After everyone left our house on Sunday, Dave said, "Wow...we have a community."
This past weekend was our fullest yet!! And we loved it, but on the Monday after, someone told me to do nothing, and I did just that...nothing. While Dave is away this week at the Nazarene Leadership Conference in Germany, this morning I finally cleaned off the last dish from our big Raclette gathering on Sunday.
It truly was a beautiful mix of people that God brought together. Several people from the church came, we invited our first and current landlords, the lady who relocated us to this home, and an American family we just met.
We weren't planning on inviting either of our landlords, it just happened. Dave one day mentioned we were having people over to our house and invited them to Raclette. It was awesome having them there b/c they know we we're here as "missionaries" and partnering with a church, but when we moved in, they said they didn't mind why we were here, but that we couldn't have "church" in our house. Now that they got to meet part of the church crew, I hope it put them at ease.
Our first French landlords were also there. To our surprise, when we walked into church on Sunday, there they were - we saw their son's wheelchair up front. Later "F", the friend at church who invited them, came up to me in my kitchen and said it was the first time they've been to church (wasn't sure if she meant ever or just Montpellier Naz). She said, "They don't know Jesus, but they heard about him today." It was awesome to speak with their son and see him smile, and to hug them again. We were invited over to their house again, and are excited about where God is taking our relationship with them!
It's awesome to see God at work in our relationships already. The husband, of our French neighbors whom we have weekly dinner/desserts with, has made a real connection with Dave. He asked Dave one night what his passions were, other than sports, and Dave said his faith. That began an opening conversation about the difference between faith and religion. Later that night he said to Dave that he would like to teach him how to cook French food (which made me really happy!!!!!) and also wants to learn many things from Dave.
The other family we invited this past Sunday was an American one. I met the mom at school; her daughter is in JJ's class, and they are from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvannia. This past Saturday we discussed why we're here and I was able to share with her our story a bit. Today I had lunch with her - during the infamous lunch break that everyone takes here, and it was yet another fruitful time of connection.
I remember David Fraley saying the "table" is so important in France, and I saw that at work this past weekend. There was a huge introduction around the table before people began to eat, and I watched people interact as they were cooking their raclette.
And not only that, but the next day my landlord knocked on my door and said to me (in French) that she admired us having so many people over, that we did a great job hosting. Coming from a French woman, this made my day!! But more importantly, I loved that she could see how rewarding it can be when you open your home to people.