A moment of joy.
UN
KEEP THOSE EYES UP

The health situation in France is not going well, with numbers surpassing the second peak and 90% of the beds for respirators occupied. New restrictions are being put in place and the vaccine rollout remains dreadfully slow. The vacation we hoped to take this month was canceled because of a third nation wide lockdown. But we're keeping our eyes lifted up. The empty tomb on Easter declares God's ultimate victory, and neither the cross nor our present situation took him by surprise. There are very encouraging things happening in the ministry here. One is that the digital creations team has an intern working with us for the next four months! Jade is a year away from getting her bachelor's degree, studying video and graphics design for web. It's exciting to see new talent and enthusiasm added to the team. Her first project will be a teaser video for the next inter-campus ministry prayer event. Please pray that these four months will be a blessing to her and us, and that we have plenty of good projects for her to work on. Another exciting development is that May and her team are putting a new and improved version of the donation site online. This one was developed to make it much easier to bring new countries on board, less manual with customizable parameters. Scalability is key since Cru is hoping to set up 30 new countries in the next year. Smooth and easy installation is essential to move that quickly! The next big push for May is creating an implementation plan, which essentially means downloading all of her knowledge into a process that a team of people could follow. Multiplication is necessary in her facet of ministry too.

Taking a walk.

Please Pray

  • for May's implementation plan for multiplying donation websites.
  • that Jade's internship with the digital creations team will be a great experience.
  • for wisdom in choosing a replacement car.
A long time ago.

Dan and May from 26 years ago!

Episode 2

The adventure continues in episode two of our video.

DEUX
USING HIS SKILLS

A few months ago the building attendant asked Silas if he would do conversational English lessons with her. She's originally from Brazil and speaks French very well, but would like to improve her English. Once a week Silas spends an hour talking with her about whatever topic she'd like, and he also earns some pocket money. She used to work as a professional photographer, so they often talk about photography together. A couple weeks ago a man who works across the hall from us asked Silas if he could do English lessons with him too. Evidently the attendant was enthusiastically sharing about her tutor. He's been meeting with Silas twice a week, talking together and reading poems. Silas has found out being bilingual is a skill he can capitalize on. What a neat opportunity! Silas is actively looking for an internship in France this summer. He might be disappointed that interns make much less than English tutors!

Our Signatures

Walk in the park.
UN
THINKING IT THROUGH

If we want to do this, then these things need to happen. Projects need to be thought through and managed. This is a skill not everyone has, unfortunately. Lack of planning puts us in a very difficult position leading teams who serve other staff. May's team provides for technical needs and Dan's team provides creative resources. We can't plan ahead for needs which haven't been communicated to us! Your new site launch is supposed to take place in eight days? You want a custom illustration for your event by next week? You planned a conference via Zoom this weekend but don't have anyone to administer it? You need an automated process to send materials to Bible study participants by when?! These are complex projects with many important steps. Technology is intricate and creativity takes time. Lately we've been getting requests a mere week or two in advance, which is stressful and is sometimes simply impossible. These unplanned emergencies eat up any margin built into our schedules and cause us to lose momentum on long term projects. We do our best to communicate to our fellow staff the importance of thinking ahead and giving lead time. Why are we bringing this up? First, for transparency. We want to be honest about the challenges we face as well as successes. Secondly, please join our prayers to navigate these situations with healthy boundaries and grace. There is a delicate balance to find. And if you're motivated, you're welcome to throw in a prayer that staff grow in their project planning skills.

Sunrise over Paris.

Sunrise over Paris, with no photo filter.

Birthday in the park.

Enjoying a birthday picnic in the park!

Chocolate cake

Please Pray

  • for healthy boundaries and grace as we lead teams who often learn of needs very last minute.
  • that the donation websites for India and Mexico advance well.
  • for wisdom in choosing a replacement car.
DEUX
THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE

Here is a quick family update (deep breath in): May and the rest of the family are completely recovered from Covid, even back into our regular workout routines. Efrem turned 17 the seventh of this month! He had a magnificently moist chocolate cake with a shiny ganache glaze, our first attempt at the recipe. We said goodbye to our car which is probably in pieces at the junkyard. We are looking for something to get us by in the short term. France still has a 6pm curfew which is feeling very heavy as the days get longer. For now Paris is avoiding a third lockdown. School is more and more in person, and the local staff team has had a couple meetings together. Performance venues, restaurants and theaters are still closed, hence our church which normally meets in a movie theater is still live-streaming their service. For Efrem's birthday we made an exception and went to the American church, enjoyed an in-person service along with the classical music. We then had a picnic in a nearby park, the Champs de Mars, with its view of the Eiffel tower in the process of being repainted for the twentieth time, seriously, that's what the sign says.

Our Signatures