If you know the answer, do pass it on… !
Well, of course, a lot of time is initially taken up with the practicalities of life: getting to know where everything is (shops, school runs, official papers, car, house, etc…) , adjusting to getting things done the ‘French’ way (ie with a LOT more trees being destroyed, strikes, etc…), whilst enjoying French life!
Life is shared in two directions: involvement in the small church life that meets just outside Sommières (David mainly in preaching/leading worship/pastoral care, and Claire-Lise in the children’s work and artistic expression – see below, a ‘vine’ where we all later added our unique thumbprints!).
This is more a work of consolidation and establishing the church’s vision (at present, around 15 or so adults and children).
Another strand is the more informal, but equally important, relational aspect. Getting to know local traders (butcher, baker, but no candlestick maker) meeting Mr le Maire (equivalent to council leader, who holds significant powers locally), building-up friendships, especially through school, looking for opportunities to get stuck into the community. Much wisdom and prayers required here…
And last but not least, the family strand – the boys are settling in really well to their new environment, happy at school and growing-up fast, enjoy going, and playing in their new house! Samuel is also adapting well, and stretching his vocabulary in many different directions…
So all in all, it’s a very different rhythm of life to what we’ve been used to, and is taking a while to adapt to. It’s still early days, and frustrating in many aspects, but full-on, full of possibilities and a definite sense of being in the right place at the right time.
Your prayers accompanying ours are valued so much and appreciated, and we sense God has significant work to do in this region. We just need to place ourselves strategically to be a part of it!
All in God’s time….