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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Postal Workers Strike and the cute artist jeweler

     Over forty strikers met yesterday morning at the departmental Post in Montigny-le-Bretonneux to mark the national day of mobilization. Strikers were in various places around the city wanting more hiring and better working conditions. The government laid off over 11,000 workers last year. Montigny is where I watched a couple of cute boys last week - Pavel and Jonas. Even though it's an hour away from downtown Paris where many of the striking workers are picketing and causing a disturbance - BESIDES NOT DELIVERING MAIL, they are also picketing within the whole of Ile de France. Needless to say, I have sent out some cards and letters but don't know if they've been mailed or not. Striking workers is a common occurrence in the Paris area.  The truckers will even help out and block traffic for them if you want them too. You won't see this in such a dramatic way in America except recently in Wisconsin with the teachers union. Maybe it will be a new thing in America. With all the other protests going on in the world. Hey, why should we be left out of the fun. Interesting times, isn't it?
     On my way today I'll buy my monthly Navigo pass to be able to get around for next month. I do have to talk to another live person instead of a machine. Hopefully the line won't be too long. It is the end of the month and yes, I should have done this before now. Franziska and I were coming from the Verrier station down the hill and around the corner and she had us stop in this cute atelier (workshop) and boutique. Mademoiselle makes all her jewelry and gifts. She looks like she is in her late 20s or early 30s. Everything is very well done and beautiful. Rebekah, our daughter-inlaw, had a birthday yesterday and so I'm going to see if I can find a necklace for her (the prices are very reasonable). This might be an opportunity to get to know this woman a little better. :0)
     Our little Charlotte will be 4 on April 3rd and we bought the book "The Cat Who Walked Across France" for her. I would highly recommend it for young children. It's wonderful.
     Bonne Journée (meaning, "Have a Good Day!")      -Carol

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A recipe for the best Brownies - in French

La meilleure Recette de Brownie
I had to find a French recipe for brownies so I can figure out the temperature in their ovens. It also gave a recipe for Brownies using Nutella. mmm. I thought I should make this ahead of time to see how it ends up tasting. - Read down the recipe of what I'm having to think here.


Pour 4 personnes:  I have to make enough for 20 - to take to the conference.
250 g de chocolat noir - Dark chocolate. x 4 for 20 - that's a lot of chocolat.
150 g de sucre en poudre - powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. x 4
150 g de beurre - Try saying this - it's butter. The letter "r" is very difficult for Americans.
1 sachet de sucre vanillé - Regular vanilla is very expensive and people buy vanilla sugar here.
60 g de farine tamisée - I think I have this.
3 oeufs - eggs - this can't be right - 12 oeufs for 20 personnes? Oh dear. Maybe I'll use a regular American recipe and look up the correct temperature setting. Sometimes these things are tough to translate.
1 pincée de sel - pinch of salt

Préparation:  20 mn Cuisson : 15 mn Repos : 0 mn Temps total (Time) : 35 mn

• 1  
Faites fondre le beurre dans une petite casserole sur un feu très doux et cassez ensuite le chocolat noir dans un saladier. Laissez le fondre doucement au bain-marie.
• 2  Plongez un pinceau dans le beurre fondu et badigeonnez votre moule à manqué. Préchauffez le four thermostat 6 (180°). - Aha! it's 180 degrees with this oven.
• 3  Mélangez le chocolat fondu avec le beurre. Hors du feu, ajoutez le sucre en poudre, le sucre vanillé puis les oeufs battus en omelette avec une petite pincée de sel. Ajoutez enfin la farine.
• 4  Versez dans le moule et enfournez pour 15 mn. Laissez reposer 5 mn dans le four éteint.
• 5  Laissez refroidir environ 1/2 heure, puis mettez au réfrigérateur au moins 2 heures. Démoulez le gâteau et découpez le en parts individuelles.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WWII bomb found in our town.

