Ethan and his wife Jessye moved to Bayonne area in the beautiful south of France to pursue their career aspirations. Ethan received a job as a business analyst for a psychiatric hospital and his wife worked as a speech pathologist. They bought a great house that enabled them to be hospitable. They also became heavily invested in their church community. Everything was going as planned.
At the hospital, Ethan was able to expand his department and effectively complete the projects assigned to him. With an entrepreneurial personality and business education, his success did not come as a surprise. He was living out his dream. But, even before all things started shifting, there was something missing.
When Ethan was seven, his parents became missionaries hoping to serve in the Ivory Coast. They moved the family from the U.S. to France for pre-field training for Africa. However, political unrest in the Ivory Coast kept them from going. His parents ended up becoming missionaries in France instead with a focus on Muslims. So, Ethan lived in the city of Strasbourg up until he moved to Bayonne.
Before college, Ethan had enjoyed sharing his faith with everyone around him.
He especially loved serving the youth in his area. But, even though Ethan loved ministry, he chose to sharpen his entrepreneurial talents in college instead. The dream was to marry his girlfriend Jessye, move to the city, and do business. And, that’s exactly what happened. So, what was missing?
Ethan wished his job had more of ministerial vision. It was a great place to share his faith with his co-workers, but he wanted more. When new leadership took charge of the hospital and growth in the department plateaued, Ethan became even more disenchanted with his work. He didn’t like where things were going, so he left.
The new job search was hard. Ethan had seemingly exhausted all of his networks hitting dead ends. He wasn’t really sure what he was looking for either. It seemed like a hopeless cause. Where could he find a job that incorporated business and ministry? Well, the answer came in a phone call with a childhood friend.
Phil Klawitter became good friends with Ethan when he was young.
Together, they evangelized their friends and ran the student youth group in their church. Even when Ethan moved away to Bayonne, the two of them were still the best of buds.
Being completely outside of the business world, Phil was the last person Ethan would have asked for job leads. But, as God would have it, Phil was encouraging him to consider the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Chateau in St. Albain.
Phil had heard about the opportunity from his father, Paul Klawitter, who is both the Director of Church Planting at Encompass and a Chateau board member. For over 50 years, the Chateau facility, a fourteenth-century castle, has been used to host guests, events, and most importantly conversations where believers look to plant seeds of the gospel into the hard hearts of post-Christian France.
The Chateau is a part of Encompass World Partner’s Transformation Works Network where creative business ventures intentionally pour into communities with the goal of gospel transformation. It is a beautiful combination of ministry and business, which was intriguing for Ethan.
Having just bought a house, Ethan and Jessye were skeptical of moving away from Bayonne.
They loved their city, church, and friends. But, they decided to give it a chance. If there was even a hint of the job not being a good fit, they would simply say no.
On their visit to the Chateau, Ethan and Jessye fell in love with the vision of the ministry. It would allow Ethan to return to student outreach while maintaining his passion for business. They also were enraptured by the facility itself and the city center near the property. It was magical.
On top of that, Ethan was able to find the perfect house thanks to one of the Chateau staff, John Jones. Surprisingly, Jessye was offered an opportunity on the spot to open up her own speech pathology business in a nearby medical center. Things were just falling into place in such a way they could never have imagined.
Returning from their trip, Ethan and Jessye knew that God was at work. They were blown away by all the opportunities in St. Albain. Even though it would be hard to leave their city, church, and friends behind, they knew that moving was the right thing to do. When their dreams and plans met their limit, God was there to help them go further.
Today, Ethan serves as the director of the Chateau. With his business expertise and heart for ministry, he hopes to carry out the vision of the Chateau like never before. Your prayers for his work are greatly appreciated.