Greetings from Caen. We are doing well and persevering in the work that the Lord has called us to here.
France is a challenging mission field but we are going through exciting and encouraging times. We would like to thank you again for your partnership and prayers.
The children are all fine. We are so glad and grateful that one of Johan’s close friends came to know the Lord. He lives near our house and it is a great answer to prayer. It is also great to see our children getting more involved in various ministries in the church. Regarding school, Joshua and Eloise are a little stressed at the moment by the exams they have to do this year toward their Baccalaureat (A level). Please pray for them.
Jane and I are doing well but feeling more tired as the ministry becomes more demanding. We are praying for some mature believers to join the church to share the workload.
We are feeling the need as a family for spiritual refreshment and plan to go to Spring Harvest (13-17 April) this year. Eloise will be helping as a volunteer with the children’s programme there. It will be the second time she has done this at a Christian camp in the UK and she has been thoroughly enjoying it.
As a church we continue to find ways to reach out to people around us. In December, on the day of the Christmas market in our town, the church had the opportunity to organise a gospel concert in collaboration with the town council (see photo at the top of the page). This event was an occasion for us to bless the town, to strengthen our relationship with its authorities and to share the real meaning of Christmas. It was hard work for our small church but very rewarding. The mayor and his assistants attended the event. The venue, which has a capacity for 250 people, was full. Through this we made several new contacts and have been following up on them.
Discipling members of the church and encouraging them to be part of a small group hasn’t been straight forward. This year, Jane and I have set up different small groups that meet throughout the week. It takes more of our time but now a good number of people in the church are part of a group where they can fellowship and study the Bible together.
We are encouraged by two people who recently came to Christ and have been surprised to discover how little they knew about Jesus or the Bible. To give them and other people seeking a quick overview of the life and ministry of Jesus, we are planning an evening with the Jesus Film followed by a discussion. We are also planning an Alpha Course at the end of March. Please pray for that.
Jane has been enjoying her ministry and friendship with several women in our neighbourhood and in the church. She has been running a bible study and every two months organises a women’s breakfast. There’s a non-Christian lady who comes to both gatherings as she loves studying the Bible. Jane regularly walks and discusses with two ladies in our town. We thank God for these opportunities. Please pray that Jane will be a channel by which God blesses and reveals himself to those ladies.
The refugees who come to the church or with whom we are in contact are mostly doing well. We are longing to see them settled with the necessary paperwork and documents in place, with a training, a job and in love with Jesus. We organised a Christmas dinner which most of them came to, including the Syrian family who we have known for a while. ‘A’, the father, is still looking for a job or an opportunity for a training course.
We also started a bible study group on Monday mornings where refugees can share and be prayed for. Please pray for them, especially for a young Afghan man who has started coming to the study and is eager to know about the Bible. Also for Luis, a refugee who has a pastoral gift and heart that I have been discipling. He is a great help to me and still going through the refugee application process.
In January we had a gathering for the leaders of the six churches. Around 30 people came. It was a good moment for Francis (the main leader of the network) to share the vision and for the leaders to share, be encouraged and be prayed for. Francis and I would like to create a family atmosphere among the churches. We also used the opportunity to run a day training course for children’s workers from all the churches. We rejoice to have seen nine people baptised in the network in the last six months. Please pray for the network as some of the churches, including Caen, need more leaders.
With love from
Sena, Jane, Joshua, Eloise and Johan
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