     I saw a small article from a newspaper on the train as I was riding to take care of two little ones for the afternoon. An American WWII bomb 500 kg was found in Massy where I'm staying. 800 people were evacuated to Versaille.  I guess everything turned out fine. No one at the school knew anything about it. Just another day. crazy.
     I went south of Versaille to watch Pavel and Jonas in one of the nouvelle cities where the government built newer cities within the last 30 years to push people out of the downtown area. (there are 18 million People in the region! - 8 million in downtown) Everything was built for these towns except churches. There are schools, commerce, government buildings, apartments, houses, bars, restaurants, etc. A church cannot be built near a school because of the separation of church and state law. But a bar can be placed next to a school. Go figure.
     Three year old Pavel goes to French public school. His parents are from America working with our team. The school will start children as early as 2 1/2 years old if the parents need that assistance. It is free. He goes 4 mornings a week until 11;30 His mommy is in Switzerland for a number of days taking a class on how to teach women to do Bible studies as well as how better to teach. His daddy is trying to work so Jean and I are taking turns a couple of times to help out. I brought drawing supplies today and we drew each other's feet and let them color them in. Lots of giggling and tickling.
     If you do not subscribe to our newsletter and want more news that you are not seeing on here then we would suggest you let us know. We send one out every month or two with information that we would not want to be so public. Email; parisbarr@gmail.com  ----Carol

Prayer for Lambert

     A couple of our teammates have been friends of an elderly couple for many years. They would invite the them over to their house to find out about their American ways and ask questions about what they were doing in France. They would share many times together and have very nice visits. The wife is now attending their church and her husband says he is not interested even though he has asked them many questions over the years. Now Lambert is about ready to die. Our friend is begging him to reconsider and just trust, open his heart and believe. Please pray for them both.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cora! - Hypermarché

     Some of you may have heard of Cora. It's a hyper market that is so huge it takes 2 days to really go through it. Otherwise, one may become very exhausted. I have to walk my groceries back to my dorm so I have to be careful how much I put in my cart. I found out they do not have brownie mixes. I signed up to bring brownies for 20 people one of the days of the conference. I guess I'll make them from scratch They do have a few cake mixes. It's no wonder Suzy asked for me to bring those brownie mixes for her. There are 20 different kinds of milk. One milk I bought was so sweet. That's fine if you want it with your cereal but not with regular food. I finally found one that I think is 1 1/2% la cremé. mmm - just right.
     I did not see any corn tortillas. I want to make Mexican food for my dinner tonight. They do have flour tortillas. There were some smaller Dorito chips packages 200g and some Old El Paso sauce and some kits to make Mexican if one so desires. I bought the chips and will make some kind of Taco salad. For 2.65 euro I bought a spice bottle of Mexican spices. I did not find chili powder. There was cumin though.
     I looked for garbanzo beans to make hummus and couldn't find them.They had premade hummus for almost 3 euro. But it would have been so easy to make it. Shoot. The cookie aisle was a wonder! I did not buy any. It was hard. The madeline's are so beautiful, the chocolate covered waffle cookies, they all are a delight, Macaroons. Self-control, self-control. Now I know what I will bring back to give to people. I don't see these kinds of things lining our American shelves.
     I was sick a couple of nights ago from eating too rich of food later at night. So I ate very little yesterday and feeling fine today. Can you tell I was hungry?

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Pictures from Paris!

These pictures show some of our team members in the Paris area. For more information, email your questions to us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pictures from Paris

Carol posted some pictures! More to come as the time of the prayer conference draws near.


Courtyard where I'm staying. My room is on the
far left and I walk under the covered pathway to the
main building where the kitchen is located.

My room.

For 3.50 euro I bought an apple tart. I kid you not. 
I did not eat it in one sitting. I did eat 2 pieces that 
day though. Then I cut them up and put them in 
my little section of the freezer. Their premade 
coleslaw was very good too. Yogurt, clementine 
and purplemousse drink - Grapefruit.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why hasn't our Monthly percentage risen lately?

     Our team directors have been assessing the financial needs for us to work in France. With the dollar to Euro difference and health care costs rising they increased what we have to raise. We have to raise our own health care funds which now are  1300.00 per month for American and French. We have to have both. We had to raise another 286. per month for the salary supplement to cover the Euro up to 836. per month in addition!
    Rest assured we are getting new supporters. We also got a supporter who will be giving a certain percentage of his bonuses every year from his company. This can be a substantial amount per year for us but we cannot count this on our actual monthly totals because it can vary.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some Rules of the French

