Singing the Songs of Solomon!


Song of Solomon Chapter 3
10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

This is an accurate description of the month of April for us, and the first 2 verses describe our time away in France!

It started with a weekend alone with my pen pal of 25 years. Our visits have averaged out to once every 5 years, and they always bring a greater depth of understanding with each other. This visit was no different! I also got to experience 3 very warm sunny days in her fair city, making winter a dim memory!! I call her “mon petit tresor” – my little treasure, because she has been such a giving and devoted friend..

Then I got to take my first ride on the TGV (France’s high-speed) train up north to join some women intercessors to pray during the 40 days of prayer for France. I met some wonderful women, stayed with a beautiful English family, and sobbed during most of the speaking and prayer times! Mission accomplished!

Another TGV took me down to Paris to meet up with David at the home of missionary friends that we support. Besides the great food and fellowship, the cultural highlight was attending their son’s “carnivale” pre-school event. 50 3 & 4 yr. olds dressed in outlandish costumes danced to the beat of an African drummer, and then were herded out of the security of their schoolyard, & down the street. Police directed traffic while we all stood for half an hour in the middle of an intersection trying to see and hear while the children sang their little songs. Then we walked them back to the school and stood behind a chain link fence while the headmaster set fire to a cardboard “carnival man” on the playground. The kids watched solemnly until he was reduced to ashes and then with cheers and applause, headed for home. As Dave Barry so aptly puts it, “I am not making this up!”

David and I spent the remainder of our week in a reasonable hotel in the thick of Paris across the street from a Tex-Mex bar-restaurant called “INDIANA!” Celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary a few months early, we fell in love with each other all over again, and that was reassuring! If you wrote it as an algebraic equation, it would look like this: D&A(age)39 – 3(children) -100(tasks) = D&A(age)22! We also attended a couple of encouraging services with French believers where a God-fearing Ugandan named John Mullinde spoke with authority on putting our families before all else. Convictions deepened!

Back at home, “the flowers HAD appeared on the earth,” and all of Paisley was swimming in yellow daffodils! (see attached Easter photo!) We celebrated Easter with our MMI marriage class Leaders-in-Training couple, who live out in the countryside with 2 kids, 9 & 11. It was a cold, but clear day, and the kids had a ball hunting for candy (no such thing as plastic eggs here) and rolling boiled eggs down a huge hill! Their Easter baskets were full of French trinkets this year!

We’ve jumped into leading the first Married For Life group in Scotland, and it has been an honor to minister to these 5 precious Scottish couples every week in our home. They are really pressing into God’s best for their marriage, and David and I are realizing how little we’ve walked out these principles in this last 2 years of upheaval, when we needed them the most! We’ve done a lot of repenting before the topics we’ve taught so far, so that we’re hopefully not being hypocrites! Ha!

David also stepped out in a big way this month when he preached his first sermon for our church here while the pastor attended a conference. He spoke on taking our complaints to God rather than others, and it was very well received. I was beaming through the whole thing!

And last week, an important “time of singing”(vs.12) happened for our family. We had been asked to help out in leading worship one Sunday at church and decided this was the time to start walking out our family vision to include the children. So Rachel sang back-up and played a little violin, and the 2 younger ones stood on the floor in front and waved their worship ribbons or played a percussion instrument. Though it wasn’t the smoothest worship we’ve ever been involved in, mostly due to technical difficulties, I believe it was a pleasing aroma to God!!

Well, we’re approaching our first anniversary of being here in Europe and it feels like we’re finally finding our niche. We will continue the marriage ministry momentum by starting up again in the fall when all the student families arrive, forming a group with the couples that want to make it part of their curriculum. A year ago, many of you also started partnering with us financially and we asked for a year’s commitment. So it’s time for our current supporters to let us know if you’re in for the long haul. We believe that we are here until we see revival in Europe on a major scale! So, we are asking all of our current and new financial supporters to please reply to this e-mail with a note about your future support status. We will consider you “on board” until we hear from you or you see us moving back home, and will discontinue asking on a year-to-year basis.

