Aixtreme Life
The Rapp Family in Aix-en-Provence, France APR 2008
Prayer Requests

Please pray with us this month.  We believe in the power of prayer and ask that you would take these requests before our loving God.
The week of 07APR
Please pray we will continue to see God provide for us as we raise support.  By the end of our furlough, our goal is to raise the support needed to cover this years staff conference, furlough and field orientation training costs, as well as bring our ministry expenses up to date and cover all of 2008's monthly and annual ministry expenses. 
Because we are paid in dollars and each month the dollar is worth less and less compared to the Euro, it takes more dollars to pay our bills each month.  Please pray with us for God's amazing, awesome and abundant provision to meet the needs of this mission He has called us to in Aix-en-Provence.
The week of 14APR
A meaningful and enriching time for Teal as I go to Den Haag, near Amsterdam in The Netherlands to complete my Field Orientation training.
The week of 21APR
Please pray for healthy marriages on our team and healthy relationships within our team.
The week of 28APR
Repeat #1!!  Ok, I say that jokingly, but I do mean it in all seriousness.  Please pray for God to cover our financial needs.  Please pray for our team's finances as well.  All US based missionaries are affected by the rising Euro and it is a God-sized challenge for us.  Pray for missionaries within our organization and other missions organizations here in Europe.
CAFrance Conference
Thank You for your prayers last month!!  Our first ever CAFrance Conference was incredible.  The three Christian Associates' churches in France (Paris, Nice, and Aix) along with Austin Christian Fellowship and Threshold Church in NC came together for a time of encouragement, discussion, learning, and prayer. 

It was great to be with other people who have a heart for this country. We came together desiring to be "iron sharpening iron" and believing God would meet us as we discerned where He is moving and how we can be a part of it.
One highlight was Saturday morning when Vincent Derieux, a Frenchman with CA in Nice and Jeff Plowman from Paris, shared about the background and history of France. It gave great perspective as to why the French people react the way they do to church. The history of France is long and rich, and interwoven in that history are many negative historical periods having to do with the Church. We need to remember, as Americans, that time is not viewed the same way here. We talked about things that happened hundreds of years ago, but to the French it is relatively recent considering their country has been around for more than a thousand years.
We trusted God would answer your prayers and he did.  We also had an amazing time with Mark and Shelli Blackburn, who came representing ACF at the Conference.  It was so wonderful to be able to introduce them to our friends, our home and our lives.  Thank you Mark and Shelli!  Check out our pics of the CAFrance Conference here.

We also praise God for His faithfulness to the work that we have put into building relationships in Aix.  We are developing ever-deepening relationships with both internationals and French locals and feel incredibly blessed by many of our relationships here.
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Our email addresses have changed
Our new emails addresses are:
  Teal L. Rapp
   Megan Rapp
Fun & Funny Stuff
Do you like Bacon?  Trust me on this one - WATCH IT!!

Check out these incredible 360 panoramic views of the Cathedral during our Christmas Carol Service:
Cathédrale Saint Sauveur 

