Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

A complete listing of very specific requests for prayer can be found under "Prayer Requests."

For those just getting to know us, please visit the special sections to the right.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Getting the Mail

Yesterday, I went down to the lobby of our building to check our mail slot. There was a notice from the mail carrier that a package had come. Normally, I have to walk about ten to fifteen minutes to the "Poste" across the street from the Palace of Versailles to present my passport and sign for something like that. So, off I went. When I got there they pointed out, in the fine print, "Check with your guardian." Of course, I had passed the guardian (apartment manager) on the way out of the complex.
     By the time I returned, he was nowhere to be found. I returned later and showed my piece of paper to the guardian's wife who tried to tell me that my 9x12 envelope was no longer there in the office (and with a lot of fruitless pantomime) tried to tell me where to look for it. She finally gave up, walked me back to the lobby of my building and pointed to my mail slot.
     There was the envelope. I had walked past it on my way to the guardian's office. She had been trying to tell me that sometime that afternoon while I was on my way to the post office she had come over and put the envelope in the slot.
     There are times when the theme song from Gilligan's Island runs through my head, "… a three hour tour." At least I'm getting my exercise. And I did stop by the local grocery store to pick up some things on the way back to the guardians office.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We're having a Prayer Conference in April. Can you imagine?

You may wonder why have a prayer conference. We care about the people of France and for over 10 years, our organization - France V.I.E., has been praying diligently for these precious people to turn to God to meet their needs; to trust in Him. Some are miserable and depressed and others lonely or looking for real love in many places.
     Some of you may not pray and think it's for foolish people to pray to an unknown "Whatever". For those of us who do pray we feel God is listening and that He answers and acts in response. I've been reading His Book, the Bible, for many years and sense how important it is. It's so powerful or "puissant" (pweesan - accent on the first syllable and you almost pronounce the "n"). My son-in-law said one time that the words carry an authority when he reads them.
     This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to "His Will", He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
     Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer an petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
     Be joyful always; pray continually give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)
     Be careful how you ask: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:3)
     We are having this conference to pray for France and it's people. We believe our hope is in Christ. We are having a relationship with God who is alive and cares for us and wants what is best for us and he wants us to follow him and talk to him. He created us to have relationship and to bring Him glory. (by honoring Him) When I bring Him glory He gives me joy, peace, and an abundant life overflowing! It's a great trade-off. Don't you think?
     With very few French knowing anything at all about God many do not know where to turn when there are questions and some don't have many Godly models. We are not better than anyone else. We are all people who need a Savior. We have been given a gift of huge proportions. This unconditional love from the Father frees us up to love others.
     God promises he will listen to us and prayers are effective. This verse says, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16-18. What is righteous? To be righteous we have to be "made right" By accepting Christ's death on the cross to cover our own sins before God and asking Jesus to come into our hearts and lives to be our Savior makes us "right" before a Holy God. He is the one who bridges the gap to God, the Father. The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in God who is being prayed to.
     We cannot access powerful prayer by using "magic formulas." (allaboutprayer.org) We don't have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. Although, it's not wrong to use certain words or phrases either. And yet we don't want our prayers to become rote petitions that don't have meaning. This verse says, "and when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8) "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and he guided them to their desired haven." (Psalm 107:28-30) - Talk about power!
     The power of prayer has overcome enemies, conquered death, brought healing, defeated demons. God opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds and grants wisdom. It draws on God's glory and might and power in this universe.
     We are asking God to do a mighty work in France and for Europe as a whole. We are seeing the people of France becoming more open to talk and question life on a spiritual level then they've ever experienced it. God is softening and opening hearts and we want to be available to love and help support each other. People are trusting in Christ! If you have a desire to come to our annual Prayer Conference April 11 - 18th please let us know. It's an intimate group with usually no more than 50 - 70 total including France Vie and our guests speakers. That is what makes it so exciting. We are praying that some of you will want to join us this year.
     To see the American version of the Conference brochure follow these instructions: Go to: "Special Sections" to the right. The last section is called Downloadable PDF Presentation Documents. Click that link. Scroll to the bottom click on the link for the Prayer Conference brochure if you want more specific info. For a Canadian or Australian version, please let us know and we can send you one—Blessings to you!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My brother asked me if I wake up in the night thinking, "I'm in a foreign country"?

