We had finished Bible school, and our French was slowly improving. We were both feeling that we should be finding a French church to attend.
About that time, one of our bilingual friends (American married to a French husband) began hosting evenings in their home to attract non-believing friends and neighbours. She called them “What does the Bible say about…?” Each month she invited different Christian friends to talk about a different subject. Malgwyn spoke about “The 7 day Creation”, because that really is his subject. I cannot remember what mine was, but they were good meetings, and we didn’t miss any of them.
One meeting was about God’s sense of humour, and a female pastor was speaking. She talked about her own life with many stories of how God had intervened in amusing and often surprising ways. She had been a pastor in a French protestant church but the Lord had been teaching her about the Holy Spirit. As she learnt about the Holy Spirit and His gifts, she began teaching on them in her church. This led her to being asked to leave in no uncertain terms. It had been a very painful time for her and her family. But she was excited to tell us that God said she was to start a new church the following January (this was November). As we left that meeting that evening, Malgwyn and I looked at each other and said “That’s our new church”. And it was!
We were sad to leave St. Mark’s and we are still in touch with many of the friends from there. But we were both convinced that this was one more “God thing” on our pathway to where He wanted to take us.
We went to the first meeting of Eglise Eau-Vive in Boulogne Billancourt on the South west edge of Paris, one cold January morning and never looked back. We loved the fact that the French Bible was not a direct translation from the English and reading the two has often given us a fresh understanding of what some scriptures are saying. It still does!
Eventually we became elders in Eau Vive and taught Alpha courses there, and our French rapidly improved. We are still so grateful for their support and encouragement when we had difficulty really putting across what we wanted to say. I remember often trying to preach in French, and if lots of people smiled at the same time, is wasn’t because I had said something funny, it was because I had made an amusing mistake in my French pronunciation!
We were very blessed in our time in that community, and would have been happy to stay there for ever. But God had other plans and our next move was another of those “God things”!