Today’s title will sound familiar if you’ve ever seen or heard of the 1966 western “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” … or as it was in Italian “Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo”.
Why do I bring up the Italian title?
Because, in case it wasn’t clear what I was holding in my hand, in today’s feature pic… it’s my Italian passport; only 5.5 years in the making! …
That’s right… Italian!
I applied for Italian citizenship back in June 2014. The idea was that it might facilitate our arrival in Europe, administratively.
At the time, I was told that by law, they have to deliver the citizenship (assuming all was in order), within two years, “But”, said the consulate worker, “In my experience, it’ll probably take a little longer.” OK… so the Italian government is already breaking it’s own law. 🙂
Little did I know that it would take over 4 years to have citizenship and another year and a half to have that citizenship work its way through the system to the point where I could get a passport. BUT… the import thing is that I finally have it and it will make things a bit easier going forward although it’ll be weird… everything administratively, with the French government, will be based on an Italian passport, not a Canadian one.
That’s where we’re ending the week though… let’s go back to the start.
Back to Sunday (the great)
Sunday morning, about 9:00am, I received a text from an unknown number. Someone in Angers was looking to see what time service started because they wanted to come.
Teaching there, I know the distance, and I was convinced that they thought we must be closer than we actually are (it’s a 1.5 – 2hr drive depending on what part of the city you’re in). I let them know and they thanked me for the information.
Fast forward to service and about 30 minutes after service began, in walks someone we’d never seen before. We’d come to find out that his name is Jacques, he’s originally from one of our churches in Madagascar, and he’d just driven 1.5hrs to come to church… after having worked all night!
Following service, we weren’t about to send him off without something to eat, so he joined us at home for spaghetti before hitting the road. It was really a sweet time of fellowship and he was visibly moved to be in service.
He was blessed & the church was blessed as well, because we’d just finished praying for him before he arrived… so they immediately saw God’s answer to prayer.
Strikes! (the ugly)
You’ve probably seen on the news that strikes have been paralyzing much of France. It’s crazy. People are protesting pension reform (THIS time… there is ALWAYS a reason to protest here it seems).
The kids have had to leave the house about 45mins earlier than normal (6:10am) to get a bus to Poitiers (the normally 20min train ride now takes close to an hour by bus).
On Wednesday I went to teach – to give a final test for the semester… only to arrive and find that students had protested the previous day and that all evaluations were cancelled for balance of week.
Can you believe that students are able to strike!?
There is an ever-increasing lack of contentment – not only in France, but everywhere. Nothing is ever enough and no one is ever happy… there’s always a reason to be outraged. Ugh!
Thank goodness we have an example like the apostle Paul who learned to be content in whatever state he found himself in… knowing that contentment depended more on our standing with the Lord than on our circumstances.
Rain, rain & more rain…
October and November saw roughly twice the average monthly amount of rainfall come down from the heavens and it looks like December won’t be far behind.
See all the water collecting around the composter and tomato bed? Yesterday I pulled about 200 litres out of there (roughly 50 gallons)!!
Bible School + Bible Quizzing
Early yesterday evening, Dominic & I dropped Liz & the other two off at the church so that they could get some things ready in the building as well as practice for Christmas while we headed up to the Bible School.
On our way up, we drove through the little town of Milly-la-Forêt and their 500 year-old post & beam covered market place was lit up for Christmas.
I’m teaching today and Dominic will be spending some time with the national Bible Quizzing coordinator and other local quizzers.
Since he’s the only one from our church to quiz, the national coordinator wants to give him every chance to succeed and get familiar with things.
Dominic quizzed in Canada when he was little, but that was 10 years ago AND in English. What he’s doing now is no small feat and we’re pretty impressed with him!
All for now!
Gonna end things here for today, thanks for stopping by.
Let all that you read inform your prayers for us and for France!
God bless you this week!