Todd and Terri Althaus

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update Jan 2021


Christ's work continues to go forward in spite of....
Continued lockdown restrictions, curfews in France
No workteams coming to help with building renovations
Althauses pastoring the Mérignac/Bordeaux church from the U.S.

Our stay in France this Fall was just for an inital 2 months, because we were unable to get a long-stay visa. We have to say that we were really blessed to be at the Mérignac church again and rejoin our fellow Alliance workers there. Many were such faithful friends and pray-ers as we went through the valley of our daughter's disease and transition to heaven, so it meant a lot to re-embrace them. That embrace was not the typical French kiss on both cheeks, nor meals shared around the table! But it was a step back in to the ministry in France. Borders have not yet opened up to Americans. We are back in the U.S., moving among different family members' homes, until we can get back to Bordeaux.

So in our "different" world, what is Christ doing?

SURPRISE of new workers:
Our Bordeaux cohort of Alliance workers (3 couples) is being joined this summer by a family who served in another part of the world, and will be transitioned to France to work with us. They will bring experience in children's ministry, coffee house outreach, teaching English. We didn't expect this added blessing to our team.

Just as we left our apartment in Bordeaux, another family of 5 from the Alliance church in Chili arrived, planning on establishing their base for business as mission ministry in France and elsewhere. They were also a surprise! They needed a temporary place to stay so they're now in our empty apartment until they can find housing.

UNEXPECTED connections with seekers:
Churches in France are permitted to continue to have Sunday services, if they follow the necessary guidelines, but community outreach and meeting new people is a little more challenging to do right now. But our God is not limited!

One family met a man struggling in his faith, when he came to repair their heating system. He has since joined us for several Sunday services and has expressed his joy in finding other believers. Other visitors came to the Christmas service, invited by family and friends. Yet another young man met one of our international workers at a shopping area and came last Sunday, opening up in tears about his difficult place in life and desire to come back to God.

And here's the story that K., from our church, shared recently, after the Christmas service:
"Thank you to everyone for this great time during the Christmas program. It was nice to see that everyone brought their stone to the edifice!
I wanted also to share with you, that after the program, I was able to share with the young woman who had been staying with my mom. I showed her the videos of the different parts of the program. First the mime. M. asked questions about the verse and we were able to look at it further.
Then I showed her one of the songs “A Child is Born” (I think the title was different). And actually this really spoke to her because she had listened to this played on the flute when she was young, with her grandfather!. She asked me to do a google search of Claude Civelli and we found the version played on the flute. Then we relistened to the version sung this morning. M. didn’t know that the words spoke of Jesus. She had danced to this song when we was little.
Then I continued to share a testimony with her. She was really touched by the evening.
Finally, thank you to everyone who made Christmas cookies. M. left with a little package for herself and one for her mom. The verse on the package was completely perfect for her.
M. has been in a difficult place physically and personally for several years. Thank you for thinking of her and praying for her. "

Praise and Prayer Requests

You can join us in prayer for the following:

1. That the borders to France would open up for us to apply for a long-stay visa, which we have not been able to do.
2. For those leading and serving in the Mérignac church, without a pastoral couple present.
3. That virtual home groups can continue to provide needed relational connection and spiritual growth opportunities. That some who are not connected to a home or accountability group will step into one and benefit from them.
4. For Luc, formerly the interim pastor, as he seeks direction for where God is calling him to serve next.
5. For the continued advancement of the building renovation, which is slowly making progress.



Updated: January 28, 2021

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