September 2022

A Secure Fortress and Refuge
Batts Abroad - September 2022

Team outing to an apple orchard on a sunny afternoon!


Fall is here and with it come all the tell-tale signs of a changing season: red and yellow leaves grace the trees around our apartment; the morning air is crisp; and sporadic rain showers are interrupted by bursts of sunshine. Oh, and allergies are in full swing.

For over a month, we've battled near-constant congestion and occasional sore throats and coughs. It's not exactly the kind of legacy we want to impart on our children: "Hey kids, here's what you're inheriting: allergies at every turn of the season, countless boxes of Kleenex, and enough Claritin to outfit a small army!" Nonetheless, that's our reality and that seems to be their inheritance.


Chateau Frontenac in Old Québec


I've been reading through the book of Proverbs during my morning quiet time. It's been slow going, because I stop as soon as a verse or passage stands out to me, then spend the rest of the day meditating on it. The other day, I stopped at Proverbs 14.26 and I just keep going back to this one:

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for their children, it will be a refuge.

Talk about the legacy we want to leave, a legacy far greater than that of inheriting allergies: the fear of the Lord.

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress... A protected castle. A defended and guarded fort. In downtown old Québec, Chateau Frontenac stands proud on a hill overlooking the river. It is within the only walled city in North America. When Québec was founded in the 17th century, these walls were a source of comfort and assurance for the inhabitants against wild animals and raging opponents. It truly was a secure fortress.

... and for their children, it will be a refuge. A haven. A shelter and a stronghold. The walls around Québec are still standing and generations later, those walls still bring security. They transport us back in time hundreds of years where the outside world has slipped away. It feels safe within the walls, like nothing will harm us while we're walking around playing tourist.


Hudson and part of the wall in Old Québec


But Québec is just a city. The old part of town is just a neighborhood within the city, surrounded by stacked rocks. While an interesting and strategic military tool, those walls are nothing compared to the secure fortress and refuge afforded to us who fear the Lord.

When we say no to fear of man and the world and yes to fear of the Lord, it leaves a different kind of inheritance or legacy for our kids: that holy fear becomes a holy and secure fortress which becomes a holy refuge... A refuge from the spiritual battles that wage at every turn and threaten (but fail) to tumble that secure fortress.

That's the legacy we want to leave our kids. Sure, it may be accompanied by allergies and Kleenex, but we pray that the Lord is a refuge for them because they saw Him being our secure fortress. Our strong fortress - the fear of God that we invested into every battle and every prayerful moment - can be our kids' refuge because they saw it being tested and emerging victorious.

God is with us. He is our secure fortress and our refuge. We pray He is that for you, too.

Love in Christ,
Allen and Melissa


Two goofy girls heading to school



So what have we been up to? Our focus this year is to continue improving our French, but here's a glimpse of our weekly schedule. The girls are in school Monday through Friday, so here's what we do between drop-off and pick-up:

Monday: Day off to rest, reset our home, catch up on laundry, etc.
Tuesday: Work on ministry-related items (study French, planning/brainstorming sessions, discipleship training homework, research for university ministry, reaching out to people in the States or here in Québec, video editing, writing, etc.).
Wednesday: Prayer walk around Laval University, then run errands, grocery shop, and prepare for our team discipleship training on Wednesday nights.
Thursday: Melissa takes a French course at a local community center, then we continue working on aforementioned ministry items.
Friday: Ministry work in the morning, team prayer time in the afternoon, then pizza and a movie with Kendall, our "adopted" student.
Saturday: Girls are usually exhausted, so we spend most of the day in pajamas! Allen practices with the worship team for Sunday. We often make something to share with our church family on Sunday.
Sunday: Make coffee for church, help set up, worship together, have lunch with another family, and prepare for the week ahead.




Prayer Requests:

- Pray for peace and courage for our girls as they go to school.
- Pray for wisdom in ministry opportunities and how to use our time.

- Pray for our French to continue to grow and become more natural.


Since we are now "on the field," the things we share on our website are changing. It's important to guard and protect the privacy of our team, our ministry partners, and our friends here. From here on out, you can expect more family stories, cultural information about Québec, and discreet ministry updates. Our goal is to be a light in Québec, and our website will simply reflect that we are Gospel believing family living here. Let us know if there's anything specific that you'd like to see us talk about there!









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

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