-Pray with friends
-Walk around a castle with your daughter
-Play a game
-Splash in a river
-Buy ‘melange cajun’
-Use said spice mix to make something delicious
-Be humbled by being blessed
-Allow yourself to be transparent
-Worry for a few minutes. Get upset at something trivial.*
-Laugh with your spouse
-Thank God for all of it
*Part of that whole transparent bit.
So as some of you know, Nikki and I have moved on to phase 2 of our ministry in France. After seven months in Albertville, France at a language school we moved last week to Loches, France to begin our one year training and internship after which we will move with a team to Descartes, France to plant a new church in the town.
The church here in Loches is small but so full of love and spirit. There have been quite a few people who have prayed for us, sweat for us and even bled a little while helping us move. It’s not all gone as expected (more on that in a bit) but in reality nothing goes as expected (see Jesus walking out into the sea in the middle of a storm or the fantastic story of a women deep in illness being brave enough to reach out just to touch the bottom of Jesus’ robe).
We’ve learned some difficult lessons of missionary life in the past 7 months. Sometimes you will feel lonely and desperate. Sometimes you will feel full of everything good. Sometimes you will laugh and cry at the same time. All of those lessons are journaled somewhere in our minds because we know it will be a cycle but that Jesus doesn’t work on that same up/down circus route. His route is straight, direct and true.
So, the quick story:
On our way to Loches last Friday there was a sudden traffic jam around the city of Lyon. I slowed the van down enough but the woman following me (pray for Loren, by the way, I’m sure she didn’t want to meet a strange american that day) didn’t. The accident was actually quite small on our end. We both got out of our cars and looked at the damage and figured out how to fill out the required accident report (small victory, all in French). When we got to Loches we took the car to a garage where one of our brothers in Christ works. The report came back that the damage was worth more than the car so the insurance company would like to ‘total’ the car and give us money for a new one. On the bright side the money is slightly more than the taxes and payment we made for the car. On the brighter side the garage had a car we could borrow for the week. On the brightest side we had to park said car at the Loches Train Station which doesn’t include parallel parking (thank you Jesus).
Having said all that we are currently having the same brother (Damien, who we spoke of during our presentations after witnessing his baptism a few years ago) search for a car for us. We trust Damien and know he will find the right vehicle for us. The reality of that search is that we will need to raise a bit more funds to find a new car (around $1,500). So we are asking you, your churches, classes, or friends if you would help us offset this cost by giving toward it. With just 15 gifts of $100 we can have this need met. You may either give via credit card at this KMUSA's donation website (click here) or send a check to Kontaktmission with a note with our name (you can find all the information you need on the link above).
We are very near to having our budget set. There are some expenses (health care being the major one) that need to be realized but when it is set we will provide each of our supporters with that budget and make it available for those who wish to see it. We thank you all in advance for your amazing support. We are honored to be a part of your life and feel we are in the right place that God wants us to be. We look forward to the challenge (of being able to say more than 2 complete sentences at a time in French) of serving the Kingdom here in Loches and beyond in Descartes.
Just below this post are a few pictures from town, many many more to come. Don’t forget if you’d like to be a part of our new car fund to give as mentioned just above.
Thanks again for all you do,
Greg, Nikki and Ophelia Saldi