La Lumiere
November, 2019
Agapé Paris.
UN
FACETS OF CRU IN PARIS

The makeup of Cru's ministry in Paris is widely diverse. Let's take a closer look at some of these expressions of God's love. First, Agapé Art is passionate about showing the beauty of the gospel of Christ through artwork. These are painters, photographers, and sculptors who strive to reflect God the creator and challenge people to believe. They work together, share ideas and use expositions for outreach. There is also Crescendo, a network of professional musicians, both classical and jazz, who explore creative ways to express their faith through music. They have concerts and "Play and Pray" events where music resonates with prayer. Crescendo is related to the summer institute in Hungary that Silas and Efrem have participated in three times. They are excited to get to know Crescendo locally. Now we come to the 700,000 students in Paris, where the campus ministry takes on a few different forms. A team of American interns is active on a half dozen campuses. A second team is reaching out specifically to Chinese speaking students. And yet another team, which is newly forming, is aiming more broadly at international students. Did you know that 20% of students in Paris are international? Let's pray that their steps of faith will bear fruit. There are other exciting things happening in Paris, but this is to give you a feel for the landscape. In spite of the tall, intimidating buildings and overwhelming scope, God is working here! Thank you for joining with Him and partnering with us to shine the light of the gospel in the "City of lights."

American church.

Please pray

  • that we continue to adjust to life in a new city, make new friends and become involved in church.
  • for our upstairs neighbors who continue to cause undue stress. We're looking for solutions to dampen the sound of our music.
  • that Silas and Efrem can practice in unhindered freedom.
  • for Christ to be our anchor and peace.
Graduation ceremony.

Silas (red cap on the right) at his graduation ceremony in October.

Playing for classmates.

Silas had one last chance to play for his classmates (and the dinosaur on the right)..

DEUX
FINDING A CHURCH

There are at least 74 evangelical churches in Paris. We visited five. It would take a year and a half to see them all, but the churches we visited were a good experience. There was a traditional Baptist church dating back over a hundred years. Then Hillsong, representing a completely different style on the spectrum, where the music and enthusiasm are turned up to eleven. Both churches were refreshing in their own ways. We also had the somewhat surreal experience of the American church in Paris, where the service is entirely in English. Their sanctuary is built in the 15th century Gothic style with high vaulted ceilings and colorful stained glass windows. As often happens, we ended up choosing the first one we visited, l'Eglise Saint Lazare. A short walk from our apartment, the Sunday morning service is held in a movie theater. It's a young church, only a few years old. There are former Agapé students who are invested in the church, an encouraging testimony to the impact the ministry is having on young lives. We look forward to seeing how we can be involved.

Our Signatures

La Lumiere
October, 2019
Nibbling lions.
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MAY'S TRAVELS

Last month May traveled to South Africa for two separate back-to-back meetings, global operations and global technology. These two groups keep Cru running as smoothly as possible around the globe. To give you an idea of the challenges they face, consider one action group that May was in. Together with staff from: Switzerland, England, Ethiopia and Mali, they confronted the challenge of making giving easier in those African countries. In Mali, for example, actual collectors go around to donors collecting gifts in cash. It is then passed directly to the staff person, or to the central office, or pocketed. Banks are so expensive that no one, even the organization, has a bank account. Can you imagine the challenges this creates?!

Since the traditional banks have failed to provide service to the people in Mali a new "banking system" has been developed to exchange money via text messaging. This very diverse international group worked together on a realistic process to help the donor's gifts effectively get to the central office and then to staff they're supporting. This can happen while also thanking the donor for each gift creating accountability and building trust.

These are some of the challenges our global organization faces! May, along with her European colleagues were shocked at the lack of infrastructure that we in the western world take for granted. Our Swiss friend was literally pulling his hair out!

While in South Africa, they had an outing to a zoo. May had the chance to pet four month old lions. People were warned that they might bite or scratch, and some definitely did! They were cute to look at, but oily and course to pet. I'll take her word for it.

May petting lion.

What a fun opportunity to pet a few playful lions during a break between meetings!

Wall of Love.

Amazing to see the diversity of words and letters on the Wall of Love.

Who is the tallest?

Efrem is getting so close to passing Dan. He can't wait!

Lots of ducks.

Please pray

  • for the Paris team, an eclectic group, to find unity and encouragement together.
  • that we manage our time well, stay focused, and keep Christ in the center!
  • for wisdom in answering emails, there were two recently who were contemplating suicide.
  • for our upstairs neighbors, who loudly complain about the sounds of practicing music.
  • that Silas and Efrem stay concentrated on their studies, both for school and music.
DEUX
RENNES N'EST PAS PARIS

I was told by our upstairs neighbor that Rennes is not Paris. This is true on so many levels! Here are a few differences in no particular order: You can find a vast variety of things, for example, there is the Paris Duck Store where you can find any kind of rubber duck, from rock stars to unicorns. Our only transportation are our legs and the public system. It is more difficult to find fresh fruits and vegetables. The moment you leave your apartment, it is bustling with people everywhere. The sky is small. Tourists are always taking pictures of our everyday lives. Homeless people sleep on mattresses on the sidewalk. Paris is a microcosm of humanity from the proud to the impoverished. A short walk from our apartment is a wall of ceramic tiles with the words "I love you" written in 250 different languages. We firmly believe that is exactly God's message to the 12 million people who live in this area. Thank you for partnering with us!

Our Signatures