I really think more about being in a foreign country when I'm on a train platform and there is an announcement over the speaker in French saying something like, "the train is not coming and won't be here until who knows, so go do something about it." Everyone starts to leave and I'm thinking "what?" and I follow like a sheep looking for another train that's going my way. I'm not as nervous as I used to be - like back in March and April. That experienced happened today. Then I looked at a guy nearby and went "que?" pronounced "kay" which means "what" and he started rattling off in French and I looked interested and had no clue. Ha.
     I took off by myself for work today. Russell worked on a website banner for France Vie today while I went into the FV office. I went in by myself to do some accounting for the office, turning on the heat. I need those gloves with the fingers cut off. We are going to try to find some. The wall heaters are producing heat as fast as they can and it does save money doing it this way. I did get some things accomplished and will go back tomorrow. It felt bitterly cold on the way back and looked like it could snow.
     Next Wed. Carolyn and I are going to a women's shelter near the palace. There are foreigners living behind the palace in tents. Usually if people stay in a shelter they have to leave for the day. That's pretty standard back in the states too - in Lawrence, they have a few shelters there. Some of our churches in Kansas take turns housing the homeless for a week then the folks go to the next church to stay. Our regular shelters have been more full the last few years because of the economy. They leave for work or to find work or go to school for the day and come back at night to eat, do homework, play games or read and go to bed on cots. Russell and I went up to play games with some teens one evening at MorningStar church in Lawrence and enjoyed it. One of the guys staying at our church in Lawrence that week was selling cars by day and staying in a shelter by night. Rough times.
     But for the foreign women and their children behind the Chateau de Versailles, they can come in for the day and get a bath and food plus take some classes on culture, art or learn French. There are Turkish and Kurdish women who speak their own languages and have learned English (it's the international language now). They do not know French. I can probably understand some simple French sentences but have a hard time with any big conversation. The woman said they need more English speakers to help them with these women. I would love to do that so we are going next Wed. to check it out. There are openings for volunteers on Wed. and Fri.
     Russell just brought in a nice desk that was out on the edge of the curb waiting for someone to pick it up so now I have desk. That's nice. -Carol

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday Morning - It was all I hoped it would be!

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
A lovely trip was made up the road through the village near the large aqueduct with its huge arches a la gauche (on the left) and looking a la droit (dwaht—on the right) over the tiled roofs on the hills. We saw a few rows of cold looking netted grape vines between houses and businesses. The car was zipping along going through the many roundabouts of Versailles and beyond. I don't believe France has stop signs. Our French friends from Olathe, KS said they wouldn't stop anyway. :0)
     Baptiste gave us a quick little detour through St. Germain-en-Laye, 25 min. away. There is a grand palace/chateau there and a very "high end" neighborhood. My excitement couldn't contain itself when I found out today by "googling" that this is where Louis XIV was born and lived for 20 years. But, even more exciting to us is that one of Russell's Grandfather's of the Scottish/British Kingly Stuart line was sent to this castle and lived here after his exile from Britain in 1688. King James lived in the Chateau for 13 years and his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692. James 11 is buried here in the church. We'll have to come back to take a picture.
     Saint-Germain-en-Laye was founded in 1020 when King Robert the Pious (ruled 996-1031) founded a convent on the site of the present Church of Saint-Germain.
     Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs. The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an oldcastle (château-fort) dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. Francis I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the estwhile royal château. Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town.
The Church of Saint-Germain
     Baptiste was preaching this day so we continued on our journey to Cergy LeHaut which was only another 15 min.
      Once we arrived we each gave the traditional French cheek kisses or a hearty handshake to every person and then we were able to enjoy the "louange". The singing began with M LeLevier leading in louange with his spanish style guitar playing and Lydia on the electric piano. There are a number of seminary/Bible institute students or former students who attend. One from Switzerland, two from Germany, and two from France.
     I had my English Bible, my French Bible and journal precariously on my lap as the French was being read. The verses from the message were taken from Thessalonians 2:1-12. This is a very hard passage to think about especially if one is not sure about becoming a Christian or have rejected Christ. It speaks about God giving people over to believing the lies and will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. There are those who don't want to believe but it keeps these same people from enjoying what the Father has for those in this category. It talks about how God who loved all of us and by his grace gave us "eternal" encouragement and good hope, so we can encourage our hearts. He strengthens us in every good deed and word. Wouldn't you want that over the other?! I do. Thank you Lord for your love and for all your good gifts!
    After a great morning we went out to lunch at Buffalo Grill (an American restaurant for a Hamburger and fries/creamy cheese dip instead of ketchup and small French dessert delights). The young seminary Bible students and young pastors came with us. We had a lively discussion in French and English around the table continuing the conversation that was started from the verses shared this morning.
It was a good day. - Carol

Saturday, January 14, 2012

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the "Attitude and Blessings" sign.

