Another month has rushed by. Much has happened and for the sake of our reader I'll try to be brief!
We so enjoyed having both Sarah and then Michael to stay for a few days just before and over Easter (they overlapped by 24 hours). Sarah repeated our unfortunate experience of the week before by missing her flight at Charles de Gaulle airport. It was totally not her fault. She left lots of time for the simple train journey, only to find that the trains weren't going that way that day (at least, not all the way!). So I accompanied her as far as Gare de Lyon from where an Air France bus was supposed to take hundreds of anxious passengers to the airport. The problem: no bus. Even a last minute dash in a taxi was too late and the poor Sarah spent what she later described as the worst day of her life waiting for the next flight to Leeds (10 hours).
As a church we were privileged to have a team visiting us from Mosaic Church Leeds over Easter to serve us in our mission to reach the people of Paris with the good news of Jesus Christ. They were an outstanding team extremely well led and well motivated. A number of the folk from the church here were able to join their activities which often included "treasure hunting". Quite a number of amazing stories resulted including my current favourite: three of us, after praying, compared our "clues" to find we were supposed to be looking for a red sailing boat, a fountain, some steps, some orange clothing and a bad shoulder or neck! We set off for the Jardin de Luxembourg and, on entering the park, we found a large park map which showed the lake in the middle with an image of a little "red sailing boat". Then we saw the "fountain" in the lake as we descended the "steps". Then we saw a man in an orange jacket. We approached him and discovered he was a Chinese surgeon living in Innsbruck on holiday in Paris. He was in fact filming himself! We explained the story of our treasure hunt and asked him if he had a bad shoulder. He did. We offered to pray and he accepted after we had explained what we were going to do. He was healed and amazed. We then started to tell him about Jesus and he told us he had just started an Alpha Course in Innsbruck. Absolutely remarkable!
Gill visited her father, her brother and sister in law for a few days after Easter and then we had a wonderful weekend in Coventry staying with Simon and Carol Collyer and we realised again how many lovely friends we have there. The church is doing very well and has obviously grown a fair bit since we left. Everyone was so supportive and loving. We were truly blessed. A big thankyou to Jubilee Church Coventry. I got to preach in English on the Sunday morning which I enjoyed. I hope the church did too!
Then we spent half a day with my parents and a couple of hours with Philip and Libby in London just before taking the Eurostar home.
This last week we have seen our friend Carla (the gardienne of our block of flats) healed of back pain. Gill saw her on Thursday morning struggling to walk (she explained that she had a twisted pelvis and had pain in her back). Gill offered to pray and Carla duly arrived. We prayed for her and she was slightly improved, but still in too much pain to sit down. She said that the doctor had told her that she had one leg longer than the other. We prayed again and she was then able to sit down for us to verify. Yes, her left leg was a good 1.5cm shorter than the other. We explained that Jesus was well able to grow the left one. We prayed. The leg grew to the perfect length. She was wearing stripey socks so it was quite easy to judge. She was absolutely shocked and could not believe it as she had actually felt the leg grow while we prayed. She was then pain free and went about her work as normal. Then yesterday she asked us where our church meets and this morning for the first time she and Tino came to our meeting (to hear me preaching on giving!!). The moral of the story seems to be that miracles do help people to be much more open to the gospel! Praise God.
I am going to be looking for some part time employment to start any time from between now and the beginning of September.
Good news on our house sale. The previous purchaser was taking far too long and some four months after her original offer, said she would proceed quickly if we reduced the price by £25000. Not surprisingly we declined immediately and in return gave her a 5 day ultimatum to exchange contracts at the agreed price. She failed. We said "bye bye!" to her. The estate agents, Loveitts, then wonderfully found two new prospective purchasers and we are now proceeding rapidly with one of them and at a slightly higher price!!