Summer Recap 2020
Greetings all! We hope this letter finds you well and strong in your faith. 2020 has surely had its fair share of trials, but God is good and the trials of this life can be a great aid in pushing us to grow in our faith. We want to take a moment and share with you all about our summer, as we now have started up the new school year and ministries are getting underway again after the summer break! 
JUNE: Finished Up CEM
We started Christians on Missions (Chretien en mission) in June of 2019 as a way to discover missions in the French-speaking world. It was a fantastic year of learning and being challenged, as we have shared with you in past reports. Ordinarily in June there is a big CEM summer session when people from many different countries come together in Marseille for an intensive week of missions and for the graduation program. This year things were quite different as the COVID-19 crisis severely restricted not only international travel but also large gatherings of people. We were forced to make many adjustments to the week, such as having a virtual instead of live concert (here’s a link to one song we did “Tel Que Je Suis”). We moved the closing program outdoors to help with distancing rules as well. Still we are incredibly grateful to have been part of this amazing year!
We pray that next year, the CEM summer session will be able happen with less constraints and that possibly some of you might come and participate in a week of lessons, service projects, shared hospitality, singing and prayers. We also highly recommend this program for young people who may be interested in missions in the French-speaking world! Learn more about it at this link .
July: The Hosting Hostetters, Paperwork in Paris, and Camp Lite. 
We moved from our 700 square foot apartment into a 1100 square foot home in June. WE are very grateful for the extra space for hosting and sharing hospitality with many already. By my count we have had around 70 different people over since moving! This has  put some strain on our finances, but is such a big part of ministry and outreach. Thank you to those who help make this possible with their generous support!
We have had groups from two to over twenty since June, hosting birthday parties for people in the church, having families we hope to win to Christ over for dinner, and welcoming the staff of Christians on Missions to our home for a thank you breakfast. We strive for our home to always be open and a place of fellowship to draw people to and highlight the love of Christ. We look forward to hosting teen fellowships, English language discussion groups, and many more in our new home in the months and years to come! We’d love to host you also when travel restrictions are lifted. We have a guest futon now!
Most years July is a whirlwind of activity here as just after CEM summer session there is a week of preparations then a huge camp in the mountains with over 100 kids from all over France and Switzerland. This year, due to COVID-19, the kids camp had to be cancelled. Still, we were allowed to welcome some families to the retreat center for a few days of spiritual refreshment. Brittney and I got to help in the kitchen, and I had the opportunity to teach a series of lessons from 2 Timothy as well as celebrate turning 35!
Before heading up for camp, we made a quick trip to Paris to work on renewing Jonathan’s passport as the consulate in Marseille was closed. We had a few hours between our appointment at the embassy and our train to camp, and enjoyed strolling around Paris with him. We are in the process of renewing our resident permits, and appreciate your prayers that everything can go smoothly. 
August: Family Time and Language Learning
August in France is the time of “Conges” as French workers are required to be given a month of payed time off each year. The country somewhat shuts down as many businesses shutter and people flock to the beaches and the mountains. Half of the church is away on trips and the pace slows down immensely. This is a strange experience for us and takes some getting used to as we are used to staying busy pretty much year-round, but we did enjoy having some extra time for family activities like going kayaking together! 
Brittney really is motivated to learn French as she is such an outgoing communicator. This August we found some intensive courses for her downtown to boost her learning. They were excellent but costly. Thankfully, some of our brethren in the US helped with the costs. She is so very grateful for your assistance as we can see a definite impact from just 3 weeks of courses. 

We look forward to more classes for both Brittney and I starting towards the end of September, as the more our grasp of French improves, the more doors for service and ministry here open up. 
This month, the kids are back to school, and doing some great ministry with that, I have resumed my Master’s classes, we will be starting up our French schools, English ministry will be resuming, and we are excited about more possible ministry openings which we hope to share about in our next report. Please continue to keep us in prayers as there are always hurdles to overcome: financial challenges, language learning difficulties, moments of discouragement, and now a rising surge in COVID-19, particularly here in Marseille. A number in the church have been affected and restrictions have been returning with the rising cases, which makes ministry complicated. Your prayers make a difference and are greatly appreciated. 
We’d love to hear from you as always, and thank God daily for your participation in this ministry, through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. Please reach out any time if you have any questions. God bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you. 

