Gault la foret

On Thursday John and I travelled to central France, very rural to meet with leaders from various churches. Thankfully the journey was without incident and we made good time. The old country house we were to stay in has been restored to serve as a training school for young people who want to spend some time in mission work around the world. We were so well catered for as there was a team in training and they served us in a self effacing way that was efficient and cheerful. How refreshing that was to receive this kind service which gave time for networking with the other delegates, both French and ex. Pats. Getting to know people better was for John, very rich. Many were just names and faces that I had been aware of at events over the years but soon were friends. For Neil it was a chance to renew contact with many friends.

Sharing a small room with Neil, Steve T and Phil Waterson (from Marseille) was an experience in grace at close quarters! Yes it worked!

Shaping the emerging network in France is not just about linking a few Churches around the regions but building a family of likeminded folk who will work together what ever it takes. That can be hard for some who have worked alone and faithfully who now see the merit in working together. And so it was that as we worshiped much personal revelation came to willing people with a sharpness and clarity. This was worth the effort and personal cost involved. Tears often flowed and strong ‘joints’ formed in hugs.

It was all over so soon and folk returned to their home Church for Sunday. I had not been aware that France was so big and so rural but now to St. Prive (50km from Montargis) for the night in a spectacular new timber house on the edge of the village. Our hosts and the whole family enjoyed the evening with food and talk, John trying a few words with the children, such fun, but a real stretch of memory that caused much good hearted amusement.

Neil Townsend
Wantage Pastor

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