Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Warm spell

My team getting ready to play.
 We enjoyed warmer weather this past week.  It warmed up to 60 a couple of those days.  That allowed us to get outside.  The boys really needed to burn some energy.  They enjoyed getting their bikes out, which required an hour of bike repair for me.  They played basketball and soccer, and Arianna and Lilia even joined in at times.  We also were able to work some more in the garden.  We should soon be able to plant a few things. 
Lilia takes a self portrait.
 Last week, I put a lot of time in the office.  I prepared several things for the Bible study, handouts and future lessons.  Also, I prepared for leading the services in Carcassonne on Sunday morning.  We did enjoy the Bible study last week.  One couple came and we finished up John 8. 
Arianna was impressed by the stack of cans.
 By Friday the weather had turned rainy again, so I didn't make it to the market.  Angie was able to get out several times last week.  She visited with the neighbors, walked, and exercised with some friends.  Saturday evening we spoke with Lauren, who will be arriving in September to work with us.  We had a good talk and are really looking forward to working with her.
Sunday services went well, we had several of our recent contacts from Limoux, come for the services.  My part of the services went well.  I enjoyed it, at least.  Sunday afternoon, my basketball team and I had our first tournament.  We played three games.  We lost all three, but not by much. My team did well.  Lilia stayed home with Arianna so that Angie could go and meet people.  She was blessed to find a seat beside a young lady, who ended up reading her Bible.  Angie had a good conversation with her, they ended up being baptists.  I was proud of my team, they showed good progress, especially Andrew, who managed to dribble, steal, get rebounds, and shoot.  Monday, I attended a meeting of churches in Toulouse.  I had a good time and learned about some new ministries that are available to churches here in France.  I enjoyed the fellowship and was able to share about our upcoming basketball outreach. 
A spider web glistening in the morning sun.
We didn't have anyone present for Bible study last night, well one lady came, but she requesting having some one on one time with Angie to talk about some things, so Angie and her went out and had coffee.  Meanwhile, I used the time, with Caleb's help, to make a few videos to put on youtube.  It has been a year since I posted anything.  For the rest of the week, today will mostly be basketball and shopping.  Tomorrow, language work and preparing for our friends, the Manary family, who will be driving in from Romania and arriving on Friday.  The weather is supposed to turn cold again this weekend, so hopefully I can get some more yard work done today.  God bless, JASON

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rain, rain, go away . . .

Walking back from the bike race.
Micah and Arianna pose.
 After such a good start last week, with the occasion to share our faith one on one, with Angie sharing about the Bible with her language group, we were a little watered down when no one was there for the Bible study, but Angie enjoyed having a quiet moment to share about the days events and the future.  Saturday was filled with kids activities. I walked Caleb and Arianna down to see a bike race in town, but we arrived just as the bikes passed. We had fun all the same.  There were only four kids present for basketball. Sickness, the weather, traffic, were all excuses that I heard.  Andrew was out at a birthday party.  That was a neat story in itself. Tuesday Angie sent a text to a lady we met at the kids old school that she hadn't talked to in a while. Angie wanted to get together with her some time.  The lady wrote right back offering for Angie and Andrew to come to her daughters birthday party on Wednesday at McDonalds.  Andrew had a great time playing with the friends from his old school, and Angie got to reconnect as well.  At our basketball that evening, there was a new player that I was able to introduce myself too.
Lilia participates at the youth meeting.
On the way to Bordeaux.
Thursday, had a good language session, and got some paperwork done, as well as a couple of household projects.  Friday morning, it was raining, so no market.  I has rained a lot this winter. My friend who has a small ranch, mentioned that his ground has been mud for over a month  (foreshadowing).  
Andrew tries out the violin of one of our new friends.