The Candlelight Moment

The Next Big Thing
8-19APR             Teal at Field Orientation Training
4MAY                 Combined Service with French Church
1-6JUL                Youth Camp
7-11JUL              Aixcalibur - Children's Camp
27JUL-2AUG       CONNECT 2008
4-27AUG             Furlough - Austin
28AUG-11SEP    Furlough - Oregon
Jesus ParadiseWe went to Brussels last month to visit Megan's brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Kelly Galbraith and their wonderful family.  While there we had the priviledge of attending CA's church in Brussels, The Well.  The evening service is held at this bar, called Jesus Paradise, and I mean, come on, you gotta take a picture in front of that window!
Missions outside the "10/40 Window":
How do we reach those who don't need us?
What is the "10/40 Window" you ask?  It is the area typically associated with needs-based missions - the area from 10 degrees to 40 degrees North of the equator.  It encompasses many areas where humanitarian aid is greatly needed.  France and the United States, by contrast are outside of the needs-based window.
A friend of mine recently told me his friend was raised in France, lives in the US now, is Catholic by upbringing, but is completely irreligious now.  His friend seems utterly convinced that France has progressed beyond the need for churches and that the U.S. will, one day, be so enlightened.  Then he asked me if I could share what has worked to climb this slope with people who do not perceive they have a need.
Boy, the million dollar question!!  I know it begins with relationship.  Through the sharing of lives, sharing of meals, homes, money, struggles, successes, etc, he will begin to see who Jesus is and what He does for us.  It takes a LOT longer here than it does in needs-based missions work.  When we go to Africa for a week and they see the Americans come in with cars and clothes, they immediately see that we have something better than they do.  They then take the natural progression of, "Wow, so if I accept this Jesus they are talking about, I will have what they have."  They accept Christ, not realizing that Jesus isn't as concerned as we are whether we drive a car or walk, live in a fancy house or a mud hut, spend Dollars or Rand, and often times after we leave they become disenchanted.  The next trip many of these same people will see a need we can fill, accept Christ again and the cycle starts over.  That is the challenge of short term "needs-based" missions.  Christ calls us to serve the poor and they need Jesus.  This mission field is beautiful, it serves people and it serves God.  It's just a different cycle than missions outside the 10/40 window.
What my friend is talking about IS the challenge of our mission.  These people don't perceive they have a need.  His friend is probably not hurtin' for food or clothes and so he can't see what Jesus could offer him right away.  Bill Gates is quoted as saying, "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."  French people say, "Religion was tried and it didn't work - France is past that.  We are too smart for that child's crutch." 
It just takes time in relationship for the truth to become apparent.  It's not until they watch us live our lives for a LONG time and see us through ups and downs, and we are there for them through ups and downs, that over time the joy and peace Christ brings to His followers becomes apparent.  God typically uses a longer, slower cycle to bring someone without physical need to Christ, but once their eyes are opened to see the less tangible attractions Christ has for them, they typically hold it more dearly.
Along the way, listen to God's still small voice prodding you to take conversations back to Him.  I wish it were easier.  I think my friend nailed it - there is no quick way to the top, you just gotta "climb the slope".  Do it together, live life together and love people with Christ's love.  To all of you doing this every day in your neighborhoods and in your workplace, Way to go!  Way to not run from people who are different than us, but to engage and even embrace them.  That's certainly what Christ did.
Easter in Aix
Easter 2008Our Easter Family Picnic was a wonderful success, with many new families attending.  We had 30 young children participating in the egg hunt - twice what we had last year!  It is so exciting to see all these kids joining in our community!  Please check out this video that my friend, Jeff Fountain put together.  It's awesome!
Our Maundy Thursday Prayer and Worship Night and Easter Sunrise Services went terrifically as well.  It was 0 degrees Celsius Easter morning and we were outside at the base of Mt. St. Victoire.  It was COLD, but beautiful and we were able to watch the sun rise together as we were lead in hymns by a small choir. 
Easter Sunrise It was a "bon moment" as the French say, a good time.  Yea God!  Check out all of our Easter Pics here.

Life in France

  • I paid $129.00 today for a tank of gas.  You think I have a big tank, right??  It took less then 16 gallons to fill my tank.

  • Denim: The word denim is derived from "Serge de Nimes" the fabric it was made of and which came from Nîmes, less then two hours from us.  Many people say the fabric was used by the protestants (Huguenots) during the 1600's when they were holding church services in caves and other hidden places, literally risking their lives, because they were being persecuted by the Catholic Church.

  • France boasts over 500 different cheeses. Every region has its own specialty cheese - camembert from Normandy, Roquefort from the Larzac region in Aveyron; Brie from Meaux; Gruyere from Franche Comte; Epoisse from Burgundy St. Paulin from the Loire.

  • Because of the rise of the Euro against the dollar, in the (close to) two years we have been here, our rent has increased by $500 per month. We now have to take $500 more out of our US account each month to pay the same rent in Euros.

Teal's 40th Fête d'Anniversaire

Teal's 40th
Well, I did it.  I joined the ranks of the 40 year olds.  Megan threw an incredible party for me.  Above, my buddy Riadh is giving me the shirt he had made for me.  We had about 40 friends there, great food and of course some good North African drums.  See more pics here.
Thank you for your steadfast prayers, love and support.
Grace and Peace,
Teal, Megan, Olivia and Lexi
Teal & Megan Rapp
International Christian Community of Provence [ICCP]
Cl 06 19 22 35 85 · From US dial: 011 33 6 19 22 35 85
Skype & MSN Messenger: tealrapp
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