To Germany With Love

ich_liebe_deutschland_keychainThis fall our focus is clearly on our neighbor Germany, and this is not a fluke. Intercessors who focus on healing the land see Germany (the Fatherland) and France (the Motherland) as the keys to the wholeness of Europe. Germany has been an abusive father in the past, causing France to resemble a struggling single mother played out socially, economically and spiritually. Each of us had a part to play in working to restore the "marriage" between these two countries last month, and what a great fit with our calling!

David spent a week with YWAMers in Berlin mid-month prayer-walking with local intercessors for specific issues related to the city. (You can read his fascinating report here.) The interesting connection was that Oceane’s aunt stayed with me while he was gone (to attend parent/teacher meetings) and I was able to witness the painful dysfunction between her and Oceane, a perfect picture of the image of fatherless France.

A few days after his return, I was driven to a church near Stuttgart to introduce the Sozo ministry. When our leaders travelled to minister in the past without intercessors on-site, they suffered a lot of physical and emotional attack before, during, and after the trip. It was also too heavy to give the training and also offer personal ministry. So this time they brought a whole team of trusted friends along.

On the main day of our teaching, Oct. 27th, it snowed all day a beautiful prophetic sign of healing for the church. My role was to give personal Sozos during the seminar and 6 out of the 7 people scheduled got a breakthrough in intimacy with the Godhead, including the woman who hosted me and my translator! I give much of the credit to our 3 intercessors who kept the heavens open for us. As the pastor prayed for our team before we led the Sunday morning service, I felt strongly like I was joining Paul in his travels among the early churches. We all walked in our different gifts with no pressure of performance: driving, preaching, translating, teaching, healing, worshipping, praying, prophesying and laughing! It was a light and joyful 4 days. What a great picture of the body of Christ (and need I mention the spiritual impact of a Franco-American team coming in humility to minister to the Germans?)

And now it is sweet Olivia’s turn. On Sunday she will take an all-day train trip with her other classmate to Vienna for 3 weeks of German language immersion, living with a family and attending a small Christian school that she fell in love with last year during a class trip. It has been a huge battle to organize this trip for only 2 students, so we can only guess that the enemy is nervous for some reason that we are not yet aware of!

But wait! The German connections continue: My trusted dentist is German and last month after finishing my 2nd crown, she asked me if she could come to my house weekly for an hour of English conversation in anticipation of a visit to Australia to see her daughter for Christmas! So combined with the Sozos, it is the Germans who have been making up the support drop this month and provision is a vital role of the father!

Visiting in July 2011The other connection is with our beloved German YWAM leaders from our DTS in 1999. In the last 2 summers, we have reconnected with them and their children when they started vacationing in France by caravan. Their oldest daughter wants to improve her French and become a teacher and she fell in love with the chateau and bonded with Olivia. So we have just agreed for her to start applying for a year abroad, living with us while interning at our school with the German/art teacher! What a contrast she would be from Oceane, as a girl from the Fatherland growing up loved by her father in a vibrant Christian community!

Other news not related to Germany will just have to wait until next month!

Love, Angela

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

This has been the lightest back-to-school month ever and I cannot account for it because I am doing a lot more than I’ve done in past years. Despite regular hormonal hijacking by my body, there is seems to be a grace on everything I’m investing in. This month I’ll recount 2 of the biggest mountains of worry that quickly became molehills of happiness:

Big Worry#1: Like every year, we were asked to host a student in our home. How flattering, except that:

  • we wanted to be free to do more ministry travel this year.
  • This 12 yr. old was on 3 different meds for anxiety and health problems that caused her to miss too much school last year.
  • She was abandoned by her parents at birth and was going through a little rebellious streak with the aunt that has devoted her life to raise her.
  • She wasn’t thriving in public school, but our Christian school was a 2 1/2 hr. drive from home and train connections were complicated, so she would need to stay the weekends too.
  • When we finally asked God’s opinion, He told us to take her in M-F. I laid out our limitations, expectations and charges in a long e-mail, hoping we would sound too puritanical or be too expensive for them.

IMG_1108[1]Are you worried? We were. Then they accepted our demands without hesitation and offered more money, thinking I hadn’t remembered to budget for food! But 2 weeks later, it’s all good! Olivia loves being a big sister. Oceane loves our cats, our house, our American food, and our school! And she is showing it. Weekend accommodations with other families have not been as successful, so we may just have to adopt her!

