Thankful for a wonderful Easter Sunday

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday with 300 people on Sunday morning, combining after each service the Easter Egg hunt that had to be canceled on Saturday due to rain. Here’s our latest newsletter & some reflections on the past few months, while looking forward to the coming months (hint: lots of transition!).

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Thanks as always for your prayers & support!

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Easter Prayers

Thanks for your prayers this weekend. Unfortunately our Saturday activities were rained out, but we invited all the families to join for an Easter Egg hunt after each service tomorrow. We are praying God will touch the hearts of many tomorrow, so please pray with us!

We have started to hear from quite a few people that are moving to Paris in the coming months, so there will be many opportunities to connect with those from around the world leading into this summer.

Also pray for our new team members from South Africa who are moving here on Thursday. A great couple with a heart for France!

Reflections at Christmas

tyson-christmas-photo-2016-webAs we celebrate Jesus’ birth this year, we are amazed at all He continues to do through His church, here in Paris and around the world! This fall has seen growth in all the right ways through our ministry in Paris. We opened a Community Centre in a wonderful location. Not

We opened a Community Centre in a wonderful location. Not only is our team growing through volunteers and the synergy of having a central meeting location, but our presence in the community during the week is growing. We are thankful for God answering all our prayers in this long-time goal for The Bridge.

More people are prepared to be baptized in early 2017 and our team is developing new discipleship strategies to connect with transient people who are here for different lengths of time and commute from all over Paris. Every summer we feel like our church has to start from scratch with so many departures, but every Christmas we rejoice to see what He has done in our community to breathe new life into the hearts of men, women & families who have joined The Bridge community!

Our family will spend the 2017-2018 school year in the U.S. (yes it’s been almost 4 years since our last time back!). We see God weaving together our leadership team in preparation for that season. We look forward to the reconnection with so many, but we ask your prayers for our family as it also brings many challenges as well.

Tessa is 15 now, Sophia 14, Luke 8 and Tori 4. We will celebrate 21 years of marriage and that same time together in ministry next week. We are blessed by God and by you. Merry Christmas and may your 2017 be the best year yet!

Thanksgiving from Paris

Two weeks ago tomorrow, it was surreal to realize that after the attacks earlier this year it was happening all over again. Everyone here was really scared Friday & Saturday. Most people seemed to know someone who was at the stadium, and we heard of several that narrowly missed the killings at the restaurant or concert, and even one local man who lost his life, but we thank God our immediate relationships and our church was spared any casualties. The fear was that the violence would surface again the next day as it did earlier this year. It really wasn’t until the following Wednesday in the Saint-Denis area that there was a tangible fear of violence, which turned out to be a definitive police action.

Watch Todd’s video that he prepared the night after the attacks.

As for that first Sunday, some local officials restricted gatherings but we met & had two great services (3 including our French African fellowship). After talking and praying, our team wiped away the normal order of service & totally revolved around these 5 prayer themes from our British team member. Praying interspersed with worship songs was the theme of the day. People came out in strength, and we were pleased that fear did not dominate the day. We had an especially powerful time as small groups gathered around the auditorium to lift up each other & the Christian community.

We’re praying for open doors to connect with the community, and to have conversations that otherwise would never happen outside these terrible circumstances.  Pray with us for peace to come from Christians into situations all across the city where people are in fear.

Watch this video here to see what one of our church members and her friends did to help bring peace back to the city of lights.

This Thanksgiving Day Todd led a Bible Study combined with a turkey dinner, while the rest of the family welcomed friends and neighbors into our home. There’s no place like home (we miss you all!), but your prayers have helped people find a spiritual “home” here in Paris!

Thanksgivings, Prayer & a new video

We are thankful to Stephan Hughes for this video he produced about The Bridge:

This Fall in Paris has been a season of discipleship & growth in many ways. We are so thankful for your prayers & support for our family and for The Bridge.

For those in the United States this week, we pray for you to enjoy a wonderful time of Thanksgiving with friends and family. For each of you, we thank God & pray his continued favor and guidance!

Thanksgivings

*120 people have been discipled in groups and a book tied into our Sunday messages this Fall.
*Divine appointments that have led a Palestinian man to Christ & a Pakistani man to our church.
*A new opportunity opened for a 2nd meeting location in central Paris.

Prayers

*Pray for discipleship mentors to multiply.
*Pray for two new leadership teams started in areas of Stewarship & Spiritual growth.
*Ask for us to have wisdom to lead The Bridge as we outgrow the first congregation & location.
*Blessing and support for new team members coming to join us in 2015.

Learning to Follow Jesus

What is a Christian really?  What does church have to do with Jesus?

These questions are often at the heart of new relationships here in the Paris region.  People from over 60 nations meet us at church or in our everyday lives & they all bring something different with them.  So this fall we are “Learning to Follow Jesus” with people around the Paris area. Our entire church (about 120 people have a book in their hands currently) along with small groups and mentoring relationships have taken on this focus for the last few months.  How do you teach someone to follow Jesus?

A young woman from Vietnam shared recently how her time with a mentor & this book changed her life.  Pray with us that each person develops a deeper relationship with Jesus– whether they are a doubting seeker or a Christian moving her from somewhere else in the world.

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Prayer for Easter

This is a quick note to ask for your prayers leading into this Easter weekend. We have been praying and preparing for three months, and will have two morning services for the first time. It has been a fast moving season of bright revitalizing growth! We hit the ground running in July 2013, working hard to get reacquainted with friends after a year away and getting to know the many new friends God has sent our way. We celebrated the 4th anniversary of The Bridge with 65 nationalities represented…we LOVE it! Please pray with us as we move forward.

We will update you soon with an Easter report and about the missions teams that we have hosted this Spring, but covet your prayers for this weekend!

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!

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.