Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So what is our Ministry?

Happy New Year! I had a request to share what our calling actually is here in the South of France so I thought I would share it here on my blog which is a part of me..

DH and I head up an office called Derek Prince Ministries which is known in 150 countries. There are offices all around the world and we meet up with every office for 10 days each year to share and pray together.
We have a French team who edit and translate Derek Prince's materials as he has written near to 50 books (in 100 languages) and there are numerous tapes, DVD's, CD's etc available. His radio ministry is very popular all over the world bringing simple Biblical encouragement to millions of homes!

About fifteen years ago my husband was called by God to make this teaching available to the French church to build it up in the Word, as there was such a void in foundational knowledge! We made a commitment to serve God as a family in this Ministry. We are part of a big Church in Holland who serve as our 'umbrella' and spiritual covering. We believe in authority and accountability!
France is a very dark country spiritually and this kind of teaching is ideal as it touches every domain of life.. marriage, family, husbands and fathers, Israël, rejection, divine exchange at the cross, spiritual conflicts, blessings and curses, thanksgiving, praise and worship, guide to the end times etc. etc.
I went through a culture shock and transition period of adapting to a totally different spiritual atmosphere and traditional structures. I disliked France in the beginning, although the country is beautiful - but living somewhere is different than just being on holiday!
It hasn't all been easy sailing!! We have had to persevere amidst alot of hostility and rejection! The name of Jesus alone implicates a sect in many of the villagers minds and they are very wary! Ous sons have also suffered at school but God has been gracious and they have had friends so that they didn't feel unaccepted.

One village we lived in for six years was perhaps the worst period in my whole life where I had to confront aggressive youth who were looking for trouble - and my only weapon was the Word of God because I didn't have enough knowledge of the French language! I just stood in front of them quoting scripture and saw how they stopped in their tracks, turned around and left us. Many times things would happen when my DH was traveling to teach students in Africa and I would be alone with four young children, no warmth from friends and family! I had become friends with one neighbor lady but it had taken two years to establish.
In 1999 we had rainstorms which brought flooding to our whole area. I was alone with the boys and during the night looked out of the window to see that the vineyards had disappeared - everything stood under water! My car had floated away too! I didn't know what to do because it looked like we would have to evacuate during the night. Luckily our neighbors were all outside and waiting to see how high the water would rise before their houses were at risk. As by a miracle, it stopped raining when the water had reached our doorstep! What a blessing!
Stones were thrown at our house and our car and I have to admit it wore me out.. I had serious health problems because of the tension but through it all God, in His time and when His plans were met, healed and restored me. All things work together for good... even in our marriage we learned strong Biblical principles to keep us together, keep us going, through many conflicts and miscommunication! God gave me a special revelation about my place next to my husband in our relationship. Now two years later, God is opening doors for us to minister in Churches on this very subject. I have prayed for many women who could relate to what I went through and who have come to a new knowledge of where the problem lies! God has blessed this so much that René and I have written a book about it - fun, honest, and open in three languages! It is not ready yet, but when it has been printed I will write about it here.

My work in the office is to send out the orders we receive for the books to book stores, individuals, churches etc. and other daily administrative tasks which I do every morning. We are active in all French speaking countries which includes Africa, Quebec (Canada) and some European countries.. We have a medium size office and work with four people. We want our lifes to be a personal testimony to what God has done and is doing in our lifes everyday for everybody who searches for truth and light! We pray with earnest that the Light of God who sent His Son to the Cross for all mankind will break through to be a message of healing and restoration, joy and peace to the people around us.

We have been isolated in our Mission here and sometimes I was very lonely. Through circumstances we were able to have a house built in Olonzac, where we now live, and the time of grace started for me.. God couldn't seem to find enough ways to bless us! I found many new contacts via the Internet through my card hobby - alot of ladies from America who I find particularly friendly and warm. We are in a Church where we feel united spiritually with the French community, where love and acceptance is normal AND our son Joël chose to follow Jesus this year and is at a Bible School in Holland! This boosted our faith and joy level exceedingly!

This is very short but I hope will give you an idea. For those who have told me they pray for us and will continue to do so in 2009 - pray that God's Kingdom will be established in this huge country that has chosen it's very humanistic life style and that our Ministry whether it be to teach on Biblical principles or pass them on in book form or our lifes will be prospered and blessed by the Heavenly Father!

The other day I read this in a book:
"Others are watching. What they're trusting in doesn't work, and they're wondering if what you're trusting in does. Your faithfulness to God and HIS intervention on your behalf will touch their lives in ways your theology never will"!

That is my prayer and my dream - that GOD Himself will reveal Himself through His Chruch and through our Ministry... we want to impact our mission field and here we have the chance. We can make a difference!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I had to make another one..

I loved this image so much that I printed it out in different colour tints. I also love the distressing effect, so I treated myself to making another one.

Here she is in sepia on panels of PP which have been stamped.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Make something red - ATC and card

My ATC for the Monday ATC challenge to make something with red as dominant colour.

I made a card as well.

And a tag:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Postcard Art

The theme today is open on Sunday Postcard art challenge blog. I found this image on Dymphie's blog as a free download and loved it instantly. I love the look on her face. Thanks Dymphie.

Needless to say the background is distressed and sprayed with water. The rose is an old Anna Griffin stamp that I 'refound'.. sorry for that word but I don't speak English during the day so I'm not sure if that is correct.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We have snow!

The vineyards

Our house

A tree heavily loaded in the garden

Joël home to be with his mum!

