Cirque du Schaller
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
We’ve heard from 11 friends who are fighting the virus, and a handful more have mild symptoms but haven’t been tested. Sadly, a longtime volunteer with Agapé named Stephane lost the battle. He was 50 years old, healthy, and leaves behind a wife and two children. Trent had the pleasure of working with him to build the Jesus.fr site. His life was full of worship.
Mauricette’s friend of 40 years, Marie-France, passed away last week due to the virus. A lifelong friend of Milo is in the ICU right now. Our friends in Italy tell us the hospitals there are now rejecting anyone over the age of sixty. The sadness and fear are palpable.
In the midst of great tragedy, God is at work. Around the globe, new people are hearing the Sunday message because a family member turns it on. Trent has been busy helping our church move to virtual services. Today Tara got a call from the girls’ Sunday school teacher just to shoot the breeze. It feels like our church is solidifying even though we’re apart.
Daily life in France is different than what you are experiencing in America. Confinement is the law; you have to fill out a personal form before going outside. Everything is closed (except grocery, pharmacy, and medical establishments). Even Mauricette’s cancer treatments have been cancelled. You read that right. School is cancelled. Our house renovations are on hold.
We are healthy and incredibly blessed. Trent bikes to work every morning (he’s the only one there.) With all our staff using their computers more, he’s busier than ever. Tara and the girls talk with Mauricette daily from the balcony. On her birthday we made a cake and a balloon decoration that hung to her window (pic). She calls it her “lighthouse” and asked us to keep it there. We keep adding flowers, notes, and scripture. Isolation makes her grief hurt more, so for her sake, we’re glad to still be in this two-bedroom apartment. She is getting to know three ladies from our church via phone calls. Please pray for those relationships and for Jesus to be her rock.
Our girls are loving this break! Homeschooling has gone from impossible to decent. They teach each other new things, and Lydia is helping Tara learn more French. We are a community of five. This time is allowing us to appreciate and discover how much fun we can have together. We’ve had some wonderful conversations about what we’re reading in the Word. Lydia’s been reading the real Bible since August, and she’s now in Esther. It’s powerful to see God shaping her mind.
What are you hearing from God? What are you hearing from the world? Everything in our faith hinges on Easter: when Jesus laid down his rights out of love. He could have gotten off the cross, but he loved us too much. Such love is not limited by our confinement. In fact, consider that Paul was confined when he wrote much of the New Testament! Sit with God, listen, and hear what he has to say personally to you. Then worship him loudly! The world’s ears are open. They are dying for good news.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Love, Trent, Tara, Lydia, Rachel and Tessa