Sunrise on Easter.
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VISITORS AND FRIENDS

In December, our evangelistic site questions2vie.com started breaking records, jumping from a steady 70 thousand visitors per month to 150k, then 160k then 170k. The analytics report arrived for April, and we had 252,000 visitors! That's almost six times more than this time last year. There are seven new articles that have been added to the site, including one about dealing with anxiety because of the coronavirus. An email question I have been seeing a lot more often is - where is God in this pandemic? Why isn't he doing more? Are any of your friends asking this question? How would you respond?

It's a fair question, and important for Christians to wrestle with. We need to identify our insecurities and doubts and shine the light of the Word on them to have a mature faith. Digging into these questions leads us to an even deeper view of God, who he is, what he wants for us, and what we expect of him. Is the God in our mind and heart big enough and caring enough to transform our suffering into redemptive glory? Sometimes the best we can bring isn't an answer, but perspective. The narrative in the Bible is that death brings new life, redemption and restoration. Jesus offers us resurrection. The darker the shadow we pass through the more dazzling the light is when we see it. Trust that we and our world will one day be even greater for having once been broken. What can we offer our friends in this fearful time? Hope!

Sacre Coeur

Efrem serenading with his flute at the foot of the Sacred Heart church during sunrise on Easter morning.

Looking up.

View of the sky from our apartment courtyard.

Streets are deserted.

Please pray

  • for the possibility to be refreshed outside of the concrete of the city even though all travel and family visits have been canceled in 2020.
  • that we maintain focus, including the boys as they work to finish their school years.
  • for perspective and hope as this crisis continues.
DEUX
STAYING AT HOME

What have you missed the most during this time of isolation? Hanging out with friends? Hugs? A nice meal out? There's nothing like a global health crisis for boiling down what really is important to us! It has been particularly hard on May, and we saw a perfect illustration of her feelings while taking a walk together. The very few parks in Paris are all closed off to keep people from congregating there. One night as we trotted around Parc Monceau we saw a woman wearing a face mask standing at the park's metal fence, pushing her face as far as she could through the bars toward the flowers about thirty feet away. This is exactly what May's soul is screaming - nature please! Paris is an imposing stone and concrete presence even when the parks are open. She would regularly take walks through the nearest parks to take in the green. Now she feels deprived of air. We certainly miss our friends and family, but that is something we already felt due to years serving overseas. We need each other, and we need God's wonderful creation. Thankfully no virus, no lock down, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Our Signatures

Concert in Vogüé.
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CREATING MOMENTS

At the French staff conference a young music teacher named Pascal was asked to come do bible studies with the teenage staff kids. The conference is held beside the medieval village of Vogüé, and the 300 year old stone church gave Pascal an idea. He and Efrem visited the church and tested the acoustics. Several phone calls to key people had to be made. The tourist office helped by printing out and distributing posters for an impromptu concert. Several members of the church and people from our conference attended. Efrem, Silas and Pascal all played. Our boys contributed classical pieces and Pascal offered up songs he had composed based on Psalms as he played guitar. It was such a precious moment seeing these young musicians desire to simply bless with their music, so beautiful and appreciated by everyone! We wish you could have been there.

The parents enjoying.

Please pray

  • for protection and health.
  • that we would all endure this lockdown in good spirits, and that it will be effective.
  • for wisdom in responding to emails, people are scared, frustrated and upset.
Efrem sharing.
Only outdoor access.

Catching sun on the roof outside the boy's bedroom window during lockdown.

Silas sharing.
DEUX
CONTAIN YOURSELF

Is this your first global pandemic? Us too. Hoping you are healthy and well and being safe. We intended to travel back to Rennes before the French government tightened the screws, but ended up stuck in Paris for the lockdown. So far, everyone in our family has remained healthy in spite of Paris being the hardest hit area with its dense population. To leave our home we need a signed form stating the official, approved reason we're out. Police are on the streets stopping people. Paris is eerily quiet, and you can walk down the middle of streets usually racing with cars. How is our family taking it? Honestly, it hasn't affected our jobs one bit. May can work her technology role easily from home, and internet ministry is fortunately virus proof. An article was added to our website addressing anxiety and fears over Covid 19, and emails continue to flow. Silas and Efrem have been able to continue their studies, communicating with their teachers online. They receive homework assignments, record themselves playing their instruments for their teachers, and Silas has even had some online classes. Concern is palpable here in France, and everyone is taking measures seriously. A few of our colleagues have had the virus; a couple were hit particularly hard, almost going in to the hospital. A French Christian man who has partnered with our ministry on a number of projects died, Stephan was only fifty. Please be safe, for yourself and for others. We care about you and if you need specific prayer, please let us know! Prayer is something we can always do; it is a vital faith-filled endeavor. We are all in God's hands. This situation, however painful or troublesome, is in God's hands. We can trust Him. How can we be praying for you?.

Our Signatures