19 September 2019
For those of you who have lived in Paris, you know what August in the City of Lights means. Perhaps we all have a love/hate relationship with it. On the one hand, it can be extremely frustrating when all of the normal stores that you depend on for day to day life have their “We’re closed all month!” sign on their doors. On the other, there is what seems like a country-wide forced rest that happens, and deep down we all know we appreciate it.
So, as I write in September, I write as one rested. Sunday 1 September was our Rentree service. We returned to our normal two service schedule and welcomed back our brothers and sisters who have been away on vacation and getting well needed rest. This time of year is also a time when we see new members arrive and we meet people that we will one day depend on. We had a great first service back and are looking forward to an exciting autumn season.
A lot has happened since I last wrote. Personally, my wife and I have spent a lot of time in the US and in the Philippines with family and networking for the church. We had our first “Pastor Swap,” in which EIC welcomed Dr. Al Jackson from Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama while I spoke at his church. This allowed me to go to the Southern Baptist Convention and meet with potential partners for future missions opportunities. It also allowed me to spend an extended time with my family in the US and visit the Philippines to go to my sister-in-law’s wedding. Kyrah and I had a great summer. We are also thankful to Dr. Jackson and Lakeview Baptist Church for their generosity.
Before we left, we had our annual Sending Service. Each year we have to say some painful good-byes in the early part of summer as people move away from Paris. As a community who is focused on the Kingdom of God, we like to emphasize the fact that we are sending our members to new places and contexts where they will serve Jesus. We had three give testimonies this year. They are Katt Smith, who had been serving as our Music Intern; Allison Woodfin, who was serving in Paris as a missionary; and the Desouza family, who were also missionaries. Each of these were vital members of the church and will be missed, but we are confident that God will use them in their new places.
We also had a good group go to Euroventure this year. The theme this year was “Walking in the Light.” We took 8 youth this year, and always it was a spiritual significant time for all who went. The teaching time was gospel-centered and challenging for our teenagers who face the daily challenge of living for God in France.
Another big event that happened in July was the welcoming back of our former pastor, Norman Ellis, and his wife Molly. Norman and Molly served at EIC from 2011-2015, and they are much beloved by our church family. God used them mightily during their time in Paris, so it was a great joy for our congregation to welcome them back home. On Saturday night during their trip we had a dinner to enjoy fellowship with them, and then he took the pulpit on Sunday morning. Norman preached to a large group assembled to reconnect with him, and his preaching was edifying to the church. His and Molly's presence was an encouragement to all.
In August we saw the arrival of Helms family, who has raised support to come and serve with EIC. Paul will be serving as our Church Panting Resident at our Ternes church plant, though he is encouraging the EIC church family in Rueil in many ways as well. He and Abby bring many gifts to our church, and we are thankful that the Lord has led them to us. This is just another example of how God is providing for our church in ways beyond what we could have expected.
I’d like to recommend to you our most recent podcast episode. It is an interview with Edouard Nelson about church planting in Paris. In the interview he offers a great overview of why it is important to multiply churches in megacities. This includes the benefits church planting brings to our efforts at evangelism. Edouard brings much wisdom to that discussion, and I’d highly recommend listening to his thoughts on the subject. Some of the reasoning he gives in the episodes is influential in our vision for “littering the City of Lights with communities of light.”
A big part of our efforts this fall will be our fund-raising campaign for our roof. We have had roof troubles for a while, and it has gotten to the point where a roof replacement cannot be put off any longer. We have a quote of 62K euros. This is a large sum of money for a church like ours, so we are reaching out to friends of EIC to seek support. We are calling it our “Raise the Roof” campaign (I hope you are making the hand motions when you read that), and we need your help to make it successful. I would ask that you pray for us and consider making a donation to help us with this expense. If you’d like to donate or would like more information, click here.
As part of these efforts, we are excited to be bringing back the “Coffee House” fund raising event. In the past, EIC has hosted a musical evening in the community with a Coffee House ambiance. This October, we will be welcoming back some some EIC pastors and members including Scott Sontag, Brian Kirby and Ruth Frost to help lead in this event to raise money for our roof. It will no doubt be a joyful evening. An event like this helps us replace our roof as well as reach out to develop relationships in our community. Please follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all the fund raising festivities. Tickets can be bought here
D-GROUPS - We are focusing on creating a culture of discipleship this year, so please pray for our Home Groups and D-Groups as we encourage our members to commit to following Jesus together as a church.
RAISE THE ROOF – Please pray for our “Raise the Roof” fund raising project. Pray that God would provide all of our needs according to His grace and mercy.
COFFEE HOUSE – Please pray for our Coffee House event, both for the fund-raising and for the outreach potential.
HELMS FAMILY– Pray for the Helms family as they adjust to life and ministry in Paris.
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