A big thank you to all of you for seeing us through this transitional year!!! (canned pumpkin, Excedrin, American-sized paper, Smartfood, Prayer of Jabez, clothes for the kids, encouraging e-mails, school supplies… you know who you are!) We are blessed!!! Love, Angela

P.S. Our dear friend and co-worker, Kimberley Skaines is in the States visiting churches and supporters the month of May. All of our home church friends are instructed to give her hugs to bring back to us!!!

March 2001


It’s spring in Paisley…well…now and then. It’s sunny right now, though!

In our last update, we indicated that it looked as if we might be working with Marriage Ministries International (http://www.marriage.org) again soon. Indeed, as we thought, we will be doing that. It’s happened faster than we had thought though (we’re still spinning!).

A couple from Denver that we know (Joe and Stephanie DeMott) had been feeling for some time that God was telling them to come to Scotland and help in the launch of this particular ministry here. MMI already exists elsewhere in the UK but not in Scotland. When we first heard that they were coming we were excited but didn’t know if we could really commit to help in any way or if we really had any good contacts for them.

Well, in the mean time, God was positioning us into a church in a very definite way. Our pastor here, John Fletcher, has been incredibly welcoming AND releasing. Additionally, in YWAM, our team began to look at various existing ministries which could be used as vehicles for discipleship in the process of doing God’s work. MMI certainly fits that bill. As we began to make contacts to see if we could get in on the launch of MMI in Scotland, our pastor asked us (knowing our background in MMI) if we’d be willing to do any teaching on marriages. What timing! When we helped to arrange an informational meeting for pastors for MMI, John single-handedly got several different churches involved and the turnout for the meeting was fantastic.

We thought we’d probably get started in May but then we came up against that very unique European cultural tradition…THE SUMMER HOLIDAY! “So high, can’t get over it…So low, can’t get under it…So wide, can’t get around it…Ohhh Holidays”. Literally, if we couldn’t start almost immediately, we couldn’t start until August or September…at which point we want to do a 2nd MMI group during the Family DTS. The Marriage course is 14 weeks long and we had to be creative to squeeze everything in by the end of June…because everybody scatters after that!

We couldn’t start until April 12th because Angela and I will be in France until the 9th of April to visit friends and attend a prayer conference (more about that in a minute). Since we’ve lead a group before, we could start immediately but we’d have to train our “leader in training” couple (a WONDERFUL couple from our church) along the way…extra time and commitment. We had our informational meeting for the couples on Sunday and we filled right up with others still interested for the next group! We’re excited about what God will do during this class with all the people involved…including us.

This morning Angela flew to Lyon, France to spend a few days with her special pen-pal Corinne. On Sunday, she takes a train to Lille to attend a women’s conference, “Deborah Arise” in conjunction with the 40 days of prayer for France. On Wednesday, I fly to Paris and we visit friends in Paris and then on Friday and Saturday we attend another prayer conference. We fly back on Monday the 9th and start the new MMI class on the 12th.

All of this brings MANY prayer requests to mind that I’d like to list out. We really need your prayers for this season!

1. For us and this MMI class. It is the FIRST one for MMI in Scotland. This is a ministry that satan HATES and he loves to attack it. I pray that we would look like Moses in Hebrews 11:23 and be hidden for 3 months so that this seed could be firmly planted in Scotland…and flourish! 2. Our time in France. Angela JUST called (as I was writing this) from Lyon. She missed her connection in London and had to pay another £120 (approx. $180) to get to Lyon. She ended up at a different Lyon airport and still has not connected up with her pen pal. Her pen pal, Corinne is VERY special and is not yet in God’s family. Please pray that this will be a key time in that process of seeing her come to Jesus. Pray also for our overall time in France on this trip as to how it might reveal some aspects of our future there and possible contacts for outreach on the next Family DTS. 3. Pray for our children and the friends taking care of them…for safety and wisdom. 4. On April 22nd, I’m doing the message at church. God has been stirring some things on my heart. Pray that God’s heart would come across in this. 5. My French. I’m taking a course at Paisley University and have enjoyed it but the more I know the more I know that I DON’T know. Pray against discouragement and pride. 6. Continued insight into God’s heart for the September Family DTS and how the apparent gaps will be filled.

