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F URRS IN EUR OPE

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE FURRS?

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

A P R I L , 2 0 1 5

F U R R S I N E U RO P E

Easter and the fidélité of God On Easter Sunday this year at Eglise de la Brie, Kirsten and I performed in the BiDieuDul family show. The theme for this month was la fidélité (faithfulness). Our characters, Kelly and Brico’Dul have recently “become a couple.” This month, on Easter, their commitment to each other was tested by temptation and by difficult circumstances. I’m happy to say that their relationship stood the test and remains strong! It got me thinking about God’s faithfulness to us in the midst of a world “unhinged.”

God has gone and how long it will take before He intervenes?

Easter has just passed and billions of Christians worldwide have celebrated The crucifixion of Jesus is a reminder of the faithfulness of God to keep His promises. Kelly and Brico’Dul learned another time in human history when to trust each other even through the war, madness and slavery reigned. trials of life. We can trust our God to Witnessing the brutal death of an be faithful to us, His people, to His innocent man on a cross would have creation and to all of His promises. He provoked the same kind of troubling does not forget. The cross and the questions we ask today. Where was God on that day? The shocking answer empty tomb are proof. is that He was on the cross. I want to end this section of our newsletter with one final thought. The He was faithful to His promises; Prophets, the Apostles and Jesus promises made through the centuries Himself spoke clearly of a time when all the way back to the Garden of As nations rage, societies shift and God’s promises would be completely Eden. The Prophets had spoken of a change and as the world becomes a fulfilled. The hope of the Church has time when the Lord would come and always been in the return of Jesus and darker and more dangerous place, save His people and create a new where is God? It’s tempting at times His ultimate defeat of sin and death. covenant written on their hearts. And when we hear of horrific deeds He will be faithful to this promise as at just the right time, Jesus came, Jesus happening in Kenya, or Paris, in Iraq or well. Eagerly wait for it. Look up. It died and Jesus rose again. God was in our own backyards to wonder where faithful. Il est fidèle! may be drawing near!

2015 has been incredibly eventful. Here’s why... The first few months of 2015 have been troubling, exciting and full of significant changes. In our last newsletter, we

In January, upon our return to France, the Charlie Hebdo massacres occurred and shocked us to our core. In the

talked about the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the turmoil that ensued in France. Thankfully, things have calmed down

aftermath we began to think that perhaps God was asking us to remain in France for an extended season. At the end

significantly, though France remains on alert. Personally, we

of January, we entered into a week-long time of prayer,

have been through a period of great turmoil as well. Last September we came to you with our plans to move

fasting and discernment with the Hollowell family and came out with a strong conviction: we needed to remain

to Budapest, Hungary this summer. In fact, the title of that newsletter was “Change like a mighty rolling wave.” Soon

in France. The doors to Budapest had closed definitively. This decision, once made, had numerous ramifications for

after, in October, several things occurred that made us

us. It was brought to our organizations, UWM and EPC

think that we were entering into a period of “stormy seas.” Serious questions began to be raised by UWM about the

World Outreach and was affirmed and supported at the highest levels. I (Chris) had to let my Europe leadership

taxation situation for non-EU citizens in Hungary and the ability for us to legally own and operate a car in that

team know and to deal with the implications of our team remaining “virtual” and spread out over several European

country. In addition, we began to sense that perhaps God

countries. Personally, we had to inform all of our French

was calling away the Hollowell family (our colleagues and friends with whom we hoped to partner in Budapest for

friends--who were absolutely thrilled that we would be staying longer!

the “Thin Space” project). As we moved into the Christmas season,

Finally, after letting the dust settle a bit and after gaining a better understanding of what

...SEVERAL THINGS OCCURRED THAT MADE US THINK THAT WE WERE ENTERING INTO A PERIOD OF “STORMY SEAS.”

we were increasingly troubled by a perception that something was not quite right. We

sought the counsel of leadership within our mission and of trusted family, friends and pastors.

