See what I did there? 🙂
6 weeks…. it’s been 6 weeks (!!!) since we’ve sat down to catch up over coffee.
Hard to believe but true… Part of the reason was just the nature of August this year… let me sum up August with 3-4 main themes: Car, Construction, Covering Ground and Cracking the Books:
Ready to dive in? Let’s go…
The last time I posted (what seems like AGES ago) I told you about our car. Well, we were able to pick up our new (to us) one and did a first trip with it – up to the Paris region (more on that later). So far so good for our Renault Scenic (kind of the “soccer mom mini-van” family car of France).
The three most exciting things about the car….
- Bluetooth… so we’re not limited to the same 5 CDs or to carrying around a bluetooth speaker. The kids were particularly happy about this.
- Spacious… It’s a 7-seater, but the back two seats fold down, giving a still spacious trunk when needed. When not needed, the kids have more room to spread out.
- Air Conditioning… It’s been a long while since our air conditioning worked but the exorbitent cost of repair – for what was more comfort than necessity meant that other things came first.
We are thankful that the Lord provided a great little car that suits our needs well.
In the last post, I also mentioned that renovation work had begun on our building, with a goal to bringing it up to a place where it meets the accessibility norms for people with various handicaps. We don’t currently have church members requiring such facilities, but it’s part of the accessibility code for buildings designated as public buildings so we’re required to incorporate them.
Bro. Franck Nowacki of the Melun church worked here for 3 weeks, alongside his dad and, at various times, his brother and a brother from the Paris-Center church doing an absolutely bang-up job which included not only indoor work (an emergency exit, handicapped washroom and other facilities), but also a handicapped parking spot and accessibility ramp to reach the front door (18 m2 or 194 square feet of exposed aggregate concrete).
There’s no end to this brother’s talent when it comes to all things construction… and it’s done with taste!
The days were long as we’d spend most of the day at the church, then they’d come back here for supper in the evenings – it’d been a long time since we’d entertained that much but the fellowship was both sweet and valuable.
#1: It started off with Sophie & Timo who “covered ground” with the Bordeaux youth group. They spent 5 days camping in the Pyrenees Mountains, down near the Spanish border. They enjoyed just hanging with a great group of Christian young people, hiking in the mountains, preparing meals all together, etc. It was a wonderful experience for them.
#2: The second great covering ground adventure involved a road / boat trip to Sicily. Soph & Timo arrived back home on Saturday, August 14th and the next day, they and Liz hopped in the car with me to head up to Paris. We got ice cream in the Luxembourg Gardens before they caught a train for Brussels, Belgium where they would meet up with Liz’s brother. From there, they drove together down to Liz’s parents’ place – surprising them – and began a long road trip to Sicily.
Liz’s parents had been planning this trip with her brother’s family for several months, but they did not know that Liz, Soph & Timo would be joining them. What a treat for everyone.
Liz had been wanting to get back to Sicily for some time. Her aunts & uncles there are getting up in age and she hadn’t seen most of them in over 20 years, so this provided a golden opportunity.
They drove overnight to the Milan area, where they have cousins and from there they made quick visits to Bologna, Verona (Romeo & Juliet) and Venice. Making there way back to Genova where they took a ferry to Palermo, in Sicily. This saved a great deal of very tiring, summer (hot) driving down the length of “the boot”. In Sicily, they had a wonderful time visiting family and did a tour around the foot of the Etna Volcano before flying back home on Friday/Saturday.
Cracking the Books
While Liz & the kids were in Italy, I was just south of Paris for a week of Bible School.
I continued teaching the Epistles as I typically do, but it was also awesome to have fellow New Brunswicker Rev. Dan MacLeod there as well. He was teaching alongside Rev. Mark Shutes, both of whom are based in Riga, Latvia, on the topic of Evangelism.
These two make a dynamic team who live their subject matter. It was enriching to be with them, sit under their teaching and help with translation alongside missionary Laureen Byfield.
Taste of Home
Let me jump ahead for a moment (I’ll bring you up to speed on September in the next post).
This weekend is Missions Conference at our home church in Saint John, NB (Canada). It’s an incredible church family and we’re so blessed to be part of that family.
Things are not going well Covid-wise in New Brunswick, so while the speakers are onsite, services are being broadcast online, with no one but essential technical crews at the church. (What crazy times these continue to be.)
Services continue today and tomorrow with Revs. David Bernard (UPCI Gen. Superintendant) and Nicky Sisco (missionary to Ghana / South Africa).
Thanks for stopping by to catch up today.
God bless you and yours!