Silas and Efrem after school.
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BETTER VISION

Clear vision is critical. For the first time ever I (Dan) have glasses, purely for close up work. It's age, pure and simple. As people start to show interest in what a creative team in France might look like, it's important to have a clear vision. So, let's imagine together! In five years time, we would love to see a team of at least five creative artists working together. They will have a variety of skills: illustration, design, videography, photography, animation, and writing. They will encourage and sharpen each other, working together and giving each other candid feedback. Their team devotions will be creative and inspiring. When Agapé France has a design need, they will turn to them because the mission of helping others discover, live and share the gospel is beautiful! Each one's work will be better because of the team, and they'll be thrilled to use their God given talent to help build God's kingdom. They will be working on several projects: designing a social media campaign for campus ministry, editing a video testimony for the women's ministry, writing and illustrating a comic book that asks spiritual questions, and animating a presentation of the gospel to be shared online. The ministries they serve will be free to dream without the fear of outrageous costs. Everyone wins! I would love to see that become reality. Recently I filmed and edited a video for the French national director as he presented the importance of reaching cities with the gospel. The video was shown at a European leadership conference. Sure, he could have simply taken a video with his phone, but it wouldn't have had the audio or visual quality. This way his message gets across with no distraction. Beautiful.

Dan films video for Francis.

Please pray

  • that Dan finds artists motivated to serve on a French creative team.
  • for May's efforts to get Agapé France set up on a new financial software system.
  • for Silas' final tests and important choices.
Silas and May having a coffee.

Sharing a breakfast treat with Silas.

Dan gets glasses.
Creative team building.

Having fun in a team building activity.

DEUX
PLENTY OF PURSUITS

Silas has finalized his applications to schools in France, mostly in the Paris area. He also has an offer from Imperial College in London, under the condition that he achieves a 17/20 on his BAC exam. Without getting into the details of the French grading system, that's a tall order. But Silas is an excellent student. Imperial is a very interesting option, as it's ranked among the top ten in the world. Still, there are some options in Paris that he might prefer because the price would be negligible. We won't know where he'll study before July.

So Silas has a lot happening in the next few months: finding out where he's accepted and deciding where to continue his studies, taking his end of high school BAC exam, and taking his final exam at the Rennes Conservatory to receive a professional music degree. He is a diligent and brilliant student. Join us in praying for him!

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Efrem before concert.
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FOCUSING ON DIGITAL

People's reaction to technology varies. Some get sweaty palms while others are excited to dive in. To be more effective in our mission - helping reach people in France with the gospel and building them up in their faith - we need to use technology well. That's why the digital council, which both May and I are a part of, asked Agapé France for time to focus on technology during this year's national staff conference. This turned into not only a chance to present how we see God working through technology, but also practical workshops like defining your target audience, communicating via social media, using online tools, and maintaining a healthy balance in our digital lives. The staff members discussed in small groups how they currently use technology in their ministry as well as their hopes for how they can better harness that potential. May and her team held individual helpdesk appointments to answer technology questions, which varied greatly from person to person. This kind of checkup is vitally important to keep Agapé France running well. They resolved sign-in issues, taught staff to fill out their online giving pages, gave advice on computer or telephone purchases and counseled ministries on respecting privacy laws. My contribution to the digital ministry focus was a video highlighting the testimony of a girl named Gabrielle. She is a student in philosophy who, although she's from a non-believing family, started asking many existential questions. Her quest for answers led her to atoi2voir.com, one of Agapé France's web sites. Following regular contact with one of their coaches and also viewing the Jesus film, Gabrielle accepted Christ. She says she's never been loved like Christ loves her! The video was really well received, it was such an encouraging story to share!

Concert Hall in Changzhou.

Concert Hall in Changzhou.

New friends

New French and Chinese friends.

More new friends.
Hike in Balazuc.

Please pray

  • that more French Christians will join with us, and that raising their support would not be a barrier.
  • for good direction for Dan's next video animation project, which will be longer and more ambitious.
  • for Silas and Efrem, perseverance in their studies.
Hiking near Vogüé.
DEUX
EATING WITH CHOPSTICKS

Efrem came back from his two week trip to China eating with chopsticks like a pro. It was a little like throwing someone into the water to teach them to swim. If you want to eat, learn to use chopsticks! Musically, playing with the French National Youth Orchestra was an exciting experience. Efrem also made a lot of new friends, both French and Chinese, and it was a culturally rich experience. There were museums and landmarks like the comb museum, an ancient village, and the towering buddha statue in Wuxi. Efrem also got to roll Chinese raviolis and create paper cut-out artwork. The most lasting memories, though, are the food (authentic Chinese every meal), meeting new friends, and how cold it was when they visited the Great Wall of China. Overall, it was a great experience!

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