Blog – Sunday 19 October 2008
Thankyou to so many of you who have encouraged us about this blog. I am so glad it is proving helpful and shall endeavour to keep it going!
Just to let you know, we still do not have a landline and are now in our fifth week of waiting. It is difficult to know why things should take as long, but there you are. I suggested to my teacher last week that France is part of the developing world and he gave me a funny look, but then he’s probably got a landline and didn’t spend seven weeks in a tiny caravan in the summer!
The church, Le Chemin, La Vérité et La Vie, which may in due course be referred to as CVV, is now two weeks old and seems to be healthy! We have not had the same numbers as we had for the launch Sunday and 35 seems to be more normal at present (no children). Quite a large proportion of folk seem to be away on Sundays/at weekends which in a small church matters rather more than in a larger one.
I preached this morning, in our series on Nehemiah, on the great challenge he faced and the faith he had. People are being kind to me in saying that they think my French is improving which is good. More importantly, I hope they really get hold of the message! Our worship times are steadily seeing more of a sense of God’s presence which is exciting and Gill stepped out this morning and did some prophetic humming!
We are back to college tomorrow morning for our seventh week out of twelve. Gill did quite well in a little exam last week which has encouraged her. I have had some interesting class discussions on the history of the strike in France, women’s rights and other issues of inequality in the workplace. I have continued to have great opportunities to share the gospel with folk in the class.
By the way, our record for cycling to college was, on Thursday, reduced to 11 minutes 35 seconds although we were rather fortunate with traffic lights. Having said that, Gill seems to have developed a rather French colour blindness so that, for her and most Parisian cyclists, traffic lights only ever have one colour (green). That’s all very well until you get to Boulevard de Montparnasse which is about nine lanes wide. It’s interesting to note that for our first couple of weeks Gill would only ever cycle on the pavement for fear of getting too near the traffic or looking the wrong way at junctions.
I suddenly realised on Friday evening that we have been in the city here non-stop since 17 August and that made me want to escape the city for a day. We decided to do a day trip to Versailles on the train. The chateau/palace is immense and amazing (and that’s just from the outside) and the gardens go on forever. Absolutely stunning. Late in the afternoon all the fountains were switched on which provided an unforgettable sight. It did make us consider that this amazing place constructed over three hundred years ago as a display of human splendour and perhaps the finest palace in the world is nothing compared to what God has planned for those who love him.
The Car Show has finished today at last so next week’s parking for our Thursday evening and Sunday morning meetings should be much easier.
We celebrate a notable wedding anniversary this week and return to the UK for a family party at my parents’ house in Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday afternoon which we are so looking forward to.