Greetings from France. We hope you are keeping well. Here things have opened up after the lockdown and we are hoping that it will last.
Most of the restrictions have been lifted apart from wearing a mask. We are enjoying this freedom. For many months now it hasn't been possible for us to travel to England to visit Jane’s mum and family but we are really hoping that we'll be able to do so before the end of the summer.
As a family we are all keeping well. We are grateful to God that we finally received our new French residency cards. Thank you for praying! We are still waiting to hear about our healthcare cover. Since Brexit things have become more complicated for British people living in France, especially missionaries. Please pray for God’s peace and wisdom for us as we try to find a solution.
Thank you for praying for our children. Joshua and Eloise both passed their baccalauréat exams and both achieved the necessary grades to go to university. We are delighted and grateful to God for sustaining them through this school year. Joshua will be heading to university in England in September and Eloise plans to take a gap year. As for Johan, he passed his 'Brevet' exam (GCSEs) with a good grade and will be starting 'Lycée' in September.
Ministry in Caen
The ministry in Caen has been challenging over the last six months because of the coronavirus crisis, which has limited us personally and as a church. We are learning patience and to trust God in all circumstances.
We are continuing the ministry of reaching out and discipling people. Jane organised a second women’s breakfast at the end of May, which was a very good time of fellowship and prayer. The church has been encouraged by the news of Davy, who was baptised on the last Sunday of June. He came to Christ after our first Alpha course three years ago and then had to move with his family to the south of France for work reasons. We are hungry to see more people like him coming to know Jesus and serving Christ.
We are glad to have the Agelaga family working alongside us. They have been a big support to us since they came. They are back home in the USA this summer visiting family, partner churches and raising support. Please pray for God’s provision for them.
Thank you for praying for Claude after he broke his ankle in a motorbike accident. He is better now. It has been a difficult year for all the students because of the various lockdowns throughout the year but they have persevered. We are grateful for their involvement in the church. Many of them are now involved in the worship team or helping with the sound desk.
We are enjoying our new venue at the hotel but an opportunity has come up for us to have a more long-term venue. We would be able to use this on Sundays and for mid-week events like mother and toddler groups, meetings for migrants and so on. The building (pictured right) is owned by the Adventist Church and is well located but there is a lot of work still to be done inside for it to be suitable for public use. We have started discussions with them about a possible partnership. Please pray for us for wisdom and God’s guidance.
Réseau la Source, a network of six churches in Normandy
As you may know, we have been helping Francis and Diane to oversee ‘Réseau la Source’ a network of six churches in Normandy including our church plant in Caen. The aim is to share our resources, support the leadership of the other churches and make an impact in Normandy. During this time of COVID we have been working together more.
We ran an online Alpha course in the spring with three other churches from the network and did an away day in person (pictured at top of page). Thank you for praying for us. It was our first experience of running Alpha online. It wasn’t ideal but God used it to touch the lives of those who attended. Please pray for Helène who gave her life to Jesus through the course and also for those who didn’t make a commitment but are still seeking.
One of the challenges we have in the network is a lack of people who are able to preach. So, following the Alpha course, Francis and I put in place a preaching ‘learning community’, to train future preachers from across the churches. Nine people were sent to attend the course and we have received good feedback from their churches, which is very encouraging.
On Sunday 26 September we are holding our annual network gathering day. It is an opportunity for all the churches to come together and for each one to share their vision for the year and to pray for one another. It will be a day of fellowship and celebration.
Thank you for your partnership and for praying.
Sena and Jane
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