Dear friends and supporters,
First off, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A special and heart-felt thanks to each church (and individuals) who have sent us numerous Christmas cards and shown practical Christian love. We deeply appreciate it all and the cards are on our living room wall!
Wow, what a year! It has been one of traveling, settling back into regular routine, and seeing God bring seeking people into our lives along the way. Let us share a bit of it with you.
Regular routine : Sunday morning service and children’s Sunday School during the message, Bible Studies 2 Sunday afternoons per month, Bible Study every Wednesday afternoon, Tuesday evening prayer meeting, and recently, we have started another Bible Study on Thursday evenings. Plus a once-a-month Men’s Supper and Bible Study, and the monthly Ladies’ Bible Study that Judy does.
For the Bible Institute, we meet with our co-workers on Tuesday afternoons to organize what we are doing. In January, June and September, we have our students, who follow the courses over the Internet, come to Lille to pass exams and follow some classes here for 2 to 3 days. Since September, we are up to 15 students enrolled !
We went twice to the States this year to visit our supporting churches and visit with family and friends. This was in February and March, then in July and August. We want to thank Mark Gostlin (from Ohio) who filled in for us during our stay in the States. It was truly refreshing for us, and we really thank the Lord for a bit of a break and the time we had with you all.
In August, we got to visit with Jeanette Laurens, who was in France during our early years in France. After the lost of her husband, she returned to the States with her five kids. It was good to see her. While we were there, we suggested that Samuel, one of her sons, spend this school year with us. Well, the Lord worked it out and he has been with us since October.
I had this idea for our Christmas program this year : instead of doing a Christmas play, why not produce a short film ? As it turns out, Samuel is passionate about reaching those in cinema, and he took this project to heart. With those in our church here, we put together the film, “Plus que Cela” (More than That), illustrating that Christmas is more than the festivities; the message of Christ and salvation is the real meaning of Christmas.
The film came out pretty good for a bunch of animators. Samuel put a lot of time and effort into it and we believe that the Lord may greatly use him in the future in this way of sharing the gospel.
You can see it at http://plusquecelalefilm.fr
My mother (Greg’s) came and spent September and October with us. She has wanted to attend the “Braderie” ever since we have lived in Lille. This is a huge flea market that is held the first week-end in September each year. While she was here, we made a trip to Austria from a Monday ‘till Friday. Her stay with us went well.
We are going down to Toulouse for Christmas and we will be seeing our new grandson, Justin Pascal Niblack. He was born on December 9th. That gives us five grandkids! Rebecca and Sam are doing well in the ministry in Toulouse and with their four older children.
Our son Nathanael is still living in Paris. He has plans on starting a business. His land-lord has decided to sell where he lives, so Nathanael will need to move by early June. Any possibility is open, so pray that the Lord guide him in the right direction.
This past year, in spite of our travels and busyness, the Lord has brought a number of new contacts along our path with whom we have been able to share the gospel. This is so exciting, as this is what we’re actually here for! Maybe we’ll share more about some of them in subsequent letters. But please pray for their salvation! We can share the gospel with them, but as long as they don’t trust Christ as their own Savior (and often they don’t, or haven’t yet, because they don’t realize they’re lost!), they’re still on that wide path that leads to destruction. Oh! may they be saved!
Thank you for your prayers and support. May the Lord bless you for it.
Yours in Christ,
Greg and Judy Sirmons