You all are a blessing to us and we appreciate VERY much! David and Angela

T.G.I.F. (Thank God It’s February!)

David: "And now to you, Angela, for a look at January on location in Paisley."

Angela: "Thank you, David. This month’s top story: Family of 5 survives 31 days of wrestling with God and each other! "

OurPaisleyHouse

We had a lot of time on our hands, cooped up inside with roller coaster emotions and a lot of questions for God. I don’t even want to think about how much worse it would have been had some of you not been praying for us!

We look back on our first family school and see a lot of positive and a lot of negative. Not bad for a first try, and we are grateful for the 2 families who came and participated as guinea pigs for us. One family wants to come back to help staff the next one. The other did a lot of growing and maturing as a new Christian in a single mom role.

Another American family with the same calling is coming March 1st to come alongside us for the next school, so we are excited about having a bigger team to lighten the load. We also want the next one to look very different in order to reduce as much stress as possible and to do a better job discipling families for a life of missions. Word has gotten around, and we are getting many requests for student applications. Fortunately, the next school is 8 months away, giving us time to recover and better prepare. During this time, the Skaines, our staff teammates, are also committed to see us eventually settled in France, and we are considering another foray over the channel during 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer for France this spring.

Wattie-s-Baked-Beans-in-Tomato-SauceAnd now a word from our sponsor – Heinz Baked Beans!

"Have any of you connected the Scots with baked beans -like the Irish with corned beef and cabbage?"

"Isn’t that an American food," you ask?

Surprise! Not only is it a major part of the traditional full English breakfast, (complementing your bacon, sausage and eggs) but it is also a popular light supper, spooned over toast with a side of french fries. Go on and have it for lunch as well! Indulge in a convenient frozen pizza with a baked bean topping from your freezer aisle! And start your babies off right with a jar of ‘Baked beans and bacon…’ at 4 months! Baked Beans: Are they part of your unbalanced diet?"

Angela: "Welcome back! We continue with our saga, leaving Stanely House behind and focusing on what goes on behind closed doors at 31 Limecraigs…

Here is what we are praising God for:RachelWithViolinTeacher

  • Rachel has started formal violin lessons with a wonderful Scottish gentlemen who comes to the house weekly. She is very motivated to progress quickly and it is a joy to listen to her practice without our nagging.
  • The children join us in our bed most mornings before breakfast for a family devotional time. We are reading through the very comprehensive and well-written Children’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos, that I enjoyed as a child. We start with a song, and end with prayer time for the day. Highly recommended by the parents and children!
  • LivingWordChurchFinding a church to attend that we really love, and having 2 lunch invitations and the pastor visit, within the first month!
  • No TV! I just got a revelation that TV and videos keep my kids "entertained and distracted by the world and what it values." 8 months later, I am thrilled to report that they do not know about or want the latest toy, play together lovingly and creatively most of the time (with a 7 yr. age span,) and consider reading a good book together the highlight of their day! We are now big fans of the prolific British children’s author, Dick King-Smith. You might know him as the author of Babe, The Sheep Pig. His series about a little girl named Sophie has been Noah’s biggest reason to conquer new words!
  • Some of you may know that it costs $150/yr. to legally watch basic TV (not cable!). (It’s called a "TV license," and quite accurately in our estimation; you ought to prove you’re a responsible citizen before using it due to all the porn!) Gov. officials are very suspicious of those who claim they don’t have a TV, so we’ve received our notice that an inspector will come to the house to verify. Stay tuned for the blow-by-blow next month!

And now our greatest struggles, i.e. prayer requests:

  • A.’s plagues: headaches and PMS, have heightened in severity on the mission field. The enemy knows how to keep me down – pray for the will to fight back!
  • Being together in a small space 21 hr. out of 24 everyday has made D. and A. less tolerant of each other. We are fighting this one on all fronts, but the hardest is saying, "No" to our fleshly desires and reactions, in order to treat each other with honor. (As an addendum, that Angela will cultivate more friends to unload on and get out of the house to have "girl fun" with.
  • Angela confronting her weaknesses in people skills and overcoming the fear of conflict, rejection, persecution, while deepening her dependence on God.

