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.

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.