Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

In my last post, I introduced to to the Chateau de Brissac and showed you the principal rooms on the main floor. Today I want to take you further.

As promised, I’ll take you through a dramatic episode in the history of the French monarchy, we’ll talk about the arts and I’ll reveal how it is that hunting at Brissac is not reserved for men only! I’ll also tell you about how you can spend a night there and live like a Duke or Duchess yourself!

Let’s go!

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Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

The road between Châtellerault and Angers takes you through portions of three French departments (la Vienne, l’Indre et Loire, la Maine et Loire) passing by wide swaths of agricultural land and, as you approach Angers, field after field of vineyards. For the past seven months I’ve been making the 130km weekly, with the exception of school holidays, in order to teach English at a business school there.

Each trip makes me a bit more familiar with the general surrounding and from time to time my schedule allows me to explore points of interest along the way. Regular readers will recall that I first stopped in Brissac back in January, but was unable to visit the castle as it was closed for the season.  Last week was different… last week I had a guided tour.

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Chateau de Chambord… a closer look

Chateau de Chambord… a closer look

My first visit was in 1995 and I’ve probably been there a dozen times since then… but never inside. I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps is was a lack of enough time to do it justice, perhaps the combined entry price of a family of five scared me off (although they’re not as much castle-goers as I am… “You seen one, you seen ’em all”, while not entirely an accurate summation of their feeling, is not totally inaccurate either), or perhaps it was those who told me that it was rather empty, or unfurnished, compared to other castles. Whatever the reason, I’d never been in… until recently.

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Care Package on Steroids!

Last week I promised to tell you about the canoe in the wind… and I’ll get to that, but first let me tell you about our “Care package on steroids” kind of week!

18 boxes of Kraft Dinner*

Care Package, Kraft Dinner, Ocean Spray Craisins, President's Choice ChocolateYep…. eighteen!  They arrived with about 40lbs of other things. Let me explain:

One of Liz’s friends and former colleague at Air Canada was wanting to come for a visit. Because she travels light, she brought with her two extra suitcases: One filled with things that we’d left with her in Montreal back in January and the second filled with treats from folks back home, including the aforesaid KD, Craisins, Starbuck’s instant coffee (nearest starbucks is 265km away), chocolate bars, chocolate chips and chocolate chunks, baking powder, etc.
*KD is the Canadian equivalent of Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Time with Friends

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau, Azay-le-Rideau, #AzayRenaissance, Azay, Le Chantier du SiècleWe weren’t only glad to get the goodies that she brought, it was also nice to spend time with a familiar face from home. Milena was one of the first folks that Liz got to know when she began at Air Canada 18 years ago.

We spent a day together visiting perhaps the smallest castle in the Loire Valley: Azay-le-Rideau. I’d visited it back in 1995 but hadn’t been back inside since.

If it wasn’t the kind of place that requires some 200 million€ in renovations (price tag of renovations currently going on), I think I could live there.

More Goodies

MK Ministries, UpWithMKs, Travel Buddies, Cylinda NickelWe recently got a couple of other things from North America as well:

Travel Buddies: Thanks to missionary Colleen Carter (Ghana, Africa) the kids got travel buddies: fuzzy critters who love to travel, who live in an Altoids box and who remind missionary kids (MKs) that someone is praying for them on a regular basis.

This is their second set of travel buddies… the first having come from the Sunday School department at Mission Point… our home church. Thank you for praying for our kids!

Discipleship Materials

The Way of God More Perfectly, La Voie de Dieu plus exactement, Timothy C. MitchellA few years ago, Liz & I translated Bro. Timothy C. Mitchell’s (Montgomery, Alabama) discipleship study entitled The Way More Perfectly.  It then went to Les Traducteurs du Roi for final editing & printing. We received 7 printed copies that we will be able to use with some of the new believers here in Châtellerault.

Thank you, Bro. Mitchell for letting us be part of this project. Thank you to Scott & Liane Grant, Career Church Planters in Quebec, for sending us copies of the finished project!

