Well, that was the weekend ...

09 Oct 2011

When many people are counting on the weekend to relax and wind down after a week's work, the Girard family is in full swing.

  • contacting people
  • rehearsing for the Christmas presentation
  • checking things are in order for the Sunday services
  • we have even been known to spend Saturdays preparing the service or sermon or teens' group teaching ......

 

Along with the church side, we taxi our 3 children around to their sporting and music commitments and try to communicate with each other so everyone knows what's happening for the next week.

Sound familiar ? We are no different to any missionary/ministry family, and probably any other committed family helping out in their local church.

Once the kids are back in school on Monday, we breathe sigh of relief, but our official day off is Wednesday, which is also the day the kids don't have school when they are at Primary age, and where they only have school in the morning at Secondary level.

Our eldest child is at boarding school during the week in order to qualify as a car mechanic.

We live and work in a country area in the upper middle part of Ardèche, a hilly, mainly agricultural part of France. We'd like to make the most of the quality of life here, but find our busy lives keep us concentrated on ministry and opportunities for ministry.

Each year we determine to be less activist, yet we always end up coordinating, leading, mentoring, witnessing, organising, preparing, doing ..... Our aim is to train leadership in our 2 churches to share the work and responsibility, and to encourage our church members in outreach.

Please join us in praying that the French church continues to grow, and that all our efforts do bear fruit for the Kingdom.

Pray also for down time for us so we can be wise in our activities.

When is it okay to keep people waiting?

07 Oct 2011

If you are a salesperson in a shop and there is a queue of people waiting to be served, what do you do when a friends pops around to say hi? In Peru it's perfectly acceptable to now have a conversation with that friend. The people in the queue will wait patiently while you have a good chat.

Vegetable Shop

I (David) was in our local market the other day purchasing some vegetables. I handed over the money to the lady for the vegetables. Midway while getting my change a friend of this lady came by to say hello. They began to have a great conversation while I waited patiently for a small amount of change (less than 10c). Soon I began to suspect that I had just made a miscalculation and had already actually been given all my change. Why else would this lady launch into a conversation? So I headed off and to a different part of the market. About a minute later the lady from the shop came running. She'd left her shop to find me and give me the rest of the change.

Friendships are more important than time, here in Peru. We've now gotten to know this lady in the vegetable stall and she stops to say hi to us even if she's in the middle of a transaction with someone else.

What's on in SIM

06 Oct 2011

SIMWORLD 2011 VICTORIA    8th October

Mission – where do you fit in?
Ever wondered if God is calling you into world mission?

If you have what it takes?

If your skills and experience could be used in cross
cultural ministry?

How you can be involved if you aren’t called to go?


SIMWORLD is designed to help you explore
those questions. Experienced missionaries
and SIM staff will be available to chat with you
and there will be six creative and interactive
workshops to choose from. Ask questions,
fi nd out about the opportunities that exist for
ministry in Africa, Asia and South America
and enjoy fellowship with like-minded people.


Please write to:
SIMWORLD 2011
PO Box 206, Box Hill Vic 3128

Telephone the office : Victoria : (03) 9898 1693

A form will be sent via email or post.


You can also register online www.sim.org.au
coming to SIMWORLD2011

Update

05 Oct 2011

Hi everyone,

Thanks for praying for Sean's sermon, there was really positive feedback from it. 7 church members went to the mosque we mentioned afterwards to interact on a learning level from Muslims, and found it really helpful in terms of understanding how a Muslim thinks.

We've got some current prayer points, will let you know how they go over this month:

1) This month we are meeting with two couples who are considering joining WEC long term, pray that our time will go well with these couples and that they and we will know if WEC is the right path for them.
2) We are in the midst of working on the new WEC website - it is being designed by a graphic designer but we need to write / bring over all the content and check it -please pray for this process.
3) Clarissa has her stress test on October 13th 915am (Sydney time), pray that she will be able to complete this test and that her heart will continue in sinus rhythm for the whole test.  Please pray too, that the cardiologist will look at her results soon after the test and that her final test can be scheduled this year.
4) Pray for Clarissa who has her school orientation on the 14th Oct, 21 Oct, 28th Oct and 4th Nov, for 1 1 /2 hours each day, pray that she will settle in well and begin the transition to school.
5) Pray for Sean as he edits and brings together the WEC magazine for the printer by 18th October .
6) We are running our next Missionary for a Weekend November 11-13, so please pray that we will be coming in contact with potential participants for this in the next few weeks.

