Blog

It's getting good!

We spent the first two months back in France settling into our house, getting the kids ready for school, and meeting all the new people that have come to The Bridge International Church while we were gone. Paris is such a transient city, the average time that most people stay there is 2 years. So many from the international community moved away during our year in the U.S., while many new people arrived. One thing we’ve learned is that people are always hungry for a spiritual home, even in the middle of “secular” Europe.

We are so grateful for our team that has done such a great job here. Now that September has arrived, we have launched all new small groups and held one of our major outreaches of the year called “Open Doors.” This event was part festival, part open house, part church service. With over 150 people there that day we were introduced to people from around the world, including a family who had lived within 2 miles of our meeting location, but heard about us and visited for the first time. One of the family members attending my Bible study in the week since, and volunteered to help with the children this Sunday. God has people all around us that are hungry we’ve just got to find them. 5000 flyers helped us this month as we visited train stations along the line near the church at rush hour. Your prayers help even more though– thank you!

We are finishing our month (I know it’s October, but it still feels like September to me) with a water baptism tomorrow. At least four people representing four different nations will be testifying about their desire to follow Christ!

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Almost there!

We are preparing to leave for France on July 4! We have met so many great people, and welcomed new partners over the last few months. We are grateful to each one of you. If you would like to be one of our monthly partners, visit this site– s1.ag.org/pledgeform — to let us know of your intention. To actually start a monthly gift, or to make a one-time gift, visit this site– s1.ag.org/tyson.

We are in the middle of a week long training/networking conference in Springfield, MO. The kids each have groups of other kids from around the world that they are spending the week with, so it’s a great time for them as well. Then we will be in Muncie, IN this Sunday. It has been a time of good-bye’s that is tough on all of us, but we have really enjoyed seeing so many friends and family members in recent months.

On the Road again

Robby & Tracy Bradford with ToriAfter Victoria was born in November, the family did not travel with Todd very much.  Trips to Alabama & elsewhere in Florida (Perry, Jennings, Deltona, Ormond Beach, Mayo, Navarre and Pensacola) were nice test trips though.  In late January, they started again with trips from our temporary home base in Florida to Lafayette, IN to see our great friends the Bradfords (founding partners in The Bridge during their missionary years).  Then it was off Memphis and Jackson, TN to see long time supporters and family members.

After doing a few more trips by himself in Indiana (Westfield, Newburgh– family alert!, and Bedford), and a great Missions Convention at Calvary Temple in Springfield, IL, the family is now traveling together full time again.  (Todd really likes that!)  We finally said good-bye to Florida for a few months, finishing with our home church in Niceville and our friends in Valparaiso.

Arriving back in Indianapolis just in time for a snowstorm, we took a few days to catch our breath, and headed up for a super weekend in Middlebury.  As of this writing we are finishing a missions convention in the Washington D.C. area (Manassas Assembly) where Todd’s cousin Stephanie and her husband Dwayne serve as Worship Pastors.  Now they will be part of a missions convention in Morganton, NC and enjoy Calvary Temple Springfield, IL Conventiona Sunday morning in Charlotte (Bridge friends alert!) with new friends and partners Bishop Larry Allen and Rod of God ministries.

The crowning moment of this month will occur March 27 when Todd & Amanda (along with Tori) board a plane for Paris!  We will be part of the Easter weekend outreach at The Bridge, along with renewing their visas for the next year (always a fun pilgrimage through French bureaucracy).

Please continue to be in prayer for the Moffett family from eastern North Carolina, the Peterson family from northwest  Florida and Jeannette Cathey from southern California as they all do the hard work of fundraising to join the team at The Bridge in Paris.  Our next church plant, and countless people, count of them to be THE light in the City of Lights!

Tyson Thanksgivings & Merry Christmas

From our family, and all our friends at The Bridge in Paris, we wish you a wonderful Christmas season!

Tyson family picture

We are so grateful for your prayers and support as we see Paris truly become the City of Lights!
May your New Year be blessed as God continues to show himself our faithful friend!

