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

La Lumiere
November, 2016
UN
INDIGINOUS + DIGITAL = INDIGITOUS!

May built a light-blocking fortress under the office desk where she slept, finally crawling into her sleeping bag at 4:30 am. In the next room some of the 8 programmers on her team were still working. Their brains churned during an intense weekend fueled by pizza, chips and chocolate sprinkles, creating a working prototype of a new way to interact with the life of Jesus. All volunteers, they gathered in the Netherlands for an Indigitous "global missional hackathon."

Tapping into the collaborative open source programming culture, Indigitous organized the event in 28 cities involving 1,426 motivated computer specialists - all in one weekend. They were challenged to create digital solutions to 14 different needs, like fighting cyber bullying, an orphanage management system, mass publication of scripture, or sharing the gospel in creative ways. May's team in the Netherlands happened to be working in an office that specializes in virtual reality. Talk about a recipe for creativity!

They designed a way to navigate and view the life of Jesus in a virtual reality environment. Yes, this could involve wearing an Oculus Rift or some other adaptive goggles. Imagine yourself in a virtual environment, a 360° view in Israel is what the team imagined, where you see a circle of video stills suspended around you. As you look left, right, and turn around, different scenes of Jesus' life surround you. As if moving from the center of a room in a museum, you approach a tableau labeled "Forgiveness" and touch it. The scene becomes larger and comes to life as the video portrays Jesus challenging a woman's accusers with "whichever one of you who has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her." In just two days the team created this, a working model which demonstrates the possibilities of their concept.

But May's dream goes even further, hoping some day to host an Indigitous event in France. We know several talented Christians with IT or design skills. We want to invite them to use their skills to take major steps forward in using digital technology for God's kingdom. It's like a short term missions trip for people with a wide range of skills. Here's a great example. An American named Rachel doing an exchange in another town near Rennes. She joined the Netherlands team remotely, wanting to invest her programming skills for the Lord. Rachel is coming to Rennes to visit soon and hear more about the work the technology team does for Agapé France. One participant said, "I've never been in a setting where technology, missions, and faith are directly linked. This is the perfect space to see that come to life for me." Indigitous is a model which allows thousands to bring these interests together, teaming up to move the gospel forward.

May playing virtual reality
May experiencing virtual reality!
Video call around the world
The Netherlands team participates in the 1:00 am video call with participants from around the globe!
Screenshot of video call
Screenshot of video call with the locations participating in the Hackathon.

Praises... Please pray...
  • that Dan is able to reach 100% of our support goal by the end of December (currently at 89%).
  • for our family's busy schedules (especially Silas, who often gets home late), and intentional time to connect together.

Efrem playing the flute
Efrem playing Danse of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph Willibald Gluck. Check it out!
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