les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fridge and freezer

Well we went to the church to pick up the fridge and freezer that we bought from Dik and Hetty.

I'll tell you one thing, we sure got our money's worth.
I'll tell you another thing, there's no way we're stacking one on top of the other !

The freezer is a good size upright - 4' tall with lots of shelves for ice-cream and plums from the local trees.
The fridge is bigger - 5' tall with oodles of room for all sorts of things. Cold drinks galore !

So we think at present that the fridge will live in the kichen and the freezer under the stairs.

We couldn't get both in the car at once so we need to go back tomorrow for the freezer.

I needed a dose of this today

Sometimes I need help in putting aside one thing and taking up the next. 
In moving on. 
In entering the now. 
In forgetting what is behind, pressing towards the goal and running.
Whatever metaphor you want to use. 

Today what I needed came with this : Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances for two pianos.

I hoped it would. 
I remember the first time I heard this piece. 
Live, in a free concert in Cardiff, played by Richard Mahon and Martin Jones-Piano. 
The TENSION at the beginning of the piece, the RESOLUTION at about minute 10.

Sheer healing musical medicine. I didn't watch the video. I listened while reading something helpful.

Why we don't make disciples...

Barry Cooper, of Christianity Explored, asks why we don't focus on making disciples.

He suggests several reasons that are thought-provoking.

Why don't we make disciples ?

Reason 1 - Cheap grace.

Reason 2 - Seeker sensitivity, believer insensitivity.

Reason 3 - Lack of basic church discipline.

Reason 4 - Hiding behind programmes and methods.

Reason 5 - Assumed evangelicalism. 

He's started suggesting a way ahead, but that's for a future post.

At the supermarket

Well we did our first big shop after our return.

Several small triumphs !
The car started and ran OK.
We found the entrance to the supermarket (they changed the access roads again).
I remembered the code for our French bank card.

One new friend !
A security guard now does spot checks if you've gone through the self-scanned area.
This big guy came up to me and said, "you know how this goes ?"
"Not at all"
"Oh, OK, it's just a spot check. The milk, was it one of the last things you bought ?"
"No, look, here it is..." showing him the bill.
"Where are you from ?"
"I'm Welsh. What about you ?"
"Burkina Faso"
"Oh, I've got friends in Ouagadougou."

We started talking about life in France, race issues in France and the UK, you know... stuff...

He's a doctoral student in business having already done a doctorate in sociology. By continuing his studies he can stay in France on a student visa.

We parted on first-name terms after I'd introduced Gwilym, who had joined us after buying himself a pair of chinos at a normal till.

I must look out for him next time I go to Carrefour, and since soon we'll have the kids back to school stuff to buy I will be spending quite a lot of time going back and fore to Carrefour !

Back in the swing at Bordeaux

First big shop done.
Car started wonderfully and ran as before.
Emails flying left, right and centre.
One meeting postponed. Another arranged.
First skype talk.
Various dates sorted out, others provisionally suggested.
Gwilym off early for his maths test.
Requests for help in finding accommodation coming in thick and fast.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cars and France

Well I don't know what's going on...

Earlier this year some friends drove down to Brittany. Their car broke down.

They came again this summer. This time the car was OK but she broke her ankle.

Some other friends went to a campsite near Paris, but their car broke down.

Other friends have had problems with their cars in the UK. It seems to me that we passed through a period when cars were incredibly reliable. I think of our Rover 414, our Toyotas and our first Citroën. We must have had ten to fifteen years of motoring without a single problem. Others may have had longer.

But now! Have cars become too complicated ? What's happened ?
We frequently hear of break-downs, even of super-reliable Japanese cars...

Meanwhile on arriving home yesterday I turned the key in the ignition.

It started immediately ! After four weeks !

I haven't yet tried to depress the clutch,
which is strange when you consider how hard it tries to depress me.

On house-swapping

Well house-swapping was a very pleasant experience for us.

The first house we got to stay in was in a small village just outside Aberystwyth, a stable conversion in a lovely quiet place.

We especially liked the kitchen that was plenty big enough to eat in, and the children liked the TV !

The second house was very different, a terraced house in the middle of Shotton. It's a beautiful house and right in the middle of all the folks we know.

And while folk were at our house they :

1) mowed the grass. This poor dab caught it at a bad moment. We cut it before leaving but there was lots of rain so it grew really fast before our first guests arrived ! Since then it hasn't rained at all so the "lawn" is now brown and crisp.

2) fed the guinea pigs and gave terminal care to and buried one of them.

3) trimmed the trees ! Again we had trimmed them to the desired "living parasol" effect, but our guests siezed the idea and cut back any odd dangling bits - and cut back the low conifer

4) left some very nice Fairtrade products - tea, chocolate biscuits, etc... and a vacuum flask !

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back in Bordeaux

Following a few weeks of camps, conferences and holidays in the UK we got back to Bordeaux yesterday.

We attended  :

SoulSurvivor (Gwilym with friends from North Wales)
CCIW camp (Gwilym and Catrin - same site, different weeks)
UFM Family conference (all of us, Gwilym just for part)
EMW Aber conference (all of us, though Gwilym in a youth flat)

All conferences were excellent. Travel was uneventful (except for that CCIW campsite field and a dose of aerosinusitis for me on the return flight - OUCH!!!)
Oh, and our luggage that swelled from 20kg to over 40!

We stayed in super places thanks to Hothorpe Hall for UFM and to the kind souls who did house-swaps with us.

Blogging was sporadic because I had no laptop with me, only my aging iPad, and typing on the iPad is for short messagettes only.

We saw some of our family - great to see Nige & Ina, Val & Alan, Kath & Huw and Haze and gang.

We spent good time with our home church - special thanks to all for your loving welcome and generosity, and especially good to begin to get to know some of the new folks better.

Now we're getting back into the swing here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

last song at Aber

aber singing

Cwm Rhondda

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Aber singing

Aber singing

singing at Aber

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

singing at Aber

Aber singing

Sunday, August 05, 2012

UFM Family Conference

Last week was the UFM Family Conference. We try to go every two years and we arer expected to go every four at least. It's always a good time when we catch up with friends and colleagues that we have known for years and years and years.

Many of the folk are personal heros, like the friends who work in the Ukraine, and those who work in countries that shall not be named (Voldermortenstein), and the couple about to go to China.

This year Peter Milsom, the outgoing Director of the mission, was speaking from Acts, and his ministry was helpful as ever.

Some super guys from Birmingham, AL were there to talk about their ministry, one hundredfold, which aims to encourage and help people in online ministry. George was especially helpful. I asked him about apps for Android and iOS and he told me what people pay for those apps that all look exactly the same (like THOUSANDS of dollars) and suggested instead making our websites mobile-friendly. He showed me how to do it, and I thought...'hang on a moment' and looked at bordeauxchurch.info on my mobile. It was already mobile friendly !

So the next projects are QR codes on visiting cards, then a three minute message linked to mobile friendly websites. Pretty sure I can do that using audioboo. Oh yes, and George called me "Sir". They're good guys. They don't yet have a web presence themselves because they are so busy helping folks like me. Good, eh?

There was another highlight of the conference for me. Amanda, who was organising the music accompaniment at the conference, had a rather unusual flute with a black plastic button. I remarked on it, only to find that her flute is a Miyazawa. (Flute players will gasp at this point) "Play it tomorrow!" she said.

So I did. Or rather I thought of what I'd like the flute to do and the flute played itself. Honestly ! It was just a wonderful flute ! People remarked on how good the flute sounded that morning, but all I did was read the music, the flute did all the hard stuff by itself.

And I became a guy who once played on a Miyazawa.