A door has opened for Mike to accompany fellow IFMmissionaries Sparky and Myndii Clancy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in February. He would be helping to train and encourage pastors by preaching and teaching in French in several churches and a Bible Institute. Would you pray for God’s provision? This would also help him to better identify with the many Africans with whom we have regular contact here in Rouen and in our church.
“And call upon me in the day of trouble:I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Ps 50.15)
On September 26th, there was a major fire at a chemical processing plant located just blocks away from our church building. Schools and businesses have been closing sporadically and without prior notice because there are still fumes coming from the plant that have made people sick or given them headaches. Because of the toxic smoke, farmers in affected areas have lost their crops. People are worried and angry. So far our regular church services have not been affected since we have been generally upwind from the fumes. Pray for grace and wisdom in ministering the Word in this context. Pray for wise decisions and clear communication from government officials. Pray that the toxic waste will be cleaned up soon! But more importantly we ask you to pray that disheartenment with the shortsightedness and selfishness of sinful humanity will cause some to look to the Creator.
Since the neighborhood in which we live is upwind, and up and away from the industrial part of the city, we are affected only when visiting or driving through certain areas.
Our church is blessed to own a building. Even before we arrived, plans were in the works to make it more functional. With a growing number of teens, we’ve had to add Sunday School classes but finding room within the current configuration was a challenge. Final plans were accepted by the congregation in March. Our own folks began the work with several intense days of demolishing and trips to the dump which saved us at least 1000.00€. Contractors are now continuing the work. We are excited about the results. Two medium sized classrooms are beginning to stake shape along with a larger multifunctional room and a hallway. More adequate insulation is being installed, more efficient lighting is going in next week; and we get new windows in the Fall! Finishing work must wait until September, when our folks return from vacations. Please pray for wisdom as we work through this one step at a time. Pray especially for Alexis as he heads up the project.
We saw only two cars in the motel parking lot in the small Eastern Montana town. What a relief that was, since we’d driven all the way from Wisconsin that day and were in no mood to be turned away. Through road weary eyes we noticed the familiar “Je me souviens” on one of the license plates. They were from Québec! As the clerk checked us in, a remark was made about the understandability of our English as compared to the other couple from Québec that had arrived earlier. With tongue in cheek we smiled, realizing that this could be a golden opportunity. Someone this far from home and having difficulty communicating would surely welcome a discussion in their native language. At least, that is what we had experienced in the past. So we prayed. At breakfast the next morning, there they were! Mike surprised them by saying “bonjour” and the conversation that ensued lasted for at least 45 minutes. As is often the case, when they discovered what we “do for a living”, questions followed. Thankfully, they already had a positive reference point for the Gospel; a friend in Québec with whom they had already discussed on occasion. God gave us a wonderful opportunity to share about the Lord. The husband’s parting words were, “if we only had more time, I’d ask you more questions.” French in Montana? You bet! Thank you so much for praying for our deputation travels! Please pray for this couple and their continued contact with the Gospel through their friend in Québec.
We have a ways to go in clearing the way for our move to France.
Here is the link for the books that Mike currently has listed for sale in Greenville, SC. These books will accompany us on our next short deputation trip before being delivered to our daughter in Greer, SC on August 10. Let us know if you would like to consider helping us get set up in France by making a purchase. More will be added through the weekend.
God answered prayer for Mike’s mother who went to be with the Lord peacefully on March 3rd. However, over a month’s worth of traveling back and forth to the hospice, coupled with a two month’s ride on the emotional roller coaster did take its toll. Mike experienced the first (and hopefully the last) gout attack of his life just as we were preparing to leave North Carolina. Melanie had to literally pack the car by herself but Mike had to drive. Our travels had prevented Melanie from procuring the yearly form required by the government for epileptic drivers, so her license had been temporarily suspended. We had an appointment with her neurologist in Montréal on March 17 that would remedy the situation so we had to get back to Québec! Mike hobbled through a meeting in Pennsylvania on March 15 and God gave much grace! But the foot got worse as he drove the rest of the way to Québec City. After over two weeks of limited mobility, he is finally doing much better. Oh, and Melanie got her driver’s license back! 🙂
You can access our most recent prayer update here. Do pray for us as we go through the necessary process of switching gears from 27 years of a church revitalization emphasis to an educational emphasis. In between deputation trips we are working hard to prepare ourselves. There are still many details to work through as well as logistical questions, and some loose ends. Mike is even praying about enrolling in a Master of Education program most of which is available online.
Bible Institute Graduates and their Wives now ministering in Sept-Îles and Québec City
We are attempting to arrange a meeting sometime this Fall of the men who were closely associated with the former Bible Institute in Lennoxville. Please pray that God might use this to foster greater biblical unity among us. Pray for honesty, transparency, humility, and open hearts as we share with one another concerning our past and future cooperation in the harvest field of Québec.
Monday was Quebec’s patriotic holiday! This song has been accepted as the unofficial hymn of Québec. We are reminded of how much we love the people here and how thankful we are to be able to preach the Gospel here! Thank you for your continued prayerful support!