We've come so far, & we are Grateful to be here!


Dear Friends and Family,

At the end of October we traveled down to the Camp Des Cimes (Camp of the Peaks) for the annual gathering of all the missionaries who serve with Greater Europe Mission in France. You may remember seeing some pictures of Joanna and I at this beautiful camp 2 years ago. That’s right, it has been two years since we came to France on our vision trip! We had come then to meet potential teammates and to seek clarity and confirmation about our sense of call to join in what God is doing in France. We returned to the USA with ours hearts burning for this place, for these people. We began to share the vision that God is on the move in Europe, “rebuilding ancient ruins, and restoring places long devastated”, and that our family is called to join in. We invited partnership in prayer and support because we knew this is too big for us, and not something we are called to alone. Returning to retreat has filled us with gratitude for all that God has worked since our vision trip.

GEM France at Camp des Cimes 2017
Leaving the USA in March 2017

Many of you received our first official “Appels to France” email about two years ago and many more have joined us along the way. If you’ve read and prayed along with us you know it has been quite a couple of years, certainly not without challenge and opposition. However, the difficulties are far outweighed by the amazing provision and faithfulness of God. Not only that, but being here–seeing the need of our neighbors to experience the transforming love of Jesus and the opportunities we have to be ministers of reconciliation–some already coming even as we are learning the language and culture, and many more seeming to line up ahead of us, we are more certain than ever of our calling to France.

Last year at this time, we had set a timetable for our departure to France but we were taking each step in faith because we didn’t have all the funds we needed to go. We invited you to help us get there by joining in the Bisous Fund - a capital campaign with the audacious goal of raising $20K in just one month. By the grace of God (and perhaps this adorable video didn’t hurt) we saw this goal met - you are truly a generous bunch! I’m happy to report that our ongoing financial support is still strong! However, we have had a few financial partners need to stop giving due to life circumstances and looking into the coming year, we may begin to have a monthly deficit. Would you please pray about whether God might be calling you to begin partnering with us financially?


I hope we say it often, but thank you for being here with us. Thank you for praying, for giving, for sending us. Thank you for emailing us, sending us encouraging notes and cards, and helping us feel loved. We are, together, called to France and together we are seeing the promise of God’s work in this land.


Enjoy your week of Thanksgiving, which we hope and pray is full of time with friends and family, yummy food and gratitude.

Much love and thankfulness,

The Appels

Tom, Joanna, Reuben, Eli, Silas, and Elodie


PS: We plan on sending out a more update-y, prayer point-y email next week. So watch your inboxes! But for this week, we wanted to rest in gratitude and rejoice in what God has done to bring us to France!