France photoblog: first edition

front row: Naomi, Sara, Vanessa
back row: me, Bill, Jen (in front of) Dan, Keith, Mandy

Taken at the castle Chinon, in the Vienne River Valley, France.
Two weeks ago, the Creative Arts Team from Journey’s Crossing was winging its way to France! We were in the city of Poitiers, about 4 hours southwest of Paris. We were tasked with assisting with 2 outreach coffeehouses, and providing part of the music for their American-style Thanksgiving dinner.

The memories and experiences are almost too much to express. I saw God in a new way, He was BIGGER than I had ever had known. I felt God’s presence in a small church more powerfully than some of the largest worship services I’ve ever attended.

It. Was. Amazing.

We went to help this church, Eglise Chretienne de Poitiers. The church planters are friends of our home church. The Poitiers church is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Church planting in a country of centuries-0ld churches seems anachronistic. Yet a minority of citizens actually ever attend church services of any kind, during any season of the year. Protestant churches, particularly evangelical ones, are almost seen as a “cult” because the members are active and involved in church year-round.

The altar at St. Hilarie, Poitiers

Though they are seen more as “museums” than places of worship, to me there was a sense of God’s timelessness. And a sense that He works in history, through history, reaching a people He calls His own. I see what I do every day as just a speck of dust in the grandeur of a plan for Eternity. Not in a self-deprecating way, but in an awe-inspiring way, that what I can do is part of a great Movement, a grand design.

Baptistère Saint-Jean, Poitiers

I did not get to visit the inside of this Baptistere, but those who did had to tell me that they were overwhelmed with a sense of history and of the Presence of God. The building has been dated to around 360 A.D. and was built for the sacrement of baptism. (Until it was built, converts were baptized in the nearby River Clain.)

part of a Roman temple column in Sanxay ruins

the ruins of the Roman ampitheatre in Sanxay

Part of the history of France is the way that the Church intertwined with the people, with power and with politics in a negative way. It seems that since Roman occupation, it has been that way. Small wonder that the modern citizen looks at any church with suspicion… or with at least a major disinterest. Dare I say it? The Church in America today should have a cautionary moment of reflection before we get too immerse in politics that we forget our primary mission is people. And that God can and will put into power those He chooses, without our “help”!
a double rainbow! driving from Sanxay to Poitiers

As I shot this photo, I couldn’t help but think that we still are living in the time of God’s Promise Kept, God’s Promise to Come. We are starting to move into Advent. The double rainbow neatly illustrates that…

I have hope. I live in the promises.

More to come…

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