La Lumiere
April, 2016

I was sitting with Valentin just inside the door of La Fuente del Peregrino. We kept the doors open late offering coffee, tea or water to pilgrims walking the path to Santiago in Spain. La Fuente is a refuge where they can stay the night, 75 km out, but so far that day everyone had continued down the road. A lone pilgrim, backpack in tow, ambled painfully toward us. As I walked out to meet him he asked, "Es un alberge? Can I stay here?" I invited him in to take off his pack and sit down. He had pushed his limits, was exhausted and thankful to find a place to rest. Charlie is retired from the military and lives in Texas. That night we served him a hot meal, gave him a bed and breakfast in the morning. During the week we served on project, the goal was to serve the pilgrims as if they were Jesus - agape love in action. The stone farmhouse is two hundred years old and has been a refuge since 1999. The pilgrims we housed were from the US, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Israel, Canada, Germany, and Japan. Why were they walking the Camino that ends at the Cathedral of Santiago where supposedly the remains of Saint James lie? Surprisingly, many weren't catholic. They walked for tourism, sport, to accompany a friend, or for "spiritual" reasons. There were scores of nationalities and a wide range of ages. At least 50 Koreans passed by, much to the delight of our student from Korea. There were 13 on our team, many students choosing to serve during their spring break. Silas also went with us, and what an experience it was! We were a tight knit group serving Jesus together, cooking, cleaning, welcoming, helping in any way we could. Pilgrims left smiling, taking pictures with us in front of the fountain. They called it an oasis, lifting and encouraging their spirits on their journey. Many left with a brochure containing reflection questions tactfully pointing the way to Jesus, who is the Way.

This group of pilgrims was actually from Rennes!
Yellow arrows (and Silas) point the way on the Camino.

Valentin came over to our house for some discipleship. When he went to ride his bike home, it was gone! Another bike stolen (this makes 4), so frustrating! May happened to relay this information to our colleague Trent, who was walking home. Seeing some guys suspiciously passing a bike around he called me to ask what Valentin's bike looks like. Clever as can be, Trent approached them saying he was supposed to meet someone to purchase a bike. He surreptitiously took video of them, then bought it from them for 50 euros. The look on Valentin's face when he saw his bike again was priceless! He and Trent promptly went to the police with video in hand, arrests were made, and Trent had his money back the next day. If only stories could end this well more often!

Welcoming pilgrims.

  • for a great experience serving pilgrims on the trail to Santiago.
  • that Valentin's bike was recovered!
Please pray...
  • that the pilgrims who stop at La Fuente del Peregrino would be led to Jesus as they walk.
  • for new student leaders to step up, and for continued momentum in campus ministry.
  • for the "Programmer's Summit" being planned in July, with Cru techies working on a project in common.

The team from Rennes.

La Lumiere
March, 2016

May traveled to Bangkok with the technology team for 10 days last month. They were there for a conference with technology leaders, around 45 people from a dozen different countries. It was a chance to step away from the urgent and listen to what's being done all around the world, their projects and challenges. The hope springing from their time is that they might work together to develop solutions that would serve everyone instead of each country working on their own. Two things that struck May about Bangkok was the air pollution and cables strung all over the city. Still, at the conference working in English for a change was refreshing to her. "I think I’m a more intelligent person in English," she says. Whether that's true or not, it was a good experience. Unusual for the introverted May, she enjoyed networking and getting to know so many technology colleagues. We have traveled to many different countries, but one thing that stood out in Thailand was the strange inconsistencies, like seeing families living in extremely poor conditions yet having luxury cars parked in their living rooms. There were also tourists everywhere. She's not into spicy, but does like Thai food. I still haven't had the courage to try the dried cricket's she brought home!

Bangkok skyline
Global Tech Team
Global Tech Team

The evangelistic event "Graines d’Esperance" or Seeds of Hope went very well. Over 170 people came to explore the theme with two photo expositions by local photographers, a skit, musical performances and discussion questions to guide their reflection. One of the questions that was asked was: What nourishes your hope? We wanted to give the opportunity for a Christian at the table to share their hope in Christ. Feedback was very positive, many asked for bibles or the book More than a Carpenter, and a number also expressed interest in doing a discovery group Bible study. But the highlight of the night for me was seeing Silas and Efrem play "Spring" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons together!

player and coach
On the field.

I am coaching Efrem's baseball team (10-12 yrs) once more this year, and to kick off the season we went to a tournament in Savigny sur Orge. Last year the Redwings took seventh, this year we were fourth! It is encouraging to see the fruits of three years of coaching, and the team played very well. Silas is playing at the next level up, so we have lots of baseball to look forward to this spring!

  • for a successful conference in Bangkok for May.
  • for the 170+ people who attended Graines d'Esperance, good discussions and openness.
Please pray...
  • for the spring break project in Ligonde Spain (April 9-17).
  • for future collaboration between technology teams.
  • that the Lord would watch over our family's health, both in France and back in the States.

Warming up
Efrem warming up.