There’s something awfully satisfying about getting up on a Saturday morning, getting ready to make some honey toast (’cause that’s what you’re craving), seeing that there’s none in the cupboard, and then realizing that… No Problem!
No need to choose between either running to the store to get some (before you’re even ready to face the day) or having to go without.
Why? … because you’re a hobby beekeeper and you have a shelf-full in the garage.
Thank you bees. Saturday morning is saved!
Now… let’s jump into the first post of 2023.
New Year’s Eve
This year, we did something that we’d never done up to this point. We planned a New Year’s Eve service & fellowship. There had been the odd time that someone would ask about doing something, in years gone by, but appetite wasn’t generally huge. The difference this year was that the new year fell on a Sunday, and I felt that people would generally be more apt to gather on New Year’s Eve and make an event of it, than get up for service on New Year’s Day after a late night of family gatherings.
Our wager paid off, with an element of surprise to boot. We’d expected to all meet, have service, share in some food & fellowship, then split; the adults would head home and leave the youth to do a bit of a late-late night.
In fact… the adults more or less ended up crashing the youth event. We stayed until nearly 12:30-1:00am and the young people didn’t end up having much time to themselves… ending sometime around 2:00-2:30.
It was a great way to start 2023.
A Visitin AYC Alumus
Another great addition to the beginning of our new year, was a visit from Apostolic Youth Corps alumnus, Helen Valencia.
Helen was part of the 2019 AYC trip that came through the Paris area and through western France. So in fact, Helen’s visit wasn’t her first time in Châtellerault and if you look at this blog post from Day 2 of that trip, you’ll see a photo of Helen praying over our city from atop the viewing platform on the Tours Vilmouth.
This time, however, Helen is in France for a semester of university studies in Angers and she came with her parents who helped her settle in to her new home-away-from-home. The came for service in Châtellerault and what a pleasure it was to spend some time with them over supper in our home.
We’re looking forward to having this great Christian young lady with us in service over the coming months.
The phrase “winter driving” doesn’t have quite the same meaning here in France as it did back home in Canada.
There, it was a question of winter tires, black ice, icy road conditions, salt truck, snowplows, slush and snow; preceded, of course, by scraping the previous night’s deposit of heavy frost off of every window surface that you’d need to drive safely.
Here, winter driving is a much gentler affair.
- Any frost is light, meaning that 5-mins of starting the engine and hitting defrost is enough to allow a safe departure.
- Snow!? What is that?
- Black ice? It’s not impossible, but it rarely gets below -2/-3 so while the car let’s me know to be cautious… black ice is rarely an issue.
- On the other hand, what we do have much more of in winter is fog. So my early morning departures, still under cover of darkness, are often accompanied by thick pea-soupers! (this is about as annoying as it gets).
- The one advantage to driving in winter, is that I typically get to enjoy watching the sun break over the eastern horizon on my way to work, or gently slip below the western horizon on the drive home.
- … so yes, winter driving has its advantages.
Liz in Belgium
Liz got to spend a few days in Belgium over the past week.
When I drove Dominic up to Bible School last Saturday morning, Liz came with us and once we dropped him off, she and I continued on to Paris.
We had a bit of breakfast together at the Gare du Nord (17€ / 25$ CAD for 2 coffees, a muffin & a small quiche – they’re trying to rival airport prices methinks), then she caught a train to the little kingdom of Belgium.
The reason for her trip… he mom was celebrating a milestone birthday and she went to surprise her.
She spent a few extra days and we managed to both eat and survive without her (I think she had her doubts!).
Let me just finish up today’s post with a bit of a focus on what we’re doing at church for 2023. We’re calling it, Vision Vienne (Vienne is the name of our department – the French equivalent to provinces or states).
The Vienne counts 266 communities and nearly 440,000 inhabitants and our church wants to impact each one.
We’ve compiled a list of each community, and have called on each church member to maximize the impact of their daily movements in and around the department.
Each church member has a list and when they find themselves driving through a community, and when their schedule allows it, we’re asking them to spend 15 minutes praying there… in the main square or in front of the town hall for example.
At the entrance of every community, there are also road signs posted at the municipal limit, we’re asking folks to take a photo as well… not so much to prove or disprove that they’ve been there & prayed, but little by little, those photos will fill out the giant frame that we have at the back of the church – encouraging people to catch the vision.
We may be small, but when we serve a Great God… big things come in little packages!
That’s it for today… thanks for stopping by & spending this time together.
Let what you read inform your prayers for us and for France.
& may God bless you this year
as you grow in him!