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

La Lumiere
February, 2021
Sunset in Brittany.
UN
SURPRISED IT TOOK THIS LONG

Paris has a dense population, stacking millions of people like sardines. It's perfect for spreading Covid, which finally caught up with our family last month. Dan felt symptoms first, then Silas, then May. We all tested positive, but Efrem remained asymptomatic. Thankfully it went relatively easy on us, and both Dan and Silas are back to normal. We are relieved that no one suffered any respiratory consequences. But at the time I'm writing this May is still suffering from pain in her knees and legs. It's strange how the virus affects people so differently. We're thankful her fever is gone, but continue to pray for complete healing. God has graciously watched over us. Now these antibodies need to last long enough for us to receive vaccination shots, maybe this summer?

Snow in Paris

Snow in Paris, which is rare!


Please Pray

  • for continued progress with the everystudent.com structure so we can better serve our visitors, specifically making the email series more local.
  • that May will be free of pain in her legs and get her energy back.
  • for Silas and Efrem to persevere in their studies, their music pursuits, and their relationship with the Lord.
Resilience

Agapé Arts current exposition entitled Resilience.

salle Cortot

Silas practicing in his music school's concert hall, salle Cortot.

DEUX
LOCALIZATION

A while back I received an email from someone on the subject of suffering, specifically suffering related to growing up in a polygamous family with five wives and 25 children. While I did my best to respond to his question, it would be better for an African colleague who has more cultural understanding to respond. Much of Africa is French speaking and a large percentage of the visitors to our site are from there. So we are working on solutions to automatically route these visitors to the local email team. The first step was to place geo-localization code behind the "ask a question" button, and it is working wonderfully. It effectively sends people to a page where they can receive responses from within their culture. The next step is to have an African colleague send the email series to Africans. In January 663 people signed up to receive one of the four email series I offer. These emails are generated automatically and sent from me to all French speakers around the world. Emailing me is as easy as hitting - Reply and leads to a lot of emails. Imagine that many people reaching out for encouragement on their journey with Christ! Our hope is to serve our visitors better by responding to them more locally.

TROIS
SAYING GOODBYE

Every two years our car needs to pass a 133 point test in order to stay on the road. Sadly, our 2001 Ford focus didn't make the grade this time around. Due to corrosion on its frame we're going to have to say goodbye. It has served us well and is tied to a lot of memories. We're left with the quandary of what to do. In Paris a car is certainly unnecessary, but it is useful when we spend time in Rennes, especially since Efrem is a student driver. Right now life has been throwing us a few too many curveballs.

Our Signatures