So this week we took the 4 to Pessac Centre, then the tram to Montaigne-Montesquieu before the 10 minute walk to the Eglise Baptiste de Pessac where my old friend Mr Bixby is pastor.
It's a church that we've had a bit to do with over the years : a friend, Joy, attended there and was involved with FAC, then two of Fiona's helpers attended the church for a year. It belongs to the Independent Missionary Baptist Churches of France, a group that comes from an American fundamentalist background.
We arrived at 10:20 and entered to find the place deserted, except for Mr Bixby who was getting the place ready. He greeted us warmly and then we found ourselves awkwardly placed by the door greetings people as they arrived. We beat a hasty retreat into the sanctuary.
The service began with a meditation on some verses from Romans 8, led by one of the guys in the church. He prayed, then we sang three hymns on a related theme : "Plus que Vainqueurs", "Celui qui met en Jésus" and "La Lutte Suprême". The hymns were all taken from A Toi la Gloire.
Then another guy read from Hebrews 3, which was followed by the offering. Three more hymns followed : "Pleins d'Espoir Levons la Tête", "Je sais qu'un jour" and "Seigneur en Silence" (this last will be known to readers as "Speak, Lord, in the stillness")
Then Mr Bixby preached on James 1:26 and 27, prayed and the service was closed with the notices.
Everyone was invited to stay and eat afterward - they always eat together - then the Bible Study began at 2 and would be followed by the English Service at 4.
We had our own English Service to be ready for so we left after eating (!), but we had a great time talking with a maths teacher as we ate.
We were wonderfully welcomed. I would estimate that there were 30 - 40 people present.
The walk back to the tram through the campus was lovely and shortly after we got home the children arrived, having eaten at the Cenon church.
We then got ready for the evening, which was on Genesis 6 - the Flood - Judgement and Salvation. I suppose we were about 15 people, some new folk present and some regulars absent. Our Iranian guys have dispersed, one to Grenoble and another to Milan, connected with Bible churches before they left. We miss them.
Somehow the evening seemed very disorganised to me ! People arrived late, we started late, we finished late, we ate late, everything was LATE !
Must not stress out about it. Just try to encourage everyone to be more PUNCTUAL !