We made it!
Arianna and Micah watch the basketball game.
Friday night, as it rained, Caleb spent the night with a friend, after he and his brothers all had hair cuts.  Saturday, we made ready for our trip to Bordeaux.  Angie and Lilia went to the youth meeting in Carcassonne, while I packed and made up some sandwiches.  We headed out for Agen, where we spent the night in a Formula 1 hotel.  It rained the whole trip.  The hotel was very inexpensive, but the were no bathrooms in the room, everyone used the public restrooms.  I probably should have paid more attention to the rooms.  We had a someone restful night, amid the noise of people entering and exiting, and people talking, playing guitar, even singing.  We finished the trip the next morning, in the rain.  We enjoyed services with a church in Bordeaux, the pastor is a friend of ours we have known for several years.  After services we went to a basketball game with another American family who is church planting in a suburb of Bordeaux.  We had a great time at the game, and enjoyed a meal at their house afterwards.   We had a great visit, they have been in France for about 20 years, and it was great to ask question and talk about different ways of reaching out.  We left for the three and a half hour drive home (in the rain).  We made it back home about 11 that night, tired but excited.  Monday we got the kids off the school, unpacked and cleaned, and caught up.  Angie had a meeting at school with Micah's class.  Their teacher has been absent a lot and sometimes there is not substitute and so he stays home, as he did today.  Otherwise he would go to another teachers class and color or draw.  He doesn't mind missing school.  We are looking forward to Bible study tonight.  We should have a first time visitor coming.  We did receive word back from a couple we spoke with two weeks ago.  They made it clear that they are not "convinced" about what we shared with them and that "they will never be".  We politely offered our services anytime in the future.  We will continue to pray that God opens their hearts. Blessing, JASON

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Lilia skiing experience.
Lilia's ski outfit.
The only problem with blogging once a week, is that I really have trouble remembering all that has happened the past week.  At the Bible study last week, we had a good discussion about the invitations I am preparing.  It is always good to have the feedback of those familiar with the culture.  We had a good discussion, we ended up speaking about the future of our work here: what we are trying to accomplish, how we need to get there, what are the next steps.  It was a good time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  I shared with the group how I feel that this is a key year.  The past three years in Limoux have given us many good contacts.  We are feeling more and more at ease with the culture and language.  We have a big basketball outreach coming up in June.  We also have a young lady coming to work with us for two years, who will be arriving in September.  Also we realized that three of the people who regularly attend our Bible study are also new to this area.  They also had to get established and have been making new friends.
I scored 130 and won a free pen.
Arianna is vacuuming.
The boys got out all their cars.
Basketball Wednesday went well.  I'm going to have to cut someone from my kids team . . . Andrew.  He gets really upset when he does not do well, when someone passes him, when I try to correct something that he is doing.  I have been talking with him about these problems, but it may just be best to wait for next year.  Thursday  was beautiful.  It got up to 65 degrees. We even walked the kids home during lunch. That evening, I  was able to speak with one of my teammates ( who is new ) about my work, and what we are doing. I was really looking forward to the market Friday morning, because I thought that many people would be out enjoying the nice weather.  It was raining.  I still went, and just stayed under the covered walkway.  There were few people who ventured out, but I did get to talk with Abdel, a Moroccan, who I have gotten well acquainted with these past years.    He sells baskets and carpets.  Friday, Lilia got back from her ski trip.  She left Wednesday and spent three days skiing in the Pyrenees with her class.  She had a great time.  When I dropped her off, I was able to speak to George, the father of her best friend. It has been a while since we say him, and I enjoyed getting to speak with him again.  Saturday, Angie and I found a babysitter, and went bowling with another couple.  We enjoyed spending time with them.  We met them a year ago, when they moved to Limoux and he joined my basketball team.  We were also spying on the bowling alley, to find out if Angie could take the youth group in Carcassonne bowling sometime.  Afterwards we ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant, that was just excellent.  It was worth the $25 per person.  Sunday services went well in Carcassonne.  We stayed for their lunch fellowship afterwards.  That evening we listened to our sending church's evening services on Skype. Yesterday, after dropping the kids off, I went to the bank in Carcassonne.  We worked on the finances some.  Angie went to visit some friends that afternoon, and I finished reading a book about Catholics.  It was interesting because it was written to be give to Catholics to get them to think about what they believe and how that compares with the Bible.  I've started now to read a book in French about the life of Adoniram Judson, missionary to India. This afternoon we had a man come visit along with his elderly mother.  I was able to share my testimony with him and answer several questions.  He has requested to be baptized by the catholic church.  Thankfully he has also started reading his Bible.  Pray for him and his mother (who is in poor health).  Looking forward to Bible study this evening.  This weekend we will be traveling to Bordeaux to visit with a couple of pastors there.  God bless, JASON