivan McCune ) Ya can't get much more Irish than that!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Joyeux Noël! We are Blessed!

What is a blessing according to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary-
The act or words of one that blesses, or a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.

The Hebrew meanings for blessing which can mean to praise, congratulate or salute or it can also be used as a curse - barak. Another word is esher meaning happiness. Genesis 1:22 - it was used when God blessed the sea creatures and birds to be fruitful and multiply. He also blessed Adam and Eve to exercise dominion over creation. Genesis 12 says God promised to bless Abram and make his name great giving all the families through him blessings. Blessings also come from our obedience to God's holy laws. Psalm 21:3 You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

We have blessings of skies above, blessings of the deep springs below - Gen. 49:25, blessings for our obedience in Deuteronomy 28:2, Proverbs 10:6 - blessings crown the head of the righteous.

2 Greek words for blessing are makarios - happiness and eulogeo - good words or the good report that other gives of someone or the prayer we say over food before we eat is a good example for using these words.

Mark 11:9 Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Ephesians 1:3 - God is blessing us right now in the heavenly realms through Christ. 1 Peter 3:9 We are to bless those who mistreat us, because we were called to receive a blessing from God when we do this.

God meant for us to experience all the goodness He offers and fulfillment in life (Romans 4:16 - promises kept through our faith in Him, and His peace (John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives...)

We are an extremely blessed people and God is bringing people into our lives for us to accomplish his work. Here's A Christmas story that happened a couple of weeks ago for which I feel truly blessed.

My first conversational English meeting in the shopfront with the grandmother is a perfect example of how God's blessing can flow. We talked about my French lessons first. She wanted to know where I was taking classes. I told her about 30 minutes away where there is a Christian language school for people who are working in French speaking countries around the world. I pointed to my French Bible nearby telling her I am also taking a Bible class there to learn the French Christian culture. She asked if I was able to understand the Bible when I read it. I told her that I was getting better at it and that my English Bible, which was sitting below, also helps me. She asked to look at them. She wanted to know what all the little information along my verses meant and the paragraphs below the scripture. I told her I had a study Bible with helps and cross-referencing. She asked to read some scripture in French and English.  I opened my Bible and out popped Isaiah 53 about Jesus, the Sufferering Servant, and the prophesies about his upcoming life and death and what that means for you and I! I said thank you to the Lord in my spirit!  

She understood both versions of Bibles and loved that the versions were so easy to understand. She has a good grasp of English and since she came for that, she was surprised at what she learned the first day we met and exclaimed "there is no one to talk to about these things!" Her granddaughter of 14 told her God does not exist. "Dieu, ne exist pas." I asked her if they come to her house for Christmas. She said yes. "Why don't you have one of your 9 grandchildren read the Christmas story out of the Bible?" She said she didn't feel comfortable doing that and said, "I will let the Saint Esprit do his work." I told her the Holy Spirit is doing his work but that the Word of God is powerful. I also told her that my grandmother had one of the grandchildren read the Christmas story every year for over 30 years. It was always a special time.  It gave my new friend something to think about and I pray for her with this Holy week upon us and look forward to our time together next month. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Being thankful and Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Yesterday we had a lovely time north of Paris near Meru for Thanksgiving dinner. There were 24 of us. I took Ramen noodle salad and an apple pie. Tons of food was laid out, of course the obligatory pumpkin and pecan pies were there, grean bean casserole - French style (there's no mushroom soup in the can here) It was fresh green beans and home made mushroom sauce - yum yum. Someone must have brought gelled cranberry sauce in the can and sliced it. I always laugh when I see that since it's such a throwback to old times. I do love the flavor even still. But, there was fresh cranberry sauce as well. I mashed the potatoes with Kathryn's kitchen aid mixer, Russell sliced the turkeys. A family on an army base from Germany came to visit one of our family's from Gisor. They brought 2 turkeys. Yay! It's very hard to find a whole turkey without ordering one special, way in advance, and paying through the nose. Really you can't this time of year. We might have been able to find turkey legs or turkey breasts. We are grateful for their gifts. At Christmas time in Paris le charcuterie will sell whole turkeys. We sang old Thanksgiving hymns that I remember singing at school as a child. Each of us had a Bible verse on our place card that talked of blessings and thankfulness which we read and then shared how we were thankful.

It's Armistice Day today in France along with Veteran's Day in the states. We have a holiday and no French language school today for which we are grateful. There is a big test tomorrow which will give us more time to study. In the meantime, a little before 9 am bagpipes were playing outside our windows this morning on the top balcony of the Mairie's office. We listened and watched them from the kitchen sink playing a few songs including Amazing Grace. Then we bundled up as people gathered and proceeded with our camera to go see the festivities down below. Some from the highschool band played a couple of songs. The military and mairie were there. The pompiers (firemen) and gendarmes (national army) and police municipale in their uniforms and little children gathered around and under a canopy. At the appropriate time the children waved their small flags as the band played. Yves, the father of Hermine, one of my students, told us that this is the only holiday where children are involved and it's patriotic. "You Americans are way more patriotic than we are.", he said. He and his wife were both wearing nicely designed paper poppies on their lapels. He talked about the dead soldiers who laid in the poppie fields. It's a sober day.

The soldiers put flowers on the town memorial. Other people came up to lay flowers on the grave as well. They called out every soldier from Chevreuse who died in World War 1 and 2 as people remembered them. There is a mass held in the town next door. I imagine it's to pray for their dead. Yves said the children of today only know that weed comes from poppies and do not realize the significance of the flower. Sad, really.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The color of trees and Halloween....in France

Some sources say that Celts in northern France celebrated Halloween, but this is unconfirmed. In any case, Halloween is not a traditional French holiday, There is an article at the bottom of my post sharing more about how the French are "sort of" celebrating Halloween. Keep reading! (it's long - get a cup of tea or coffee and relax)
     We've had a marvy day. Autumn is here in the Paris area and the trees are changing their colors. 5 young singles came over to our house so we could experience a little Americana autumn with some French thrown in. We always miss Mexican food here. So, I decided to make homemade Tortilla soup, French style. I used the French Legume (vegetables) soup as the base, plus grilled onions, chili and garlic spiced chicken. I didn't have as much chicken as I thought so I threw in some lardon (bacon) and a jar of salsa. Toss in crumbled tortilla chips right before eating and it pretty much tasted like tortilla soup. We added a salad with apple chunks, roquefort, pecans and framboise dressing. (which is raspberry and added sugar because French dressings are all vinegary). I made a pumpkin pie with our fresh potiron (pumpkin). Don't pronounce it like pot iron. It's poh tee roa. I used the Libby's pumpkin pie recipe that my mom made for many years and many other women in America. I love it! We added some Halloween candy later and a great walk up to the Chateau de Madeleine. Add some sunshine after 2 weeks of clouds and rain and Voila! It was a great day. Magnifique!
     One cannot buy canned pumpkin in France. So, I went on a search for real pumpkins. I could only find these small ones that were extremely orange. Or one can buy slices of real pumpkin. I'm convinced most French have very small refrigerators, like we do and thus couldn't have a whole pumpkin in their fridge after cutting it up anyway. Everything is in smaller packages. Everything. Unless you have a large family like many immigrant families here and then they have to get bigger fridges. Very cute pumpkins but not really great for carving and maybe not for cooking. Ryan and Erin did pick up a lovely tangerine colored one from a pumpkin and apple orchard in Normandy and brought them back for us. Yummy!
     I found out that I could buy some potiron which is partially cooked, cubed and frozen at the neighborhood Picard store. (Pee cahr) Russell is my chauffeur since I haven't begun to drive yet in France. Maybe this week I will practice since the country is on vacation. Off we went to buy 4 bags at 2.45 euros a bag. 2 pies could be made with one bag. I didn't think the cost was too bad. I bought 3 boxes of 2 frozen pates brisées in each box. (pie crusts nicely rolled with parchment), 6 lait evaporés - canned milk. I had sucre, canelle, clous de giroufle, gingembre and sel. Can you guess the spices? I wanted each guest to take the fixins for a pie home with them. I had eggs but figured my guests would already have some at their homes. They were taking the train back and we didn't want egg goo going down their backpacks.
     Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons, is not usually celebrated in France and so many of France's pumpkin growers normally wouldn't be getting a big boon. But some have in recent years because of Halloween. Of course, expats will try to bring a little of America into their kitchens this week with some Halloween decor and making or buying treats. We might actually get some trick or treaters. I'm skeptical, but we did buy some candy just in case. My English/Art students will definitely get some candy. There were orange and black balloons floating from above as we entered the supermarché. A few larger bags of candy were there in the candy section with individually wrapped pieces inside. They were laid on the shelves right in the middle of the Christmas candy, Santa and a few unusual boxes that I thought were valentine boxes. They're really Christmas Advent calendars from Barbie and superheroes. Really? When you think Advent calendars, don't you think of church or home with the family counting the days til Christmas with a traditional holiday theme, usually Jesus.
     I like to digress, and we are really talking about Halloween and how the French do it. I ran across this great article about it and the author said I could share so thank you Laura K. Lawless. - About.com Enjoy!