"Welcome to Flight #2012. We are prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Attitude and Blessings are secured and locked in, in the upright position. All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt, and discouragement should be put away. Should we  lose altitude under pressure, during the flight, reach up and pull down a Prayer! Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight. The Captain has cleared us for takeoff--Destination - GREATNESS!!"

(I "shared" this from a friend on her Facebook page. I am sorry I do not know where it originated from.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

For my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways...

The last 2 days...

1. A little boy about three wearing a warm, fuzzy hat and a down filled, fat coat looked up at Russell last night as we were walking to the store. Holding onto his momma's hand he pointed and yelled, "chapeau!!" (pronounced shapow)That means hat in French. Russell was wearing his cowboy hat. We laughed.

2. Because I did not leave enough time for us to "get out the door" from lack of sleep, we did not make it to our trains on time. Let's try another train, I suggested, and we'll try to get to a bus when we get there but it only got us so far. We were picked up to head to our language lesson and had lunch with our wonderfully sweet co-worker friends. We sang little baby songs to their petite fille (little girl) in English. Her mama put on an English song with animal sounds. We sang that together. She is 7 months old and her mama teaches sign language to adults and to babies. The babies and parents learn to communicate with sign. They began telling her to go to the bathroom at 4 months old and she will do it on command! She won't think of it on her own though but that is amazing.

3. We saw older elementary and junior highers on the public bus after school -loving their laughter and their animated chatter. Public transportation is a part of life here. We Americans would never consider letting our children get on a public bus without parents. The children swipe their monthly pass and run onto the bus.

4. Our co-workers are having 4 young adults over to their home this evening. 3 are non-believers and one is a Christian. One of the 4, a young woman, went to America last year to study English. She couldn't get into a public school at the time and went to a Christian school to learn her language. Her teacher was sharing with her that she helped to financially support a young French couple in this certain town. The woman told her teacher that was her home town in France! She couldn't believe it.

The teacher let her read the newsletter about this couple's work. The woman is here in France now and is coming over to to their house tonight as she signed up for multiple sessions about what Christians believe and to learn about the Bible. She is an atheist. As the old saying goes, "God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform".

You are the GOD who does wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. Psalms 77:14

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Invitation from a neighbor for Tea

Russell was standing outside waiting for one of our teammates to come over this morning. I was upstairs finishing getting ready. A younger woman was downstairs and began to chat with our guys. Found out she was born in Argentina, grew up in America and married a Frenchman in the states and they moved here later. She said she wants to invite me over for tea. That's very sweet and nice of her. We have something in common besides America. They are without hot water and sounds like they are only getting heat from a wood fireplace.  We have 3 electric wall heaters which are working.

Versailles is experiencing some mild weather for this time of year but it is getting down into the 30s at night and this week the high is 45ish - 50. There are young families who live here as well as elderly so we would appreciate prayer for the workers to be able to get the heat back on sooner rather than later. I'm so thankful we have been having some milder weather. Last year Paris had 16 inches of snow. They haven't had any yet for which I'm grateful.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

We had an Epiphany!

