A heart for france

Prayer fodder

28 May 2012

Friday we set up the hall and Saturday is our big day to bless over 500 women with the theme being "Blowing new breath into our loving relationships". Please pray that all the different participants will be truly inspired, that the Holy Spirit will work wonders, that the music, theatre and dance will be edifying. May we, the organising committee, be united and harmonious.

Our prayer is that each woman is encouraged to go further in her faith and will be a blessing to others in her circle (family, friends, church, community).

One of my work tables

27 May 2012

My work tableThis table partly represents my week.

The peonies came into bloom this week - a magnificient display of God's creativeness.

A creative man from our church was able to frame our Last Supper tapestry.

The exercise bike hasn't been used for weeks because I've been too busy then too tired!

The pêle-mêle is for my daughter's bedroom and there are paint and serviettes waiting to make a wedding present for a couple for this weekend.

The plant is waiting to be watered.

The box under the table contains photos that need to be classed and conserved.

The table cloth folded on the chair represents the meals offered to our numerous guests.

The plastic bag represents a pair of jeans to be given away.

In another room, our office, my desk has the computer, Bibles and study books and folders to prepare for the following meetings: Pray & Share meeting Tuesday morning; mixed ladies' group Bible study Tuesday afternoon, Femmes 2000 final meeting to organize our special conference day next Saturday (2 June) Tuesday evening, 2 telephone counselling sessions, Ladies' Bible study Friday afternoon, Youth Group Saturday evening (after a wedding) and speaking on Mission (!), Sunday morning's Teens Bible study, followed by a support visit to one of our church families who scattered the ashes of their neighbour. I'm also finalizing plans for travel in July, August and September.

It is a busy life, but satisfying. Our family time is precious. There is some leisure time because we know our limits.

Perhaps there are too many things to deal with. We pray for order and to discern God's priorities;  we have been helped by our friends praying for extra strength during this hectic end-of-school year time. And the Lord encourages us as we see people being confronted by the Christian faith and others growing in their faith, especially our wonderful young people.

10 Days of Prayer

17 May 2012

17th May - SIM-ers all over the world are going to try and find time to pray for the next 10 days about worldwide mission, the different aspects of SIM and its projects, their inspiration for their own ministries.


We've just finished the campaign 'Pray for France' and have got through one Presidential election. We have just had our National Pastors' Conference where we discussed the Cape Town Commitment from the Lausanne 3 conference and whether our churches really consider their part in social action or social justice issues. In each situation we are confronted by the injustices of this world, the imbalances and power plays. We are reminded how much our country is in need of healing - perhaps not physically, because France has abundant resources, but in our relationships, in the balance of power and how decisions are made. We have to admit that not all people who live in this country are treated with respect. So this verse is very relevant to France as well.

These are the prayer points for Day One :

  • For believers to join together in united and persevering prayer to seek God's will
  • For forgiveness where we have disobeyed or quenched God's Spirit through unbelief as individuals, as an organization, as the Church
  • For a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit for all believers in our generation
  • For God's sovereign hand of grace will remain on SIM and that all we do will glorify His name Please pray for these same subjects.


I will apply the different points to our Femmes 2000 conference day on June 2nd:

  • for unity in our organising team and for this action to bless many women;
  • for our 2 local churches to be renewed by the Spirit and to seek God's leading for a more direct vision for future actions;
  • that all we do will be for his glory in our Union of Free Churches as we pastor our churches to feed our generation and to communicate our faith to our contemporaries.

The Pastorale

14 May 2012

This is the French word for a gathering of pastors - perhaps it's also an appropriate image describing their rôle in the church.

My husband is joining the 40-odd pastors of our Union of churches this afternoon for 3 days of meetings & discussions. I'll go there tomorrow having made arrangements for our children. The central topic this time is the follow-up from the third Lausanne Congress at Cape Town and looking at how our churches conjugate social action issues with evangelism.

On a local level, we are hearing of poor families moving into our area where the rents are cheaper, but who are arriving with nothing. The local charities have food banks set up and now are collecting some clothes and household items for these people. Our church is not directly connected with charity work, but we encourage our members to join these volunteer efforts as a way of living out their Christian witness. In secular France, the Christian origins of many of the charities has been lost or hidden and people no longer feel that they can openly say they are helping their neighbour in the Christian sense of the term, or showing the love of Christ through their actions. Which is not an excuse for not getting involved anyway - we should be out there.

I noted from the reports of the SIM Global Leaders meeting in Peru that these issues were also addressed. When you look at all the projects being supported by SIM you see how important it is to be involved in meeting needs at all levels.

Elections are over ...until next time!

07 May 2012

So the winner is ..... hopefully France will be the winner when the new President, François Hollande (Left-wing), takes office. I'm glad I don't have the right to vote in France because I wouldn't have known whom to choose ! It's a bit cowardly, isn't it! but I have my reasons : who can you believe these days ? how should you vote as a Christian if you have to choose between social justice issues and agreeing to homosexual marriage/adoption of children/euthanasia/nuclear power .....?

The Bible is so clear that looking first to God and following His guidelines is already wise in itself (King Josiah, Emperor Darius .. 1 Tim 3:14-16; John 14:16)

Then there is common sense advice through the counsel of several (Moïse acting on the advice of his father-in-law; Prov. 15:22)

Pray that all Christians in France follow this advice and live it out as a public witness of the greatness of our God.

