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20 September 2018
Dear EIC Alumni,
I write today with great anticipation of how the Lord will work in our upcoming Rentrée season. As you know, Paris can shut down during the summer months. While there are many blessings come with the forced stillness of the summer months, it is exciting to welcome back friends who have been away and to bring in new people who are moving to the area.
In June we had a very emotional sending service. Just like every year, we had treasured members transition out of our communities to go to new places. We shared testimonies and tissues together as we thanked God for the time we had with those members and prayed prayers of sending as they go to serve God in new places. Our church has always had and will always have a kingdom focused ministry, as we know that the inevitable nature of these transitions gives us an opportunity to invest in the global mission that God has for his universal church. While there are tears, we celebrate that God will use our departing members for His glory.
This past July we sent the largest group we have had in several years to Euroventure. Nineteen youth and chaperones went to Grindelwald, Switzerland for our yearly youth camp. The theme this year was Holy Set Apart, and we discussed our holiness being rooted in a relationship with God and being his children. We had three youth make decisions to give their lives to the Lord.
In celebration of our time at camp, we had a really good youth Sunday where our teenagers led worship. This included youth participating in the music, scripture reading, prayers, and testimonies. They were a great encouragement to the church body. Our Associate Pastor, Justin Hendricks, brought the message from Psalm 46, encouraging us to trust in the Lord as we be still and know that He is God. This was an excellent sermon and is on our website if you’d like to listen here.
Our preaching series during the summer was once again Summer Psalms. We had the privilege of welcoming several preachers over the course of the series who each challenged our congregation in different ways. One of the great benefits of yearly time in the psalms is the personal way they direct us through many different aspects of how we relate to God. Having the different personalities covering a wide range of emotions through their psalm choices was a great benefit to our church. Once again, these sermons are on our website :click here if you’d like to listen.
The summer vacation always affects our attendance numbers, and this year was no exception. Yet while many members left during various parts of the summer months, we also had the privilege of welcoming many tourists and former members who were passing through during their own vacations. This was especially true of our church plant at Ternes. Despite having many regulars who were away, they maintained consistent numbers and blessed times of worship together. We are excited to see what blessings God has in store for EIC Ternes and Pastor KJ during the Rentrée season.
Also, I mentioned in the last newsletter that we have been working on a podcast for international churches. Good news! The first episodes are now available for download here. You can search “The International Church” and see this graphic for us. Please help us by subscribing and spreading the word. Our goal is to have monthly content that relates to ministry in churches like ours, and we hope it will be an encouragement to many. You will be especially interested in the first episode, as it is an interview and testimony from Lisa Lorenzo, a beloved long-time member who is transitioning out of the church this year.
I also had the privilege recently of spending some time in Amsterdam to discuss the church planting efforts of the International Baptist Convention. There are many exciting things going on across our convention to move us in the direction of planting more churches like ours in cities across Europe and South America.
THE RENTREE :– the Rentrée season is always a time of dependence on God. While we celebrate the sending aspect of our church, we also always depend on the Lord to send people to us. Pray that the Lord will add to our number.
TERNES : – Our church plant at Ternes is just a few months old now, and they are getting to the point where they will add an emphasis on church membership, discipleship and mission. We have had good numbers the past couple of weeks as the Rentrée season has kicked off. Pray that the leaders might have wisdom and that the members might be eager to commit to each other’s godliness
PODCAST : – Pray for guidance as we kick off this ministry. It will be important for our own networking as well as providing resources for international churches. I am a bit out of my element on the technical side of things, so pray I can be a quick learner and that technology will cooperate with me!
DICIPLESHIP: – We have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about the best way to make disciples in our context. The transient and busy nature of our situation requires us to be creative in our thinking about how to be focused on the needs of people and meeting them with God’s word. Pray that we might have wisdom.