We close today’s program with these last two items:

A man with a family worship ministry on the Internet wanted some ideas from his newsletter readers, and I just sent him some ideas that we tried and liked during our school. God continues to give me creative ways to bring families together in worship. Here’s one for some of you to try out and give me feedback on!

Play the ABC word game as family worship: Person #1: "I worship God because He is Amazing." Person #2: "I worship God because He is Amazing and Beautiful!" etc.

I Thess. 1:16 in The Message Version reads: "So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech."

We are standing on this verse – pray it out on our behalf!

Love, Angela

France Outreach 2000 Finale


Greetings from dark-at-4pm Paisley!

We’re definitely back in the northern latitudes!

When we last left our “ragamuffin” band of families we were headed SOUTH…should’ve stayed down there! We left Matour and our visit of the Cluny Abby and our next stop was Bourg-St.-Andeol for an overnight stay. We learned first-hand just how narrow streets can be and still be “navigable” in old European towns. As we followed directions to the place we were staying, we surely thought we had made yet another navigation error (we are WAY used to that now!) since all there was, was this narrow alley that seemed to close in more and more (moving trash cans as we went just to get by). Low and behold…we had actually followed the directions correctly. Thankfully this was only one night!

Bourg-St-Andeol is 12 km from the southern France YWAM base we visited last year and we paid them a brief-but-good visit during our short time there. Then, the next day, we headed towards Nice…our final “real” destination.

We stayed in 3 “gîtes” during our time in France. The one near Nice was probably the only one that lived up to my “imagination” of what such “rustic”, and “culturally-representative” houses should be like. The one in Matour was a terrific accommodation but was basically a modern, 5 story dormitory building.

The town we stayed in, about 30 minutes from Nice, was called St. Jeannet. “Jeannet” was not some spiritual lady in France’s history. Rather, it refers to John the Baptist. St. Jeannet is a village on the side of a foothill/mountain in the Maritime Alps. This part of the French coast is a combination of a small amount of flat area near the river basins interspersed with mostly steep hills that jump right up from the coast and continue up to snow-capped peaks. These coastal, steep hills often are quite built up with houses practically on top of each other. St. Jeannet itself is an old and very picturesque village and very compact together as well.

We were there 6 nights and 5 days, including 1 free day. As was our custom in the entire trip, one of our team did research about where to visit and pray. In between getting lost and separated as a group, we visited and prayed at: * The promenade (the beach) * A high crest over-looking “old Nice” and the port on which are the ruins of the first church in Nice * A Roman ruin which exalted Caesar as god and overlooked Monaco * The Marc Chagall Museum which has 19 large murals from the Bible

On the free day the rest of the team drove into Italy and back and our family went to a mall in downtown Nice! Necessary…but I would have rather spent the day just sitting on the beach being soothed by the breaking waves and light-azure waters. Angela and I also had the opportunity to go to a local sacred choral music concert in St. Jeannet one night at the local church. It was a wonderful time for us. One of our deep desires is to worship (meaning with music specifically) in European cathedrals. This was close, in that it was sacred music resonating in an ancient French church…even though we weren’t singing it. Truly beautiful.

Our drive back concerned us in that it was basically 4 straight days of long drives punctuated by unpacking-sleeping-packing-going again. At this point in the outreach we were all feeling fatigue from the entire 6-week journey. It did not seem like a pleasant prospect. Due to this, we altered one of the stops…London, and decided on returning via a different route. This would be an overnight ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Kingston-upon-Hull and had 3 advantages for us: a shorter drive from Paris; actually moving towards our destination while we slept; a shorter last day back into Paisley.

Our drives from Nice to Lyon and from Lyon to Paris were, thankfully, shorter than we had anticipated and the weather was not too bad either…but it definitely got colder when we went north! In Paris we had the delight to stay with the same family that hosted us the first time and they also hosted a “crépe party” for us at their church. The pastors wife probably made crépe’s for 3 hours straight! We then had a time of worship with their church and finally headed towards bed.

