2004 Prayer Updates
December 2004
On a hill overlooking the city of Lyon stands a magnificent cathedral called Fourviere, filled with gold mosaics and statues.  From outside this cathedral, many a tourist has stood and appreciated the breathtaking view of the city far below with its two rivers, the red-tiled roofs and the golden mountains in the distance.
Fourviere Cathedral was built in the late 19th century as a shrine to the Virgin Mary.  When the city officials heard of the impending arrival of enemy troops, they made a vow to build a cathedral to Mary if she would save their city.  The citizens of Lyon fervently prayed for deliverance.  The enemy never made it to Lyon.  Now every year on December 8th, Lyon celebrates the “Festival of Lights”, renown throughout the whole country. The cathedral blazes with light from the hill and many citizens of Lyon light candles and put them in windows to shine light to the city.  Modern technology has added its flare, so that now the Festival of Lights includes impressive lazar shows and streets filled with twinkling lights.  Virtually the whole city turns out to stroll through the streets of Lyon during the first week of December and participate in the city’s most popular celebration.

Isn’t it sad how often we can be so close to the truth and yet so very far away?  Think of it: “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see….”; “And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it…”; “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life…”;

All the elements of truth are present, but there is just one problem—the focus is on the wrong person.  Every citizen of Lyon understands the story behind the “Festival of Lights” and most participate with lights of their own, and yet…  So close and yet so very far away.

But are we not the same, sometimes, smug in our little evangelical world?  Is there not a temptation to worship the programs or the preacher or the political issues and forget to focus our attention on the Light of the World?  Oh, how I pray that we will be so full of Jesus’ love during this time of Noel that our faces radiate His light and our hands are busy showing true hope to the world around us.

In Lyon, that is our prayer.  So as you look at this sketch that Andrew has drawn, and as the Lord brings it to your mind in the next days and weeks, please pray for this city.  May that bridge over the river remind you of what we are trying to do—provide opportunities for the people of Lyon to find the true Light—‘Oh Come let us adore Him, Christ the LORD!’

In another part of Lyon, our house sits overlooking the same river.  Since we moved to our new home in July, we’ve had over a hundred children, teens and adults for dinner, not to mention the many who come for Bible studies, youth groups, and just ‘hangin’ out’ with our boys.  Throughout our years in ministry the Lord has pushed us into hospitality, and I have learned a lot about just opening the doors to whomever he sends: a neighbor, a roadside worker, a college student traveling around Europe, the boys’ friends, church members, acquaintances from our village and so many others.  Building bridges takes time.  Will you please pray for what I call ‘the witness of our walls’?  May those who step into our home feel Jesus’ presence here.  And please pray that all four of us will be gracious hosts, even when it is not convenient.

A few items for prayer:

--our boys: Andrew, 16, and a junior, just took the PSAT (the first time he’s ever taken a standardized test) and we are beginning to consider colleges.  He loves skateboarding, guitar, baseball and thoughtful reflection about the meaning of life. His favorite book in the Bible right now is Ecclesiastes with Revelation a close second.  Christopher, 14, in 9th grade, continues to love all sports with his specialty in baseball (in spite of a weaker team here in Lyon) and enjoys piano.  He is a peacemaker with a compassionate heart for friends, and his social schedule keeps us hoppin’.  Boys’ recent heroic accomplishment: they rescued their grandmother when she was left on a quay in a train station in Spain.  (Ask them about it!) Favorite family game: CatchPhrase.

--The youth group spends the night at our house on Dec. 18 and we’ll be handing out plates of cookies and a Gospel of John to neighbors and shop owners in this community. Florent is doing a study with them on evangelism and apologetics.  Pray for them as they put what they learn into practice with their friends.

--In early November, we started what has rarely been successful in an evangelical French church—having two worship services.  In this way, we can stay in the present building and use our finances to improve it, instead of seeking larger facilities elsewhere.  So far, we’ve been thrilled with the positive response of the congregation.  In January, the church body will vote on whether or not to continue with two services.

