October 2022

Plans and Purpose
Batts Abroad - October 2022

We love fall in Québec! This is the view from our back patio.


Trees are bare and yellow leaves litter the ground around our apartment. There's a nip in the air, and temperatures fall below freezing overnight. We've recently celebrated Allen's birthday, had friends over for Canadian Thanksgiving, spent a day apple picking, and enjoyed fall in our corner of Québec. But now, we're shifting into another season here in Canada and we've been laughing so much lately about how our lives have changed in the last year or so.

I'm continuing my slow trek through Proverbs, and
Proverbs 19.23 has been ruminating in my heart for days now.

"Many are the plans in a person's heart,
but it is the Lord's purposes that prevails."

Boy, our plans have changed, and not just in the obvious ways. We thought we'd be in Togo, living in a hot weather climate and working with vulnerable children. We thought we'd study French in the southern Alps of France. We thought I'd be homeschooling, and we'd have a brand-new imported vehicle. Nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope.

That's the nature of plans: They change. They fluctuate, they get broken, they get remade, they are cancelled and interrupted. Plans, as good and thought-through as they may be, are variable.

Proverbs 19.23 recognizes that. I imagine Solomon's thoughts were more like this, before he edited the proverb down to be more precise: "Whoa, y'all have lots of plans. Maybe slow down some. There's a lot going on in your mind... and you know those plans are going to change, right? They aren't the law; they're just plans. They'll be interrupted by like 5:30 tomorrow morning. Don't put your hope in plans. Don't bank on those. There's something deeper for you."

That something deeper? The Lord's purpose. The Lord's purpose for our family, for each of us individually, persists despite changing plans. It prevails. It lasts. We can bank on His purposes, and we can lean into them when everything in life seems upside down.
Proverbs 20.5 says, "The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but the one who has insight draws them out."


Ruth and Clara after school


God puts deep-water purposes in our hearts.

Some of these deep-water purposes are obvious: Displaying His glory to the world as salt and light. Loving others. Becoming more like Him. But others are there for us to draw out over time: Why did He give us specific spiritual gifts? What can we do with them to accomplish the aforementioned purposes? What impact can our interests and hobbies have on eternity?

When God called us to Québec, people kept asking, "What are you going to do there? What are your plans?"

And our response was always the same: "We are working with a baby church plant and international student ministry, but really, we're just going to go and be enthusiastic about what God is doing in Québec." Our plans were so loose: serve where and how we can and be excited and joyful along the way.

Our plans haven't changed, but they've been fleshed out a little bit more: Allen is serving on the worship team. We're the coffee providers Sunday morning. We wash mugs and help with the kids' ministry when there's a gap and set up chairs and take them back down. We chat and pray together. We greet people. We prayer walk Laval University once a week. We disciple our kids and those close to us. We invite others along.

Why? For what purpose?
So that God's glory can fill Québec.

We don't know your plans, but we sure know part of your purpose. It's the same as ours, and that of all believers around the world. The underground church in Iran? Same purpose. Christ-following mega churches in the southern USA? Same purpose. Home churches across Europe? Same purpose. And our baby church plant in Québec? Same purpose. So that God's glory can fill the world.

Working to the same end together in Christ,
Allen and Melissa


Fun fall adventure outside



Here's what is coming up in the next few months:

  • November: (American) Thanksgiving celebration with our team; end of Melissa's French class at the community center.
  • December: Ruth's 7th birthday; Christmas in Québec.
  • January: Our 9th wedding anniversary; Hudson's 4th birthday; women's retreat for Masion Coram Deo; Allen starts French classes at the community center.
  • February: Valentine's Day ministry to Masion Coram Deo.
  • March: Men's retreat for Masion Coram Deo.




Prayer Requests:

  • For Ruth and Clara to continue settling well at school. We continue to experience periodic struggles with Clara not eating and Ruth's classroom behavior.
  • For wisdom as we align our plans to God's purposes. Pray that we'll be able to keep His purposes as the top priority for ourselves and our family.
  • For God's provision. We've had some unexpected expenses come up (such as a new washer and dryer and some new winter gear for growing kids).


Since we are now "on the field," the things we share on our website are changing. Our goal is to spread God's glory throughout Québec, and our website will simply reflect that we are Gospel believing family living here so that we can do that.









Our mailing address is:
120-3775 Avenue des Compagnons
Québec, QC G1X 5C3

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