February 2022 Newsletter

Gospel Opportunities
Batts Abroad - February 2022

Late last spring, after several intense months of language learning, I (Melissa) realized I still didn't know how to share the Gospel in French. That realization kind of hit me like a brick: what's the point of being able to conjugate verbs in 1,000,000 different tenses if I can't tell anyone else about what Jesus did on the cross?

So I started practicing the Gospel. I would tell it to myself or to Dominique, who helped me with French once a week. I would think through it and try to piece it together in my mind with the vocabulary I already had, looking up new words as needed. And when our schedule shifted more towards ministry and away from our own formal learning this term, I knew I wanted to help other students gain confidence in sharing the Gospel, too.

With the language school's blessing and support, I started helping with the Bible Workshop class on Wednesday mornings. On February 1st, I taught my first lesson: how to craft and share the Gospel in French. I know there's a million ways to present the Gospel, but I wanted us to keep it easy, so we focused on these questions:

1. Qui est Dieu ? (Who is God?)
2. Qui est-on ? (Who are we?)
3. Qu'est-ce que Jésus a fait ? (What did Jesus do?)
4. Comment est-on répond ? (How do we respond?)

Talking through the Gospel in French

I shared the Gospel with the students in French, gave them each a worksheet, and split them into groups of varying French levels. Each group discussed one of the questions and after about 10 minutes of worktime, they all came back together to answer the questions for the whole class. At the end, several students had an opportunity to practice themselves. I closed the class in prayer, intentionally asking God to give us the opportunity to share the Gospel in French in the next week so that we could practice what we'd learned...

And that Sunday, I got a text from a student saying that she'd shared the Gospel with a friend here in Quebec that weekend! God answered our prayer for an opportunity to share!

In March, I'm working with the Bible Workshop classes on how to share a Bible story and how to work the Gospel into the story. And in April, we'll have them develop a short devotion based on the Bible story.

Language learning isn't just about proper sentence structure and subject-verb agreement. Learning a foreign language allows us to connect with others and share with them the most important story every told: God, the perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing Creator, loves us. We, who are born with a sin nature, are forever separated from God and hopeless. But God sent His only Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life and be the perfect once-for-all sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus defeated sin and death so that we could be with God forever. And we have a choice: accept that free gift of forgiveness and follow Jesus, or reject that gift and serve ourselves.

Will you join us in praying for opportunities to share the Gospel among French-Canadians, the least-reached people group in the Western Hemisphere?


A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse at Our Life:

1. We celebrated Valentines Day by giving gifts to each of the students and with an at-home-date-night, complete with chocolate fondue and dressing up like an 80-year-old couple. We talked about how we want to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary (in the year 2064!) and how we can intentionally invest in our marriage here and now.

2. A couple of warm-weather days snuck into Quebec in early February, but they were quickly followed by several more feet of snow over the course of the month. While the warm weather lasted, we enjoyed splashing in mud puddles and not wearing heavy winter gear every day!

3. There were several days of Winter Camp on campus and between sledding and throwing axes (supervised, of course), our kids stayed busy running around campus while Allen tended the bonfire and I helped welcome guests. Several campers made professions of faith during the camps and local churches are providing follow-up with them.

4. We spent a whirlwind weekend in Québec City, visiting the ABWE EveryEthne team serving there. Our overnight trip was full of great conversations, delicious food, building new connections, and random snow storms!

Ruth, Clara, and Hudson were invited to a special tea party with Ms. Eden, an intern who works in the garderie on campus. Our kids dressed up and spent an afternoon with her watching a movie and eating special snacks. We're so thankful for Ms. Eden and the others who have intentionally loved our kids during our time here in Sherbrooke!

Allen and I have stayed busy serving and walking alongside students. Our weeks are busy, but we've enjoyed seeing the spiritual and language growth taking place here. We've also recently restarted our Coffee Couch Time in the morning and have loved having those few minutes together before the craziness of the days kicks in.


Thanks for praying for our family! Here are a few specific prayer needs:

  • Wisdom in relationships and ministry opportunities here at Parole de Vie. There is much to do and we're never bored, but pray that our priorities will be right and the Lord will be at the heart of all we do.
  • Guidance and smooth transitions as we prepare for our first long-term field assignment and move this summer, and specifically as it relates to getting our household goods currently stored in Wasilla, Alaska.
  • Salvation for Ruth, Clara, and Hudson.








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