Dear <<First Name>>:
We thought that you might be interested in our RayonFrance newsletter that we sent out a few days ago. RayonFrance is the name we have given to our Christian work in France, where we hope to be a ray(rayon) of light, helping the church Eglise Horizon bring the Gospel to France. If you don't want to receive future (infrequent) emails then please unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.
We want to share our news about how our plans are progressing towards moving to France in the summer. We are being sent by a church to a church. We are dependent on Christian friends' encouragement and support, and most importantly your prayers. Thank you for your interest and commitment. We value you.
We were very encouraged to be invited to a mission evening in November at Maranatha Chapel. Lisa Pigeon and Scott and Michelle Kvandal did a great job showcasing God's work in various parts of the world. Different short-term and long-term missionaries shared testimonies about what God is doing. Jesus's timing is perfect! The week that our magnets and cards arrived, promoting RayonFrance, we were invited to speak about RayonFrance at the mission evening. Shawn and Annie Stone, pastors at Maranatha Chapel (and also Pastor Ray Bentley's daughter and son-in-law) introduced us and prayed for us. They previously worked at Eglise Horizon where we will be ministering in France. They are passing the baton to us and we are blessed to receive their support and encouragement.
We have hosted two tea parties at our home to share our vision. It has been very enjoyable to share information about France while sipping tea and eating snacks. Last weekend, we had our second tea and I was pleased that Gérard Lanniée, a Frenchman, appreciated the little quiches that I had made. This partially qualifies us to be missionaries in France, as sharing good food is highly valued in France! More importantly, Gerard who is the President of Campus Crusade in France explained how he had personally benefited from foreign missionaries. His grandfather in Belgium became a Christian after hearing the Gospel from a British missionary. Gérard's own faith, as a teenager, was impacted in the south of France when he got to know an American basketball player who powerfully displayed the love of Christ. He also explained how the church in France benefitted from the involvement of foreign missionaries. Gérard's and Brigitte's daughter, Valerie Girardet, attends Maranatha with her husband and family. We are blessed to have such wonderful French contacts. Gérard knows people in France who understand international tax challenges. One of his contacts is a British woman, married to an American and working in France as missionaries. Please pray that they will help us with important administrative matters.
Gérard and Brigitte Lanniée
A couple of weeks ago Mathias Pecastaing, the son of Pastor Franck, called us and invited us to be part of a prayer meeting at their church, Eglise Horizon. Skype connected us to the church and made it possible for us to participate. I explained our prayer needs, and it was great hearing the church pray for us, and then I had the opportunity to pray for them in French. Martyn's French is progressing well, but on this occasion he let me get on with it, but next time....!
God is certainly on the move in our own lives and in our church. Pastor Ray Bentley has returned refreshed and inspired after a three month sabbatical. Last Sunday his message was very applicable to our situation: being led by God to accomplish His big vision. This process involves great faith, patience, making sacrifices and witnessing that the lion's share of the work is the Lord's. Recently, Jesus drew my attention to Psalm 68. I drew a sketch of a bird with feathers encrusted with gold and jewels, and then started reading Psalm 68, without having previously recognized the connection between what I had drawn and what I was about to read ! Verse 13 describes a very similar picture, "the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, it's feathers with shining gold." A few minutes later a colleague, Lauren Surret, sent me an email. On the attachment was a beautiful painting that she had created of a dove flying upwards, overcoming the darkness and bringing light, representing the Holy Spirit. The timing was extraordinary, and, of course, I studied the passage in depth! The dove is described in the context of women declaring God's Word while opposing kings and armies flee. I had just received the NIV Proclamation Bible from my brother the day before, which specified that the evangelists were female! Many other translations just write "they". Of course there are many more examples in the Bible of male evangelists, but these verses were highlighted by God to give me encouragement to press on to see God's plans fulfilled through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Painting by Lauren Surett
Martyn wants to continue the on-line part of his business in France to help support us financially. Please pray for wisdom and direction regarding this. We also need to raise support. We believe that God will provide certain people with the resources to help us, and He will direct them accordingly. There will be others who are called to pray intensely for us. Some will be more focused on encouraging us, and hopefully some are more practical than we are, and will help us clear out our house when we leave! Similarly we want to both pray for and encourage you. Please let us know how we can pray for you.
May you be blessed and encouraged,
Sian and Martyn