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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Givens

A New Home!

As I sit here, Elijah is crying and running to the bathroom. Poor kid. He woke up at midnight last night and came into our bedroom. He threw up on our bed and then also on the floor. He’s been feeling miserable all day. Thankfully, most of our first week here has been a positive experience and has not been like this.


We arrived on Monday, August 1st. We were greeted at the airport by a board member named Eloi. He graciously helped us load all twelve of our suitcases and our backpacks into the van and took us on the three hour drive to Calais. The drive was mostly uneventful, despite taking a few wrong turns, and we made it to our new home in time to settle down and take it quietly the rest of the day.

Our house is a lovely three story building that was definitely built sometime in the 19th century. It still has much of its original woodwork and hardwood floors. The boys have both decided to sleep in the rather large attic, and Rachel and I have our room on the second floor. Unfortunately, we haven’t had hot water since we moved in, and had to go to our friend’s apartment to shower. Since it’s August, much of France is on vacation, so the soonest the energy company was available to turn on our gas was this Wednesday. Despite that inconvenience, we love our new house. The landlord is also a kind person, who says he doesn’t want to make a profit on the house, but is renting it to us at an extremely reasonable rate to support our ministry. The house has been in his family since 1904.


We’ve also had the opportunity to have dinner with the board of the Maria Skobtsova Association, to whom we will be reporting. They provided a very warm welcome, and expressed their excitement at having some stability in their work here. We look forward to working closely with them in the coming months.


Much of our first week has been spent taking care of things that need to be dealt with whenever someone moves: setting up internet, getting a French phone plan and phone numbers, getting our gas turned on, and an overnight trip to Lille to visit Ikea. Those tasks accomplished, we can begin to acquaint ourselves both with life in Calais and the ministry we will be undertaking. Pray for us as we work with Alex, a regular volunteer, to learn the rhythms of the Maria Skobtsova House, so that we can minister effectively.


Next week, we are going to spend more time with Alex at the house so that we can learn from him before he goes back to his home in Scotland. In the absence of other volunteers, we will be taking over management of the house following his departure on the 25th of August. Pray that God would send volunteers to serve alongside us and the refugees.

This is just a short update of how our first week has gone and what we’re looking forward to. Continue praying for us as we transition and attempt to learn French. We may have a tutor soon, so pray that our language learning goes quickly. As always, we couldn’t do any of this without your support and your love. We will update you again soon, with a newsletter soon to follow.


Making our house a home ♥️


Calais Beach


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