We enjoyed our first French service of this season. Baptiste gave a message and the songs of praise were beautifully sung in French. Not by us, though, as we had to get the speech correct with the right rhythm, rhyme and inflection. A bunch of mumbling was going on and occasionally getting it right.
     Baptiste and Franck are avid cyclists and I brought over 2 Pedal and Ponder books with devotionals. Franck was surprised that I remembered one of his loves.
     Emilie and Baptiste invited us over for lunch with sweet, precious Lina - 7 months old. Today, they told us, is the Day of Epiphany. I asked what that meant. The following excerpt can be found at www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/france/epiphany-in-France/2424:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The celebration of Epiphany is celebrated in many countries across Europe and around the world; however, France has their own unique traditions in the celebration of Epiphany. In France, Epiphany is also referred to as La Fete des Rois as a tribute to the Three Kings the holiday celebrates Since we are living in the city of some great Kings I thought it was also fitting. Epiphany is a Christian holiday and is traditionally a day of feasting. The day celebrates the revelation of God in the human form of Jesus Christ.
     The day also celebrates the journey of the Three Kings, Melchior, Gaspard and Balthazar, to Bethlehem. The Three Kings made this journey by following a bright star which illuminated their path. Epiphany has been celebrated through much of the world since the 4th century. The day that the event is commemorated is traditionally January 6th in France, although parts of the country choose to celebrate Epiphany on the first Sunday following January 1st.
     TraditionsThe celebration of Epiphany also includes many traditions. In France one of the most popular ways to celebrate the day is through food. The French prepare special cakes on or near the day of celebration aptly known as King cakes. The special cakes are baked across the country; however, different regions have unique variants on the recipe. In Northern France the cakes are traditionally made of a fine, flaky pastry that is filled with an almond cream paste. In the South of France by contrast the almond paste is replaced with a fruit paste. The cakes are also available as plain puff pastry. The Kings cakes are more than just delicious snacks as they also incorporate their own unique traditions.
     When preparing a batch of King Cakes it is traditional to include one bean or ceramic figure in the batter. This inclusion means that the bean or figure will be hidden in one of the pastries. Later on, when the cakes are consumed in celebration of Epiphany whoever finds the bean or figure in their cake is named King or Queen for the day and is rewarded with a paper hat.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
King Cake
Baptiste & Emily

King Baptiste found the the little ceramic baby Jesus
and got to wear the crown!

Les Jardins

I couldn't go to sleep until 4:15 this morning and ended up sleeping until 12:15pm. sigh. I thought I had this jet lag licked. We wanted to be out and about by 1pm. That didn't happen.

After a time of trying to fully wake up we did a devotional this morning. Russell and I read part of Psalm 141 in French and English. I have been doing this for a while now at home and take my French Bible to church and read from it while the pastor or teacher are reading in English. Tomorrow we'll go by bus to the "all French worship" service of one of our church plants. This will be the main church we'll be working in while here. I usually take notes during the sermon to see how much I'm understanding and look up some of the words I miss. It helps me stay awake. Listening to another language when you are trying to "get it" can be very tiring after a while. Usually we have someone I can lean into if I really want to know what that person is saying and I'm missing it.

Since it's Saturday and we are still trying to find our way around our neighborhood. Russell's wearing his Aussie cowboy hat to keep warm and has his long coat with cowboy boots. You can imagine the looks. He towers over most people. Hey, at least he's wearing gray and black, the color of most clothing here. we took a walk to the Palace grounds 15 min. away from our apartment - along with 100s of others and really enjoyed it. These are King Louis XVI Les Jardins and it's free to walk around.

It was a pleasant 50 degrees, since the wind wasn't biting today. The government has been painting the entrance gate "gold leaf" and also small sections of the Palace along the roof. It's very bright gold and looks new, which is garish to me. I will try to include pictures soon.

We walked around back to see what the gardens look like in winter. Most of the large statues are covered with dark green canvas to protect them. There are very sculptured evergreens. I'll include some pics of those trees. (think of the Disney World or Disney Land sculptural trees but these are shapes, not animals.) One large, incredible fountain with statues around it was very bizarre. Most sculptures represent something. There's a story to tell. We will try to find out what this story is. There are turtles and alligators at the bottom of this great sculpture going all around it in a circle, the next level has people who have frog heads and webbed hands who look like they are either scared or trying to reach the mother and children at the top of the fountain. The mother and children at the top are beautiful. This is a fountain that was probably made in the 1780s. I thought maybe the mother represented the queen and her children and the animals all around represented either protection for her to warn her or they were the evil trying to get to her. If anyone knows what I"m talking about please enlighten us. It's directly behind the palace on the lower level. I can probably look it up online to get my answer.