Pray for this country as in another month there will be Legislative Assembly elections and the Right-wingers seek to redress the balance of power (which could block any new actions or initiatives, or could be a safe-guard against wrong decisions - who can say ??)

Objectif France

26 Apr 2012

Objectif France


We are well into the special period of prayer for France that is organized by the group "Objectif France". If you would like a .pdf copy of their prayer guide, write to me.

The first round of Presidential elections is Sunday 22nd April. The second round will be 6th May. So this is a crucial time to be praying for France.

You can also check out the website of Christian Community Foundation for France.
And the direct link to Pray for France in English.

“And in His temple everyone says, ‘Glory!’” (Psalm 29:9)

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.” Psalm 24:7 

OUR PRAYERS ARE WORKING ! For the last 11 years this concerted effort has been growing slowly but surely. There are spiritual openings as never before. We are seeing signs of this in our own little corner of France : we had a great variety of kids (20) at our Daily Vacation Bible club; I'm getting favourable replies for the next big women's conference we are organising (2nd June); other Christian women in our group are seeing lives changed and prayers answered. KEEP PRAYING ! Our God is a mighty God!

Feed back

26 Apr 2012

Thank you so much for praying for our Kids Club (the Far West theme). We had 20 kids turn up from a variety of backgrounds, so we were thrilled. The weather was changeable but we were still able to do lots of outdoor activities. Lots of positive feedback from parents. Pray about how to do follow up.

Our teens had their own day last Saturday. 3 Youth groups from our Union of churches got together at our church. 17 kids altogether. It was my turn to do the think spot (which actually went for 2 hours because the weather turned bad!)

Using biblical examples, sketches, a french song, discussion questions, group work, we looked at Life Choices. We are responsible for our choices; God chooses us, but we also choose Him ; if we make a mistake we have only to acknowledge it, be sorry about it and accept His forgiveness, make it up to anyone else who might have been affected, and then have a fresh start ! What a blessing to be Christian !!

Had a great women's meeting on Tuesday and were finally able to get a number of us together. Have had to cancel a combined women's group meeting in June because of difficulty finding a convenient date!

Next big challenge will be 2nd of June where we are hoping for between 500 and 700 Christian women from all horizons to come and hear about 'Loving relationships'.

Our Kids' Club starts Wednesday

09 Apr 2012


Rain is forecast for all this week, but we are hoping that our plans for our Kids' Club will allow us to adapt to any circumstances. With the theme being the Far West, we are thankful to have attracted 19 kids aged between 5 and 12 years old, equally divided between boys and girls. Nathalie, the leader of our club, will explain God's patience towards us in that He wants all of us to turn to Him: "...He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

We only have 2 kids enrolled from our own church - so are really pleased to have access to other children. This is particularly important in such a secular country as France. I was able to put up a poster in front of the Public Primary school, but someone took it down after 2 days. The Catholic Primary school distributed our brochures to each family !!

Please accompany this effort to sow the seeds of faith in the hearts of children who hardly have any contact with the Gospel.

Renovating can be a steep learning curve!

11 Mar 2012

We are loving our new home, but still tied up in renovating the kitchen and have some tiling to do in the bathrooms.

What a challenge it has been! And thank the Lord for those who have willingly given their time to help us. It's quite a business when you want to do it properly!

I've realized yet again how much I hate going back over things or re-doing things. I used to be like that for school and uni work. Even as a teacher I really avoided having to re-do things, go back over things or start again. Which was rather hypocritical, since I always encouraged my students to have a go and not to be afraid of mistakes!!

How stressful that attitude can be! You fix high expectations and put off getting started until you are sure you will get it right. I strive for perfection, I try and avoid making mistakes, and yet I know it's not possible.

Living out one's faith is all about  getting started, taking one step at a time and relying on God to guide and prepare the way. Christians make mistakes. Missionaries make mistakes, see things come undone (not necessarily their own fault), have to stand back and watch others make mistakes because that is the way we learn and advance.

I'm less scared of picking up a paint brush and of choosing a colour, but I can't bring myself drill a hole - that's too irreparable for my comfort levels!! Maybe in our next house....

World Day of Prayer

11 Mar 2012

Women of three churches in our town got together to prepare the Women's World Day of Prayer Friday 2nd March. The women of Malaysia wrote the celebration that would be read in all participating countries on the theme of "Let justice prevail".

Malaysia visits our church

For 3 years now, our organising committee has been looking for ways to keep this rendez-vous going. How could we get the younger generations interested ? Since French children don't have school on Wednesday afternoons, we decided to have an activities afternoon for Primary-age kids. This presents the concept of worldwide prayer, introduces them to a different country each year and they hear and work on one of the biblical passages chosen by the host country. This year we included a drama workshop on the Widow and the Judge of Luke 18:1-8. We also improvised a Malaysian dance.Let's dance!

Malaysia visits our church and had various activities to prepare decorations for the celebration on Friday.

Making coco balls

Only 20 kids showed up this time (in previous years we had 50), but it was a successful afternoon.

The Friday activities included sharing thoughts on the Bible passage, a Malay lunch and the 2 celebrations. The evening one includes the children and is where we hope to get families along. The challenge is keeping everyone interested, helping the 3 communities to accept the other and promoting Christian brotherhood.


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