Well nothing like a change of weather! One day sitting in the sun and enjoying the warmth, the next day a white blanket covers the earth! It is really pretty to have some snow - it radiates a white light into the house and outside when the snowflakes bundle up and fall in huge flakes to the earth - the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful - I really loved just soaking that up outside this morning! I took some photos which I will share on my blog - I'm afraid the ones of me and my son Joël turned out blurred so I can't show those..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ATC and Christmas Wreath

It's beautiful weather again! I pruned all my plants and shrubs this afternoon - so lovely to be outside! I don't have to work in the mornings either, so I'm enjoying myself with my boys at home!

Since I received a Christmas ATC from Louise and copied the exact measurements I have developed a little love for these little pieces of art!

I have made several because they are so quick to make! I used to make them with rounded edges from a template I had but now I have seen that the size is a bit smaller.

This is my Christmas wreath that I put on our front door every year. I am all ready with all the preparations for Christmas. Once again I will be the only female with six big men to feed! Four of them are my sons - one of them has a girlfriend but she will be with her own family, and the loviest of all is my DH!

Finally a little paper bow I received on a package.. have never seen this before and I loved it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas

These bears take their place on the mantelpiece every year. They are taking the wear and tear of it all too. We have our son Joël at home with one of the students who follows the Bible school too, which is lovely. We are having such beautiful weather that we might even be able to drink coffee outside on Christmas day if it carries on like this.
Thanks to all who visit my blog - I am so happy for this creative outlet to share with others!
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

Sent by Nancy:
If there is righteousness in the heart,
There will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
There will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
So let it be.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Postcard Art - Christmas!

I was looking forward to doing something for Christmas today as I saw the theme on the Sunday Postcard art blog was 'Christmas'. I aimed at making a red background with distress inks but it turned out pink.

Luckily when chalking the hat and gown of this image, it didn't turn out too red either. The snowflakes are gold embossed (Hero Arts). The Hero Art's collage stamp was used partially all over the background. The image is from a Tuscan Rose CD.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Art creations Friday

This week's challenge was an image from Hermine.

I had the idea of placing this couple before a house, and I had just received a church stamp from Nancy from her 'Yultide Blessings' stamp plate, so I used it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two yummy packages!

First of all, the stamp plate 'Yuletide blessings" I won on the Gothic arch blog from the Sugar lump studios has arrived!

Thank you so much Nancy, you know how thrilled I was to win some of your stamps!! And they are wonderful to work with. I mounted them this afternoon and have been stamping to try them out on cards and labels! The inspiration on this one was to stamp a snowflake onto a prima flower, which works really well... I'm out of brads so I had to come up with something else!

This second card was made from a stamp I received from Norway. I have a friend living there who sent me a package this week... totally unexpected and I was so delighted to receive a stamp from this country!! I needed to experiment straight away!
Life is very busy at the moment but as I have my own little room now (our eldest son moved out) it is so great to not have to tidy up everything after I have done a bit of crafting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Patchwork with paper

Just amusing myself with little squares to make a Christmas card, a little bit different than the tradition would have it. Most papers are Basic grey which I just love.

The little tag was a freebie from a digital Collage sheet site for Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Art Creations Friday - Challenge week 4

Another lovely image on the challenge blog: Art Creations Friday. I love these images!
Here is my contribution.

It might look a bit abstract but I like to experiment!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Favourite medium

At the Arty Girlz challenge blog, the theme this week is to make art using your favourite medium.

At the moment I am totally loving the distress inks once again, I love the effect they give!

I am into blue at the moment, faded jeans and broken china.

We have snow on the mountains! The weather is changing to winter time but still the sun is shining during the day which is very nice!
This is a photo I took this afternoon and fiddeled with it in a Photo programme to make it look like a painting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Colour Challenge Hero Arts

This week there is a different colour challenge every day on the Hero Arts website. I 'thought' I had conquered this one.... until I saw that I had misinterpreted the magenta colour....

The paper I used is a sheet of triangles from the Waissail Basic Grey paper line, which I cut out to form a star. It is a little gift tag, but I don't know whether I can part with it by attaching it to a Christmas present!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gothic Arch challenge - trees

The theme is 'Trees' over at the Gothic Arch challenge site.

I used distress inks for my background and a snowflake stamp in white ink for the accents. The top of a collage stamp from Hero Arts gave me just the right sentiment under the bow. Thanks for the challenge.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Art Creations Friday - image

The ACF challenge this week was to use the image you can see on the ATC. I really enjoy doing ATC's and would like to thank everybody who gave me some great tips on how to use them on cards or other things.

I was looking out of the window and saw this scene to my left... just had to take it on photo! If you click on the image you can see it larger - along this Mountain range which are called the Black Mountains, I have seen three rainbows next to each other at one time. Today I didn't get that privelige but scenes like this always remind me of God's faithfulness, and the rainbow in particular!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ATC theme Thursday - Children

As I had an image with children left other from my vintage hanger I decided to join in with the challenge over on this blog here.

And while I was at it, I thought I would do another one. I don't usually make ATC's because I don't know what to do with them afterwards, but it's nice now and again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Alcohol Inks

These were not the projects I was aiming at. First of all I wanted to create a nice alcohol background on glossy paper, but the applicator was too saturated and mixed the colours to give this dark look. Then I stamped on it in black but didn't like the look of it, so instead I attached a vintage image in the middle of the stamp seeing that it automatically gave me a frame. I thought to myself if I see a challenge this week with the theme 'frames', I will enter these, and sure enough, here on the Arty girlz blog I found a challenge!

Then I stamped over the top with white ink and used the beautiful flourish stamps which Suzanne sent me... slowing becoming my favorites... and liked the distressed look it gave.

This second card was created a little bit in the same way but with some extras.