On the way back, not far from Hotel d'Ville, we stopped at a very contemporary McDonalds. I know we should be stopping at a French bistro. This was very handy and it's the largest one I've ever been in with an "easy order" ATM like machine in 5 languages. You push your language and place your order. The order goes up front, they make it and you pick it up. The other order lines were long with high school and college kids waiting to order and we were the only ones doing the Easy thing. So we got our food right away. They probably were using cash. Also in this McD's they have a Latte/Espresso area. I did not get a coffee though. Fancy/Schmancy.

My real reason for going was I knew they'd have a free bathroom and maybe a sink in each one - which they did. French restrooms are unique. There are usually individual stalls with no sink or maybe a tiny one. The sink is in the hallway outside for men and women to use. This has felt uncomfortable to me at times or at least strange.

Now we must get our bus directions to find l'eglise por demain. (the church for tomorrow)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Trash, Wash Clothes, Figure Out the Dishwasher Day & Buy a Baguette Speaking French Day

Today was a good day as I accomplished some things. They may seem basic to you but here it will take longer as we figure out the French instructions and locations for everything we are trying to do. Russell found la poubelle (trash location) in the garage ("cave" - cellar is the proper translation). I finally remembered how to work the washing machine based on my experience in Massy where I lived en Mars et Avril. (March and April). The washer seems more complicated with various temperatures and difficulties. It still takes an hr. and a half despite it saying 30 min. rapide. I don't believe it.
     The apartment does not have a dryer but the owner graciously has a "drying rack" for our usage. I will include a picture of this. i was hoping not to have to use one and still hoping there may be a landromat somewhere for drying. That's for another day. It's very easy to use a drying rack. Carolyn said it takes around 10 hrs. for the clothes to dry which will take some planning if you have items you may need right away. For instance, I'm used to doing laundry one day a week. I could use up most of my essential clothes if I wanted to. No longer can do that.
     We ventured out around the neighborhood after taking some pictures of our apartment complex and landscaping. Le premiere écolé let out for the day and all the children met up with their nanny's, grand méré's and le méré's plus bébé's in strollers while we walked by. Les enfants are so cute in their little French attire. I wanted to take pictures but they would probably not appreciate it.
     Our next stop was the Boulanger et Patisserie. This is the bread and pastry shop! Ooh la la! So beautifully done. Bonjour Madame! Je voudrais le pain de rustique et un baguette, sil vous plait. Merci! (Hello, madame, I would like the rustic bread and one baguette, please. Thank you!) The rustic bread looks like it is a whole grain bread with flaxseed. The baguette is with their special whole grain white bread. Americans cannot get the flour they have here. If you find a French bakery in your town you may find out that some will actually ship the flour to America. We know our French bakery in Kansas City did that until his place burned down. We cannot find Monsieur anymore. How sad.

Nous remercions Dieu pour vous. (We thank God for you!)

It's a New Day, A New Dawn, and We're Feeling Fine

It's a new day, it's a new dawn, and I'm feeling fine! Thank you Michael Bublé - once again. Ha. I feel like my old self. Thanks to Carolyn, Peter and Sammy for going to IKEA with us last night and helping us get a few more things to round out our apartment - especially an extra mattress to go on top of this futon. Slept all night and woke up at 6. (Russell at 7 am, which is good.) Now on to our world after jet lag.
     Jerry found out we won't have hot water for a couple of weeks. We can live with that. The furnace exploded in this building before we arrived. No, we are not in Papua New Guinea like some of our other friends on a missionary journey who are probably experiencing more interesting life. We are in Paris and we should be having hot water. Ha. But we have a stove and it heats water. :0) And we have little electric heaters in each room to get some heat. Yay! Thank goodness for that or we wouldn't have heat. It's a lovely apartment and we can't complain.
     Our first journey on the bus was fun; to see the neighborhoods, the people, the children getting out of school hopping on the city bus to take them home, the beautiful old houses and their shutters, the ornamental iron fences and stone walls. We were fortunate to have a bus driver helping us to change buses since we were on the wrong one but still made it to our destination on time. That was a nice little miracle to me thinking about another bus ride I took back in March that got me out to Timbuktu and I had to find my way back by train, missing work.
     A few hurdles to to get over: buy a baguette - speaking in French; locate the trash area - Poubelle. Russell's tried twice; introduce ourselves to the Guardian (manager of the apartment). He is Portuguese and told Jerry that he had to learn French and we will too. So there you go.
     We'll work on language studies 20% of our time - tutored in grammar or formal French education and Conversational French. I will not only help put on this year's Prayer Conference, but will volunteer with a Women's Shelter here in Versaille, redesign the France V.I.E. office, making the workspace more viable. We'll have multiple art workshops around the Paris Metro area and I'll work with Jerry in the office on various projects. We'll mentor and disciple and meet in Small groups. There are some little ones here - missionary kids and I'm sure we will have some kid time. :0) Plenty to do.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paris Arrival and settling In.