Big Worry#2: We had an Alsatian wedding invitation waiting for us in our stack of summer mail. How wonderful, except that:

  • I was asked to help decorate the (dull) sanctuary 5 days in advance.
  • I was in back-to-school teacher meetings all week and had my first English class to teach the day before the wedding.
  • I was asked to work with a woman in the church who had very different tastes from mine and insisted that she could not pull it off without me.
  • This was the bride’s 2nd marriage late in life. She had no ideas and a $100 budget.
  • David was in Paris all week for the annual YWAM conference, so I had no shoulder to cry on.

I went to bed Monday night alone, worried how to keep my peace and save this woman’s important day. And then God gave me the simple idea to re-orient the room towards the side windows and make a canopy tent (owned by the school) the focal point instead of trying to beautify an ugly stage. Chuppah!

IMG_1111[1]I floated through the rest of the week: On Tuesday, my co-worker agreed to my idea while she focused on the flowers and I ran into a party store and spent just $40 to dress up the tent and get a runner for the floor. On Thursday, I painted a banner to cover a bulletin board for guests to sign while waiting to pick David up at the train station late that night. On Friday, my first English class was a blast, and afterwards, we had the tent up and the sanctuary decorated in 4 hrs. time.

It got rave reviews. We returned the room to its original state in time to still catch the reception and then enjoyed 6 more hours of a 4-course meal interspersed with games and dancing with live folk musicians! It was a great way to celebrate our wedding anniversary this year! So who’s happy now?

I’ll save the rest of my grace-filled news for next month!

Love, Angela

Honor Roll

Noah graduates from BFAWith Rachel and Noah graduating well in June, I decided to borrow this theme by recounting our summer trip back to the States graduation-style. Here’s a roll call of all those who made it possible for all 5 us to enjoy a vacation together of this length for the first time in 5 years. It was wonderful…

(Cue "Pomp and Circumstance") May we present…

David’s parents: for financing our airfare, arranging our deluxe accommodations in Indy, bringing our family together, and feeding us when we were too tired to feed ourselves!

D.J. C., Marguerite & Heinz W., the Garrys, Bread of Life church, and our regular supporters: for erasing financial pressure throughout our 6 weeks with their gifts. 

Tom and Wendy L.: for generously loaning us their car for our road trip out west and hosting a warm reunion of David’s best friends in their home.

Debbie K.: for picking me up at the Denver airport, driving me to the missionary women’s retreat and treating me to lunch, while still recovering from cancer surgery. God bless her!

The Hundreds of Women behind the retreat: for making me feel so valued and honored with 4 days of worship, sharing, gifts, and pampering at a 4-star hotel.

Brian and Vanessa S.: for celebrating the 4th together while providing free Marriott lodging in Kansas for David and the kids.

Keith and Annie T.: for giving us their master bedroom, a gourmet dinner, hosting an open house for us, and a trip to Costco in Denver! 

Mom and Dad: for helping finance the trip, letting us invade their house in NM, outfitting Rachel’s new house with cool stuff, and being super grandparents while we flew to CA.

Bethel Church: for creating an extraordinary atmosphere in Redding, CA for physical and marital healing!!

The Timkins: for providing 3 beautiful bedrooms and 2 delicious meals to us as strangers at the end of our road trip in St. Louis (through a missionary care organization.)

Don and Phyllis L.: for their heart for European missions shown by opening their home and lives to us in Indy for 3 whole weeks!

The Najmon Family: for a wonderful evening on their farm and for adopting Noah into their family for the coming year.

Goodwill: for providing "new" clothes for the whole family in a very pleasant atmosphere!

Bill and Katrina D.: for being intentional in getting to know each other over crab cakes on the reservoir!

Bread of Life Church: for embracing and supporting our family in so many special ways! Here’s to future partnerships!

Fred and Rosie F.: for buying lunch and bearing gifts, in anticipation of their next French class visit!

Wal-Mart: for 24/7 availability and providing quicker and cheaper eye and foot care for David and Olivia than in France!

Nancy F.: for giving up an evening to give us 3 free haircuts while catching up – we looked great for the wedding!

