We've been to quite a few French staff conferences, but one thing that never gets old is meeting new coworkers. The Bridges team in Paris has two new members, one from Arizona, and another from the middle east. I was impressed by their level of French, and their zeal for sharing the gospel is refreshing. Nurturing that flame is a life-long endeavor, and we all need encouragement to keep it burning brightly. The Bridges ministry focuses on international students and is based in the Paris area. Another person we were excited to meet is a young woman with a Bible degree who didn't know about Cru's ministry until she talked with someone at a large evangelical gathering a couple years ago. Motivated by the women's ministry, she has joined the team and is raising her initial support. Her husband pastors a church west of Versailles. Cru's mission to share the good news of Christ and build into multiplying disciples still motivates!
Other activities kept us busy as well, like helping our coworkers with their technical problems, playing bass with the praise team, discussing details for new video projects, and giving training on data security and even quizzing everyone afterwards. One afternoon we had the chance to go on a few different hikes in the area, yet another great opportunity to get to know our colleagues better. It's hard to explain how special the staff family is to us, serving so far away from friends and actual family. Our brothers and sisters in Christ draw us into a community where our common heart for Jesus supersedes ethnic or language barriers; we are all citizens of heaven.
March has an abundance of birthdays, including Efrem who turns 19. He is doing very well in London, enjoying his studies in flute and spending time with friends. If you're planning on being in London for King Charles' coronation May 6, Efrem has a concert the night before playing Gaubert, Chopin, Taffanel and Fauré. He continues to post new videos to his YouTube channel too. Silas has popped over to London to spend the weekend with his brother, who has also visited him. It's nice to see them enjoying each other's company. We have scheduled a family video call once a week with them, usually while they are having dinner. We'll take what we can get!
In a month May and I will both be joining our digital teammates serving for a week in a shelter for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a fourteen hour drive from Rennes! Fortunately there will be plenty of drivers. And a bonus is that Efrem gets to join us.