Below are some posts that we missed posting here over the last few months.  It has been a tremendous time of re-connecting with friends and partner churches.  Sharing what is happening at The Bridge has been so rewarding. baby Tori

Our family has also grown during this time.  Victoria Hope was born on November 17 at 8 lbs, 9 oz.  We are so blessed by this new addition.

The last half of 2012 has been a great time of growth for The Bridge.  In September, our emphasis called “Open Doors” led many new people to connect with The Bridge from the Paris community.  One hundred and fifty people were in attendance at The Bridge on a regular basis throughout the fall.

Open Doors logo

Here is a link to our most recent newsletter.

Thank you for sharing this  journey with us.   We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Todd & Amanda,
Tessa, Sophia, Luke & Tori Tyson
and the Entire Bridge Team

Itineration has begun

We’re one the road in Amarillo, TX this weekend.  We have been back in the US ten days, and are excited to share in our first service tomorrow morning.  Click here to see our email from tonight.  Every fifth year or so, we will return to connect with all of our prayer partners and supporters.  It is a time to report what God has done and cast vision for what is coming next.

Click here for our most recent newsletter.

Tyson Prayer Card

The Bridge Baptism

This last Sunday was an amazing day.  We celebrated 6 people following the Lord in baptism, representing many different cultures.  See the pictures here– http://www.facebook.com/TheBridgeParis.

We will be leaving France for a time on July 11th.  It is difficult to think about being away, but we look forward to connecting with friends, family, and faithful supporters back in the U.S. for a season.  Make sure to let us know ASAP if you would like us to visit your church.

The Bridge as a church plant has grown to average 125 people each Sunday.  Besides the main international service, we have in addition to that number a diverse Franco-African fellowship and a Romanian church that we’ve had the privilege to see birthed!  God is good.

The Bridge Turns Two

Celebrating Two Years (click here for print newsletter)

Back in 2007 when the vision of The Bridge was first birthed, we could not imagine the plans God had in mind for Paris.  The Bridge celebrated its two year anniversary in March, and on Easter welcomed the largest crowd yet of 172 people!

We are preparing next Sunday to launch our 7th round of small groups, and each week on Sunday mornings there are around 120 people from 40 different nations.

Decision Sunday for France

This Sunday is the final vote in the French presidential election.  Please pray for the French people as they wrestle with the common issues of taxation, immigration, education, but also with the vital approach to how God is seen the country and what place is allowed for the church.

For instance, recently France passed a law preventing prayer in public places.  We know that God works in people’s lives regardless of government “permission,” but we pray that God’s name will be proclaimed in France in every way.

The Vision of Growth

As you know the vision of The Bridge has always been much more than a single church plant.  We want to reach every language and culture group in the Paris region, representing the entire world.

After two years of preparation, our first new expression launched last month.  A French speaking service representing many African nations and islands around the world has begun.  It is a passionate and vibrant meeting. We know that this is just the beginning!

Returning to Tell the Story

This July we will return to the U.S. for a year to reconnect with many of you.  We have so many stories to share when we return.  Please let us know if you would like us to share at your church.  We will also be sharing more stories through this newsletter and our website!

We are thankful for the wonderful team God has built here in Paris that allows us to be gone, and for the ministry to still continue to grow!  As our two-year Missionary Associates began leaving, God has been faithful to replace them with wonderful people leading ministries here in Paris.

What's new in the New Year?

We love what God is doing here in Paris.  The Bridge continues to grow & lives continue to be changed.  We say goodbye to people often due to the nature of people’s work that brings them here for a few years at a time; however, somehow God continues to add to our number!  We just finished a prayer, devotions & fasting emphasis early in the year.  It was the first time many people had fasted or had a Bible reading plan.  It’s wonderful to see new spiritual experiences blossom in people’s hearts.  We are preaching a series now on Sundays called “Jesus the Healer.”  Go on over to www.thebridgeparis.com/messages and catch our podcast!  Pray that God opens people’s heart to the miracles He wants to do in their lives.

