Monday, November 23, 2015

How Can You Help France?

After the attacks in Paris a little over a week ago, many people (including me) changed their profile picture using a French flag overlay in order to show support for France. #Prayforparis was seen all over social media...

Later, I read an article on Facebook entitled "Why I am not changing my profile picture..."  Basically the author was arguing that simply changing a picture and posting a "Pray For Paris" status is not enough.  I both agree and disagree with this.  I, for one, who am not French but live among the French and hope to share the Good News of the Gospel with them, was truly touched and encouraged by the amount of support that was shown by Americans on social media.  At the same time, is that enough??  What real impact is there to temporarily change a picture or post a hashtag?  Maybe you are one of the ones who is wanting to do more.  Well, you can.  Here are some ways you can be intimately involved in the work in France and help bring lasting change to a people in great spiritual need:

  • PRAY- Never underestimate the power of prayer.  If you tweeted #prayforparis, did you actually pray for Paris? Do you know where to start? One great way would be to subscribe to our prayer team by entering your email in the box in the upper left margin. Each month we send out a prayer calendar with specific, timely needs about the work in France. 

  • LEARN- Be involved by being informed.  If you thought that there was no real urgent need for the Gospel in France and Western Europe, think again!  France is not a Christian nation. We are praying that God will use this tragedy for His glory and to bring more believers to Himself.  There have already been several instances where teammates have had unusual opportunities to share their faith with strangers in light of last week's events. You can check out this clip and become a spokesperson for the work in France. 

  • GIVE-  We are in France on a 2-year assignment because we did not yet have enough funding to come as career missionaries.  So we came,in faith, trusting that God would show us the next step in His perfect timing.  During our time here, we have felt completely affirmed in our calling to France.  We believe God is just getting started and wants to use our family here for a very long time. However, without sufficient funding we will have to come home.  If you have been wanting to do more, consider partnering with us in spreading the gospel in France by joining our monthly support team. There is no greater investment than giving to God's kingdom work. Explore the giving options here

  • SHARE- Whether you are able to give financially or not, we would ask you to share our story with anyone who might be interested.  Obviously our reach is a little limited from this side of the ocean but you can help by championing the cause.  Maybe you know someone who is just itching to do more? Would you share our blog? Send us a note and we will get you any resources you might need. 

  • GO- Maybe you want to see firsthand the work in France... which is to see the darkness here but also to see the light that God is bringing through our World Team France missionaries to reach the lost.  There is our annual prayer conference in June (check out the brochure here), but feel free to contact us any time if you want to visit.  We can almost always work something out and I would imagine that flights into Paris will be less expensive for a bit. ;) 

**Stay tuned for the next blog post where I will share more about this sweet face and how bringing home "Petit Chou" (a temporary nickname) fits into the rest of our timeline...


Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Year in the Books!- Looking back and Looking ahead...

October 8th will mark one year since we set foot on French soil.  We are thankful!:

  • We are thankful for health (not once have we been to the dr for illness since we arrived which I hear is pretty rare)
  • We are thankful for friends.  We have all quickly made friends in our community, in the schools, in the church, through teaching English
  • We are thankful for "family".  We have been able to spend time with other missionary families who are also missing their family and friends back home and we have been able to be family to each other.
  • We are thankful for language acquisition.  Everyone has made great progress in French.  Brandon has already been able to preach his first sermon and the kids, well...they surpassed me a long time ago! 
  • We are thankful for ministry.  God has already begun to work in the lives of several families near us and we are beginning to see potential for long term ministry here in La Neuville D'Aumont.
Eucharisteo! (Thankful!)  God is good!

We feel very affirmed in our calling here in France.  Life is far from easy, but not once have we even considered packing up and going home...not on our worst day.  Does that mean that if we had, our calling would be less affirmed?  Not necessarily.  But we feel this is where God has us, not for two years, but until ???...until He calls us elsewhere.

That being said,we came to France on a two year assignment because that's how much money we had and we are trusting that He will provide the rest of what we need to remain in France long term.  **By we, I mostly mean Brandon is trusting, but I am working on it.  We currently lack about 50% of our monthly support to remain in France and its a large number, a number that scares me to think about.  But if I can look back and see how God has taken care of our family, then I can look ahead and trust that His is taking care of us still, whatever that looks like.

Here is where you can help:
  • PRAY- Everyone, no matter how much money you have, can pray.  Pray that God will put France on the hearts of those who might be looking for a place to support financially in ministry, whether that be churches or individuals.
  • SHARE- Share our story with those you know who might be interested in joining with us.  We are putting together information on our year of ministry here.  So, let us know if you would like to receive it.
  • THINK- If you can think of anyone (church or individual) who might want to receive an email, a call or more from us to hear about our ministry, please let us know.
  • GIVE- If you are already giving, we thank you!  If you aren't and would like to know hot to start, let us know OR simply go HERE.  We have people giving as little as $5/month.  There is no amount too small (or too big!).
" Eucharisteo Always Precedes the Miracle"  -Ann Voskamp