It’s been quite a week! On the outside looking in, it may not look like much, but dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that God has let us see his hand at work.
Above is a photo from Bible Study this week… but let’s start with last week:
Letting the guard down
Last Friday and the Friday before we’d had Bible Study in one of the larger parks in town (here is Bro. Kabasele teaching).
Besides getting out to take advantage of beautiful warm summer evenings it served a greater purpose:
…get people comfortable with the idea of worshiping, praying & singing outside.
North America is a very open culture and we are uninhibited enough that expressive worship in public is relatively easy. France, on the other hand, is very much a country of appearances. “Private life” remains private and you only let down your guard in front of an elite few… appearances must be maintained.
Worship, however, moves you out from behind the facade, so it takes getting used to BUT we had great worship both evenings.
Lord, let us be light in the darkness!
Starting last Saturday, Timo & I had a unique opportunity for “together time”.
Folks we’d recently met were in urgent need of someone to house-sit & pet-sit for them over the weekend. They live on a century-old farm along with:
– 2 horses & 1 donkey
– 2 pigs
– 3 goats & 3 sheep
– 2 great danes
– roughly 20 chickens… and
– 1 peacock (Timo became the peacock whisperer)
We slept in what would’ve been the old stone stables but which had been renovated into guest quarters. With no internet Timo dabbled with tools in the workshop and made a wooden Rubiks cube out of scraps.
We headed into church on Sunday morning after which Liz, Soph and Dominic joined us for the afternoon.
What a great “retreat”… we thank the Lord for his blessings!
We had an absolute miracle this week in terms of my residency papers! Let me give you the normal procedure before telling you what happened.
Normally you begin the renewal process 2-3 months before expiry of your residency (for me, coming up on Sept. 9) by getting an appointment, after which you have the gap to assemble the necessary documents.
In my case, I had been trying, unsuccessfully, for 5 weeks… JUST to get an appointment: the website never showed any openings and phone-line staff were unable to help. Last Friday I sent and email (my second in 2 weeks) explaining my situation and expressing my frustration.
On MONDAY I was given an appointment for THURSDAY morning… leaving me only 2 full days to assemble the necessary documentats. IMPOSSIBLE… but no!
- On Tuesday morning two (previously requested) documents arrived by mail – one from Belgium and the other from Paris.
- Sis. Pat Morgan turned around one item I needed from St. Louis on Wednesday (the 3 necessary people were in the office that day!)
- The local printer didn’t charge me for the last two documents, after having already printed a number for me.
- The translator turned one document around for me in less than 24hrs… only one week later & she was leaving the region…
I was beyond frustrated when I got the email on Monday! I thought they were trying to set my up to fail, but with the Lord’s help, I was able to submit a complete renewal application: turning around in two days, what could normally take several weeks.
THAT is a MIRACLE… Thank you Lord!
Open Door Discussion
Many of you will remember Sebastien who we baptized last year. Well this week we got to have an incredible conversation with his grandparents.
This picture was taken last year when we were all there for a visit, but on Wednesday, Liz, Bro. Brochu & I were there for over two hours.
Bro. Brochu shared his testimony of coming out of Catholicism with an empty feeling and experiencing repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost… Sebastien’s grandfather was very emotional and when we prayed together … his grandmother also began to cry.
There’s a newly opened door here… pray for us to be able to go farther.
The Holy Ghost was definitely there with us!
It’s not uncommon for smaller family-run businesses (of which there are many) to completely shut down for the month of August. Such was the case with a printer I needed to work with this week… How’s that for knowing how to take time to breathe?
God bless you today… thank you for staying on top of our goings-on here.
Let what you read, inform your prayers for us and for France!
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