We have begun a fresh building search; after hitting another dead-end late in the year.  We’ve visited four buildings, and one is a possibility for negotiations.   Pray with us that we find a permanent home before my family comes home this summer for our year of itineration.  Our team here is strong though & will be able to continue to do “portable church” one way or the other.  Our small groups throughout the community have been the true harvest of spiritual growth– we love how relational The Bridge is.  We are starting plans to launch our first additional service in French– it will be an expression of a French/African group that has been meeting in an apartment for the last few years.  Very exciting as we see the vision of The Bridge continue to unfold.  Thanks for your prayers and support!

PS– We are about 50 days from Easter and we are praying at The Bridge for those closest to us in the community to come to know Jesus.  Would you pray with us?  Last Easter someone said to me on their first Sunday morning visit, “I have never understood what the Easter story really meant until today.”  We are praying for so many more people to “hear & see” the message!

Merry Christmas from The Tysons

Christmas Photo from the Tysons 2011

A Wonderful season of Rememberance
We are so thankful as we celebrate Christmas this year! The gift that God sent to earth two thousand years ago has brought life to the city of Paris where we have been ministering. Thank you for all your prayers and support this last year.

Recent Newsletter
Our November newsletter is now available online. Download the PDF here. A wonderful look at what God has been doing at The Bridge International Church, and the wonderful ministry teams who have visited this year.

Still Time of 2011 Contributions
For those of you wishing to make year-end contributions, there is still time. Online gifts can be made securely with debit/credit cards by clicking here. All checks should be marked with “Tyson– AGWM #257333” in the note portion, postmarked before December 31, 2011 and mailed to:

Assemblies of God World Missions
1445 N. Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802

A Family Note
We have made an unexpected trip to the U.S. to be with Amanda’s family for the funeral of her Grandfather, Rev. Edward Grant. He has always been at the center of Amanda’s world, and we are thankful for your thoughts and prayers. He is just one of the many family and friends that have enabled us to move forward in God’s work because of their encouragement and love. We are celebrating his life and the way God used him in decades of pastoral ministry in West Florida.

All our love and warm Christmas greetings are yours,
Todd & Amanda Tyson
Tessa (10), Sophia (9) and Luke (3)

Seasons of growth

Have you ever gone through a season where everything was changing? We’ve been through that the last 6 months. We’ve had 4 of our team members moving away from France, in bittersweet transitions to their next phases in life (with several more departures on the horizon… be praying for those who are coming to join us in the next year!). At the same time The Bridge has surged forward into fresh, dynamic community life.

The Bridge is an International English speaking church.  But it’s also the vision of a great ministry center raised up in Paris.  There are many goals (building, new church plants, partners for multi-ethnic ministry, etc.) that are still in progress, but so much has already come to fulfillment.  We have over 15 nations represented on any given Sunday.  We commemorated the 1 year anniversary of the church and an incredible Easter celebration back in the Spring, along with our first baptism.  We’ve seen over 100 people at The Bridge almost every week this fall (with 125 on two occasions).  Teams have continued to join our ministry for short trips– enabling us to spread our impact to the community around us.  We just celebrated the opening of a new building of our sister church in Les Mureaux at which so many teams have done renovation work.

Even through the transition of team members leaving, several have joined us– divine appointments with people who had come to France for other purposes, but whose callings brought them to join us working at The Bridge.  God is truly an amazing God & he shows me every day in some way that His plans are bigger than mine.  Feel free to browse The Bridge’s newly redesigned website– www.thebridgeparis.com.  Our “Team” page is not complete with new members yet, but will be soon. We will also have fresh newsletter material this month, so look for that.  Click here if you are not on our email list.

Now we wait to see what the next season brings!  Our prayer requests are for a building for the church, new team members preparing to come, finances to stay strong for the remainder of our first term here in Paris, and for strong lay leaders to continue to rise up here at The Bridge.  Thanks for taking this journey with us.