We arrived the morning of the 3rd, extra early with the tail winds. Jerry, our field director, was there to greet us at Charles De Gaulle airport at 7am. No problems. He whisked us off to Cergy LeHaut (pronounced sairgy low) with many of our team coming in or already there to welcome us and have "A Tea". The Australians in our bunch loved Russell's Aussie cowboy hat. What a lovely reception! Since France is 7 hrs. ahead of Kansas City we weren't the liveliest of company. I had fallen asleep while in the car on the way over while Jerry was talking. How rude. :0) It was midnight to my body and I'd only had 1 hr sleep from the night before.
     We went to our apartment in Versailles following our welcome Tea. The electricity was off in the building because a hot water heater blew up, but, the manager and his team have been working on it. The garage was pitch black as we were looking for a parking space underneath the building where Jerry could park. The elevator was not working.
     The three of us lugged the 4 - 50 lb heavy baggage up to the second floor in the dark Let me correct that. The guys lugged the 4 heavy bags and I tried to carry smaller bags from Carolyn that included some bedding and linens all at once along with a smaller roller carry-on. Jerry had his phone lighting the way. On one trip a young Frenchman - another messenger of mercy, lit the way with his phone from behind and came to my pathetic rescue and carried the 40 pounder. I'm such a weakling. Merci!
     Our 1 1/2 hr nap came immediately after Jerry went back to his family. I had only slept 1 hr. on the plane. Russell got a little more. Our journey had begun the day before leaving for the airport at 9am. I laid my head down after being up for 33 hrs. minus my nap.
     Carolyn, Jerry's wife, came at 3:30 pm. to take us grocery shopping. 260 euros later (350.00 USD) we are now well stocked for some time! Since we don't have a car we wanted to get as much as possible for the month.
     Today, being Wednesday, we met with them again to get more direction on our work which I will fill you in later and then we set up our Nav-I-go monthly bus and train passes . Thursday we'll be off to get a French banking account and then over to IKEA to finish getting the things we need for the apartment. It's a very nice apartment and we are soooo thankful to those two for the work they have done to get us a lovely place to lay our heads.
     The Chateau de Versailles is on the way down the street to our apartment complex, only a 15 min. walk. Buses were scattered in the parking lot and tourists were outside walking around when we first drove by. It's an amazing place! This is the palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. They have beautiful gardens out back with it's very huge and fortress like facade from the front. I'll take a picture someday to include here.
     We awoke at 4:30am yesterday - managing to stay up until 10pm the previous night, pushing ourselves to put things away like food and clothes and organize our little pieces of pottery and art around to make it homey.
     The oven is so tiny one can put one item in there. The tiny dishwasher is right below the oven! Amazingly cute. Perfect for us. Our nearby train station is called "le Gare de Chantier" which is a hop, skip and a jump from our apartment. Le Gare is the train station. No we didn't go to the Boulangerie (to get our morning baguette today) too tired and we had some leftover from last night. But we do have our chocolate du Pain. No, chocolate is not a pain. Pain (pronounced Pah - shwa "a" sound) is the word for Bread and it's like a croissant with little bits of chocolate in them. Cheap too. :0) Just remember I will be walking a lot and already loaded up with ibuprofen to get used to the walking and stairs. The elevator still does not work but we have electric in our apartments and yet no hot water. There is lighting in the hallways and circular stairwells now. I'm so thankful we are only on the 2nd floor.
     Thank you to Carolyn for the coffee maker. I'll add pictures later when I start taking them. We need to show our apartment complex. This jet lag takes the energy and brain cells away to try to remember to do some of these things. This is my 5th trip to this wonderful city. God is good and we are looking forward to meeting our neighbors and getting into community life here after acclimating. We rarely hear people talking in this apartment building. I would like to go over to them to see if their water heaters are working yet. Maybe today!