La Lumiere
February, 2017
Dan and May in the sun.
UN
A BIG CHALLENGE

My dear wife has threatened to lock me out of my work email account and change the password - but only for the month of March. That might be a little extreme, but I didn't know the amplitude of the challenge I'm getting into. Normally Cru allows staff a sabbatical every eight years. It's been 15 years now and I'm finally getting around to taking one. A sabbatical can be described as a break from work to concentrate on a particular aspect in our walk with God. My goals are: to be refreshed in my relationship with the Lord, to rest, and to find direction for my roles with Cru in France. Having taken a step back from the local campus ministry this year, it seems an appropriate time to listen and evaluate. The month of March is the first phase, when I will be challenged to truly slow down, connect with the Lord, and charge my batteries. It's going to be a challenge. That phase will be followed by seeking direction, where I envision myself listening, then placing the needs and wants before the Lord. The big question is how I - as the unique person he has made - can have the most impact for his Kingdom in France. I'm excited for this time ahead and looking forward to seeing how God will lead. Would you please pray with me for guidance and wisdom as we look to the future? Thank you!

Silas turns 16!

Praises

  • for the opportunity to have a sabbatical.
  • that we've made enough progress to complete our focus on support..

Please pray

  • for the national staff conference that's taking place this week (13-18th), and for the special program planned for staff kids.
  • for wisdom and guidance in Dan's future roles with Cru in France.
Silas ironing, learning life skills.
Silas learning life skills. His concert shirts have to be ironed!
Efrem playing the bass.
Efrem having fun on Dan's bass guitar.
DEUX
SILAS

Silas turned 16 last month. When we first left for France he was 8 months old. It's pretty amazing to think about how different his life is from a typical teenager in the US. He hasn't even started the process for getting his driver's license, the age for that is 18 in France. Only two-thirds pass the driving test the first time, with the costs of driving school at around $1,770. Silas' high school has no basketball or football teams, in fact no organized sports at all. There are no school dances. During their three short years there, students mostly prepare for the grueling end of high school written and oral test called the bac. Most of Silas' courses are taught in French, but since he's in an international section, some are also in English. He studies German too. We don't have a television, but if we did Silas wouldn't have time to watch it anyway. Silas has three music classes (harmony, writing and rhythm) plus violin, orchestra and chamber music at the conservatory. His past two weekends were completely taken up by orchestra rehearsals and concerts. Silas rides the city bus to and from school, often carrying his violin in addition to his backpack. His earbuds pump even more classical music into his head, but their absence certainly doesn't mean the music stops. Silas is constantly humming or singing the notes to something, a built-in radio that likely provides a soundtrack to his dreams at night.

Our Signatures

La Lumiere
January, 2017
Discussion Group
UN
AVEC Z'ELLES

Cru has a number of ministries in France, including one specifically for women. Our teammate Marie Carmen wanted to bless women in France with God's message of life transformation, so the weekend conference Avec Z'Elles was born. A play on words, this not only means women together, but also with wings or with zeal. The illustration used for the transformation God is looking to generate in our lives is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The content was marvelous, full of biblical truths and promises. And a butterfly is truly beautiful, eating flower nectar, pollinating as it goes; in contrast to the caterpillar which eats leaves and ravages plants. One gem from the teaching is this fact: butterflies are cold-blooded and use their wings to soak up sunshine, providing necessary warmth. They spend as much of 70% of their day basking in sunlight. We also need to take time to recharge in God’s light! How do you go about this essential activity?

Around 130 women attended the conference near Dijon, and May drove a carload from Rennes. She was in charge of projecting all of the content: presentations, launching videos, and worship. May was behind the scenes, but played an important role. Collecting and organizing the material takes a lot of time, not to mention making everything appear seamlessly on screen. She is very well suited for the task. We're thankful so many women were blessed.

Conference
Women at the Avec Z'Elles conference.
May working behind the scenes
Efrem practicing

Praises

  • for May's parents visit over Christmas.
  • that God has increased our support by 20%.

Please pray

  • that new people will help close the gap, we're at 97% of our monthly goal.
  • for wisdom in planning, we need to organize our time in the States this summer.
DEUX
EFREM'S ADVENTURES

Efrem is off to the French Alps on a one-week ski trip organized by his middle school. He is no stranger to skiing, and we're sure he'll have lots of fun. But we won't get to hear from him until the bus pulls back in to Rennes. They aren't allowed any telephones or connected devices, so it is a week completely unplugged from technology and their parents. Efrem was also invited to play flute in a private concert for young musicians last month. He and a college aged girl played a duet of the Concerto of Cimarosa, their bright notes flitting up and down the scale at a dizzying pace. He was even given a cash honorarium - a pro at just 12 years old! In March Efrem plans to compete again at a regional music competition in Plancoët. Hopefully he won't put too much pressure on himself, because last time he competed there, in 2014, he won the grand prize for flutists. Efrem is full of energy and goes jogging with May two times a week. He also continues his baseball adventure, playing at the 13-15 age level. He's on the team Dan is coaching (the Rennes Redwings) and will likely play with the regional all-star team too.

Our Signatures