Dear Friends,Summer, 2005
“Now flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” II Timothy 2:22
Last week I stopped by the video store to rent a DVD for us to watch as a family. The boys had been studying hard for their exams, and we all needed a little break. As I spoke with the friendly owner, I asked how the store was doing. “Not well,” he replied. “If things keep going this slow, we’ll have to close. One of the main problems is that we don’t have a 24 hour distributor. There’s a great demand for this now because over 60% of the DVDs that are rented (through automatic distributors) are X-rated films. I only have 2% of my videos that are X.” I was surprised by this statistic. “Oh, yes, madame, that’s what’s working in France these days—sex shops, porno magazines and films are more popular than ever…”
I left that store with a sadness in my heart. How often I have felt this heaviness in France with its overtly provocative billboards where nude women are used to advertise everything from Evian water to yogurt. A few days ago, I read the first few chapters of a manuscript that a young French woman had sent me, asking for advice. Her story centers around a single girl looking for the right guy, willing to go from one-night-stand to one-night-stand to find him. There is no commitment involved and no hope for a life-long relationship or true love. This aspiring writer has accurately portrayed a society in which individual freedom is demanded and moral integrity rarely considered.
How do we combat this? As parents of two teenage boys and as mentors for the youth group leaders, Paul and I find this a matter of continual prayer. As a family, we talk openly, pray often, set limits, provide discipline when needed, provide the boys with books on sexual purity and open our homes to teens. As mentors, we try to help the leaders organize fun, healthy outings for the church’s youth. This summer, there are several such things being offered.
On July 4, the Junior High girls spent the day and
night at our house for an “Anne of Green Gables”
party. They swam, worked on cross stitch and finished
watching this delightful series about the melodramatic
orphan who won over a whole island. Please pray for
these girls. Half of them are from Central Africa, several
of whom are cousins and have recently moved to France.
They have difficult housing situations, live on an extremely
limited budget and often are separated from their parents.
Another girl’s believing father has recently abandoned his family and another girl’s unbelieving father makes it very hard for her to attend church activities. Most of these precious girls love Jesus. We greatly value your prayers for the Lord’s continual work in their lives.
At the end of July, 18 kids from these two youth groups (including Andrew and Christopher) will be attending a “Word of Life” camp in Brittany. In order for as many youth as possible to participate, the groups have raised money by selling pizzas and cakes after church services. Will you pray for the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in the lives of the young people who attend this camp (July 24-30)? Florent will be doing the teaching. Please pray that our youth will stand firm in Christ and resist the temptations which are numerous in their schools and neighborhoods. Pray they will be bold and able to encourage one another. “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” I Timothy 4:12.
As those of you who receive our email updates have heard, my time in the States with the boys for college trips and then alone for book signings went very well. Many, many thanks for all the prayers. The schedule was exhausting, but well worth it. Andrew got a good idea of the different type of schools available in the States, and I was encouraged by the many opportunities I had to speak and sign books.
In June, our family attended the surprise 60th birthday party of Riri Lagier. Riri and his wife Renée are dear friends from our days in Firminy (1983-85). Gathered with them at this occasion were their four children with spouses and kids as well as many friends and relatives. But blatantly absent were any of the members of the Firminy church. Division, misunderstanding and unconfessed sin have wreaked havoc on this small church for years. Will you please pray for God’s Spirit to move in the hearts of
these believers? Riri and Renee’s twin sons, now
in their thirties, were delighted to be reunited with
their buddy, Paul, who was their youth
leader when they were teens. As they relived
so many wonderful memories, I was thankful
for that positive witness in the midst of the many
negative witnesses the kids have seen since. None
of the Lagier kids is walking with the Lord at present.
But God has been in our midst, and we see the stirrings of a new church in the making. We are not in a rush—and we know the Lord isn’t—but it is a blessing once again to be hosting a Bible study that may one day become a church. This is how we began 15 years ago with the Pompignane church in Montpellier. Please pray with us for wisdom and discernment as Paul leads this fledgling group.
We pray that the Lord will refresh your spirits this summer as you rest in Him.
With 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
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