France Outreach 2000 Update #2

Bonjour de Paris!

(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!

Au revoir!

15-Oct-2000 Itinerary Update

Hello all!
Just a brief update to let you all know the slight change in our itinerary. We’re coming back a few days earlier so we’ve changed some things beginning with Nov 15th-on.

Much more is “set” now and that’s nice (although I’m sure God has some surprises up His sleeve). We’re not completely covered (literally) for every night of lodging yet, so your prayers are certainly welcome there. Additionally, it looks like the money is coming in for everyone who needs it so we’re praising God that everyone is going. Some are stepping out in “financial faith” as not all of it is accounted for just yet, but God knows all these and other details.

We leave in the morning and we all have many packing details to complete…not to mention still reaching contacts in France for other details.

We’ll try and keep you all posted as we go…pray all Internet connections work!!!


Here is the updated itinerary:

Mon 16/10 Travel To: London
Tue 17/10 London
Wed 18/10 London
Thu 19/10 Travel To: Normandy
Fri 20/10 Normandy
Sat 21/10 Normandy
Sun 22/10 Normandy
Mon 23/10 Normandy
Tue 24/10 Normandy
Wed 25/10 Normandy
Thu 26/10 Normandy
Fri 27/10 Travel To: Paris
Sat 28/10 Paris
Sun 29/10 Paris
Mon 30/10 Paris
Tue 31/10 Paris
Wed 01/11 Paris
Thu 02/11 Paris
Fri 03/11 Paris
Sat 04/11 Travel To: Lille
Sun 05/11 Lille
Mon 06/11 Lille
Tue 07/11 Lille
Wed 08/11 Lille
Thu 09/11 Lille
Fri 10/11 Lille
Sat 11/11 Travel To: Troyes
Sun 12/11 Travel To: Cluny
Mon 13/11 Cluny
Tue 14/11 Travel To: St. Paul
Wed 15/11 Travel To: Nice
Thu 16/11 Nice
Fri 17/11 Nice
Sat 18/11 Nice
Sun 19/11 Nice
Mon 20/11 Nice
Tue 21/11 Travel To: Lyon
Wed 22/11 Travel To: Paris
Thu 23/11 Travel To: ?Bromley?
Fri 24/11 Travel To: Paisley

Planning for France

We’re still don’t have our lodging in place, but we believe that we have gotten some direction from the Lord for our outreach itinerary to France, and we are passing that on to help you pray more effectively, since internet connection may be spotty. Here are our requests for our team of 19 traveling around France in 3 vehicles:

  • Provision – There are still a few in our number who are waiting on the finances for this trip, and we still need to find affordable lodging.
  • Protection – Both physically (accident, injury, sickness) and spiritually (as much as we think God wants us going, we’re sure that the devil is not quite as happy about it)
  • Wisdom – There are a myriad of choices we’ll be making on this trip and we want to make God’s choices.
  • Humility – We know there will be inevitable conflicts among us and we desire humility, love and forgiveness to be hallmarks of our team and of our trip. Additionally, we want to be humble toward others that we come into contact with.
  • Strategy – We consider this trip a prayer journey and we want our prayers to  line up with God’s strategy for that place.

Our itinerary:

16-Oct: Drive to London from Paisley

17-18 Oct: London (St Paul’s cathedral, etc.)

19-Oct: Drive to Portsmouth; Ferry to Cherbourg

20-26 Oct: Normandy (WW2 spiritual parallels)

27 Oct-4 Nov: Paris area (Joan of Arc)

4-10 Nov – Lille: Heart for France conference with Martin Scott

11-Nov: Troyes

12-13 Nov: Cluny abbey

14-15 Nov: St. Paul-Trois-Chateaux (YWAM base)

16-23 Nov: Nice (Gage’s outdoor church, prayer-walking)

24 Nov: Drive to Lyon

25 Nov: Drive to Paris

26 Nov: Drive to Zeebrugge, Belgium; take overnight ferry to Kingston-upon-Hull


27-Nov: Drive back to Paisley

At the end, we will have covered nearly 3500 miles and will have gained a wealth of experience. Hopefully will have also tapped into God’s heart for France, as well as how He wants to change OUR hearts!