1. As a woman, don't look a man in the eyes if you do not know him . He thinks you are coming on to him. Unless, of course, he is taking your order for food and he's all smiles and ready to please. I like that.
2. The French are more formal. You should be introduced before talking to someone. (Although I have been approached by 5 people at least, for directions. Maybe they are not French but they are speaking French. I point to the board for them to find their way or tell them I don't know much French.) Even if you speak a little French they think you know a lot and keep going on. I just smile and try to glean what I can.
3. If you smile at someone they know you are an American, unless you are a teen or college student with a group of friends coming on the train. Some people sneak glances, and once in a while, someone will smile at you, be kind and offer you a seat. The trains are relatively silent, people looking everywhere but at each other. That is so sad to me. I've had a man offer me a seat two times and an older woman offer me a seat on the train. She was closer to the seat though and it didn't make sense - but she was being kind. Some of these trains are jam packed. Friday is a big day where everyone is ready to party, though. They come alive.
4. The elderly who are out walking with their groceries and their little carts will not take your help. They are independent!
5. The bus drivers like to take off right after you get on the bus. Only one driver was a great driver, but I've never seen him again. One woman driver was so crazy that an older woman fell down! Many eyebrows raised for that one and mean looks at the bus driver.
6. Try to say Madame or Mademoiselle or Monsieur after saying Bonjour. "Bonjour, Mademoiselle". It's a little more formal and you say it that way if you don't know them very well—like a cashier.
7. "Tout de suite, Madame", said the cashier when my cart du credite didn't work in the machine - meaning go to la banque to get some cash - "in a hurry". They say it so fas the "de" gets lost altogether. Of course, when I returned, my groceries were gone. Then I spent another 15 min. 
searching, trying to find the customer service area - or "distributor". Finally someone found the red faced Carol, and brought them to her.
8. At the grocery store they have the grocery carts in the parking lot where you put a Euro into it to unlock it. (like Aldi stores) A woman comes up to bring her cart back and I held out my euro to her to see if she wanted that to save time and I would take her cart. Oh, noooo, she must put her own euro back in to return her cart. She told me twice - whatever she said.
9. Fresh baked baguette in the morning. Nothing like it. You go to a Boulangerie - a bread store, or in my case someone at the school brings it in for a Petite Dejeuner (Breakfast). I'm spoiled........................Carol

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life As We Know It

     Doing fine here, pacing myself and learning the lay of the land. For now, I'm working with our French Field directors, on Mondays and Fridays, and the week of Easter to help with a Seder Meal and Easter weekend, also preparing for the prayer conference. The conference is the week of April 9-16th.  All of us have a certain aspect of preparing - getting speakers lined up, the singing team, figuring out which sites we will travel to and who will be cooking when the participants arrive. That week I will be helping the participants get to the prayer sites and doing whatever is needed during that time as well and getting the food ready for lunches for everyone. I have to learn my way around the city, so part of my time is doing just that.
     I watched a team mate's 2 year old,  yesterday morning so they could have a team meeting without interruption. He's such a cute kid and is all boy. You know the type, climbing, dump trucks, hands in the pockets with a rock in one of those pockets as he's surveying the land while we walk. He's confident, curious and adorable.  I went on YouTube with him to watch a few Mickey Mouse cartoons while having a snack. As he was watching Mickey I spent a little time drawing a quick portrait of him to give to mom and dad. That's always fun. Of course I forgot to bring any art materials so had lined paper from a journal and a pencil. That's okay. It satisfies me.
    I will be watching another two little boys one afternoon in a couple of weeks.  The wife is heading to Switzerland for some days to do training on how to teach women to do better in their studies here in France. He will be going down to Musee D' Orsay (an art museum) to teach school age children lessons through Biblical art or pottery. There are many spiritual lessons that can be derived from art. Very cool. That is something we can do with adults or children when we get here full time. It will be great to get to know these children.
    I'm taking the buses and trains everywhere to downtown Paris and around to various teammates homes. I have had to take a few naps and get used to the change. It's still hard for me to wind down. But it's that way when I'm home.
    I'm staying at the French language school in Massy so it's been so wonderful getting to know the students and staff here. Everyone is great. We are supposed to speak French in public places, like the Kitchen area, where we are all cooking and eating. Very interesting to hear and trying to communicate. They give grace on those who have only been doing it for a little while. I'm trying to do as much as I can. Thank goodness for Rosetta Stone as it has helped. People are here not only from the states but Switzerland, Norway, England, Germany, Colombia, Korea, Japan, and Brazil. There may be others I have not met. Most are on their way to a destination that speaks French and others are trying to find out what they want to do and are learning this language.
    I've had fun passing out little gifts to our team for things they do not get here in France - baking powder (go figure), oreos (I heard they are just now getting them but they are expensive), sippie cups for kids with straws, Campbells mushroom soup, Ghiradelli Brownie Mix - some of the French families love them and it's a treat - isn't that funny in the land of chocolate, Kansas City Gates and Sons BBQ sauce - my personal  favorite, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for a family, and I bought a bunch of mascara since it's so expensive over here in France and more. It's been fun passing this stuff around. I had a couple of women donate toward this cause. Thank you my friends! What a blessing it is.
    Russell is doing well and I was glad to hear we gained 250/mo in new support this past week. Go God! Yay! Other lump sum giving came in. Thank you to all of you who are on our team through prayer and through funds. We appreciate your willingness to give of your time and talents, and BIG encouragement. Thank you to our Heart Team and to our coach at World Team who has been there for us in recent days over the holidays and through the dark winter days.
    Russell is staying in  MO with his familly for a week and visiting a church up there sharing our story. Everyone he's been talking to are receptive and very welcoming. We thank God for the many blessings he bestows on us no matter what is happening in our lives. Thanks for being a part of what God is doing................Carol

