(well…a southeast suburb called Noisy la Grand)
21-10-00 – Well this is the next day that I should be describing…I’ll have to see how much I can remember. We arrived in Normandy on the 20th fairly late but we got there easily from the ferry. The biggest blessing for me was that the Additional person for the team that we were to meet up with in France was there at the house where we were staying. God Is so good! Otherwise there would have been additional driving that night to find her at a train station in Caen…a nearby City.
We stayed in Merville-Franceville-Plage, just to the north of the mouth of the Orne river in Normandy. Our location was Fantastic. We spent two days off, resting and adjusting and planning for the week. The week was spent going to several Locations that were key during the D-Day landings during World War II. At each place we asked God to show us what was Significant about this place. We were looking to see what parallels existed between the invasion of France in WWII and What God is doing and will do in moving in France now. We had two days off but on one day we went as a team to visit Mont-St.-Michel. Just an incredible place…truly a “wonder” to see.
23-10-00 – We went to Arromanches-les-Bains where an artificial harbor was built in WWII to allow ships to off-load military Materiel. The harbors were created in the UK as huge concrete blocks and then floated/towed to France. They were then Put together to break the power of the sea in that area so that landings could occur in calm water. We felt that God was Saying that He would be raising up teams to be the pieces of an artificial harbor for facilitating the movement of people in to France. What we would do, as we felt that God was giving us any kind of insight, is that we would pray “into” that insight as We felt He was leading us.
24-10-00 – We visited Pointe-du-Hoc where a strong set of German bunkers were. They had been bombed HEAVILY just prior to US Army Rangers climbing the steep cliffs and taking the bunkers on the morning of D-Day. The bomb craters are still there and the destruction that was loosed there 55 years ago must have been beyond belief. The Lord brought to mind Psalm 2:4,5,9 as I saw this and reminded me that His power is so much more incredible than anything we know of and that He can prepare the way for what He wants to accomplish.
25-10-00 – We spent time closer to home (the other days had taken some bit of driving to get to and back) by going to see Pegasus Bridge and the “Commonwealth Cemetery” and the Merville “big guns” battery. Pegasus Bridge was about 5 minutes away from us and was significant on D-Day as the first bridge taken…just 20-30 minutes after midnight on June 6th. One of our number James Skaines (15 years old), had studied this particular bridge extensively. While there, he had the opportunity to meet a member of the British team that took the bridge and the daughter of the owners of the café at the end of the bridge who had been key in the French Resistance. Earlier in the trip there was an indication from God that we would meet a “Rahab” in our travels in France…it seemed that meeting this lady may have been that key person. She was quite impressed with young James and his knowledge and interest in history and asked that he keep in touch with her. We’ll see what God makes of that connection.
26-10-00 – We opted to spend this day re-grouping and planning our leaving the next day and working through team issues. During the week we’d had opportunities to be offended with one another and to experience problems in driving in France (getting lost, etc.). It was incredible how often we got lost. At first it just seemed to be problems with confusing roads in big cities and poor signs, etc. Then, though, it became comical about how we made mistakes on even the most simple routes. It became obvious that it was being used to divide us. This day-off was a good day to work those issues out and observe what God was/is doing in our hearts about coming together as a team. Hard, but necessary “iron-sharpening-iron” times. We are a better team for it. For me, personally, I’m learning to be more flexible…long a problem with me.
27-10-00 – We drove to Paris this day. The bulk of the day was a pretty driving day but in the beginning we got lost a bit and when we got to Paris and the place where we’re staying, we actually lost one of our 3 vehicles. Eventually we all got there but this “getting lost” thing has definitely gotten OLD! We are being hosted by a Swiss-German family who has been in France for 20 years pastoring a church. It is AMAZING how they have opened up their house and church. We can’t see how they are doing it, but it is a tremendous blessing to us!
28-10-00 – This was a free day to get ourselves settled here. Some of our group went into Paris to begin scouting out our routes for the week.
29-10-00 – Today some of our team went into Paris again to continue logistical planning (and the Louvre is free on Sundays!) and the rest of us attended the church we’re being hosted by. (If we’d all been there we probably couldn’t have fit in their church as we about doubled the size of the church). I was blessed to be able to play the drums during worship and give a brief talk about what our team was about. James Skaines (the elder) actually gave the sermon for the day. It was a real blessed time as God challenged the young people to serve Him. After church we had a good “old fashioned church pot luck” and had a great time of fellowship with the people of the church.
Tomorrow…the beginning of Paris for a week!