La Lumiere
February, 2019
Digital Council
UN
NEW GIVING SITE FOR FRANCE

Technology is a moving target. Agapé France's former giving site was a vestige of another age, out of date in many ways, but most critically in security. They desperately needed a new site from the foundation up. At the helm of the technology team, May took the project in hand. It needed to be done quickly and with limited resources. Since her team was reduced in size (to 1) she worked closely with Geneviève, who was hired to help with the project. Together they wrestled with platforms and code to meet the needs of Agapé France. This took creativity and perseverance and 12 months of diligent work. Multiple test runs with control groups were done, bugs were fixed, and finally, the sparkling new dons.agapefrance.org went online Tuesday February 5th! It was an occasion worth toasting. It is rewarding to see new gifts being made on this site.

In the States, we are fortunate to have such excellent online resources with Cru (checkout give.cru.org), but the rest of the world is fending for itself. May's hope is that this new French site can be helpful beyond France. This week she is meeting with Cru's global technology leaders to present the website as a possible springboard for other countries to use. It is amazing how God has orchestrated the timing of our completed site and Cru's leadership prioritizing a global giving project.

Please pray

  • that the new giving site will bless Agapé France.
  • that Dan learns a lot as he's editing a testimony video to be shown at the French staff conference.
  • for Silas and Efrem, the Lord's guidance in decisions for the future.
Evening with the neighbors.

Efrem and Silas play during festivities with our neighbors.

Grandpa Eddie and Efrem.

Efrem playing pool with Grandpa Eddie.

Redwings baseball

First tournament of the year!

DEUX
THE BOYS TAKE WINGS

This week both Silas and Efrem are off traveling. Silas is on a school trip to England and the timing couldn't have been better. He is also invited to audition at a music college in London. Perfect, he's already there! His applications are mostly focusing in scientific fields, but the violin audition would be for a double degree. He has also visited a couple schools in Paris when they opened their doors to prospective students, so there are still many possibilities that are motivating to him. Sorry America, Silas' applications at this point are only in England and France. We're excited to see where he ends up!

Efrem is also traveling. He was asked to be the first flute in the French National Youth Orchestra, and they will be in China for two weeks playing during the celebration of the New Year. The French youth are playing together with young Chinese musicians in Changzhou, which is just up the Yangtze River from Shanghai. It's a little suburb with more than 4.5 million people. This adventure does include some tourism, including a visit to the Great Wall. We wish one of us could have gone with him; we'll do our best to tell more of the story next time.

Our Signatures

La Lumiere
January, 2019
Sisters celebrating Christmas.
UN
CONNECTING WITH THE DIVINE

My first video was for the everystudent.com article Connecting With the Divine. It has an overview of five of the world's major religions, discussing their differences and ultimately explaining the core of Christianity. Connecting With the Divine.A fundamental article which most countries have, it is a good test for creating videos that translate easily. The video has a stick character who could be anyone. They approach a sort of game wheel with different religious symbols on it, and spin the wheel. The question the narrator asks is - how can we sift through all these religions to find one that works in our life? The viewer is invited to check out the article. Finally ready in November, I posted both an English and French version to Facebook. The videos have about 1500 views, which is a function of it being shared/re-posted and paid ad campaigns. For the French one, I paid a modest 10 euros, which allowed me to learn some interesting things. For example, about one in every five people who watch the video will click to the article. That's encouraging! I hope to receive translated audio from other countries so the video can be used even more broadly. I learned a ton creating this first video, from working with a client to how the different software connect in the workflow. I can find my way around five new programs and understand the fundamentals of animation. Even though I've barely scratched the surface, a whole world of possibility is opening up. I'm looking forward to creating more videos that point people to the good news of Christ!

Performing carols.

Please pray

  • for the new giving site which is going live soon!
  • for wisdom in choosing the next video to create.
  • that Silas and Efrem pursue the Lord as well as excellence in their studies.
Cousins
Workman and Skur kids.
8 years later.

The Workman and Skur kids, with 8 years difference!

Red Lodge Mountain

May and April together on Red Lodge Mountain.

DEUX
MEETING THE CREATIVE 1

A passel of creative artists + blank paper over the tables + a healthy supply of markers = lots and lots of doodles! I spent a week in Chicago to meet Cru's Creative 1 media team. These are 46 staff who work in the creative arts primarily for campus ministry. One of them, Jesse Rogers, studied animation in college and has already been regularly connecting to coach me in the animation process. I am very thankful for the encouragement and support Jesse has given, and I'm hoping that some of the additional connections with this team will prove helpful. Scriptwriters, illustrators, videographers, photographers, graphics designers and animators are great to know! Since Agapé France doesn't have anyone working in the field of creative arts, besides me, I'm longing for the spurring on that comes from teamwork and the candor of the critical eye of others. But let's take a look at the name Creative 1, a nod to the One who is the origin of all things creative. This time of year it is a joy to see the colors the Creative One paints with the trees turning color and pink sunsets on blue skies. God is at the origin of all creativity! Why is it easier to think of him as originator than as artist - creator? Yet any close look at flowers or the dazzling colors of fish in the sea should remind us that God is a master artist. I am thankful to be living in this masterpiece. He is the true creative one.

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