--Paul’s role as coordinator of ministries—mentoring the leaders of various ministries in church and prayerfully considering what is needed to spur the Christians on to ‘love and good deeds’.  He’s also helping coordinate the work going on to change the building.  And he enjoys doing the nuts and bolts of ministry, letting Florent ‘shine’ in his role of teacher.

--Kevin and Cheryl Stauffer (also from Atlanta!), with their three young children, Mark, Katie and Lucy, are our teammates in Lyon.  Kevin is in charge of worship in the church and in the two and half years he has been here, there has been a dramatic, positive change in the way we worship.  Please pray for the Stauffers as they continue to learn the language in the midst of a busy ministry.

--In November we attended an IT conference—a time of rejuvenation and thankfulness—we’ve been with International Teams for over twenty years and how encouraging to see our mission on the cutting edge.  At the conference, missionaries of ten different nationalities were present: American, Canadian, British, Romanian, Australian, Brazilian, Dutch… What a privilege to be a part of this ‘international team’ whose whole aim is to glorify the Lord and help others around the world.

I finished my novel in early November. What a joy and a relief.  It has been the hardest and taken me the longest to write.  The title is The Dwelling Place and it should be available in bookstores in April.

Enclosed is our new prayer card, taken on our front porch.  We can never stress how much we count on your prayers.  So please put this somewhere where you’ll see it.  If we are smiling in the picture, it is because you are faithful to hold us up before our Father and ask that we be true lights for Him.  We need you more than ever!  If it were not for your faithful prayers and gifts, we would not still be here.  Often at Christmastime, our hearts are nostalgic, but your cards, letters and gifts brighten our days.  Thank you, thank you and MERCI.

Merry Christmas and much love,
Elizabeth, Paul, Andrew and Christopher


Finances: International Teams . 411 West River Road .Elgin, IL  60123-1570
Correspondance: Musser . 898 Quai Pierre Dupont, 69270 Rochetaillée-sur-Saône, FRANCE
Email: paul.musser@iteams.org or egmusser@compuserve.com

December 2004
On a hill overlooking the city of Lyon stands a magnificent cathedral called Fourviere, filled with gold mosaics and statues.  From outside this cathedral, many a tourist has stood and appreciated the breathtaking view of the city far below with its two rivers, the red-tiled roofs and the golden mountains in the distance.
Fourviere Cathedral was built in the late 19th century as a shrine to the Virgin Mary.  When the city officials heard of the impending arrival of enemy troops, they made a vow to build a cathedral to Mary if she would save their city.  The citizens of Lyon fervently prayed for deliverance.  The enemy never made it to Lyon.  Now every year on December 8th, Lyon celebrates the “Festival of Lights”, renown throughout the whole country. The cathedral blazes with light from the hill and many citizens of Lyon light candles and put them in windows to shine light to the city.  Modern technology has added its flare, so that now the Festival of Lights includes impressive lazar shows and streets filled with twinkling lights.  Virtually the whole city turns out to stroll through the streets of Lyon during the first week of December and participate in the city’s most popular celebration.

Isn’t it sad how often we can be so close to the truth and yet so very far away?  Think of it: “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see….”; “And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it…”; “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life…”;

All the elements of truth are present, but there is just one problem—the focus is on the wrong person.  Every citizen of Lyon understands the story behind the “Festival of Lights” and most participate with lights of their own, and yet…  So close and yet so very far away.

But are we not the same, sometimes, smug in our little evangelical world?  Is there not a temptation to worship the programs or the preacher or the political issues and forget to focus our attention on the Light of the World?  Oh, how I pray that we will be so full of Jesus’ love during this time of Noel that our faces radiate His light and our hands are busy showing true hope to the world around us.

In Lyon, that is our prayer.  So as you look at this sketch that Andrew has drawn, and as the Lord brings it to your mind in the next days and weeks, please pray for this city.  May that bridge over the river remind you of what we are trying to do—provide opportunities for the people of Lyon to find the true Light—‘Oh Come let us adore Him, Christ the LORD!’

