Mission Life in France during COVID– The Raineri Family

Hi, Angie and I want to share some snippets of our life here in France during the isolation period that we have lived under. The orders in our area began March 2nd, and ended on June 2nd. As of today we are free to travel about as we want. Surprisingly we have remained healthy, with store visits at least twice per week. Other than problems with Pete’s seasonal allergies, all is well. There is a picture below of our groceries, and our time in Honduras taught us well. How to disinfect everything that was bought, whether water with bleach or wiped with alcohol.

  • It is difficult to be here and see the pain and suffering in the US, and now being revealed in other countries, France being one, as well. What can we do? Or more specifically what can I do? I have some holy uneasiness about the treatment of people made in God’s image. I have been called into prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to answer my questions, and then I pray I have the strength to take action.
  • During isolation, we have been consistently blessed by our supporters through isolation, changing donation platforms, and changing GEM corporate communication strategies. Thank you for being here!
  • Our 25th wedding Anniversary is June 24th. Thanks to Angie for putting up with me. I find it hard to believe that half of our married life has been spent on the foreign mission field.
  • We will be back in the US from June 13th to July 27th, in addition to a week of training in July and spending our first week in isolation before we start moving around much, we look forward to seeing family and supporters again. Here is the no-pressure ask — if you feel safe enough to meet and are interested in coffee, please let us know. We would love to see you!
  • While our physical church here in France is not allowed to be open at this point, the re-assessment of the restrictions will be made on June 22nd. The church building, or home church, is considered a private venue, our house church can seat five people based on the square meters of the open space in the current restrictions.
  • Even through confinement, we praise God for the growth of His church in Lamorlaye. We have started a skype meeting night in which we share our lives, prayer, pain, sometimes a devotion, but most of all a time of being together with each other. Several weeks after that started we started a WhatsApp group and now have the opportunity to share, sometimes daily devotions.  I did a devotion on Jonah, and another week on Job. This new connection keeps us together as a church.
  • Our administrative work still goes on here, Angie’s Spiritual Life Team (SLT) has increased their activities to help the ministry cope with isolation. Missionaries, who are mostly type A, extrovert people who were suddenly forced to be still, found this time very frustrating. So the SLT prepared a virtual spiritual life retreat which went over very well, with over 200 missionaries participating throughout the day.
  • Pete’s job duties increased. As the lead of GEM’s Crisis Management Team, since February, all of a sudden more meetings were held, more reports had to be made, and he witnessed first hand the concern and love by GEM’s top-level leaders. During the pandemic, for a period of six weeks, 5 days a week, Pete researched and prepared a report to the leaders of GEM and it’s country fields. This report on deaths and infections, border controls, travel and aviation restrictions was actually fascinating to see all the information that was available and sift out the various sources and the differences between countries, in Europe and North America.
  • We are blessed by family in the US. Our families, Angie’s parents, and our six sisters, our five children and nine grandchildren have been very supportive during this time and have suffered no major illnesses, thank you God for this firm US foundation.
  • For our US church we are blessed. We have for the first time been able to see the worship services on-line, connect with our friends on chat and have led several 13:10 Prayercasts for Good Shepherd. Thank you Good Shepherd staff, teams, and volunteers.
  • Our French church service has moved on-line as well. Our members have the choice of our two mother churches for their weekly Sunday service. One uses a pre-recorded YouTube video of the Pastor’s message and a live watch party. The other has embraced a Sunday Zoom call to connect with their members which gives interaction to each member. Very few French churches were online before this happened. However, by doing this now more people have access to solid teaching in French. If you would like a link please email Pete and he can copy you in on one.
  • Zoomed…. out! “Let’s go to the Zoom rooms” Oh No! Two to three Zoom or MS Teams meetings per day. Then add in not being able to walk farther than 1km from your house and a one-hour time limit, Oh la la.  Grateful that the restrictions are lifting.

Here are some of our groceries. After they are brought in the house they go through a bleach water bath or alcohol wipe down and then left to dry.  During the drying process another thorough clean of all the surfaces takes place.  During this entire process, Angie is not allowed in the kitchen.

And my love on June 24, 1995.

Please note that some of you who make credit card donations have been contacted by GEM about converting to a new donation service.  This is legitimate.  GEM decided that the cost savings to the ministry and it’s missionaries are worth the aggravation of changing donation processing services.  If you have any questions please ask us or Ariel.McGehee@gemission.org.  

And please renew!  Thank you, we greatly appreciate this.

The link to the correct donation is here: 
https://secure.paperlesstrans.com/GEM8?c15=5864273&c16=35990 

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