August 29, 2011

Offering Hope to Those Enslaved…
One of the newer ministries that the Lyon City Team (LCT) has partnered with is the L’Alliance de L’Esperance (Hope Alliance) ministry, which seeks to reach out to those caught up in Human Trafficking—primarily in the form of prostitution.  The ministry is made up of Christians from various local churches and missions organizations, both French and English.  Twice a month teams from Hope Alliance head out on the streets late at night to meet the women.  A few teams of 2-3 will go onto the streets while one team will follow and pray.  The teams may talk with girls from France, Bulgaria, Nigeria, as well as many other European or African countries.

According to The Guardian's report in April 2011, France is considering making it illegal to pay for sex.  If the law is passed, France would join a small number of European countries that will punish such crimes with time in prison.  Sweden was the first to establish such a law in 1999, followed by Norway and Iceland.  It is believed the 80% of the estimated 20,000 prostitutes in France are victims of trafficking and slavery. 

Over the past months of reaching out in this way, it has been exciting to see the girls’ eyes light up as the team hands them a Bible in their own native tongue.  They are often starved for the hot tea and chocolate that the team gives them and even more for the conversation, literature and help.  The teams offer to pray for them if they desire, and take time to simply get to know them, trying to build relationships and understand what issues these women face.  With God’s help, those involved in this ministry find ways to be a light for the gospel in this very dark place.

August 14, 2011

Video... A View of Lyon

We have created a few video presentations that show a bit more about the city of Lyon, the ministries of the Lyon City Team, and what parts we will play in the ministries once we join the team.  These videos are being used when we are presenting the ministry to groups.  We thought you would enjoy viewing one of these videos.  It even comes with French background music!  We'll work on finding French "worship" music for future videos. :) 

Join the excitement over what is happening in Lyon.  God can use all of us together to share His love to those who have never heard!

Double-click on this video to view it full screen directly in YouTube.
Once in YouTube, click on the 'full screen' button (4 arrows) on the bottom right corner of the play bar.

Adapted from a presentation that was originally developed by Jim Carlson for the Lyon City Team.

August 11, 2011

Great Blog Post: The Economy is Down...

I came across this post, a great reminder of God's provision for us in all circumstances.  T.J. Addington is a Senior Vice President with the EFCA and the leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA. 

These thoughts remind me of this verse - Luke 6:38.  We are used to the NIV version...

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” 

The Message puts this verse in a great new light...

"Give away your life; you'll find life given back,
but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.
Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

Take a few minutes to read this great post:  The economy is down so what do I do with my giving?

August 7, 2011

Reflections on 4-H in Elkhart County

Morgan is now a 10-year 4-H member.  Wow!  Where has the time gone?  I remember our first time visiting the Elkhart County 4-H Fair after moving back to Indiana from California.  The kids were 5 years olds and under.  I (Chris) couldn't wait until our kids could enjoy 4-H just like I did as a kid/teen.

Not to brag too much, but there is something very special about our county fair.  Elkhart Co. 4-H Fair has been considered the 2nd largest county fair for many years now, just missing the mark to Orange Co.

Beyond being one of the finest county fairs in the nation, it has a ton of wonderful men and women who work year-round to create a great 9-day experience like none other.  Here are just a few pictures that will give you a glimpse of the fair itself...

This year may possibly be our last year in 4-H... it all depends on whether our support commitments are at 100% by next summer.  Reflecting on the past 10 years of 4-H for our kids, we've truly enjoyed our "front row seats" in the Lamb Barn during the week of the fair.  It's such fun to watch the fairgoers and get to visit with so many friends and family while at the fair. 

The kids have experimented with various 4-H projects over the years - foods, sewing, fashion revue, salon print photography, scrapbooking, ceramics and sheep.

Morgan's salon print this year was of darling kids she met while in Thailand...

Bailey completed a beautiful ceramic project of "The Last Supper".  Lots of details in the faces & clothing...

Showing sheep, though we're not the model sheep-showing family, has been a blast for the kids over the years. We've enjoyed showing suffolk, romney, tunis, speckled-face dorsets, and this year we showed dorsets.  Here are some pictures over the years of showing sheep...

Since Morgan was in Thailand most of the summer, she didn't show sheep this year, but Bailey, Spencer and Easton enjoyed showing their sweet dorset sheep - Horsie, Luther & Loser. :)

Thank you, Elkhart Co. 4-H Fair Board, for all the hard work you put into the fair each year!  It is the highlight of our summers.  We know already that we will miss being part of such a great program after we move to France.