May 3, 2019
February in North America
God gave a special time of fellowship and ministry in Idaho for a two-week “round-robin” missions conference that put us in seven different churches. It was a real blessing to reconnect with the Clancy family, fellow IFM missionaries to Congo who did their French language schooling with us in Québec City several years ago. The emphasis at the conference was on the training of nationals. We are thankful for the new friendships made and for the new prayer supporters. We would sure love to partner financially with some of these fine churches. Would you pray with us about that?
We flew to Idaho by way of Québec so that we would have some precious time with Stephanie’s family in Gatineau. This also made it possible to be present for the birth on February 21st of our eighth grandchild: Rose Eleonore Savard. The following Sunday, Mike preached morning and afternoon at Église Baptiste Évangélique de Lennoxville. The intervening meal allowed for sweet fellowship with Pastor and Mrs. Mario Roy and many others, some of whom traveled several hours to be present.
Moving Forward in France
In January, the church administrators approved a plan to move towards implementing biblical leadership. Mike taught a series on the subject through the month of March and the plan was shared at our annual business meeting on the 31st.The newcomers who attended that meeting as observers later shared what a blessing it was to see the freedom, joy, and unity that prevailed. Pray particularly for one family that is coming from a church background where manipulative leadership was the norm.
A huge undertaking for Mike in April was the rewriting of the section in our church bylaws that deals with leadership. His proposition was received with enthusiasm by the administrators on April 24th. The next step will be a round-table discussion, followed by a special church business meeting and vote. Of course, all of this contributes concretely to our main goal of being here as missionaries. Do continue to pray! We need wisdom and patience!
Another result of the annual business meeting is that plans are underway, and contracts have been signed, for badly needed renovations to take place starting in June. May 1st is an important holiday in France, so several have already eagerly given of their time-off during the week to begin preparing the building for the work. Will you pray that God uses this project to further strengthen and unify the flock?
A Direct Answer to Prayer
At a recent Tuesday prayer meeting we prayed that God would increase opportunities to share the Gospel with those who live in the immediate vicinity of the church. The next Tuesday, while Melanie was at the building for chores, a woman dropped by hoping to find a priest who could bless an object for her. Melanie mentioned that we don’t do that but offered her a Bible while explaining that compared to any material object, it’s message could bring manifold and true blessings. This dear lady returned that very evening to the Bible study, her new Bible in hand and was surprised to find herself sitting right next to her son’s school teacher. She listened attentively to the lesson which just happened to be about Christ, our only mediator!