Dear Family and Friends,
There are certain joys in life that cannot be stolen away, and we lived out some of them last month as Tom presided the wedding of a young couple that we have prepared for marriage and mentored over the last 20 months. They are a “dynamic duo” whom we are convinced will be bringing God’s kingdom principles into this world in their respective professions of science and marketing. See the beautiful photo of them below. But the story goes deeper still!
The bride is the eldest daughter of a South American couple that we helped lead to the Lord back in 1992. They were Tom’s classmates at the University of Lausanne in the fall of 1988. All three of their children love the Lord and their son is currently doing a Discipleship Training School at our YWAM center in Lausanne. This couple has gone on to do wonderful things in their home country in the political, legal and charitable arenas. Their examples of integrity, faithfulness and loving support are to be applauded. They left Switzerland back in 1997, and this was the first time that we had been able to see them for 23 years! Covid distancing was totally ignored as we hugged each other and cried together at the wedding rehearsal. What a reunion! Due to the sensitive nature of some of their work we cannot give names, but we would ask you to pray for their physical/emotional safety and for wisdom in how to bring about changes in their country.
Along with the joys come also times of testing, and these last 6 months have not been necessarily kind. Tom in particular has been stressed out and pressured by many administrative tasks that simply need to be done. Getting professional help in filling out U.S. tax and Social Security forms from an overseas perspective really blessed him. Much thanks Bob, John and Randy! Trying to get a handle on slowing down in ongoing work, which he loves, has been a challenge. There were some relational struggles as well early this year, and frankly January 6th was akin to the twin towers going down for Tom, who had some meltdowns this spring. Covid distancing and lack of real time together is not easy for such a social bug as him. He thanks God for the support of his wife and prayer partner, and is currently getting some counseling. There has been some recent improvement emotionally, and a time of vacation the last two weeks of May really helped as well. We took the bride’s parents to a chalet in the Alps after the wedding so that we could catch up and pray together about future projects that they will be working on. It was a restorative time of Alpine walks even though the weather was rainy and chilly. Please pray for Tom’s inner peace to return. Much thanks!
Linda has been experiencing some nasty back pains that keep her from sleeping well. Less sleep means less energy to fight fatigue during the day, which only heightens the back pains. Vicious circle. She is currently seeing a pain specialist and he is doing some testing to see if certain nerves will need to be “silenced” in the future. Your prayers for these tests to produce reliable results and for effective possible treatments to bring relief will be much appreciated. Our Divine Healer is the overseer of all this, and we pray for either His direct intervention or His intervention through the medical world.
An ongoing blessing for us is especially the mentoring/counseling aspect of our ministry. Whether marital, coaching missionaries for present/future service (France, Kenya, Switzerland, Democratic Republic of Congo and more…) or following up with a neighbor who’s wife is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, we are thankful to be supporters for them. As Tom preached recently at church from the text of II Corinthian’s 1:3,4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort that we ourselves are comforted by God.” This outward looking aspect is a real help to keep from being tempted to have daily pity parties. There is so much goodness in this life, and to bring that goodness to others is always a blessing. Tom’s favorite verse of the Bible is Psalm 27:13, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Regular preaching engagements in local churches are picking up again for Tom, and though “live” Alpha Courses have been mostly stopped these last 15 months, on-line courses are taking place. Tom is involved periodically in training sessions for this, or does some coaching and question answering. Translation at our YWAM Burtigny base and one-on-one coaching of a several staff members also continues. As we are fully vaccinated now we feel more free to actually go to our base! There will be a worship seminar that we will be attending together there on the 26th of June. We are looking forward to things getting back to normal again.
This summer Youth With A Mission Paris is once again sponsoring Paris Je T’Aime! (Paris I Love You!) This is a program to help disciple young people in ministry with three days of training and then nearly two weeks of outreach to others with the love of Christ. It was canceled last summer, but by faith they are planning for it from July 16 through 31, since the Covid regulations have just been relaxed by the French government. The cost is around $550 for the program, but count on another $150 for local transport and snacks or an occasional meal out. This does NOT include airfare/trainfare to and from Paris. For more details you can google: www.ywamparisconnect.com On the website click on Training, then Short-term Opportunities, and finally Paris Je T’Aime. Tom is not sure if he will be able to be there this summer for health reasons, but please feel free to ask any questions that you may have and he’ll get right on it!
We cannot thank you enough for your loving support in prayer, finances and encouragement as our ministry continues on here in the French-speaking world.
All our love,
Tom and Linda
P.S.- Please do let us know if you would like to stop receiving these newsletters. We all receive so many, and we understand that. Thank you.