Kate Kunath /Getty Images

How did Halloween get to France? … Halloween is not a traditional French holiday, yet it becomes more popular every year. How and why this is so is a combination of cultural influence and corporate marketing.
     The French had been hearing about Halloween from foreign residents and tourists and in their English classes for years before the holiday ever showed its (masked) face in France. In 1982, the American Dream bar/restaurant in Paris began celebrating Halloween. At first it had to explain the holiday to each customer, but since about 1995, French customers have tended to be more and more familiar with Halloween.
     The Mask Museum in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent was opened by Cesar group in 1992, and the owners started working to expand Halloween in France the following year.
     Philippe Cahen, president of Optos Opus, claims that he single-handedly "imported" Halloween to France in 1995, despite admitting that Halloween already existed there (nope, doesn't seem like a logical claim to me either). Cahen created Le Samain cake in 1997 and registered the word "Halloween" as a world trademark. He also challenged 25 artists to come up with works with a Halloween theme, and the results were exhibited at the Victor Hugo Clinic.
     In 1996, the village of St. Germain-en-Laye held a Halloween party on 24 October in the middle of the day, to give locals an idea of what it was all about.
     Meanwhile, companies like France Télécom, McDonald's, Disney, and Coca Cola began using pumpkins and other Halloween images and ideas in publicity campaigns. This simultaneously increased French people's knowledge about Halloween.

How is Halloween celebrated in France? Halloween in France is usually celebrated by costumed people of all ages going to parties at friends' homes, restaurants, bars, or clubs. The costumes themselves tend to be traditionally "scary" - mummies, ghosts, goblins, witches, and vampires - rather than the cute costumes like princesses, superheroes, and the cartoon character of the day which are popular in the US. Some recreation centers encourage kids to make their own costumes.
     Trick-or-treating is getting to be more common. It started out store-to-store, rather than house-to-house, but the latter is picking up. However, Halloween occurs during the mid-season school break, which slows it down a bit.
     Stores, malls, restaurants, offices, and homes decorate their windows; pastry and candy shops make up special desserts and candies; and many different kinds of companies use Halloween in their ads. Supermarkets sell pumpkins for jack-o'-lanterns and candy companies are now marketing candy in the traditional Halloween format: one big bag filled with lots of little packages, which may encourage trick-or-treating.
     The growing demand for jack-o'-lanterns during Halloween has been a boon for pumpkin growers. There is even a pumpkin patch at a farm outside of Paris where people can pick their own.
     Halloween in France is rather controversial, due to the perception of corporate and cultural influence, as well as the fact that it is not a typical French holiday and some people still don't understand what is being celebrated. Because Halloween is seen as an American celebration, some French people refuse to enjoy it. It's too early to tell whether Halloween will develop into a long-term tradition; once the novelty wears off, it may turn out to be just a fad. And yet, interestingly, the French have been celebrating the ideas at the very heart of Halloween (respect for the dead) for centuries. 31 October to 2 November, collectively referred to as Toussaint, have traditionally been spent, especially by older generations, visiting cemeteries, honoring saints, and attending religious services.
     So, there you go......Carol