Oh the difference a day makes! This time yesterday, Timo was beginning his first day of the Christmas holiday and looking forward to going ice-skating downtown. Today, he’s got a splint on his foot and his first pair of crutches. Nothing serious and it could’ve been worse, but he took a tumble at the rink yesterday and damaged the cartilage in his ankle (this photo was taken last night at the ER).
All in all, I’d say we’ve done well here. This is the first time in two years that we’ve had to access emergency health care, and the staff were great. But I get ahead of myself… let me go back to last Saturday and we’ll work our way forward.
Last weekend was a blessing from the Lord as we got to visit with special friends Daniela Benevelli and Mercioni & Carine Martorano.
We met Daniela in 1995 when Liz & I toured through French-speaking Europe with the Continental Singers; ironically, she was singing in a Christmas concert the night we arrived. Daniela is a translator for the Italian Bible Society and was instrumental in the translation of the Thompson Bible into Italian. Currently she is involved in translation the New Living version as well as other Christian books. We’re thankful that God is using this woman to impact a nation and proud to call her a friend.
I met Mercioni in 1998 when I directed the Continental Singers’ French tour. For years he was greatly used as a worship leader with the Assemblies of God churches in France and has recorded several CDs. Currently he pastors the AoG church in Rive-de-Gier. I am privileged to know this young man and his family, he is an example in many ways.
Wednesday night was a bit of a peculiar night as no one… not a single soul was going to be at Bible Study due to either illness or work. What does one do in a situation like that? Admittedly, it was a first for us. So right here at home Dominic pulled out his guitar and we worshiped God together as a family, spent time in prayer and looked into God’s word. Great way to spend a Wednesday evening as a family.
Following our own personal Bible study, we brought in the Christmas tree that we’d purchased on the way home from school.
4 Tree Facts:
- They’re smaller here: Ours is about a 4-4,5′ tree… quite common here.. you can get a 7-8′ tree but it’ll cost an arm and a leg. Notice that it can be transported INSIDE our car; it’s only sticking out for the photo… it really fit!
- They’re more expensive: To get a 7′ tree like we’d normally have at home, it would’ve cost 100-120$. This little guy was a long way from that.
- They’re “non-drinkers”: Tree stands here are not designed in such a way as to facilitate the tree taking up water. You often find trees with their own rootball (like we tried last year) – the idea is that they’ll be able to take in water and then be replanted in the Spring. We had one last year…. it never lived!
- Tree Stands: One of the most common tree stands here is actually a thick log, cut in two and with a hole in the middle (one reason why trees are non-drinkers here).
One of the most surprising Christmas tree displays I’ve seen is the one you can see on the right…. red, white and blue trees.
Of course this makes sense from a patriotic standpoint… but aesthetically speaking…. er, ummm, let’s just say you really need a bold décor to make such a tree work!!
Weekend in Bordeaux
As many of you will be reading this post, we will be on our way down to the southwestern city of Bordeaux, capital of France’s wine making region and its 5th largest urban center.
There is a well established church there, pastored by Paul & Melissa Majdling and tonight, their young people will be presenting their annual Christmas concert. I will bring a short presentation of the gospel in that concert and preach for them in tomorrow’s morning service.
This church has been a blessing to us on a number of occasions and the kids will once again get to spend a little bit of time with the youth group there, which will be a highlight.
We expect the Lord to do great things this weekend.
- Timo’s recovery – they’ll check his progress in the next week or so … we’ll keep you posted.
- Bordeaux – Pray for a great move of God both in the outreach concert tonight and services tomorrow.
- Châtellerault – Continue to pray that God puts us in the path of people who are hungry for Him.
Thank you for being part of our team!
God bless you & yours as you prepare for Christmas.