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Musings from a Paris elevator

    I can say my time so far in Paris has been walking, buses, trains and some meetings thrown in. I will be taking our conference group with me during that time and showing them the various prayer walking sites during their stay (within 50 km around the Arc d'Triomphe). Some of the sites are that far out. There are approximately 10 sites we will be going to as well as the area where our conference will be held in the city every morning. I'm learning the ropes. The pedometer states approximately 11,000 steps per day are the totals of my wanderings underground and above ground. My teammate, and angel Sister, Jean, said the other day she walked 15,000 steps. Her son got her an Ipod pedometer. Google says 10,000 steps is around 5 miles. Wow! That should get me healthier and since this is my first week I'm very tired when I get back to my dorm room at night. Not good for much of anything but eating, talking, computing and sleeping. I finally had my first full night of sleep.
    Today Jean and I walked to a couple of Hostels downtown, and lots of places in between, to find a place for our conference attendees to lodge when they are here. Both were very nice and the one we picked had easy and close access to many of the sites they needed to get to. This building was built in the 17th Century. That's the 1600s! It had frescos on the walls and marble - just beautiful. Of course my batteries died in my camera, and I'd changed purses. The batteries didn't transfer. Isn't that the way? The hostel itself is only 1 month old so everything in it is new or redone. Just lovely. 29 euros a night including a light breakfast. Adults only but they can be young or old. Sorry no children if you ever want a nice hostel to stay in. www.bvjhotel.com
    We were able to spend time with another one of our teammates, Kim, who came into town to pick up her Marathon number to run tomorrow morning through the streets of Paris. Kim has 2 toddlers. Can you imagine? I prayed for her to run like she was flying on the wings of eagles. She's visualizing that.
    As I was walking through the huge train station to get ready to return back to my home base on the 30 min. train and 10 min bus ride back, I decided I would take an elevator instead of more steps. I got in and an Asian woman about 60 years old got in with me. She realized I was American, with stupid French coming out of my mouth. So she began talking in English and said she wasn't Chinese. I thought that was so funny because I hadn't said anything about her nationality. She said she is Cambodian. I did say my husband and I were going to move to France. She said, "What you and your husband going to do - be missionaries?" I am not kidding. I didn't even say anything. I did respond to her later. She said, "I go to the Trinity church. You come." I looked it up and it's the international church in that arrondisement. Now I ask you, why would she ask if we were missionaries? I said nothing but looked at her and tried to figure out which button to push on the elevator. I'm posing this question. I'm not going to answer because I don't know.
    Help me. What do you think? ...........Carol

