Was it really a God Thing?

If you have read the previous posts on this site you will know that, even though we had not heard the audible voice of God, we were increasingly convinced that God was moving us to France and we were all excited by this adventure. Imagine then the shock we all felt as this episode unfolded.

Malgwyn was called to a meeting in the German head office and told that they were closing their efforts to start up a Paris branch. He could choose to go back to UK or to take a job in Germany!!

And we had thought it was a God thing!!

The company had decided that Paris wasn’t a viable proposition. In fact, we learned much later that there had been embezzlement in the German finance office involving the revenue from the French operation!

That was in June 1983. Malgwyn had been working for them for only 5 months. We had just signed to rent a house in the Paris suburbs. We had just received confirmation that the children had been accepted in the Lycée International. The children and I were still living in UK, but we had sold the house, so there was no staying there after July! We had burnt our bridges!

The Audible Voice

Malgwyn drove from Frankfurt to Paris that Sunday after being officially told the bad news. Not knowing what to do other than pray, he went to St. Michael’s Anglican church in the centre of the city. At the end of the service, which he didn’t remember much of, he left quickly to avoid talking to anyone, and headed for a nearby restaurant.

If you have ever eaten in a Parisian restaurant, you will know that they expect you to be there for the evening. There is no rush, and what in UK we would have considered poor service, is very much the norm. So he had plenty of time to think and pray!

During the gap between courses, he put his head in his hands and said “Lord why have you brought me here? Just to be laid-off?” Immediately he heard a voice behind him say his name. Now if his name was John or Peter he probably wouldn’t have thought it was him. But there are not too many “Malgwyn”s in the world, and he was fairly sure that there wasn’t another one in that restaurant that evening. He turned round to see who had recognised him and… – There was no-one there.

Suddenly he knew it must be the audible voice of God. It was! And the Lord told him then that He was bringing us to France to run a Christian centre! Malgwyn was both shocked and excited.

The consequence of that event was that He knew God was so real and aware of every situation, and also that He has a plan for each of our lives. We were definitely running with “one of those God things”!

God will find you

But there was still no income.

A Parisian friend had very generously given Malgwyn the key to his rarely-used apartment. So he had his own space and was happier than he would have been in a hotel (Thank you Lord). In the middle of the following week he was surprised to get a phone call from the European manger of another computer company offering him a job!!

How amazing is God! We have no idea to this day where this man got the phone number from, (it was long before mobile phones) and Malgwyn had not given the number to anybody!

The Centre

We have often thought it was a long long wait for the manifestation of that Christian Centre that the Lord talked about. But we now believe that it is this house we are living in now which we use for praise evenings, Bible studies and Sunday services. On looking back we can say that we have always used our home for Him. We often had small conferences (up to 30 attendees) when we lived on the outskirts of Paris. We hosted Alpha weekends, Youth meetings, Lydia conferences, and evenings with missionary speakers and we had long term visitors from all over the world. It was also where we began our small christian publishing company (editionsdelasource.com).

So in a way our home has always been a Christian centre, and it still is. Watch this space for future activities, and keep listening, who knows when the audible voice of God might speak directly to you and me?