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Jack Cunningham, If I can do it anybody can!, Church Planting, Church Growth

A number of years ago I picked up Rev. Jack Cunningham’s book If I Can Do It, Anybody Can!. It’s the story of how he and his wife planted and grew the church of Newport News, Virginia; currently a thriving church pastored by Rev. Jared Arango.  It is my current “Good Read.”

New Friends

Le lac de la forêt de Châtellerault, Baignade, Lake, Swimming, SplashingAhh… at last. The kids have been getting to know two kids who’ve been spending lots of summer-vacation time with their grandparents, who live across the street from us. Last night they went for an evening swim at the same lake where Sébastien was baptized.

They’ve also played some soccer, basketball and dominoes games together… (ever heard of “Chicken Foot“?) Lots of fun and finally… seeds of friendship!

Canoe in the Wind

OK… I’ll tell you about it since I promised it last week.

After his day-job was done, my dad’s was also as an Old Town Canoe distributor. He did a lot of paddling himself and guided trips as well. Though my brother has followed dad’s lead more than I,  I do still know a bit about flat water paddling.

canoeIf you find yourself in open water and the wind kicks up you can easily get in trouble given the canoe’s shape and the way they ride low in the water. The canoe will rock & roll with the crests & troughs if you remain parallel with the waves and, if they are rough enough, you can easily capsize. Still, it’s not impossible to safely navigate such water… the secret is to drive the canoe into the waves… crossing them perpendicularly. In this way they slice the waves, rather than being victim to them. We would do well to face trial & difficulty head-on as well: Tackling and mastering it rather than hesitating and falling victim to the agitation that it can bring.

Just a thought!

Thank you!

…for all the love that we’ve felt in recent weeks and for your prayers, we know it makes a difference. God bless your day today.

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#MPTeamFrance 3

in the Homestretch…

France composite pic 3Yes… we’re still in France, and yes… we still have Nick Cannon with us (He may just make it home Tanya & Jason!).

Over the past few days we’ve covered a great deal of territory and witnessed some pretty incredible things!

After saying good bye to the Brochus in Châtellerault, and in Bordeaux, we got to spend a few short hours with Pastor & Mrs. Paul Majdling, while our young people had a service with the youth of their church. We got to meet and hear an incredible testimony by one of the young men in that church before singing, testifying and bringing a message from God’s word.

After church, we headed back to Bro. Nowacki’s church in Melun (roughly a 6+ hour drive from Bordeaux). We arrived rather late and readied ourselves for a full day Monday:

  • Prayer meeting at 8:00am (one of the local young people was filled with the Holy Ghost in that prayer meeting).
  • Breakfast all together at 9:00
  • Downtown to hand out invitations for church from about 10-11:30am
  • Back to the church & then to the Bois de Bréviande for a BBQ lunch
  • Youth service at 8:00pm (another local young person was filled with the Holy Ghost in this meeting… incredible!!)

After a busy few days, Tuesday was a “sleep-in-a-little-later” kind of morning followed by a visit to the UNESCO designated “World Heritage Site”, the medieval city of Provins where the ramparts date back to the 11th & 12th centuries.  This was the first real rain that we had all week, and did it rain!  Later that evening we attended the mid-week Bible Study at the church in Melun with Bro. Nowacki. (to the right you can see our young people mixed in with the young people from Melun).

Today… Paris!

France composite Broch-Majd

Liz & I with the Majdlings (top). Shown with the Brochus (bottom), standing in a field of ripened wheat… with Châtellerault in the background.

As you are reading this, we are SOME-where trekking through the city of Paris. The team is, of course, very excited to see this incredible city!! We got on a bus at 8:30 to take us to the local train station where we caught one of the RER trains that whisked us in to the Gare de Lyon.  From there we begin to tackle the city one attraction at a time!

Ka-BOOM…. Paris!

Since we will end our time in France in the capital, you can be assured of one thing… by the time we hit the airport tomorrow, we will be completely wrung out!! To all family members reading this… please have nice comfy beds ready to receive some very tired bodies!!  🙂

Overall it will be a “good tired” though…. our hearts are full!
Thank you LORD for all the good things you’ve done during these days!!