La Lumiere
June, 2016

Researchers have said that people with a certain characteristic are more mentally and physically healthy, sleep better, have increased self esteem and stronger relationships. It is something each of us can consciously foster, and is something Paul exhorts us to do in many of his letters. Have you made a guess? It's gratitude, thankfulness. It is the theme that Cru in France chose for this year, because of Paul more than the science. At the end of this school year, here is a glimpse (in no specific order) of the many things we are thankful for!

  • The teams we work with! The technology team, the campus team and the greater Rennes team is full of precious people we love and respect. We are team players, and it's important to have a good team.

  • God at work! Whether it's drawing students like Yiteng to faith or Valentin growing and sharing his faith, God’s Kingdom is advancing in France.

  • Good grades! Both Silas and Efrem are doing fantastic in school. France has a solid yet potentially negative educational system. Thankfully both of our boys have stayed ahead of the curve and are learning very well.

  • You! We simply couldn't be here serving Jesus if it weren’t for you, your faithful prayers and gifts. This is a beautiful team effort, which is both encouraging and humbling. We appreciate you!!

  • Music! Our apartment is constantly filled with music, usually a violin or flute being played. Music is a joy for all of us. Being here has opened up the possibility of our boys receiving an excellent music education.

  • Rhubarb! And other things from our garden. We rent a small plot where strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, peas, garlic and herbs are growing under May's steady encouragement. Dan likes baking rhubarb pies, and everyone enjoys eating them.

  • 20 years! We celebrate twenty years of marriage this month. They have been wonderfully full, but have gone by quickly.

  • Family! Especially our family in the States who patiently endures the consequences of such distance with us. It's hard to be so far apart when grandparents pass away or yet another birthday goes by. Thankfully our family understands our calling. Their support is really important to us.

  • Grace! No list of thankfulness could be complete without God's grace, the source of every good thing. Our prayer is that it would be ever more abundant in our relationships and for you too!

Celebrating what God has done this year!
20 years
This month we celebrate 20 years of marriage!
flute exam
Efrem playing for his final exam. Allegretto by Benjamin Godard

  • for the many blessings listed in the first column.
  • for twenty years of being married!
  • that Silas and Efrem were both accepted to participate in the two week Crescendo conference taking place in Hungary. Crescendo is Cru's ministry to classical musicians.
Please pray...
  • for the "Programmer's Summit" May is going to in Orlando on July 9-23, that everyone would work well together on their common project.
  • that Dan is able to connect effectively with you and many others on this ministry team.
  • that we stay centered on Christ and the gospel.


La Lumiere
May, 2016

Think of a time you felt empowered. Maybe when you were handed some keys or asked to lead a big project. Campus ministry strives to be "student led," which is all about empowering. We encourage the students to dream, then we help those dreams become reality. This month we hosted an event called Faith at Work. The idea was from a student, implemented by the student leaders. And it was brilliant! A panel of 7 professionals were asked to talk about how their faith plays out at work. They fielded questions from a group of students who were eager to hear how being Christian affects how you teach, run a business, code programs, perform physics research, or organize mass transit. What are the challenges? How does it affect your relationships or the way you approach work? Are there opportunities to talk about faith? They want to benefit from experience and wisdom. I would love to hear what you might have said had you been on that panel!

The atmosphere in France can be overwhelmingly hostile to Christians, who are swimming upstream against a strong current. 63% of the French claim to be atheist or non-religious. These people are so far from Christ. Please pray for the French, and for the courage to share the gospel!

Faith at Work
The panel of professionals talking about faith at work.
Faith at Work

We mentioned earlier that Silas had the big decision of which high school to attend next year. He has taken tests and been accepted into the international section at Saint Vincent, a private school not far from the music conservatory downtown. Until now, Silas has attended public French school, which is naturally taught in French. This international section, however, has roughly a quarter of the classes in English, including American history. This should firm up the years of American homeschool we did with Silas and insure that he can perform at a good level in both English and French. Silas also wants to continue studying violin at the conservatory, pursuing a diploma which would allow him to play or teach professionally. An important test in September will decide if he makes the cut. This all comes at a cost, but like any parent we're wishing the best for him!

Armenian dance
Silas playing an Armenian dance by Aharonian.

Thursday I spent 6 hours on the train to attend Agapé France's general assembly. It's an administrative necessity to be a recognized association. Two different people from up front thanked May for her efforts resolving a technical problem with donor processing. Ironically, May was at home wrestling with even more programming issues, and making great progress on a major enhancement to

  • for the Faith at Work panel and the wisdom they shared with our students.
  • that Silas was accepted into the international section at Saint Vincent school.
Please pray...
  • that the campus team would be Spirit led as they plan for next year.
  • for Dan's next big project - finding additional monthly support.
  • for the "Programmer's Summit" being planned in July.

The wooden spoon!
Amazed at the size of the wooden spoon!