In another part of Lyon, our house sits overlooking the same river.  Since we moved to our new home in July, we’ve had over a hundred children, teens and adults for dinner, not to mention the many who come for Bible studies, youth groups, and just ‘hangin’ out’ with our boys.  Throughout our years in ministry the Lord has pushed us into hospitality, and I have learned a lot about just opening the doors to whomever he sends: a neighbor, a roadside worker, a college student traveling around Europe, the boys’ friends, church members, acquaintances from our village and so many others.  Building bridges takes time.  Will you please pray for what I call ‘the witness of our walls’?  May those who step into our home feel Jesus’ presence here.  And please pray that all four of us will be gracious hosts, even when it is not convenient.

A few items for prayer:

--our boys: Andrew, 16, and a junior, just took the PSAT (the first time he’s ever taken a standardized test) and we are beginning to consider colleges.  He loves skateboarding, guitar, baseball and thoughtful reflection about the meaning of life. His favorite book in the Bible right now is Ecclesiastes with Revelation a close second.  Christopher, 14, in 9th grade, continues to love all sports with his specialty in baseball (in spite of a weaker team here in Lyon) and enjoys piano.  He is a peacemaker with a compassionate heart for friends, and his social schedule keeps us hoppin’.  Boys’ recent heroic accomplishment: they rescued their grandmother when she was left on a quay in a train station in Spain.  (Ask them about it!) Favorite family game: CatchPhrase.

--The youth group spends the night at our house on Dec. 18 and we’ll be handing out plates of cookies and a Gospel of John to neighbors and shop owners in this community. Florent is doing a study with them on evangelism and apologetics.  Pray for them as they put what they learn into practice with their friends.

--In early November, we started what has rarely been successful in an evangelical French church—having two worship services.  In this way, we can stay in the present building and use our finances to improve it, instead of seeking larger facilities elsewhere.  So far, we’ve been thrilled with the positive response of the congregation.  In January, the church body will vote on whether or not to continue with two services.

--Paul’s role as coordinator of ministries—mentoring the leaders of various ministries in church and prayerfully considering what is needed to spur the Christians on to ‘love and good deeds’.  He’s also helping coordinate the work going on to change the building.  And he enjoys doing the nuts and bolts of ministry, letting Florent ‘shine’ in his role of teacher.

--Kevin and Cheryl Stauffer (also from Atlanta!), with their three young children, Mark, Katie and Lucy, are our teammates in Lyon.  Kevin is in charge of worship in the church and in the two and half years he has been here, there has been a dramatic, positive change in the way we worship.  Please pray for the Stauffers as they continue to learn the language in the midst of a busy ministry.

--In November we attended an IT conference—a time of rejuvenation and thankfulness—we’ve been with International Teams for over twenty years and how encouraging to see our mission on the cutting edge.  At the conference, missionaries of ten different nationalities were present: American, Canadian, British, Romanian, Australian, Brazilian, Dutch… What a privilege to be a part of this ‘international team’ whose whole aim is to glorify the Lord and help others around the world.

I finished my novel in early November. What a joy and a relief.  It has been the hardest and taken me the longest to write.  The title is The Dwelling Place and it should be available in bookstores in April.

Enclosed is our new prayer card, taken on our front porch.  We can never stress how much we count on your prayers.  So please put this somewhere where you’ll see it.  If we are smiling in the picture, it is because you are faithful to hold us up before our Father and ask that we be true lights for Him.  We need you more than ever!  If it were not for your faithful prayers and gifts, we would not still be here.  Often at Christmastime, our hearts are nostalgic, but your cards, letters and gifts brighten our days.  Thank you, thank you and MERCI.

Merry Christmas and much love,
Elizabeth, Paul, Andrew and Christopher


Finances: International Teams . 411 West River Road .Elgin, IL  60123-1570
Correspondance: Musser . 898 Quai Pierre Dupont, 69270 Rochetaillée-sur-Saône, FRANCE
Email: paul.musser@iteams.org or