Remember two weeks ago when I told you that we were heading up to preach in Melun and the Headquarters Church? Well from there we took a few days off and headed up to Liz’s parents’ in Belgium for a bit of rest & relaxation. We were there when we heard of last week’s attack in Nice.
We made it back safe & sound and last night we had Bible Study in a local park. I’ll get to that but let me tell you about our time in Belgium first.
Since Melun is roughly 1/2-way between Châtellerault and Belgium, we took advantage of the fact that half of the highway driving was already done.
The main reason for going, of course, was to see Liz’s family whom we hadn’t seen since January. Many have mentioned that we must surely see them much more than when we were in Canada and while it’s true that we’re now on the same continent, it remains a 6-7hr drive, depending on traffic, so it’s not exactly “next door”.
(How many times each year do you make a 6-7hr drive… maybe once or twice? …still… at least its driveable)
In addition to immediate family, we got to see a few of Liz’s cousins, aunts & uncles… and our kids got to hang with their first cousin Rodrigo – a three year old Peruvian-Italian-Belgian fella who speaks Spanish, French and a bit of Flemish.
(And to think… in Canada it’s a challenge to get kids to learn ONE second language!?)
If you’ve been reading the blog for some time now, you’ll know that I lived in Liège, Belgium from 1990-1992, doing volunteer missions work much like what I am doing now but within a Baptist context. We partnered with two local churches to plant a new work.
This trip, we spent a day in Liège and I got to hang out with some of the young people from the Glain church. It had been 24 years since I’d seen these young people with whom I’d broken my teeth in French ministry. It did my heart good!
After that we spent the afternoon with my former piano teacher and her family who’d really taken me in as one of their own while living there. Such precious people!
They have a daughter Sophie who is only a year younger than our Sophie and the two of them have always gotten along very well! We hadn’t seen them in 3 years… but you’d think that no time at all had passed.
I wish Sophie had friend like that here in Châtellerault!
We took another day, while there, to meet up with fellow AIMers Baron & Jennifer Carson whom we’d known “virtually” but had only met briefly in person once before.
This couple has impressed me ever since I met them… they are doing great work in the country of Holland (The Netherlands) teaching in a couple of local churches, coordinating promotional materials and developing web presence for the national work.
We toured the city of Leuven, the city hall of which is pictured above… pretty amazing building isn’t it!? We had a blast together and Timo helped them discover canned cool-mist for those hot summer days!
If you have a burden for the Netherlands… this couple could use your support. Check out their site: Hope for Holland.
Church in the Park
Upon arriving back in Châtellerault on Tuesday, the temperature was 41 degrees celcius (105.8 degrees fahrenheit). We unloaded the car but did nothing else until the evening when it had cooled off.
We’d been wanting to try something a bit different. Since we’re still waiting on some administrative details to do some targeted evangelism efforts. We decided that there was no reason we couldn’t take church outside the walls of our building.
We had our midweek Bible Study in one of the nearby parks. It was pretty casual but our goal was simply to be seen & heard, in a discreet kind of way. On the outside, we were just a bunch of friends hanging out, singing with a guitar & chatting. On the inside however… we were establishing the Lord’s presence in and over our city.
Weather permitting, we’re going to try to do that weekly. The goal? If people see us there regularly, it might be easier to engage some of them in conversation and/or some may, out of curiosity, come to hear.
Like when Jesus wept over Jerusalem in Matthew 23, the Lord wants to gather the people of Châtellerault under his wings… He wants to be their refuge and their salvation.
Lord help us to see that day!
…for stopping by again today. May the Lord bless you today!
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Church in the Park is a great idea! I love it. Church outside the walls is my favourite.
Always encouraged when I read your post. 💕
Thank you Sis! Always appreciate the fact that you stay on top of goings-on here. God bless you today!