We are occasionally asked about Islam in France. Muslims are quite present here in Rouen. Islam is the second most popular religion in France, after Catholicism and represents about 7 to 10% of the population. Apparently, France has the largest population of muslims in Western Europe. The church here is equipped with Arabic New Testaments which are offered regularly. Do pray for this aspect of the ministry here!
We are so thankful to be here in France! We have been hindered in communicating though, as a result of unreliable internet at our apartment. In fact, we have had no service at all for nearly two weeks. The landlords seem to be doing all they can to get things fixed. Would you pray about this? Thankfully, there are folks in the church who open their homes (and wifi) to us for things like bill paying and sending the following update!
“If I had chosen my own life’s work I would have selected a business where I could have stayed at home….No one can be happy outside the center of God’s will. When I was a boy I used to wonder how missionaries who left their native land and went to far-away lands could be happy. The happiest people I have ever seen have been missionaries of the Cross. Happiness doesn’t depend upon where we are. It depends on what we are. The Apostles could sing in dungeons. Martyrs have been able to shout when they were burning at the stake. To you who read these lines, let me suggest that you yield yourself fully and unconditionally to God and let His will be done in your life. This is the secret of happiness.”
Evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.
And they are going to the library of a church pastored by a member of Mike’s extended family in North Carolina. Thank you for praying about this!
Here is an updated list of the books that Mike has for sale in order to clear the way for a move to France: Mikes Books For Sale April 2015 We will be leaving them in SC by way of a 10-day deputation trip through PA, WV, then NC beginning tomorrow.
Mike’s gout attack subsided enough, and just in time to make this trip. We are so thankful!
Our short term trip to France begins on May 6. We return in order to continue with deputation on July 15. We will only have two weeks to get ready for the trip. Appreciate your prayers!
God answered prayer for Mike’s mother who went to be with the Lord peacefully on March 3rd. However, over a month’s worth of traveling back and forth to the hospice, coupled with a two month’s ride on the emotional roller coaster did take its toll. Mike experienced the first (and hopefully the last) gout attack of his life just as we were preparing to leave North Carolina. Melanie had to literally pack the car by herself but Mike had to drive. Our travels had prevented Melanie from procuring the yearly form required by the government for epileptic drivers, so her license had been temporarily suspended. We had an appointment with her neurologist in Montréal on March 17 that would remedy the situation so we had to get back to Québec! Mike hobbled through a meeting in Pennsylvania on March 15 and God gave much grace! But the foot got worse as he drove the rest of the way to Québec City. After over two weeks of limited mobility, he is finally doing much better. Oh, and Melanie got her driver’s license back!
On February 1, we made a quick trip back to North Carolina from Québec City believing that Mike’s mother may be going to be with the Lord very soon. The family has been up and down the emotional roller coaster with her condition going to and from critical over the past month. There is much that she has been battling physically but the main issue right now is congestive heart failure. God is answering prayer for her peace and comfort and we praise Him for that! She has expressed on numerous occasions her readiness to meet the Lord!
As of this writing, mom is receiving palliative care at Hospice of Rockingham County. Her condition seems to be steadily declining but she is still relatively lucid. The number of visitors that she has received has been astounding and there is no way to express the blessing that this has been to her and to the whole family. Melanie stays with her during the day while I go in and out and help dad.
Last week, the Lord led us to delay our departure for the three-week multi-church conference in Idaho. As time passes, it is beginning to look as though we may have to cancel altogether. Would you pray with us about this? Perhaps we will be able to reschedule with these churches for the fall. Our next meetings are in North Carolina and begin March 1st.