Friday, March 4, 2011

Heart of America Christian Writers' Network

     I had the privilege of speaking to the Heart of America Christian Writers' Network last night. I was asked to address the working relationship between writers and artists. There were around thirty of us in attendance.
     Aside from the professional issues discussed, I was given the opportunity to share what Carol and I plan to do in France.
    I had spent time in preparation and had my "speech" typed up, ready to go. After all, I was billed as being a seasoned professional, and felt I needed to say something worthwhile to justify the invitation.
    To start things off each person was asked to share what projects they were working on. As each person stood and introduced themselves, and the projects at hand, they also opened up about issues they were dealing with. It became clear to me that my carefully prepared speech, while accurate and specific to their industry, wasn't what these specific people, at this specific time, need to hear. As a result, after I was introduced, I opened the floor to questions. Don't get me wrong. I needed to be prepared. Even when you decide to shot from the hip, your gun needs to be loaded.
    Instead of hypotheticals, we got down to business. These were thinking people. There was no embarrassing silence, just an hour of constant conversation back and forth. They blessed me with intelligent dialog that ranged far beyond anything I had prepared to say. During that time I was also able to share, as a part of the flow of information, our dream for ministry in France. Two different people came up and asked if they could pray for me; once during the sound check; and once at the end of the evening, after the closing prayer when we were all just chatting. I was relieved to hear, in their comments, and their prayers, that I had been able to give them something.
     Several people expressed an interest in supporting us and/or helping us network in some way.
     One of the things I didn't specifically cover in my talk, was how energizing the working relationship can be to both parties. That was certainly a side benefit I experienced last night. Being in the company of creative people is its own reward. Thank you, Heart of America Christian Writers' Network. -Russell

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm alive and well in Paris!

     I'm tired, but good, and staying at the French language school in Massy, south of downtown Paris. The grass is green and a few flowers are sprouting up, along side others just planted. That makes it nice. It was in the upper 30s and 40s today, so not much different than home, but it must be a little milder for the grass to be so green.
     I have a dorm room, with a toilette across the hall from me that consists of a toilet. Ha. I have a sink in my room, a twin bed, a desk, wi-fi - yay! and good storage. There is a shared kitchen down the hall, a TV room, an ironing room, laundry room. Reminds me of college but there is a daycare here. I've met 4 people in this dorm. One is from Switzerland - Francesca - my next door neighbor, Becky from Pennsylvania, another girl from London - Joss, and a guy from PA, another girl from China. This is a French school and also a Baptist church so they have church here on Sundays. They also have separate apartments for singles or families and the day care for the little ones is for those who have parents attending the school. Everyone is supposed to speak French in the public areas. I'm not hearing a lot of French. Ha. They are all new students. I have been trying to speak some French today. It's been fun.

    My seat mate on the plane is trying to move to New York from France. Her boyfriend is already there and she is going to do an internship with a Pharmaceutical/marketing firm. Very cute and trying her English out. I thought she was doing a great job. Two beautiful young Morrocan women spoke to me and an elderly French woman as we waited for the plane to leave Philadelphia. The girls were trying to remember their French. They've lived in Ohio for 20 years and couldn't be more than 25. The elderly woman asked if anyone of us spoke French. She was trying to figure out what she was to show the airplane attendants. The girls still have family in Morroco and they were going to have a nice visit in Paris—then head south to Africa where their family live. Many of these Moroccan Muslim families have moved up to Paris. On the bus ride more than half on the bus in Massy were Muslim young men. I am more aware these days. One of them was reading some Arabic - maybe the Qaran, I can't say. Interesting times. Everyone is usually pretty quiet on the buses unless they are with a group of friends, but mostly very quiet. My beautiful black friend, Jean, who is 57 and so much like me - not in looks, obviously, but in spirit, picked me up at the airport. We may be too much for our field director at the same time. Ha.
    We ended up getting a café (coffee) at the Sheritan Hotel above the train station just to use the toilet. Jean and I had never met in person and only talked via email. It was great to finally meet her. Like a pen pal. It was scarey how much we are alike when it comes to cutting up and the way we think—plus our Faith walk. spooky.
    I can barely stay awake because I have only slept an hr. and a half the last 24 hrs. Trying to stay up longer.
    Jean, who is considered a "Midtermer" with World Team (someone who works a few months at a time then comes back to the states to live), grabbed half my luggage, as we lugged it onto the train and buses. Then we walked 
another 1/2 mile to get our groceries. 300 kinds of cheese. I was in hog heaven.
     I got my exercise in today. I knew this would happen. I probably won't be able to move tomorrow. But this is good. I need it. - Carol


Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian, wrote, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…" He'd have laughed out loud, watching me run to the bedroom and dive across the bed trying to get to the phone before it stopped ringing this morning. He'd have also understood perfectly what I really wanted to say to the 800 number that was calling. It certainly wasn't the voice I wanted to hear. It wasn't Carol's, letting me know she's alright. You can bet I'll let you know when that call comes. - Russell