Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 8

The Retreat Center: Le Colorado

Another shot of the Retreat Center

Rachel at the sign for the Toulouse Evangelical Free Church
Dad and I are both quite tired.
I guess a 3 day retreat in France takes a lot out of ya.
But it's all good, because God has provided us with a couple chill down time days coming up here!
Tomorrow we only have one event going on (I won't tell too much, because I'll need something to write about tomorrow!), and I'm pretty sure the rest of the day will be dedicated to getting our energy back.
It's been a wonderful trip, but it's also been a full trip :)
So, considering this, prayer for restoration of the mind and body would be GREAT.
Because we still have wonderful Germany to go explore, and on Wednesday we get to venture out to an ancient castle here in Toulouse! It's going to really be exciting, and to be rested up for a full day of walking and adventuring would be excellent.
I think tomorrow's going to be nice and calm.
The retreat ended very well! We got our last session in and packed up and headed out! We arrived safely back at about 2:30 (7:30 in the morning US time, in case you're wondering), and we had some lunch, and then Michael, Emilie, Dad, and the rest of the gang headed to an English camp of sorts, but I stayed back and cleaned up and unpacked a bit from our excursion.
So now the kitchen is spotless ;)
Now, we're just about to sit down to supper (hopefully it's some insanely wonderful creation, as they have all been), and end the night with some good discussion and some time with Jesus.
Camps are a blast, but one of my favorite things is taking an honest to goodness (and usually much needed) shower once I get back!
Just being honest.
Love you all!
Until tomorrow,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Last Day of Camp

Well today is our last full day of the retreat that we have been attending to help out our missionary friends.
It is a bittersweet parting, I think.
Bitter, because we're going to have to say goodbye.
Sweet because in a few days we are going to be able to say hello!
BFA, here we come!
But first, we're going to finish up our encouraging here at the camp in this cute little tiny French town. We have the rest of tonight to enjoy, and tomorrow morning we have one more message/worship session before we head out.
It should be a blast :)
We've made some excellent friends here. Emilie, Michael, Lucy, Alex, Kerstin, Phoenix, and Loretta.
2 Germans, 2 Chinese, 3 American missionaries to France, and 2 Americans. I'd say we're pretty well diversified.
It has been an incredible experience so far to be able to get to know these stewards of Christ and understand them and their ambitions. We love them all dearly now, and hate to have to leave them.
But hey, that's life. And it's not going to be "goodbye".
It's going to be "see you later".
Which is good.

Today's agenda consisted of waking up (for myself, it was accidentally an hour later than it should have been), eating breakfast (Nutella and baguettes, doesn't get much more wonderful than that), hearing Dad speak about, beleive it or not, the book of MARK! Wow! Didn't see that one coming :) , worship with Emilie, Lucy, and Alex, I went and did homework and spent some time with Jesus and wrote some letters while the Toulouse team and my father had workshops concerning the continuing ministry here. Then we had lunch. The food here is incredible. Beyond incredible, actually. Then it was a quick ten minute session with my dad to wrap up the previous meetings. Then free time! That's always nice. So I'm blogging, just to keep you wonderful folks in the European loop :)

Tonight the lovely Chinese ladies are preparing supper for us, so that should be an awesome treat! I'm personally quite excited. But, then again, I always get excited about food, so that's nothing new.

Hmmm I feel like that's a pretty sufficient update for the day. What to do you think? Feel free to leave comments, they brighten our day! We love you all <3

Prayer Requests:
*That we finish strong.
*That we start strong.
*That God works through us and the Toulouse team no matter where life takes us.

Most amazing ice cream. It's in the shape of a FLOWER! Definitely tops Coldstone!
Everybody, including Emilie and Michael!
The lovely Phoenix and Loretta!

The dream team. Alex, Lucy, yours truly, and Kerstin. Dad took the picture.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Winter Retreat!

Hey, hey, hey! Day 6!
This trip is just flying by.
It's weird to think we're already halfway done!
And what a wonderful first half it's been!

So, last night we got in to our weekend "resort", which is an assortment of cabins and one main building that lies just out a tiny little French town called Egleton. It's adorable.
It's funny, because this is actually the only Western style lodging in all of France. So it's much like we went from America to France to America.
Gotta love that :)
Dad gave his first lesson this morning, and it really moved the team here, most were tearing up by the end.
So powerful.
God works in such wonderful ways.
So then we had worship (2 songs in French. Dad and I were fumbling through them a bit, but we'll be pros by the end of the retreat and have a few new songs to teach Lee! Haha.), and then went into the downtown area and did a little shopping. We're scheduled to head out there again tonight for some delicious pizza for only like 7 euro per pie! What a deal! Gotta love Europe.

Keep the prayers flowing, God has been so evident in the first portion of our journey, and we'd love to finish strong with your support and love! Thank you so much, by the way. Here's our next round:

*Pray for my dad to have enough energy to finish out the weekend of leadership strong, and prepare well for his next round of teaching at BFA.
*Pray for the Toulouse team, that they would continue to hold down the fort here, and keep loving Jesus every step of the way.
*Pray for the people of France, that their hearts would be softened to the good news being presented to them.
*Pray for me, that I would be able to manage the workload that I'll be facing when I get back.
*Pray for the Gibbons, that they would be willing and able to continue the good work they are doing here.