The Hostetters
Here’s our latest report! Hope you are encouraged!

Hey guys! We are about to finish week 7!!!! of quarantine. One more week of full quarantine to go, but in the meantime, want to update you all!  Greetings to all! Wow! It’s been 7 weeks of confinement now for us here in France. One more week to go till things slowly start to open back up, though we won’t be able to have full church services until June!?! We have been having services online, but boy do we miss physically assembling with the saints. It seems like forever ago, but it was on March 1st that I preached my first sermon in French here in Marseille! Still, we are grateful for the means that we have to communicate, and hope that this email can also encourage you in these challenging times!  We miss our ministry at the retirement center. They have been hit by COVID-19. Please keep them in prayers.  We had a very encouraging trip to Germany in February, this time for the Advanced Bible Study Series. The lessons were top notch and the fellowship very encouraging.  Right before the confinement lockdown hit us, we were blessed to have a visit from Brittney’s Aunt Becky! So good to have family visit us!  It is incredible how much progress the kids have made in their French. Hannah is entirely fluent at this point, and Carys and Jonathan are able to communicate in French as well.  February and March saw the Chretiens en Mission group make several trips that were incredible. I was able to have the opportunity to go back to Africa to visit the Muslim nation of xxxxxx. Due to the large North African community here, we had a flight that was less than $100!  Into xxxxxx Xxxxxxx is a Muslim nation. For this reason, you must be very careful to not mention this trip on any form of social media or public website. We met with “long term Christian workers” who could get kicked out of the country based on a post on Facebook. We met with Christians who meet secretly in their homes, knowing they might end up in prison for their faith. We hoped to encourage yet were instead encouraged by their courage.  I did have the opportunity to preach in xxxxxx, but it was at a gathering for foreigners only. There were police outside for two reasons: first to protect the Christians from Islamic extremists, and secondly to prevent Muslims from coming in and hearing the preaching. The topic I was assigned was Romans 13. It was challenging to imagine long term ministry in such a restrictive country.  This was an incredible trip. Some of the most encouraging people we met I did not take photos of for their safety’s sake, but I ask you to pray for this Muslim country and for the few there who are seeking to know Christ and to share this that they may be protected and guided in their search for the truth and in their life with Christ. Pray that from here in Marseille, God’s word can go forth into this and other Muslim majority countries. Already this is happening, as a former CEM student is a long-term Christian worker in xxxxxx even now.  We had a great team on this trip, but one of the most incredible things was having Khaled and Djedjiga with us on the trip. They are Muslim-background Christians from here in Marseille who are from North Africa originally. Their understanding of the culture, religious background, and multiple languages (Arabic and Berber or Kabyle) opened so many doors and made instant connections. It drove home how reaching people in Marseille can impact the broader Muslim world. They would also prove invaluable on the next trip, which a week later was to Greece. Khaled actually prevented a robbery of the group because he could understand a group of Algerians making plans and appealed to them as his countrymen!  Paul wrote his letter to the church in Thessaloniki almost 2000 years ago, and last month Brittney and the other CEM students, along with Jackson, Rania, Greg, Katie, Esther, Khaled and Djediga got to visit this city on their trip to Greece. This, along with our trip to Germany and my trip to xxxxxx, was our 3rd international trip in just one month. It was a very encouraging and eye-opening trip.  Greece has been the European landing point for over 1 million refugees, mostly fleeing the violence in Syria which has gone on now for over 9 years. There are presently tens of thousands of refugees waiting on their status in Greece, with over half of them being women and children. One of the primary focuses of the trip to Greece was to help those who are helping these people, reaching them with the love of Christ. It is a significant opportunity for the Gospel, as many have been disillusioned with Islam and seeking something better. Brittney and the group were able to minister to many, though we must also be discreet in sharing photos. Some of the refugee camps are breeding grounds for Islamic extremism, and becoming a Christian can put a refugee living in the camps in considerable danger.  On these trips, there were no baptisms or quick conversions. Reaching people with Muslim backgrounds, like reaching the secularized agnostic French takes years of consistency and devotion. These trips drove home the importance of patience and perseverance, if lives are going to be truly changed, if there are going to be more Khaled and Djedjigas. In February, Brittney made a cake to help share in celebrating Katie and Greg’s 30 years in Marseille, and it was very uplifting to see some of the fruit of their patient persistence. We pray God can use us similarly.  Thank you all for reading this far, for your prayers and continued support. We pray for you and for the great turmoil in the world at this time. May God continue to use you to spread the good virus of faith, to save people’s eternal souls! Love, the Hostetters