Jason and Brittany H.: for (inadvertently) scheduling their beautiful ceremony when we could all attend – this was the kids’ first family wedding and dancing all together during the reception was a highlight!

The Hanna Family: for coming to work at and bless our school, taking good care of our house and cats, and housing us in Wheaton for the wedding in return!

Steve H.: for great Chicago pizza and taking the time to share his life and career in Christian media with us!

Mike and Sarah M.: for a Le Peep breakfast, the scoop on Christian radio and catching up on 20 years!

My brother Brock and Cheri: for loaning us a car for 2 weeks and saving the day with an extra suitcase to get everything back to France!

David’s sister Jane and Rick: for organizing their lives around our visit and especially for welcoming Noah into their home for his freshman year. It was easier to say goodbye knowing that he is in good hands!

Ginna and Ed L.: for our final Cracker Barrel family moment together…

Rachel graduates from AIWhat can I say? God bless America! It was so refreshing to come and receive, getting filled up so that we can start giving out again when ministry life starts here in Sept. I want to especially thank our kids for making this a very joyous transition time for their mother!

The one thing that didn’t happen was finding new supporters to off-set a $450 monthly drop in giving. Do any of our readers feel led in joining us in our French adventure? If so, check out our Support page for details!

Back-to-school news next month!

Love, Angela

La Vie en Rose

Olivia and I just got back from an escapade in Paris and we have been humming La Vie en Rose ever since. It’s a great description of our wonderful spring – it’s been like looking through rose-colored glasses!

The last week of March, we welcomed Willemijn from Holland, (despite my vow to never host another exchange student in a previous newsletter!) She was delightful and along with her classmates, participated with our students in a fun run to raise money for the persecuted church. We raised over 3000 euros, which is amazing, considering our school struggles to pay the bills most months!

On the occasion of my 50th birthday, Jesus used all of my local friends and family (and even strangers!) in myriads of ways to show me how much I am loved. After leaving everything and everyone familiar 12 years ago, I have never felt so rich. This gives me immense hope as I look towards the future (and all the unknowns that come with aging!) Here are 7 of my girlfriends from our church who celebrated with me one day at my favorite restaurant in Germany followed by a long soak in the local thermal baths!



One birthday blessing was getting a call to help one of our students with English homework – my first paying job after getting certified to teach English! He’s a relatively motivated 14 yr. old boy who lives in our village, so it’s easy money!


Noah was also home for his spring break and we had a delightful 2 weeks together in beautiful weather, while Olivia and David were still at school all day. During our 4-day Easter weekend, we held a 6 hr. tabernacle on Good Friday to lift up Jesus as King over France at the onset of presidential elections and we invited Alana and Nadine over for my traditional leg of lamb meal on Sunday. 


A few days later we picked up the Richards at the airport for their fifth 3-month stint with us. Janet and Nadine will be busy with sozo training seminars during this time. Right now our individual sessions revolve around just a few people whom we see every two weeks. The teen that we helped a year ago referred another teen to us who was barely functioning. After 4 sessions with us, having transferred to our school, and staying with a healthy host family during the week, she was able to attend a full week of school recently for the first time in years. She even participated in the fun run!


And that brings us to our own spring break and Paris. My old friend Corinne turned 50 two weeks after I did, and I hadn’t seen her since she her father’s funeral 18 months ago. She had sent me 20 roses and I wanted to take her to a gourmet restaurant run by YWAMers in the 19th arrondissement. She’s moving out of Paris this year, so I decided I should take Olivia along while we still had free lodging, since her last visit was 11 yrs ago on outreach from Scotland and she remembers nothing! La Vie en Rose was playing during our boat ride down the Canal St. Martin.

Labeshuus3 050


During that time, David drove to a prayer house near Lake Thun, Switzerland with the Richards and some of our youth worshippers to fill a few days with worshipful musical and artistic collaboration and prayer. Guess who came home exhausted and who came back refreshed!



Next week Olivia leaves for another class trip with her German teacher to visit Vienna and Berlin. So far, she is the only 11th grader enrolled for next year, so she may do independent study while her classmates go off to public school. Ah, the ups and downs of high school in Europe!