Bless you!

11-Sep-2000 Update

Staff and student of FDTS 2000 Paisley Scotland 

Our first YWAM Family Discipleship school just finished a short mid-term outreach that started in our own neighborhood. Our focus was to try and meet people to begin the process of building relationships.

In the Skaines’ neighborhood, we did some yard work and landscaping for an older neighbor who struggles with alcohol, like many in this town. We also spent some time prayer-walking the neighborhood. In our neighborhood, Angela had an idea that challenged me a bit

: have a yard sale to get rid of stuff we’d shipped from Colorado that we didn’t have room for and stuff left by the previous owners. The problem is that yard sales don’t exist here. The closest thing we could find to that was a "car boot sale." (the boot being the trunk of the car, out of which people sell things in parking lots in an organized fashion.)

Our Yankee boot sale

Well, using that as a jumping-off metaphor, we held a "Yankee Boot Sale," distributing some flyers to the neighborhood and opening up the garage door and keeping off the perpetual drizzle with a tarp. We got a bunch of curious kids and a few parents. We had some great conversations and made all of 3 pounds! I’d say we probably know about 4 different households by name at least. Building relationship is so important but it isn’t our strong point. We really need the grace of God, but I’m enjoying starting that process. Probably the biggest impediment will be the coming winter weather that keeps people inside with their cups of tea.

The the following week, we traveled to some of the islands and highlands of Scotland. Our goals were to pray for Scotland, learn about Scotland’s history and Christian roots in the islands and highlands, and practice traveling and living together as a team. The bonus was that we did all of it in abundant sunshine lighting up breathtaking scenery… simply magnificent!

View of Oben from the ferry

We began by driving to Oben early Monday to catch a ferry to the Island of Mull and a tour bus drive across Mull and then a "wee" ferry over to the island of Iona where Christianity began in Scotland in 563 A.D. with the monk Columba. We spent only a few hours there, but it was long enough to sense that it was definitely a "thin place" surrounded by water so clear that made us think of the crystal sea in Revelation. Back in Oben, we drove north to Ft. William to spend the night.

Posing at the Iona ruins

We got up early on Tuesday to catch a ferry at Mallaig that would take us to the island of Eigg. The drive (on single track roads) to Mallaig was incredibly beautiful with amazing terrain near Glen Finnin and white sandy beaches. We had to walk a mile to our guesthouse in Eigg. This was a beautiful location where we spent the next two days. We had times of learning about the history of the island (which was quite incredible for such a tiny island!) We spent a good deal of time praying and learning how to pray. We also did some team-building exercises and had long discussions about discipleship, team and communication. One definite highlight was the day when the whole group took a long hike to the top of a "sgurr" or rock mountain that was 1200 feet high. It was a team challenge to make sure everyone made it, as there were some tough spots for families with small children. The view was worth every step and we prayed together before heading back down with rest stops in the bouncy heather!Eigg sgurr hike - off we go!

On Friday, we took the ferry to the island of Skye, where we heard an amazing speaker who challenged us all about coming into a location and serving the people, rather than looking to serve our own agenda. This will be our mandate during our impending outreach in France.

On Saturday, we drove back to Paisley taking a slightly different route. Part of the route took us through Glenn Coe (southeast of Ft. William) and I drooled over the majesty of the highest part of the highlands in an awesome cloud cover. It was other worldly.

Since then we’ve had more speakers at the school speaking on brokenness, boundaries and the father heart of God. We’re focusing on what God is trying to do with our motley crew of 4 families, 2 single moms, and a single gal, from 4 different nations, to mold us into a team. I’ve never been in a process quite like it. It’s not always pleasant, but at times it has been quite satisfying to see God at work and to see progress (of the 3-steps-forward-2-steps-back variety.)

We leave for France on Oct. 16 – Thank you in advance for praying for logistics, finances, etc.!