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.
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.