God  Bless,

SJG&C

Unexpected answer to Prayer

29 Sep 2011

Christine: Well God has answered a prayer in an unexpected way.  We were looking for a gymnastics class for the girls but could not find one. We ended up finding a ballet school 20 minutes walk down the road.  I never imagined taking the girls to ballet but they love it. And how is it an answer to prayer?

I have been unable to connect with local mums or find friends to practice Spanish with because of the time needed for language study and just managing the kids. Also they don’t seem to have playgroups or mothers groups like we have at home. But what I have found at the ballet school is a captive audience of mothers who wait the whole hour for their girls twice a week in a small room. We are not allowed to watch the class so we are forced to chat with each other.  How nice! So today I wrote down a few of their names. I met a teacher, dentist, accountant and, of course, stay home mum’s like me (well, excluding language study ). Of course some topics are universal for mothers: breastfeeding, how you fared in your pregnancy and what cute thing your kid did yesterday. To my surprise I can understand a lot of what they are saying. Sometimes the lady closest to me kindly repeats the key information more slowly and simply for me, but none the less, it is all in Spanish. They have encouraged me and say I am doing well for such a short time in the country. This is great to hear as in the language school I am reminded constantly of my mistakes. I cannot use all the tenses we have learnt yet but slowly and with practice I am sure I will get there.  The ladies said they are happy to help me and I am more relaxed in this situation of immersion. 

I am going to look forward to Monday and Friday afternoons sitting around with other mothers of little ballerinas. Who knows where God will lead our conversations in the future. Please pray for opportunities and praise God for answered prayer.  The ballerinas get a lollie at the end of each class – to which Annabelle asks ‘Why did I get a lollie?’ It’s definitely a win win for everyone (though maybe not their teeth).  

Reaching out to Street Children

28 Sep 2011

These boys are abandoned and were previously street children. They are now in a government orphanage. Some have come from family with alcohol problems or with sexual abuse and as a result have hate and anger in their hearts. Many have drug addictions eg. sniffing halucinagens. They are in need of the love of God. So next November I will start a Bible study twice a week to disciple and share God's love. We have permission from the social worker for this.

Update

22 Sep 2011

First up, thanks to those who've shared our excitement on the removal of Clarissa's medication, it's great to hear from you. She has gone fine without her medicine and so we're continuing to trust that all is fine.

Thanks too for those who prayed for our mobilisation conference (mentioned in our newsletter), the team related well despite only meeting 'in person' a couple of times a year - we are all committed to one purpose and that becomes clear whenever we meet. We also enjoy enjoying one another and God, and especially appreciated the opportunity we had one afternoon together to get out and see some of Sydney on a beautiful sunny day.

This Sunday we'd appreciate your prayers as Sean is speaking at our church here (Ashfield Baptist) on 2 Corinthians 4:3-7, followed by the chance for church attendees to come along to an open day at a local Mosque, where Muslims literally open their doors for anyone to come in. We'd love for it to be an opportunity for people of our church to interact on a deeper level with Muslims - pray for this.

Thanks very much, we appreciate you all!
SJG&C

Why we're looking forward to working with University Student?

21 Sep 2011

Latin America is an exciting place to be with so many opportunities to serve.

Students at a youth conference in Arequipa

We look forward to serving in a University, discipling and empowering students to follow Jesus. Students are the future leaders of the nation and are an incredibly strategic group of people to work along side. Our vision is that many students will be inspired to serve God and will go proclaiming and living out the message of Jesus. Arequipa, the city we work in, has several major universities. Some students come to Arequipa to study from different parts of southern Peru. If we can reach these students, they are able to take the gospel back to their communities in their own language. We met two students who did exactly this. In their holidays they went back to their incredibly remote village high in the Andes and they taught the Bible in their native language Quechua. Read the amazing story of how this remote village turned to Jesus.

Our prayer is that Peru will not only send missionaries within the country but also beyond. This is already starting to happen. SIM has spent many years preparing the church in Peru for this. A couple of months ago SIM Peru sent its first missionary to Asia. Latin American missionaries are able to go into countries in Asia and the Middle East that may not be open to western missionaries. They are also able to blend in more easily in these countries with their darker complexion. There is a SIM team that is working hard to put together documentation and training that will help to mobilise the Latin American church for missions. A lot of work is still to be done and a lot of prayer is needed. We look forward to seeing what God will do.

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