When was the last time that you had to say good-bye to a group of people with whom you’d experienced great things, over a short time and you knew that you came away from it all the better?
That was us this past Monday… but joy before tears!
Last Saturday started early. I was up at 6:30am in order to get to Bible School in time for prayer (7:30am) and then to teach their first course of the day (8:00am).
Afterwards, I hustled back to the hotel to meet with the AYC team and head of to Disneyland Paris with them. They had had a long week with many services and evangelism, so a day off was in order.
The group split up and by mid-day, each of our kids had filtered off into a group, leaving Liz & I to ourselves. It was kind of neat actually. We’d spent two days of our honeymoon here back in 1997, so we enjoyed “strolling down memory lane” a little bit.
I didn’t manage to remove Excalibur from the anvil this time either!
Church on Sunday
The next day we had two church services in the Paris area, the first in Villiers-le-Bel and the second in Nanterre. Each service was very different from the other but BOTH were INCREDIBLE!
Villiers-le-Bel is a largely Hatian congregation. Bro. Josh Carson preached about “David’s blood-stained sandals” on the importance of worship as our part in experiencing the presence of God. I translated for him as I’d done for many of our services through the week.
Nanterre’s congregation is primarily Filipino and Bro. Luke Levine preached on God filling our emptiness, if only we’ll bring it to Him rather than pretending we’re full. Services in Nanterre always take place in English, meaning that I did not have to translate. I was thankful for this as I had very little voice left.
As you look at the middle picture, you see two very full sanctuaries. Know that this is not necessarily typical of the churches that we visited all week. In several of the congregations, the AYC team made up 1/2 of those present. Even our church in Châtellerault can vary between 15 and 28 on a given Sunday.
Pray for growth… in maturity and number!
A Huge Benefit
The AYC team was an incredible blessing to churches in France & Luxembourg and it was an honour to accompany this group; facilitating all of their meals, accommodations and activities while here… however can I throw objectivity to the side for a bit and speak as a dad?
Liz and I are very thankful to the AYC leadership and group for another reason: our kids.
The church in Châtellerault is small. Since our arrival, there has not consistently been any other kids their age, meaning that 9 times out of 10, they are alone in church and Sunday School. So to be surrounded by 37 other young people was HUGE! Some were peers while others were more like big brothers and sisters. Together they got to…
- joke, sing & play games in the bus
- visit museums & tourist attractions
- worship & pray
- invite total strangers to church
Get the picture?
Aside from “mom & dad” they’d been missing a whole lot of “together.” Thank you #AYCFrance! …in addition to churches and nations, you blessed three lives that are particularly important to us!
Have you ever gone on vacation, came back to a pile of emails and paperwork waiting for your attention?
Yep… that was also us. Pictured here is 5.5″ of mail that was awaiting our attention. To be fair… some of it was the weekly flyers (of which we get FAR too many) and there were a couple of care-package / birthday cards as well… so it wasn’t ALL work.
Still… just going through it all was a task. God bless “File 13.” 🙂
June was an incredibly busy month that I’m a bit glad to have behind us. Now we turn our attention to things a bit more locally. Over the next two weeks we’ll be overseeing roofing work on another building that the Federation owns here (Oh my!) and we have some work to do around our own building as well. We also plan to spend some dedicated time connecting with church members that we’ve been missing.
Please pray for open doors and that God would lead us to those who are hungry for more of Him.
Are you an AYCer? Follow this blog to stay on top of what God is doing in this part of France! The kids talk about you a lot!!
Timo may be taking this extra-attention thing a little too seriously!