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Archive for April, 2008

206

The chance to do some stuff in Paris I’d wanted to do for a while… Centre Georges Pompidou, Notre Dame, Skyscraper night view of Paris…

The highlight of today though, was being able to meet with a student who’s on placement in Paris this year.  We ate dinner together and then spent some time on top of a skyscraper called Tour Montparnasse – it gives a great view of the typical skyline of Paris (ie including the Eiffel Tower) and I got some grrrreat photos thanks to Noondy’s camera lend.  Great chat and a pretty cool location to pray for someone!

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205

Another incredible conversation about God’s grace and about worship.

Anticipation and dreaming.

A relaxing train journey speeding towards Paris.  The chance to read and enjoy my ipod.

Arrival in Paris!  What an exciting place!

An evening jaunt down to Ile de la Cite, with an unexpected encounter… Pottering down a ‘road less taken’, I saw a lady pausing to smell the large creeper plant.  I smiled immediately and took a mental picture (and a digital copy) of the scene for my 365 and she saw me smiling.  We ended up chatting for about twenty minutes about all sorts of things (including the suicide of her best friend when she was younger).  It was very bizarre, and felt significant, but I have no idea why…

I absolutely loved tonight.  Perfectly chilled out, perfectly relaxed, perfectly not Northern Ireland.

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204

Slept like a baby last night – soooo good.  I loved waking up and pottering down to breakfast like it was 2005 again… Only this time Jan-Willem (the oldest boy) was now at school and it was his little bro, Jack (who’d been grumpily distant last night) who was grinning at me and bringing his toys to me while I ate my cereal.  Very cute…

Seeing the newly renovated, new church location to accomodate the church which has tripled since I was around.  Eh… not that it was because of me, of course! Hahaha…

A contemplative walk around Tours Cathedral, site of significant memories…

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203

Hmmm… Oh – I know!  I loved this morning’s bowl of chocolat chaud with breakfast… yum!

This afternoon, I travelled away from Loches where the conference was to Tours to stay with Marc (Dutch) and Jody (American) the missionary couple I did my Bible College Placement with.  it was sooooo good to walk into their home and feel immediately at home.  I’ve been so excited at the prospect of being able to ask all my questions rather than being the one being asked and tonight was soooo good for that.  We had such a great chat that made me feel freer and lighter than I had in weeks.  The funny thing was, we talked about one of the very biggest things on my mind, without me even bringing it up!

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202

A difficult day where I started out incredibly frustrated at the limitations put on communication by my diminished confidence in my French-speaking ability.  Questioning myself, my plans, my identity… Unpleasant.

An afternoon nap, a French ‘creme’ (coffee) outside in the warm sun with a book and a potter around with a decent camera did wonders for my mood.  But progression in the French conversation later on and an enjoyable chat with a really friendly and fun Frenchie made the upset earlier disappear…

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201

The French IFES’ movement (and my excuse to come to France) started this afternoon and I was launched into French conversation and singing French praise which was cool.

However, the best conversation of the day started in French and ended up in English… 

I did a Bible College placement in Tours in 2005 and met Raphael and his wife at the church I was working with.  Back then, he was doing a little volunteer work with the GBU (French IFES/CUs) and I got to hang out a little with him at a CU meeting he was at.  So, because of his links, he was at the conference.  The moment of recognition and welcome was really cool – he’s so fun and generally one of the nicest people I’ve encountered.  But, anyway… we had a great conversation about life, discipleship, evangelism, France, God, faith… And he invited me to come lead worship at a conference in France in November!  It was just SUCH an encouraging and inspiring conversation.  Awesome.

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200

My usual fascination with big international airports didn’t show up today, but I was glad for being able to watch an episode of Friends on my ipod!  Hurray for technology!

Arriving in Chateauroux, I had a sudden sense of ‘I didn’t think I’d ever see these people again, yet here I am’ and being really glad to be able to encourage them and chat with them… And I slept like a baby!

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