19 February 2020
It has been a very busy season here at EIC and in Paris. As some of you might have heard, transportation strikes have been making life difficult for everyone. People are having a hard time getting to work and to church, and this has been a challenge for the whole country. For us who belong to Jesus, it has been an opportunity for us to respond to the declining moral of the population with gospel motivated kindness and empathy. And while we certainly aren’t immune to the temptations to being frustrated by the long waits and the jam-packed metros, we are able to have confidence in a God who is sovereign over the affairs of this world.
Even in these trying times we have seen God at work amongst us. Last time I wrote we were getting ready to start a big fund-raising campaign to fix our roof. We are overwhelmed and humbled by how good the Lord has been to us. Our final total is 49 800€! We are so thankful for this, as God has used you all in the process of our roof being fixed. You, our valued alumni, have responded with immense generosity to us. I am so proud to be part of this global EIC family.
One of the big events during the fund-raising campaign was our “Coffee House” musical. Our church members faithfully responded to this call, with many people involved in the production, music, videos, service, raffles and donations that went into this soiree. The evening itself was fantastic, as we welcomed back many alumni to join us in the celebration. We were especially thankful to Brian Kirby, Scott Sontag, Jean Pierre Algara and Ruth Frost in helping make this happen. It was a special evening for me to see so many friends from EIC’s past and present coming together to help the church they love.
In November we had a special focus on the biblical teaching on persecution. Our sermon series was entitled, “Is Jesus Worth It?” During this time we examined the role of suffering in the Bible and how it contributes to us knowing God as well as the way God uses it to bring about his kingdom. We went through a book entitled “The Insanity of God” together as well as welcomed Open Doors to share about the global realities of present day persecution. This was a challenging series, but one that left us looking to Jesus to be our Lord.
We celebrated our annual Thanksgiving celebration in November. This was a great time shared with our sister church EBE. The Lord has really been blessing their ministry, so it was encouraging to be able to celebrate the Lord’s goodness to both churches in the past year. We also invited the members of the Emmanuel Gospel Voices to participate in the service. God was honored as we spent time considering how thankful we are for the way he blesses us. This celebration was of course capped off by turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and pecan pie! It is pretty easy to be thankful when you are sitting at a meal like that!
Those of you who are familiar with the EIC community know that there is rarely a season that doesn’t feel transitional. Recently, we have had an especially emotional transition, as Justin and Rachel Hendricks have transitioned back to the US. Justin and Rachel had been serving our church faithfully for three and a half years. Justin was our associate pastor, with his primary duties in leading our Youth and Young Adult ministries. Both of these programs grew while the Hendrick’s were here, with many being discipled and brought into the church through their ministry. Justin also did much to contribute to the formation of the current vision of the church, our revamped membership process, and was instrumental in the church plant that will celebrate its second year this Easter. Rachel was equally valuable in the way she discipled young women in our church, and their contribution to our community cannot be overstated. Yet, while times of transition like this can be sad, we also want to emphasize the thankfulness in our hearts for the way God brought good to us through them. We said goodbye to them at the beginning of January, but we know that God will use them in big ways as they go back to the US.
NEW YOUTH LEADERS - With the Hendrick’s transitioning out, we are thankful to have an in-house couple who is going to be leading our youth ministry. Please pray for Jaime and Anabel Romero as they are passed the baton of leading the discipleship of our youth.
RAISE THE ROOF – Please give thanks to the Lord on our behalf for the amazing way he has provided for our roof repairs. The work has just started and we pray that is goes well.
TIME OF TRANSITION – Pray for our church as we go through a time of many transitions. Many decisions will be made in the upcoming weeks, so we need much wisdom.
MEN'S RETREAT– Our annual Men’s retreat is coming March 6-8. We are excited to welcome John Hugh Tate to be our speaker. John Hugh is getting ready to move to France himself to plant a new church. Please pray for the Tate’s and for our Men’s Retreat.
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