Coffee and Cookies together.
UN
BEING GRATEFUL

In our bi-weekly meeting with our fellow staff members in Rennes we do a "tour de reconnaissance," where each person shares something they're grateful for. Often, it's hard to choose because there is so much to thank God for! Here are just a few:

  • May and her team plan on deploying the new Agapé France website in only a few weeks! The new site will be formatted for any size screen, from phones to desktops. They're making great progress, testing and fixing any bugs now.
  • Dan has four scripts finalized and two storyboards that he has proposed to make into animated videos. He has a lot to learn, but is enjoying the process.
  • The sun has returned and we are playing our first games on the new and only baseball field in Rennes. It took 2 years of construction and an investment from the city of over $700,000. It has a synthetic turf infield and is beautiful to play on. The 13-15 year-olds have had a rough start, with 3 losses and 1 tie. We can only get better, right?!
  • You! We are a team, and each person who prays and generously gives makes what we see God do in France possible. Thank you for partnering with us. We are grateful for you!

The 4 songs for the exam are in 4 different links in this email, can you find them all?


Please pray

  • for the successful launch of the new agapefrance.org web site.
  • for continued progress on Dan's animated video for everystudent.com and questions2vie.com.
  • for Silas and Efrem to grow in their faith, to listen to and love the Lord.
  • that his love and grace will reign in our family.
Redwings new field
Redwings baseball

Efrem pitching against the Firehorses.

Bériot - first solo, seventh concerto

Silas playing for his violin exam.

DEUX
SILAS

We haven't shared very much about Silas yet this year. Each week Silas has 32 hours of class as a junior in high school and 10 hours of class at the music conservatory. That makes for a lot of work when he finally gets home at night, sometimes as late as 9:30! Our biggest challenge with Silas is encouraging him to get enough sleep. Silas still does remarkably well in school, with some of the best grades in his class. And he recently got the highest grade possible - très bien - from the jury at his violin exam. He played four challenging pieces by heart for over twenty minutes. During his spring break he took some lessons from a renowned violinist who used to teach at the top French music school in Paris (the CNSM), a neat opportunity. Next year he plans on achieving a professional music degree at the Rennes conservatory. He hopes to pursue traditional academics as well as music studies.

Silas took the PSAT test at a local school, which was quite an experience. It revealed a major gap in his math vocabulary. He has an excellent level in math, but everything has been in French. So when asked what the "mean" is, for example, he didn't understand the question! Math vocabulary can be different than what we use in everyday life. However, he is well prepared to write in English thanks to the international section at school. His literature teacher routinely asks them to write up to ten essays at a time, which Silas spends hours upon hours doing. Unfortunately, only one is collected and graded. Such is life!

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John 15
UN
I AM THE VINE

Years ago our colleague Didier Heslon was inspired while reading John 15 to do a photo shoot in a vineyard. The result is a series of photos printed on canvas which artistically affirm Jesus' words to us. In 2010 the Cru team in Rennes developed an outreach event centered on these photos and the verses from the gospel of John. We sat around small tables with friends we invited and discussed "What kind of fruit do you want your life to bear?" and also "What is your vine, your source of life?" We liked it so much that this year we did a reboot! The ambiance was classy, with wine and cheese and authentic French baguettes. Jazz piano played in the background as people cheerfully discussed these deep spiritual questions. Christians around the table had a perfect opportunity to share with their friends how Christ is at work in their lives, all in a relaxed atmosphere. Silas and Efrem played a duet which was met with exuberant applause. Who knew sharing your faith could be so much fun!

So what holds us back? Why do we feel anything but relaxed when we consider talking with our non-Christian friends about Jesus? It doesn't have to be stressful, and may be as simple as having a few good questions at the ready: How do you think faith or beliefs affect our lives today? What effect does it have for you? Who has had the biggest impact on your life? And impact for humanity? What comes to mind when you think of God? Or when you think of Jesus? Asking questions like these brings us into the heart of what is truly important. It is essential first to listen well, to genuinely care. Then be prepared to share your answers to these questions if possible. Put these questions in your pocket and pray for opportunities to ask them. It's thrilling to see God at work!

Photo Outreach

The evangelistic outreach based on John 15.

Duet at outreach

Silas and Efrem perform to the delight of the guests.

Do you know a young musician who needs to see this video?


Please pray

  • for the follow-up to this evangelistic event and the discovery Bible study that's been launched.
  • for good progress on France's mobile friendly site and the new donation site.
  • for Silas and Efrem who have important tests for each of their instruments coming up.
Cheese
DEUX
SUMMER PLANS

Two summers ago we attended our first Crescendo music festival in Tokaj, Hungary. We loved it! Crescendo is a ministry of Cru. Silas and Efrem both took master classes and performed, and I (Dan) was able to serve as a volunteer. This summer we look forward to being in Tokaj again. May and I were both accepted as volunteers, and Silas and Efrem as musicians. Do you know any young musicians who could benefit from high quality teaching and an amazing nurturing atmosphere? If you do, please share the video above and have them contact us!

In the week before Crescendo, we will attend the European all staff conference. The last one was five years ago in Tallinn Estonia. This time it will be held in Switzerland. They're calling it the Family Gathering. With at least 900 staff in western Europe, this will be a big family reunion!

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