*Pray for Christ to be revealed to those who need Him, both here, in Fargo, and everywhere in between.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Picture Update

Rachel here, and i have been having a blast taking pictures! Today was basically a "well we came to Europe, so we might as well be American tourists" kind of day. We had 3 wonderful guides walk us around the beautiful city of Toulouse, and I was able to capture most of the adventure on camera. So feast your eyes on some of the highlights thus far!

INCREDIBLE food here. Especially when it's homemade!

Even Europeans need coffee!

The buildings are all so artistic, it's awesome!

Even the TREES are creative.

The French are not the most high-quality drivers, though.

The capital building! Pretty pretty pretty.

A very impressive library!

The cathedral with the highest spier in Europe!

The classiest McDonalds I've ever seen in my life.

When the ice cream is in the shape of a rose, you know you've struck gold.

Even the graffiti is amazing!

All in all, it's been a wonderful trip so far, and it's only day 2 :) Keep the prayers coming, we leave for the winter retreat tomorrow!

Love and miss you all,

Theme Verse

"And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. "  Acts 15:32

This is the verse that we are using to help guide us on our time with the ReachGlobal team in Toulouse, France and then our friends at Black Forest Academy in Kandern, Germany.  Tomorrow and for the next two days Glen will be teaching and presenting some leadership concepts for the Toulouse team. 

The goal is that those words that are shared will greatly encourage the international missionary team to persevere as they do their work in a place that is often resistant to the Gospel.  The goal is also that those words Glen shares and the love we show will help to strengthen every person in attendence so they leave the retreat energizes and spiritually strong for the battle that exists when you do missionary work.

Rachel will continue to communicate with you on the blog.  She will also take doodlenotes during the speaking to give the team some creative visuals to look back on and remind them of what God brought us from the other side of the Atlantic to share with them.

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray that God would use his Word as Glen preaches from it to provide strength and encouragement for the team.
2. Please pray that we build some strong relationships with the missionaries that make them feel loved and cared for.
3. Continue to pray for good health for us as we adapt to the culture and time change.

Thanks so much for your support!

Glen and Rachel

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day One

First of all, I'd like to apologize for any gramatical errors in this blog right off the bat. It seems to be that my laptop is now fluently speaking French, and all of the blog editing tools are therefore in a foreign language.
No worries though.
It's actually pretty fun :)
So. Day one. Well, we made it! We were on a plane for a total of 10 hours within the past day. We also experienced the pleasure of a 7 hour time change. Don't worry, I'll clarify the difference for you right here and now:
Fargo -> 7:37am. = France -> 2:37pm.
Slight difference there.
Jet lag is here.
However, God is also here.
It is 50 degrees and sunny. On January 25th. We'll take it! France is absolutely beautiful, and it's going to be an amazing trip when it comes to the visual aspect of it. Emilie Gibbons has been a wonderful hostess, she made us feel right at home in a heartbeat. She welcomed us to the country with 2 heaping bowls of wonderful homemade chicken noodle soup, and some incredible bread right out of a French bakery.
That's a top notch welcome committee.
God has blessed us thus far with safe travels, short lines at the airport, and beautiful weather to enjoy.
It's been amazing, and it's only the first day :)
We truly can't wait to see what else is in store on this worldwide adventure!
Thank you so much for the prayers you've already been praying, we truly appreciate them and see them taking effect.
This is going to be an amazing experience, I can feel it already.


Can't wait to see what God has in store.
*Michael Gibbons is recovering from a flu, so please pray that he'll be able to overcome that bug quickly!
*Pray that my dad will be fully prepared to teach at the winter retreat.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Here's what our schedule currently looks like!

January 24
we fly from Minneapolis to Toulouse with one layover in Amsterdam.
January 25 we arrive in Toulouse and have an easy day of getting adjusted to the new time and place.
January 25-26 we will get to know the ministry of the ReachGlobal Toulouse GoTeam and learn more about their ministry context.
January 27 we drive to the retreat center, Le Colorado, in the central highlands of France for the Toulouse GoTeam Winter Retreat.
January 28-30 at the retreat Glen will teach once each day and will lead one leadership session on developing thematic goals for a ministry team.
January 30 we return to Toulouse from the retreat.
January 31-February 1 will be spent learning more about the ReachGlobal Toulouse Team and their ministry in the city.
February 2 we travel to Black Forest Academy in Kandern, Germany to visit our good friends the Granos who minister there.
February 3 Rachel will visit the school and spend time in a elementary classroom; Glen will lead a 6 hour Coaching Training for key leaders at the school.
February 4 we fly from Basel, Switzerland back to Minneapolis.

The time is going to absolutely fly. 

Prayer Requests:
1) Continue to pray for our preparation for the trip--that everything goes well. 
2) Pray for Glen as he prepares his talks and training sessions, asking God to use them to accomplish His purposes through them.
3) Please pray for safe travel and good health every step of the trip.

Thanks a lot for praying!

Glen and Rachel :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Preparing to Launch!

Thanks for checking out our blog!  We are excited to be going to France to help some missionaries, and through this blog we hope you will come along for the ride.

Our plan is to update the blog at least once a day.  It will include pictures, reports on how things are going, fun stories and most important: Prayer Requests.  We know that without God's help, we won't accomplish much.  So we really need your prayer support.

Check on us here daily to see where we're at and what we're up to.  We'll keep you posted!  Be sure to leave comments.

Here's our first Prayer Requests:
1) Please pray for our preparations for the trip and that God will help us think of everything we need to pack.
2) Ask God to give us both good health and strength.
On Mission for Jesus!

Pastor Glen and Rachel :)

Destination: Toulose