The drive to Zeebrugge was punctuated with getting lost and bad weather at the end and having to run around and find our last-minute reservations when we arrived at the pier. Though it frayed nerves and stomachs, it was par-for-the-course by this time and seems a distant memory now. We got on the boat in plenty of time and it really was a much better way to go on our way back…kind of like a one-night cruise…economy-class.

This was Thanksgiving Day for all of us Americans but there was little outward evidence of that (other than the nasty weather). Hot dogs on the boat in a baguette were good, but a poor substitute for turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie….and familiar faces back home. It wasn’t morose by any means, but I certainly felt a “quiet” in my heart as I contemplated home and the 21 people shoe-horned into my parents house that day.

The last day of our journey dawned bright and clear as we pulled into port in Merry Old England. We were driving on the left again so we had to concentrate a bit but understanding shopkeepers was a nice feeling to come back to. Kind of odd for us who have set up home here to land on “foreign soil” and have some measure of feeling “at home”…or at least “familiar” with my surroundings.

We literally drove east-to-west across England and were treated to lunch by some friends of ours whom we met in our Marriage Ministry days. They are the UK directors for MMI and, amazingly, offered to feed 19 hungry, weary travelers for lunch! Thankfully their house is much larger than ours and they could actually fit us comfortably. It was an ideal setup and a delightful time with some VERY gracious people…with one drawback…we didn’t want to leave and still had about 4 hours ahead of us!!! We reluctantly got back on the road and headed home. We managed to get separated from each other on a dark, rainy and busy highway and miraculously (thank God) got joined back up again. We even managed to make wrong turns once we got back to Paisley…quite comical by this point!

Well, we’re home now and finishing the school this week. We’ll send more about life post-school and what our near-term future holds later. This update was too much to digest already and I appreciate your patience. Still working on web site pictures. We’ll let you know when they are there…probably next week.

Happy Thanksgiving (late) and Merry Christmas (early)! David

France Outreach 2000 Update #3


Hello from Matour, France!

I’ve had (and am still having) some difficulty with Internet connectivity. I had something all set up to dial my ISP in Scotland just to download/upload e-mail via our long-distance calling card. It worked great halfway through Paris but then it stopped working. Because local calls cost money over here it was important that I had an arrangement that didn’t cost our hosts any money. This was such an arrangement. I’ve finally bought a calling card that facilitates the same thing and has a certain amount of minutes on it. It may actually be cheaper too. In our last stop, I had to go to an Internet café and fumble my fingers on a French-layout Mac keyboard to try and do e-mail…never again, hopefully!!! Anyway, I think I’m back on-line now!

Much has transpired since the 29th of October in Paris….duh…!

I’ll just do more of an overview to cover the last two weeks or so…

In addition to the prayer times we had during the day in Paris, on Halloween night (which is ONLY 4 years old as a “holiday” in France…imported from the good ol’ US of A), Angela had the opportunity to go with the pastor’s wife and daughters to an all night Halloween prayer and worship vigil. 500 people of all denominations gathered in a large Catholic church to worship and pray. Angela didn’t stay all night but what she was able to attend was powerful.

We finished the week in Paris with a time of sharing and praying for our hosts, Monika and Josef Berchtold. It was a very valuable time. They really opened their hearts to us and I feel that we got a good picture of what a great many of the pastors in France experience. In addition to our chance to pray for them, I think that one of the main reasons we were hooked up with them for that week was to more closely identify (as much as we COMPLETE outsiders could), with the circumstances and struggles of a typical pastor’s family (and what a wonderful family they are!)

From Paris, we drove north to Roubaix near Lille, to attend the Heart for France conference. This conference was put on by World Horizons, an international missions organization. The conference was primarily targeted towards people NOT from France who have a heart for France. There were a good number from the UK and the US, and everything was bilingual (speaking and worship) between English and French. World Horizons staffed the conference with a group from Iceland who were part of a school that they were running and they helped take care of our kids during morning sessions.

We stayed about a 5 minute walk from the church where the conference was being held in a budget hotel chain (shared bathrooms, etc.) It worked out well though as they were able to give us a wing all to ourselves with a door. That helped a lot since the “spirit” of the hotel was not exactly a family-friendly one. Fortunately, the conference staff agreed to feed all of us along with the other staff and that made our lives much easier.

