Sunrise at the Eiffel Tour.
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PIVOTING

The global health situation has made many people reconsider how they 'do' ministry. Necessity is drawing out creativity and innovation. Agapé Art had planned an exposition entitled "Selah," like the pause you read in psalms. It's ironic that the world was literally put on pause, which meant the expo had to be canceled. Thinking outside the box, or room, they pivoted to a virtual art exposition, making their works available for viewing online. Now anyone anywhere can pause, selah, and experience the artwork!

A colleague of ours, Jean-Claude Girondin, had a live conference scheduled commemorating the abolition of slavery. It had to be canceled. He shifted gears, doing two webinars instead on Martin Luther King, social justice and the health crisis. Jean-Claude went from being technologically challenged and reticent to embracing the cutting edge using Zoom conferences and live streaming to the ministry Youtube channel. A few hundred people tuned in and the channel increased by scores of new subscribers.

Our world has been profoundly marked by this virus. How will society pivot? We hope the feeling of solidarity with others will endure and we can move towards affirming the infinite value of each and every human life. The injustice of seeing George Floyd's life taken is even more tragic against the backdrop of our rallying together to fight against Covid 19 because every life is precious. Our world is broken, we are broken, and we have a redeemer. There is good news to share. Let's pivot together.

Praises

  • that we were able to go back to Rennes for a few weeks of fresh air!
  • for the opportunity to visit family in the States.

Please Pray

  • for safe travels and continued protection from illness.
  • that Efrem finishes his school year well, even taking early morning classes online.
  • for renewed connections over the summer.
Early morning Louvre.
Mother's Day

Taking a family walk on Mother's Day.

Homemade brioche.

Efrem and Dan made brioche, a wonderfully light bread eaten for breakfast or a snack.

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ROLLER COASTER

This is a wild and crazy ride. We bought tickets to visit the States this summer. They were canceled and we abandoned the idea. Then the situation in France improved and we spent at least six hours on the phone repurchasing tickets. It looks like we will make it back after all, which is a huge blessing for us and our families. However, with the virus still active and the inherent risks of seeing lots of people, we do not intend to have face to face visits. We hope to take full advantage of being in a similar time zone and still connect online. Haven't we all been honing our online skills? Maybe this could be another pivot too. We will be in Billings, Montana and Pueblo West, Colorado. Some time will be spent in self quarantine, but we're taking advantage of Efrem's high school continuing to be virtual. Classes in France go until the first week in July, and he has courageously agreed to get up to attend his classes from 1am - 4am. It has been three years since our last summer in the States, and we can't wait. Everything is exceptional about this year. There is no playbook for this!

Our Signatures

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.
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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