Canteleu, France, May 11, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
One year in France!
This letter is way overdue. April 20th marked our first anniversary of full-time ministry in France. God continues to grant much grace as we adapt to life here. With proof of French medical coverage arriving last month, then a message this week that renewal of our one-year visas has been granted, you could say that we are now finally bona fide residents of the French Republic.
In February, we had the joy of holding our first baptismal service. Since this was the first baptism to take place in the church in a few years, it was a truly exciting time. The building was full and there were several visitors. The dear sister gave a clear testimony of salvation before Mike knelt to baptise her in the small, portable baptistry. There are others who need to take this same step of obedience.
In February, we also had the joy of participating in a Winter Camp organized by fellow missionaries in the Vosges Mountains. This provided vital relationship building time with those who accompanied us. And we’ll admit that it was good to be back in snow, if only for a very short time!
On Sunday, the church will have its first annual business meeting since our arrival. We would appreciate your prayers for this as many important decisions will be made.
Just last week, Mike had the joy of teaching the Church Administration class that is a part of the three-year program at the Institut Biblique et Pastoral Baptiste (Baptist Pastoral Bible Institute) in Algrange (see our blog). Preparation for this class was a huge undertaking that required many hours over the past months. His emphasis was on biblical principles rather than just methods. An added blessing is that much of the material is directly applicable to the situation here in Rouen!
This weekend, Melanie will be the speaker at a ladies’ retreat where at least five churches will be represented. Then on May 25th, Mike will speak at a conference held by another Bible Institute in Limay.
It looks as though our guest room will really come in handy in June. A niece will be with us for several days, then Mike’s dad and sister followed by Melanie’s mother. Melanie’s nephew will be married in Brussels on the 24th, so we’ll be seeing even more family then.