Dear EIC Alumni,
I hope you are all enjoying a great beginning to 2018. We at EIC have much to be thankful for as we look back to how God blessed us in 2017, and we are looking forward to exciting new opportunities that God has for us on the horizon.
Our church plant has progressed. We have continued to have once a month services that have been going well. In addition, KJ Pugh and his family have arrived, and he is serving as our Church Planting Missionary. His presence moves us forward significantly in our ability to plant a new church, and we plan on launching every week services within the next couple of months. We have also launched www.plantparis.com. This website contains information about our vision as well as opportunities to give. If you want a more detailed document that outlines the plans for the Ternes campus, there is a larger church planting proposal document for you to see.
We have seen growth in both our Men’s and Women’s ministries. Our Men’s ministry, under the direction of Paul Ho, has been having monthly prayer breakfasts. There have been encouraging times of fellowship and discipleship. Our Women’s ministry has rallied recently under the name “Titus 2 Ladies.” This name is meant to emphasize the intergenerational ministry spoken of in that chapter, as it says : “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled ” This ministry has flourished under Lisa Lorenzo’s leadership, as all ages have been participating and urging each other forward in holiness.
In the fall we had a sermon series on the theology of the Reformation to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis. This series culminated in a music night in which we sung hymns that were written by reformers as well as other classics in the same theological tradition. Katt Smith, our music intern, led the evening with Austin Wood, another volunteer who has been helping with our music at our church plant. This was a great night of worship as we sang songs that were both old and new that were filled with the life changing principles of the Christian faith.
Thanks to much work done by Associate Pastor Justin Hendricks, EIC has made strides these past few months in our church membership process. This has led to many good conversations concerning the commitments being made by member to church and by church to member. As a result of this push, we welcomed 16 new members, all of which understood the commitment the church was making towards their training in godliness as well as their commitment to the godliness of the church. Amongst those new members were 2 who wanted to follow the Lord in baptism.
Like every year, EIC had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at the atrium. We had a bilingual service with our sister church, EBE, and the Emmanuel Gospel Choir. The room was packed! While this service has a long history at our church and in the community of Rueil Malmaison, it also fits directly into our church vision. Our new vision statement begins with the words “A thankful church in Paris.” While I would not say that we are necessarily more thankful than other churches, we aspire to be growing in thankfulness and that this thankfulness be part of our identity. The thanksgiving service is a wonderful annual reminder of this truth; namely, God has been so good to us that thanksgiving should be a foundational part of our relationship to Him.
God blessed us in many ways in the Christmas season. Our Filipino home groups hosted the EIC Christmas party and it was a great success. They helped us to celebrate the multiple cultures in the church with fun activities, games and Christmas cheer. They even got the church council to don their Santa hats and sing Christmas carols! This party was a treasured memory of 2017 in which we shared many gifts, smiles and laughs.
On a personal note, my wife Kyrah has had some difficult medical issues this past month. She suffers from Thyroid problems and had to be hospitalized with a Thyroid Storm while we were in the US for Christmas. God has been gracious to us through the medical treatment received and the support of our families and church. She is much improved. We went together mid-January to the Philippines to be with her family and her usual doctor. I arrived back in France on January 31st, while she remained there to continue her treatment. We are hopeful she will be back in France soon.
KYRAH : Pray as she continues to recover from her Thyroid problems. Specifically, you can pray that God would help us find good doctors in France to help her continued maintenance when here.
OUR CHURCH PLANT : This year will be critical for this mission. God has opened many doors for this, including extra help in the form of the Pugh family as well as the discounted rate we are receiving for the rental of the church space. We are in the process of putting together a core team, hoping to launch the church within the next 2 months.
OUR MEN'S RETREAT : The first weekend in March will be our annual Men’s Retreat. K.J. Pugh will be the speaker as we will walk through Romans together. A former member, Gregoire Gaffet, will bring a group of men from his church in Belgium to join us. Pray that the Lord guides us into truth and into stronger relationships with each other.