La Lumiere
November, 2016

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!

La Lumiere
October, 2016

logo We just released a new version of our website -! This comes after nearly a decade of being stuck in the previous one, like the cobbler who never takes the time for his own shoes. The blogs, quotes, and newsletters are there, all the way back to 2001. I went back to read some of our first newsletters where we introduced our first ministry team, and we shared our reactions to being in Toulouse, France during the September 11 attacks, then experiencing the catastrophic fertilizer plant explosion in Toulouse just 10 days later. So much has happened in our fifteen years on staff, and it's all journaled there! May and I enjoyed working on the website together. Our talents compliment each other well. Another recent accomplishment is a short video which tells the story of our call to France. It is at the top of our ministry page, if you'd like to see. We hope this video can be a vehicle to meet new people who might be open to joining our team. I really enjoyed the process of filming and editing the video. I could have continued improving and polishing it for months, but at some point you have to be done. Those are skills I would like to develop, potentially. But we'll wait and see where the Lord leads.!

Sunflowers Efrem planted in our garden.
Efrem's sunflowers
Efrem with his sunflower harvest.

Since 2007 I have spent the first weeks of September scurrying to kick start a new school year, covering campuses in Rennes with posters, handing out flyers and meeting new students. This year I am on the bench. Because of losses in our monthly support, I have been pulled aside to work on finding new partners for our ministry. It tears at me to see the campus team carry on with fewer laborers. Halle, who co-led the team with me for the past two years, has taken that full role. In addition to my absence, Melissa and Christian are working in new locations, leaving a team of 3 in Rennes. Student ministry is dynamic! There are very few constants: the great need for the gospel here in France, and that things are always changing. Although I truly enjoy being in touch with you - and it is an essential and fulfilling part of this ministry - I am anxious to have a full tank again and enter into ministry undistracted by financial needs. I'm praying that this phase be completed quickly so I can be back on the field again! As a baseball coach I dread putting players on the bench. But there is a time for everything, resting a pitcher's arm or being in better touch with your team. We are so thankful that you are faithfully by our side!

Silas with his good friend Marwan holding their middle school diplomas.

  • for the new version of, and the new video describing our call to France.
  • for sunflower seed harvest and middle school diplomas!
Please pray...
  • that Dan is able to connect well with new and potential supporters.
  • for May's audio/visual role in the upcoming women's conference, that everything would run smoothly.