Love, Angela

Molehills to Mountains

I had good reason to be silent last month – physical attacks on both of us plus an extreme cold snap turned us into moles for much of the month. It was almost painless with a boxful of new, used English books to dig into from the annual book swap at Black Forest Academy, until the end of the month when David and I both crawled out of our holes just in time to help make the French Christian teacher’s conference a success.

I was in on the food, of course, making 100 sack lunches to sell with Olivia’s class, raising money for their spring trip to Berlin. This photo gives you a vague idea of the setting and how many people are involved in Christian schools in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. (300ish) The main speaker was an American, so Olivia was asked to be her hostess during the conference and also pitched in with food service. David supervised the setting up and tearing down of the sound reinforcement from our church, to this rented hall, and back again.

So after getting over that mountain, the next one staring us down was planning our summer trip back to the U.S. It was time to buy the tickets, but the details were overwhelming us. We hadn’t been back as a family for 5 years, and the demands were much greater than when we visit individually. We needed house/cat sitters for 6 weeks and free private lodging to help us get through this extended family transition time (relating to Rachel on her own adult turf, battling random menopause symptoms, and returning without Noah!) We would also need a car of our own for a road trip to visit my parents and then a car for local use in Indy. I also desperately wanted some private spiritual retreat time in a comfortable place, as this does not exist here. Even though French retreat centers are located in beautiful isolated locations, they are obviously designed for the sole purpose of mortifying the flesh.

So we laid the whole thing on the altar, letting God put it together, or not, as He saw fit. We told Him that if He wanted us to go, we needed some details in place in order to decide on departure/return dates and we gave him a week to do it, nervously keeping an eye on ticket prices.

We are happy to report that our Father, in cooperation with His children, has gone above and beyond for us!

  • That week, two families (that we trust!) contacted us, needing free lodging and a car in our area, perfectly timed during our absence!
  • I had also "put out a fleece" by applying to attend a 4-day retreat for full-time cross-cultural North American missionary women at a luxury hotel in Denver. Because churches and fund-raisers subsidize most of the cost for the attendees, they only accept 100 applicants, you can only attend once in your lifetime, and there is always a waiting list. Free gifts, massages, haircuts, pedicures and counseling are part of the package. And guess what? I got the acceptance e-mail that same week and my parents covered my travel and fees as my 50th birthday gift! With those dates in stone, we were able to pinpoint a departure date.
  • Then we sent out an e-mail about our car needs and found just the right one so the family can come pick me up in Denver, drive to NM, and then back to Indy via Texas. Rocky Mountain residents need to keep July 7-8th open and we’d love to see our friends in Texas while passing through!
  • For our remaining 3 weeks in Indy, we were still waiting for God to provide the housing we needed, but we confidently bought our tickets, knowing that our Father would take care of this too. Since then, not just 1, but 2 wonderful options became available for us! And speaking of housing, my sister-in-law Jane has graciously agreed to keep Noah during his freshman year, so I’ll spend some of that time fixing up his future bedroom.

    With Rachel and Noah both graduating from their respective schools on the same day on different continents, we are also planning a belated open house to celebrate and at last meet all of Rachel’s radical friends in person! Her last quarter of school has been a busy one as she has already started working part-time for a marketing firm, has a couple of freelance jobs on the side, and is part of a worship band that has just cut their first album!

Finally, here’s a quick snapshot of how God is also keeping our ministry visions moving forward here this spring, making mighty mountains out of our little molehills!

  • Translation of the marriage course materials (mentioned in my Jan. newsletter) will happen, thanks to the French Swiss, making this event a real possibility for next fall, if travel schedules line up!
  • Worship is growing! We sent 2 of our youth to a professional seminar for sound training and another group of youth attended a first-ever conference in Paris for raising up French youth in worship-leading. This weekend, our worship teams will be playing in another church’s first effort at a 12 hr. worship tabernacle. We heard that it was quite a battle for them to get it organized, so we know we are pushing the enemy’s buttons!
  • Nadine and moiThe Sozo ministry is gaining momentum! My French teammate, Nadine, has just been named the national director for France – a necessary role as new teams start to sprout around the country. The team we are building in our church will travel together by train to get the advanced training from the Bethel leaders in May.  If anyone is interested, I’d be honored to do sessions while in the U.S. – It’s so much more fun doing it in English! 

Looking forward to April! Winking smile