this might mean, we want to share this with you, our friends, supporters, supporting churches and prayer partners. After a stormy Fall and Winter, we want you to know that we and our organizations are at great peace with this decision. In terms of ministry for us, not much will change. Chris will continue to lead UWM Europe as regional leader and will direct his team virtually. We will continue with our personal ministry here in France at Eglise de la Brie and seek God’s direction for the future of a “Thin Place” hub for the mission (detailed in our September, 2014 newsletter). On this front, Chris has recently re-engaged in discussions with our UWM project in Cape Town, South Africa and has taken a trip to the UK to dialogue with other leadership and spiritual communities in Europe. The dream of a “new vision” for Europe is still alive! We feel that remaining in France is for an extended period and are open for how (and where) the Lord may lead us next. Will you join us in praying for God’s continued direction?

Besides all the giant life decisions, a lot has been going on! Everyone who goes through a period of storm knows that it can be

Catherine’s testimony and to see how the Lord has stepped in and

exhausting. The words of Psalm 107 have been a comfort to us in this

redeemed this French family! We are honored to have met Catherine and

tiring time:

her family in a potato field 5 years ago

Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. The Lord has been faithful to us and has been our haven during this season of storm. We’ve seen His goodness in many ways! In December, Chris (along with his UWM Europe team) hosted a Prayer

and to have been used by God on their journey! In March, we were thrilled to participate in Eglise de la Brie’s Réactif Conference. This was the realization of a dream as over 50 participants from churches all over France came to learn how to better reach out to post-Christian French “outsiders” and

and brought about repentance and forgiveness among missionaries! In February, Kirsten had the privilege of being involved in the baptism of a woman she has been discipling for over a year now. You have prayed for this woman, Catherine, and her family! It was a joyous day to hear

February BiDieuDul. Theme: Le Courage

how to become a church that engages French life with the powerful message of the Gospel. Kirsten and Chris

...AND HE GUIDED THEM TO THEIR DESIRED HAVEN. served as volunteers, greeters, decoration planners and leaders in a workshop (as well as playing our roles in a BiDieuDul showcase). It was a real triumph for the church and for us as church planters who have always wanted to see the beautiful

and Planning conference (the “C4”) for Europe missionaries in Hungary. It philosophy of our church be was a week of intense work, strategic multiplied in France! Thank you for thinking and spiritual refreshment and prayer. God moved in significant ways

Medieval meal for UWM C4 Prayer and Planning Conference in Hungary.

your years of love and support for this effort here in Brie. God is moving in la belle France! We are moving into a season of planning and preparation. This August, UWM Europe will host it’s once-every-three-year Euro Conference in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Chris will be busy with his team as it prepares for this major event.

Eglise de la Brie Réactif Conference. “Chemistry” centerpieces made by Chris.

HE IS RISEN! IL EST FIDÈLE!* This easter season We join you in the celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death. We know that our hope is in God’s faithfulness alone. We see that faithfulness in your love for us!

*He is faithful!

How you can pray *For Catherine and her family. After her baptism, she has suffered from severe sleep disturbances. Her mother also recently had a stroke. It would seem that after her powerful testimony and public proclamation of faith she is under significant attack. Would you pray that God would give her rest and peace? That God would give Kirsten wisdom as she mentors Catherine? Would you also pray that God would open the heart of her husband Didier? *For Chris as he leads the UWM Europe Resource Team and works on the summer’s Euro Conference. Please pray that God would allow Chris to lead “as an artist” and love his team well. *For our family as we seek God’s next step. We want to be open to whatever He has for us in France for this extended time and to be ready for whatever may come and wherever it may lead us in the future. *For Chris as he continues to meet with European Christian leaders and helps develops a new vision for UWM Europe.

Life is never dull! Through our adventures in seeking God’s will, you have been willing to pray, give, love and encourage us. We are thankful for such a great team!

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church 17197 N. Laurel Park Dr. Suite 567 Livonia, MI 48152 Reference “Furr” on your check and include account number 245.

You can donate financially May your Spring be filled through UWM by clicking with God’s light and joy! this link: www.uwm.org/ content/Donate and by using account #31304.

With love, The Furrs in Europe:

Alternatively, you can give Chris, Kirsten, Maren, through EPC World Reece and Carlson Outreach by mailing a donation to: