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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Monday Morning we fly away!

January 2nd - noon - flying off into the sky and arriving in Paris 8am the next day. We just saw pictures of our one bedroom apartment from Jerry and Carolyn last night. It is located in the town of Versaille. Yes, that is the same town as the Sun King's palace. This will be a very convenient location for us to travel to our various work places within 20 - 30 minutes by bus or train all over the Paris suburbs and downtown as well.Thank you to Jerry and Carolyn, our field directors, for doing that.

The apartment has walls of lavender and maybe yellows or tan. I see carpet with purple, reds and a modern futon bed with black, tan. There are interesting textures on walls and the bedroom closet. Modern. I'm happy it's not white. :0) For those of you who know me, I like color and texture. We have a few pieces of pottery (small) and small 2D art to take with us to make this our own place.

Adding a few things in our suitcase. Taking out a few others. There is a washing machine in the kitchen. That's how they do things there. No dryer - which is also common. So we find a laundromat for drying and I buy a drying rack. They do have an iron and ironing board. I try not to iron if I can help it. Let's hope there is a laundromat. We do have more wrinkle free clothes than not. It's going to be an interesting journey. We are excited. Jerry will pick us up at the airport and bring some things from their house to help us settle in. Carolyn will be by later to take us grocery shopping and maybe a trip to IKEA for lamps or whatever we might need to make it all work.

Russell is offloading all the files and software onto 2 laptops. He didn't bring his software discs from storage. sigh. But he's figuring it out and calling the Apple people. Delta doesn't let anyone check their large computers as baggage anymore. They must have had problems. Continental would have but since our dear friend and client gave us his airline miles for our tickets we then switched to Delta. He will probably work in our field office to do his design since there may not be space. They may buy a large monitor over there that can hook up to his laptop so he can work on their website as part of his work. I will go in to work  at the field office some days also and it will be a 30 min. bus ride down to St. Remy from our place.

Jason takes dad's iMac for which he is excited to do his projects. We now have a European Skype no. and Jason will take any calls and confers with the European side of the office and can do graphic projects for the US side of BARRgraphics.

So many details to wrap up, had our Button Christmas party yesterday which was a joyous occasion. We visited our dear step mother Vera in the hospital and it was great to hear her talking away telling us her great stories as she likes to do. Since I'm a story person myself, I love to hear hers. Thank you Lord for bringing her out of the fog and continuing to heal her. She had an MRI yesterday and other tests which we are waiting to hear. She had a mild heart attack, seizures, & pneumonia. We would appreciate continued prayers for her.

Pray for our strength and legs as it will probably take 2 weeks to get used to the type of walking/stairs we will be doing since we will not have our own vehicle. That's how long it took me the last time I was there in March and April. Thanks for your concern for our lives. We have had met so many people on this journey and each one is precious.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happenings in France

As you prepare for your family Christmas we ask if you would put in a little prayer for us as we get ready to leave. There have been wonderful times these past few months with beautiful people sharing in our lives and encouraging us. We hope we are able to encourage and love those along our path too. Our Visa applications have been dropped off at the French Embassy in Chicago. Now we wait for the Visas and enjoy Christmas with family and friends. Here's a little bit about what we will be doing in the coming months.
     Carol will be working with the France Vie director and his wife who oversee the church plants that are ongoing around the Paris region and in Normandy. She will also help administrate the Prayer conference again which will be next April. Carol and Russell will both be tutored in language. We will be working with Baptiste and Emilie and with their interesting projects. We will know more when we get there.
     Russell will also be redesigning France Vie's website & working with French communication team - We will do Specific outside projects and an art workshop to engage others on a spiritual level.
     These days we continue working on Rosetta Stone, reading some French, watching some French TV programs -like Warehouse 13. It's hilarious and interesting to see how much we can pick up. It's actually dubbed very well.
     As we pack and sort, Russell found a bat under a piece of furniture yesterday when moving it out in the barn. He thought the bat was dead and it looked at him with an evil eye and hissed at him. To see Russell hiss at me while telling the story was very scary. The bat must have been ill and didn't move. You don't want to know what my dear husband did to him. Grandpa said he'd never seen a bit out there.
     Here's a great story from one of our teammates in Paris:The season of Advent has already begun and Christmas will soon be upon us. Paris is beautiful this time of year with all the pretty white lights, but for most Noël is just a holiday that includes a big dinner party and gift-giving, with little spiritual significance. In that context we are encouraged by the movement we're seeing here in the heart of Paris.
     At the November event (Faith & Philosophy) 10 people came out to discuss Humanism and Faith. A French pastor gave a talk and then we had a great discussion. Some do not believe that God exists, but wondering and will return. We have these once a month.
     Another of our team mates began her new study last Monday. She wrote the week before begging for prayer as she prepares a group of studies entitled Objections to Christianity, for a special group of friends. The electricity went out just before everyone arrived and she lit candles. This actually helped to "break the ice" and laughter ensued when they realized what happened. Bible Study by Candlelight. Maybe it will be the new thing. She was very excited to have so many attend since many times before no one would show. There is a new season of openness. 7 to 10 have been attending this.
     We would love to hear from you all!

Joyeux Noël
Carol and Russell

Thursday, December 8, 2011

January 2nd - Leave Date for France

It's been a while since posting and we apologize. Our schedules have been crazy and we arrived back from Chicago after visiting the French Embassy to apply for our Visas. That done, Russell is doing a few graphics jobs to finish paying bills this month and we pack for Paris, looking for little gifts for our children and grandchildren, parents and siblings for Christmas.

Not having internet at the place where we are staying has put a definite crunch on our time with the computer. We are able to check emails at McDonalds or if we are in Macon, MO at Russell's folks they have internet there. In the mean time we have been staying in Atlanta, MO (no internet) where our furniture is stored to continue to go through things to reduce what we have, give away more things and decide what we take on this leg of the journey. Not much.

World Team has been asking us to read manuals and sign off in agreement with their "Crisis Contingency Plans - 49 pages, US. Sending Country  - 39 pages and Global policy manuals". (no graphics and very serious information - ha!)

We've updated our wills, shared our wishes with witnesses, got forms notarized, and got 2 limited Power of Attorney forms for various events that could happen (we are hoping not). Our pictures are taken, applications filled out, our thumbprints and all our fingerprints are now officially with Interpol through France.

We just found out our French team found us an apartment and signing the papers today!! We can't wait to see it. Jerry, our director, said it's very nice. Thank you God. We are so looking forward to this new work experience with people we already dearly love with whom we will work side by side. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their work on our behalf.

There are so many people who have come alongside us to help us on this journey. You know who you are. Even today Wyatt's Automotive is helping us get our car working again putting in a fuel pump, fuel filter and a fuel line. ugh.. From experience that we've already had we know they are awesome people.

Prayer requests:

1. That our Visas are processed quickly.
2. That we use the limited time we have left wisely.
3. Our brains are full, pray that we would have clarity of mind for the remainder of decisions that need to be made.
4. We are using Russell's dad's truck until the 15th and will drive with his family down to the KC area. We may be carless after our extended family time during parts of the remainder of the month and our car  more than likely will not be ready when we head down to the Olathe/Lawrence area from the 16th until we leave or parts therein.

Blessings to all during this wonderful season to remember our Lord's birth!

Carol and Russell