Dear EIC Alumni,
Happy New Year from all of us at Emmanuel International Church in Paris. We have so many things to be thankful for as we consider God’s blessing in the past year. In 2018 we saw new baptisms, new members, and even a new church. We sent out many members to new places and celebrated the way God used them when they were amongst us. As we consider how good God always is to us, we anticipate God’s faithfulness in new and exciting ways in 2019.
Many things have happened since our last newsletter. Like each year, the rentrée brought in new families to join us. This year, one way we welcomed new people into our family was with our church retreat, which was held in October. K.J. Pugh (the pastor of our daughter church at Ternes) welcomed his father, Keith Pugh, to be our speaker for the weekend, which was entitled “A Firm Foundation.” Bro. Pugh challenged us to build our lives on God’s word, and it was an important weekend for our church to grow together as a family. The weekend included focused prayer time, teaching sessions, and fun playing games and dining together.
Thanksgiving came early this year, as a situation with our booking meant we needed to hold our thanksgiving celebration at the beginning of November. This was no trouble however as we joined together with our sister church EBE to give thanks for the Lord’s provision for our lives. There was no shortage of turkey and dressing during our time of thankfulness.
We put a new emphasis on our Home Groups this fall. We had four groups that met to study through the book of 2 Timothy and pray together. It was exciting to see new families hosting groups and new people getting involved. We pray that we can build on this in 2019, as we want discipleship to be a strong focus of all we do as a church.
One of the members who moved away in the past few months is Lisa Lorenzo. She was a long-time volunteer in our women’s ministry, and she has passed on her service to some capable ladies. Olivia DesJardine, Alice Sebu, and Michelle Laumond have carried this torch in the fall. This ministry has been going through a study of Nehemiah together that will continue into the spring.
We also had a great time during the Christmas season. Our Filipino Home Group once again hosted the EIC Christmas party. It was a great success, as many people were able to celebrate Christmas by sharing their own cultural traditions. Our Christmas sermon series was entitled “Christmas Conquers” and we looked into the kingly nature of our savior born in Bethlehem. This year for our Christmas Eve service we welcomed back Scott Sontag, who did an excellent job in a bi-lingual Christmas Carols and worship service.
Our podcast has also taken off in the past few months. We currently have 5 episodes posted and plan on putting a new one up every month. The vision of this podcast is to be a resource for international churches and for people who belong to international churches. Each episode is an interview with someone who has insight into ministry in an international setting. The latest episode is entitled “Pastoring the Parade,” and it is an interview with the General Secretary of the International Baptist Convention, Jimmy Martin. You can download here and subscribe to this on iTunes.
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PROVISION - Please thank God for always providing everything we need. With our church plant in 2018, we expected to have a loss at the end of the year because of the extra investment. We are happy to report that not only did we not have a loss, we had a slight gain, and this is largely due to the success of the church plant and their giving. It is very encouraging that the church plant was able to meet it's 2018 expenses as well as help EIC Rueil meet it's budget. Please pray that the 2019 budget will again see God's provision.
DICIPLESHIP – Please pray that we would be a church that makes disciples. We want discipleship to be a big part of what we do in 2019, and this will start our current preaching series entitled “The Narrow Road.” We want to be a church that can encourage everyone to be both being discipled and to be making disciples.
FEASIBILITY STUDIES – In March we will be doing two formal studies in Paris to see the feasibility of future church planting in the Paris area. Specifically, we will do studies in the south part of the city and the eastern suburbs near Disneyland. Pray that we will have wisdom as we welcome the teams that will be assisting us in the discernment process.
TERNES – Please continue to pray for our church plant at Ternes. They are in the process of establishing church membership and small community groups in the city. Please pray for Pastor KJ Pugh as he continues to lead this new church to litter the "City of Lights" with Communities of Light.