My apologies…. no blogs over the weekend, partly due to the fact that my stuff didn’t seem to want to connect to the wi-fi…. and when it did, I was too far away from the router to be able to do anything!
It was a terrific weekend with Francis & Diane Dognon, in their lovely church ‘Eglise de la Source’ in the beautiful town of Lisieux, Normandy, Northern France. Lisieux is the second most ‘holy’ place for healing in France, after Lourdes, due to the residence there – many years ago, of course! – of Saint Therese, who had healing power. Francis & Diane have been pioneering a fantastic work in the region, not just the church, but a very live and active cafe at the heart of the huge council estate (a third of the town’s population live there), and they are in contact with hundreds of desperate families and individuals – Christians in Waiting – and in recent weeks, a number have come to faith in Jesus.
It is a lovely journey there by road, after the Portsmouth – Le Havre ferry crossing: you immediately come to the magnificent ‘Pont de Normandie’ – a bridge so high you’re in the clouds when your at the pinnacle…. wonderful countryside, weather… and, of course, the moment I arrived at the Dognon’s home, lo and behold, a baguette miraculously appeared on the table…. 🙂
Friday evening, I had the pleasure of having a meal with Rene and Lisa (boy, it’s so hard not to say Rene’s name like Edith did in ‘Ello ‘Ello!), and then to share with their burgeoning home-group. Many were new faces from last year, and they were desperate for stories of what God is doing – and it raise faith for what God was going to do over the next 48 hours. Francis & Diane had very thoughtfully arranged for me to stay at the home of some of the leaders in their church – worked well for them, too, I hope, as they were away and I fed the cats! – as the Dognons were having the young people for a sleepover at their house on Saturday night – sleep being a somewhat ‘generous’ word!
The home-group was lovely, the home I stayed in was right out in the country, with beautiful gardens. It’s always a wonderfully ‘blessed’ experience to SEE faith rising in people as they hear stories of God’s deeds – especially the more recent additions to the church – now no longer Christians in waiting!
Saturday was packed full of sessions with yours truly speaking, about healing, and then getting the folk there to pray for each other for healing…. I did sense that there were two or three who God was investing the gift of healing in: and another – Rene’s wife, Lisa, most definitely. One of the recent new believers is a lovely lady – Laurence (I assume that’s how it is spelled!! – I discovered that my French was totally non-existent over the weekend, frequently replying with ‘Si’, ‘Senor’, Buenos Dias’ – all good words, just the wrong language!), who has only been in the church a couple of months, but already she’s bringing an increasing number of other Christians in Waiting not only to church, but to the Lord. A genuine 2 month old evangelist – with a healing ministry thrown in…. she was healed on Saturday: she’d had torn muscles in her shoulder, and a ruptured supra spinatus tendon, giving her huge pain in her back and arm: also, three badly-done and failed surgeries on her stomach, were also giving her huge problems. God healed them all, according to Laurence…. Annie, who translated for me at most of the meetings, had tendinitis in both calves (or is it calfs??!) – it went. Another lady with a bone spur and a trapped nerve in her ankle – healed.
Joel, one of the many brought to the ‘La Source’ by Laurence, was at every meeting – he only went for the first time 2 weeks ago – and Friday and Saturday, looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders….. Sunday, utter, total transformation, life in his eyes, his whole appearance and demeanour had changed. There were other lovely encouraging healings, and other folk just beautifully transformed by the Lord.
It’s fantastic that God is moving in this way in the western world…. it is such a delight to to be involved not only with what he’s doing, but with wonderful people like the Dognons, who really are making a difference in their locality. Sunday morning, there was a get together of leaders from various churches that Francis is drawing together – from Combon, Honfleur, and other places. It was great to have the privilege of sharing with them, praying for them, and giving just words of encouragement. The couple from Honfleur – Elizabeth and Jonathan – I got particularly close to very quickly – maybe because Elizabeth is Peruvian, and I could speak Spanish with her and Jonathan! – no, it was much more than that: and, who knows what might come of it, but Elizabeth wants me to go to the churches led by various family members in Lima, Peru, to preach and encourage them…. invited back to Lisieux already (date to be fixed though), and, of course, in a couple of months’ time, I’m in Rouen…..