August 22, 2018
Greetings from Normandy, France. We trust you have had a profitable summer. We certainly have, and, the weather has been unusually warm and sunny this year.
First, there was the end of the year barbecue for the Bible Club with around 50 people at the home of the host family! Believers were able to have conversations with the many parents present. Second, right after Mike’s week of teaching at the Bible Institute at the end of May, we hosted a musical mission team from a supporting church in Colorado. The activities were well attended, especially the Sunday concert. Lastly, the church picnic at the end of June provided good fellowship. During the months of July and August, most activities come to a halt because of the number of people who are gone on vacation. We have been using this “slow” time to get caught up on many projects.
Even though the church is made up of young adults and families, Mike is still the most qualified to maintain the church website. This necessitated many gruelling hours of work this summer. Yet we are regularly blessed to have visitors who come as a result! Would you help us pray for younger folks who are qualified in the electronic realm? We’ve also begun serious work on the church constitution and bylaws. This is a very important step forward as it also coincides with a need to strengthen the church’s doctrinal moorings.
An exciting and challenging aspect of the ministry here in modern France is interaction with individuals from many diverse cultures. Over the course of the last two years, we have had regular contact with people from at least 16 different countries! Recent examples are the young Buddhist man from Cambodia who through contact with a neighbor came to a Christian church for the first time in his life, just to see what it was all about. And there is the Christian family from Pakistan, who fled due to persecution. What a privilege to share Christ's love in such diverse contexts.
An interesting flip side to this is that the effort involved in tuning in to so many different French accents has brought Mike's hearing problems to the forefront. He will be trying hearing aids as of August 23rd. Do pray for wisdom and the Lord's provision.
Catherine and Juan
Considering the years of health trials that so many of you helped pray us through with Catherine, you can imagine that it is with full hearts that we announce her wedding to Juan Duarte in November. Though epilepsy will continue to be a part of her life, she has made a lot of progress over the past 9 years and has done well with work and in serving the Lord. She met Juan at church. His family, originally from Nicaragua, moved from Florida to the Greenville area, so that he and his sisters could attend BJU. Melanie will fly over for a month ahead of the wedding to help with preparations. Mike will go for two weeks.