Efrem before concert.
UN
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!

Our Signatures

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