Getting our clothes clean was hard enough! Laundromats here are stripped down: no change machines, no rolling baskets, 2 chairs, one big table, and lots of smoke. It took us an hour just to get there and round up the right change! It takes another hour to wash and dry, and another half hour to fold and sort the laundry of 5 different families! (You know you’re on outreach when you’re folding other people’s underwear!)

The conference itself was really outstanding for many of us on our team. There was fantastic revelation into what God is doing and wants to do in France. Each morning there was a time where the “French half” of the conference leaders shared several strategic prayer issues and we had a time of corporate prayer. This was great and confirmed much of what we had been sensing as well. There was worship every morning and night.

I say for “many of us” because some others on the team were experiencing some intense input from the Lord simultaneously with distractions of the spiritual environment of the area, that completely consumed their focus and made it difficult to “connect” with the conference. It was good for us to understand what each person was experiencing during this time and better accept our differing perspectives.

I was blessed to be able to join the worship team at the conference to do percussion. The conference was relatively small (about 200 people by the end) and the small worship team consisted of a wonderful, talented Irish guy, Ian McMaster on guitar, a French keyboard player and an American (living in Belgium) synth player. They were lacking a sound technician for a few days and put out a call for anyone who knew a “little” about sound. Since I barely qualified for that, and no other hands were raised, I foolishly raised my hand. I was able to turn the knobs but when it all started, it was MUCH more eventful than I expected. My hat is off to all sound technicians for their ability to work under that stress. Once they got a sound technician I played around on a djembe that was lying about and the worship leader asked me to join in on the team. It was wonderful fellowship between hearts and with music. A week of straight hand drumming was more than I’ve done before, however, so my hands were quite sore by the end.

The kids made worship streamers and enjoyed participating in worship with the other banner wavers. At one point, after people prayed on a huge map of France and lit small “tea candles” and placed them on the map, Olivia remained up there and waved her streamer while we continued worshiping. Several people said they were touched by her presence there. We’ll have that Kodak moment on the website as soon as we get back to Scotland! I’m excited by the new relationships started there with wonderful people from the UK, France, and the States.

The week was stressful for Angela and me as a couple. As has happened many times in the past, as I become more involved in something (worship activities, making contacts with people, etc.) there seems to come a separation between us. It becomes a perception from me that Angela’s not joining up with what’s happening and a perception from Angela that I’m abandoning her and the children. This causes inevitable strife between us until I finally get a clue and understand what is really going on. We’re still trying to overcome that week just a bit. It’s obvious to me that God continues to allow circumstances for us that put us into these reactions until we learn to NOT react in our usual ways. Life patterns of behavior are very hard to adjust…Help God!

We drove from Roubaix on Saturday to a gîte near Troyes for one night and then last night to Matour.

Today we drove through the gorgeous Burgundy countryside in the rain to tour a small winery. We wanted to buy the most recent vintage that they sold to use for a communion time at Cluny abbey, pouring out the remainder of the bottle on the ruins, symbolizing our desire for God to pour His “new wine” out on France. The Abbey in Cluny has a rich history in Europe. It was once one of the most powerful forces for reform and renewal in the church. It’s influence for God throughout Europe was significant. We prayed there for God to renew that flow of His Spirit in France and Europe. But the best part was that Noah and Olivia decided that they wanted to ask Jesus to live in their hearts right then and there. Until now, they’d had no desire. So standing in the rain (God’s baptism?), up on the ledge of a ruin, side-by-side, I led them in a prayer of salvation. We all clapped and then sang “I have decided to follow Jesus” before taking communion with them for the first time. This was an emotional and prophetic act for our family being that it occurred in France and in a place like Cluny. Ironically, this morning, I got up in a HUGE “funk”. I was good for NOTHING and yet God is so much bigger than my puny emotions. His eternal purposes stand regardless of my temporal purposes! He showed me that He can redeem any situation and use it for His Glory!

Tomorrow…an overnight stop and then on to Nice!

Bless you!
David

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!
David

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!!!

Blessings,
David

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

(Thanksgiving!)

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!
David

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.!

David

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