The last days have been marked by several interesting contrasts.
First, as I use my praying walks to explore more of Massy, it’s clear that, small as it is, there are significant differences between the various areas. There’s ‘old Massy’ with the small shops and cafés, older houses mixed in with some smallish blocks of flats, such as ours built in the 1980s.
Near the TGV station there is a large area packed with new office blocks and apartment blocks (many quite upmarket and gated). Then at the other end of town, near the Opéra, are lots of not quite so snazzy but quite large apartment blocks; North African musak playing in the supermarket…
The second contrast has been in our Church experiences here. On Sunday morning we attended the Baptist Church at Les Cèdres: the building is sizeable, the congregation large (there are two services on Sunday mornings to get everyone in).
Last night we went to the new Assemblées de Dieu (Pentecostal, like the UK Assemblies of God) Church plant in Massy. There were just 6 people there, including us (some regulars were unwell or otherwise detained). The Pasteur has tried very hard to find somewhere to hold meetings and been rebuffed many times, so at present the Church shares premises with the Reformée Church located in ‘flat-city’ near the Opéra.
But please don’t imagine some grand piece of ecclesiastical architecture: it is a small group of rooms buried half-underground, rather resembling a bunker to be honest! We hope that we can be an encouragement and help to Christophe, the Pasteur, and our other brothers and sisters, as they try to get this new plant off the ground.
After a short time of worship to begin the informal service, Christophe looked over to me and said (in French), ‘Chris, would you like to share something with us?’ Talk about being dropped in at the deep end 🙂 . I was able to share a little, which seemed to be on a similar theme to what God had earlier given Christophe to share for that evening. Isn’t He good?
The final contrast has been in our days. We’ve both been used to doing exactly what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. Now we must keep to a strict timetable, be right on time for every lesson, do our homework… Quite a difference!