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."

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Friday, June 13, 2014

"Oh the times they are a changing."

I needed to spend some time back in the states three weeks ago to come alongside our daughter and son-in-law and was able to spend a little time with other family before returning back to France. Russell took over my classes and everything, really, while I was gone. By the time I got back and acclimated again (one week later), we needed a break. 

Saturday June 7th, was the last GospelCafĂ©, of the season. Each concert was unique and our team needs to assess how we will move forward. We always had gospel music with one secular song each evening that might be familiar to guests. This last concert the band's secular song was, Bob Dylan's, "You Gotta Serve Somebody". Wow! powerful. A lot of whooping and hollering went on after that one and from the staff at the restaurant. So true.

Change is brewing here in Chevreuse. Summer is upon us. (weather wise, but the children are in school until July 5th so I have 2 more weeks of English/Art classes.) Everyone is into summer mode, it's noisier, motorcycles are out, move over velos and people looking to leave. We had hoped to have one more concert this season as part of  "La fete de la musique" but it was too much work for us to get it ready. Every city participates in this and in every town of France one hears music. 

Manu, our teammate, and the driving force of this project, in recent months has had to put in many hours per week on his script and copy writing job in Paris to fulfill his work requirements. We really need a bigger team. 

A two day trip to Normandy during this past weekend of the 70th anniversary of D Day (and our own 34th) was quite exciting, sobering and emotional.  We had never ventured to the coast and decided it was time. Only 2 1/2 hrs of a lovely countryside drive awaited us. The apartment we rented in Caen was right near a German prison who held French prisoners during their occupation; a sober reminder of those days. Who would have thought to have neighborhoods surrounding this un-used prison. Our journey took us to Pointe du Hoc where the thousands of mostly American, British and Canadian troops landed along with smaller numbers from other countries. The crators and German bunkers or remnants thereof, are still there. The coast is absolutely beautiful and the English channel can be seen on the other side. The lyrics to another Bob Dylan song, The times they are a changin" could speak to 1944 on that June 6th night. The coast that night was not beautiful and many men were slaughtered as they reached the top, or drowned before they could get up the cliff because equipment was too heavy. It was an 80 day campaign to change everything. And they did.

We visited the American cemetery and 19 heads of state came for this special weekend and visited or spoke at various sites around these beaches. By the time we got there they were tearing down the bleachers at the cemetery. Flowers from all over the world were still laying about. Junior High children made wooden plaques for their individual soldiers that were on Omaha beach at it's memorial. We are so grateful to the French who have lovingly cared for our soldiers. Each tombstone is assigned to a family who take care of it and the grounds are immaculate.

The town of Caen was bombed by the allied forces to take over the German sites. Leaflets were distributed by Airforce from the sky and unfortunately many did not get those leaflets. 20,000 civilians died that day. The Caen memorial museum is the most well done WWII museum in the world.

I had plucked a yellow camillia off a bush at the American cemetery on our way out. That one bush had 1000s of flowers on it. The flower was tucked behind one ear and we were transported back in time as musique wafted out of the radio on our way to Chevreuse listening to 1942 Glen Miller Swing.  In French the disk jockey shared how Glen Miller was a formidable musician and the troops loved him. It doesn't get any better than this.


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