Hostetter’s December-January Update!

Greetings all! We hope you all are doing well, especially considering the global pandemic that has paralyzed the world! We are stuck inside for the next two weeks as France has been quarantined, and that has changed how we will minister, do our classes and live our life of love here. We are learning to do things online, and to reach people from our homes. On the upside, we now have time to catch up with some stuff we’ve wanted to do but haven’t had time to stop and focus on… such as sharing updates with you all! Our December and January were great! Here’s a few highlights, from CEM exams, to Christmas programs, a trip to Ghana, meals together, baptism and more! Whew! Don’t forget even in these tough times, God is truly good!
The Hospitable Hostetters
One thing that we have really found to be a great way to build relationships here in France is to eat together. France has a strong culture of spending time together at the table. Look at this table:

Missions in France is a long-term effort… to build relationships with people, to show our true love and concern for people over time, and through this, we have a footing on which to share faith with others. We have really been convicted about the importance of hospitality and sharing meals together, for many powerful conversations happen around the table. 1 Peter 4:7-11 demonstrates how it is one of the powerful methods of serving one another.
The Christmas program of the church was a huge evangelistic outreach! There were close to 200 people present for the nativity play and the concert. Our kids were blessed to be able to be part of this program.
Hannah was a prophet and wise “man”, Jonathan was a shepherd and Carys an angel. I had the opportunity to be part of the choir. The news of Jesus’ incarnation was powerfully shared with many outside of the church!
One tremendous blessing we had in December was the opportunity to visit Ghana for Christmas! We are so grateful to a friend who helped pay for tickets so we could be there at the same time as all of Jeremiah’s sisters. Our kids really were blessed to spend time with their fellow missionary cousins.
I learned to preach and share the gospel in Ghana. It was an honor to be able to preach and teach several times while there. The church in Kumasi has done much to send people out, even when it has come at a cost to their own growth.
Probably the greatest moment of January was to see Dylan and Marvin give their lives to Christ in the waters of baptism. Dylan’s muslim father was there to witness his baptism. He comes from a very tough neighborhood, but has chosen to make his residence in heaven. Marvin’s grandmother died the week before his baptism, but this meant that many of his family had come to town for the funeral and ended up coming to his baptism. He took the opportunity to proclaim his faith and hope to his family. It was incredibly encouraging and powerful. We are honored to be their family in Christ.
It’s hard to summarize two months packed with ministry in a few paragraphs, but we are blessed and grateful that God has put us here and provided us with many different opportunities to minister. Being stuck at home has been already a challenge, as we miss our English class, our visits to the nursing home, our meals together, and our work with the church, but we are grateful to live in this age of modern technology when we can do video classes, and stay in touch with all of you. We will continue to pray for you all during these tough times in the coming weeks and months, and hope that the knowledge that God’s kingdom continues to spread here in France and that the message of hope and eternal life continues to be shared. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. You help make this possible! Next week, maybe when you all are stuck home like us, ha ha, we hope to also send an update on a number of missionary trips we got to take the last 6 weeks. Until then, Au Revoir, et Que Dieu Vous Bénissez.
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