Monday, December 24, 2001

Happy New Year from Sarah

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy New Year! Good health, happiness and God's blessing to you all for the year 2002. I'll use this occasion to bring you up to date on the events of this year and to fill you in on the way we are living at present.

Jan 1, 2001 found us with a new-born baby (born 27 December, 2000), Olivier Christian, 7th of a long line of beautiful gifts from God! Our 4th boy was received joyfully into our home by all his brothers and sisters, and he's been our delight ever since.

I must mention at this point a previous addition to our family: Nathalie, 24 year old cousin of Camille (Raph's wife) who came to us one day expressing her desire to live with a Christian family. She's been with us now for over a year and participates fully in the family life with such varied activities as jam- and bread-making, gardening, translating documents into French for our Christian web site as well as just being good company and a wonderful blessing. We didn't realize before how much we needed her but she's filled a very special place in our life.


April brought on a big family event: Raphaël and Camille's wedding! It was a time of fulfilment for Derrick and me to see our oldest child married to a beautiful and accomplished, young Christian woman. Ruth and Rosemary graced us with their presence and we all had a wonderful time. Raphaël and Camille have built in an apartment on our property and we're thus able to enjoy each other's presence on a day to day basis.

June brought about the completion of our first year of home-schooling. Rebecca, 9, and Christopher, 7, sat before the inspector of the academy and were promoted to the higher level for the next school year. Claire, 4, also completed a year of active learning in our school which is run primarily by Elisabeth, now 20 years old. Also this month Jonathan, 17 sat his baccalauréat (math and science major) and received his diploma with honours. At this point he decided to join forces with Derrick and Raphaël in the company business and he's now working as a programmer.

This summer we were invited to a family reunion near Gloucester to celebrate Rupert & Evelyn's and Tony & Peggy's anniversaries. All eleven of us showed up and we had a wonderful time renewing acquaintances and getting to know one another better.

From July to December we've enjoyed the continued blessing of the Lord in our fellowship as a family. Camille's now in full-bloom and we're awaiting the arrival of our first grandchild (for some), niece (for others), and daughter (for the happy parents-to-be!). You can look forward to our news in the beginning of March!

A little about our life for those of you who are faraway: Raphaël and Jonathan work for the family business, Microtec, a computer business that Derrick started almost ten years ago. Thanks to their success we were able to acquire a big property here which includes premises for Microtec, a big family home, an apartment for Raphaël and Camille, a home-school, and even more room for any and every future project! We also have a big vegetable garden, an enclosed garden, and enough land for horses, sheep and chickens (future project!) on the five-acre 'island' the Lord has provided.

On a material level we're fulfilled but the real heart-beat of our life is our love for Jesus, and His Word as it represents a standard and authority for our daily lives together. God's Church is made from living stones and the eleven of us form a church in the home which is really very simple but very happy and God is blessing us with unity and good fruit from day to day.

Our burden and goal on a day-to-day level is to translate into French some of the wealth of good Christian literature that is available in English, in particular A.W. Tozer, Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks. To distribute it we make good use of our web site (www.eglisedemaison.com) which we created for this purpose. If you're interested, or have any French-speaking friends, go there and help yourself: everything is free. There is also a good deal in English on our other site (www.neve-family.com) as well as being a fun place for family research. All contributions in French or English are warmly welcomed!

So in closing, we'd like to say that our life and our home is open to all our friends and family members. It would be wonderful to see you all! There's lots of room, if you want to drop in for a visit! Think of us as your 'holiday home in France'! Have a happy new year and please keep in touch!

Love from us all: Derrick & Sarah, Raphaël & Camille, Nathalie, Elisabeth, Jonathan, Rebecca, Christopher, Claire, and Little Olly!