Bonjour Nos Amis! Spring is working hard to break through the grey, cold winter here in France. Small buds on the trees and bushes around us give us anticipation for the season to come and for us, that means we are moving to a new city! In just two months, we will be leaving Massy where we have been studying the French language and moving to Caen in Normandy. We are so excited and we want to let you know all about it!
For a few years now we have been talking about the Bless Network. We first met Gerard and Chrissy Kelly in Denver when we were beginning to explore our call to mission work in France. We visited Bethanie, the ministry base for Bless, on our vision trip two and a half years ago. We felt deeply connected with their vision and mission to live for others in France. Their prayerful approach, focus on worship, and the creative ways they were working to come alongside people resonated with us and makes us very excited to work with them in this next season.
What does the Bless Network do?
Let us give you a little snapshot of what the Bless Network is engaged within the northern region of France.
- Church Planting — three churches meeting in Caen, Livarot and Villedômer (near Tours).
- Serving Sudanese refugees living in and around Caen — with SOS Chai which began as a converted tea truck and is now a warm meal provided weekly for sometimes over 100 lads living rough in the city. (to learn more and support this individual project, click here:)
- Keys & Co Cafe — a hip cafe started by a mother-daughter team driven by a dream from the Lord, now one of the most successful cafes in Normandy!
- Bethanie Centre for Transformation — an old cider farm converted into a ministry centre where there are prayer weekends, schools of ministry, missions training and more. This is the base of the Bless Network near Livarot.
- L’Orangerie de Beauregard in Villedômer, an old chateau converted into a modern campsite/meeting centre and an opportunity for bi-lingual training for all ages in French and English.
Our role is to be based in the city of Caen, working based in Keys & Co. to help with the church plant and facilitate worship for Bless Network events. Also, to simply do what we have felt led to do here in France, neighborhood-based outreach through the arts and music. We are considering this—as the French would say— “une stage” or a continued time of training (perhaps the next 3-5 years), where we are growing in our knowledge of the French culture, language, and getting to minister with a team and alongside others who have been here much longer than we have! We are excited about all that God is doing and all that he will do in the future!
We are going next week (Feb 28 to March 5) to Caen to search for a house or an apartment for our family. We believe that God has gone before us and knows the perfect place for our family to settle. We would appreciate your prayers as renting as a foreigner is not particularly easy and with our large family, finding the right place in the city may also be difficult. If you have any words, pictures or dreams that you would like share with us, we would love to hear from you! Thanks!
We plan to do a Facebook Live from Caen so you can join us and start to get to know our new city with us!
What About Angers?
Angers, as we have said in the past, is the city that God has put in our hearts to be. We are holding that up to the Lord for His timing. We believe that God is building a team to go with us to Angers, but we do not yet have them in place! We believe that this time in Caen will bring that team together and we hope to move there after our stage is complete.
Thank You for Your Prayers and Support
We have hit a low point over the past few months and we greatly appreciate all you have done to support us and pray for us during this difficult time for our family. We could not have made it through without such a wonderful team (YOU!!!) praying for us and offering what help you can from a distance. We are so grateful and feel truly blessed to have you all with us here in France! As with the new signs spring, we know His mercies are new every morning and we have great hope for the days ahead!
We love you all and miss seeing your faces! Please let us know how you are doing and how we can pray for you!