It's a rainy, blustery, windy day here in Paris. I arrived this morning after a super easy check in at the airport, a super quick flight (I slept the entire way), and a very fast trip to my regular pad in Paris. I've been here in the Spring, Fall, and Summer, but never in the winter. The leaves have fallen and it was quite chilly even though it said it was only about 50 degrees---it felt much colder than that.
I'm here to visit the Paris Church of God and to attend a three day event with another church. A Muslim from Cote D'Ivoire is sharing with us about his conversion to Christianity and how Christianity is growing in the Islamic world. His first lecture tonight was very interesting. I could only understand about 5% of it, but it was still very good---what little I picked up. I think he's filled with amazing stories. I wish my French were better. I'm determined to start practicing again.
It was nice to see some of the Paris friends again--especially the young people. I have a good relationship with the folks here and I absolutely adore this city. I never get tired of walking past the grandiose buildings that are literally everywhere. Pastor Michel and I had a late dinner at the restaurant of an Arabic Christian that he knows here in Paris. It was literally one block from the Arc de Triumph. So now I know a Christian guy who will give us a great meal by the Arc de Triumph. I always enjoy my time with Pastor Michel and hearing about the realities of doing ministry in this heart of secularism.
Earlier in the day, while walking around near the Place de la Concorde, I found a great English bookstore thanks to google maps. I've always had a hard time finding an English bookstore in this city (there are suprisingly few considering the large amount of English speakers that live here) and I was hunting for a copy of the new V.S. Naipaul book "the Masque of Africa." I found it and I was thrilled to pick up a copy. I may comment on it in future diary posts.
Tomorrow another session in the evening, and then some more Saturday before lunch with some of the CHOG friends. I might write more later. But just to give you an example of why I adore Paris-----take a look at that picture above.
It's just one of many squares (or plazas) in Paris. And like I've said before, you can go down any street and see a stunning piece of architecture in this city (and don't forget all the great art work inside these buildings).
But just as an example. I go to the bookstore on the metro (because it's raining hard) and I come out above ground and this is what I see (see picture above). The Eiffel Tower in the background and the Obelisk at the Place de la Concord. That Obelisk is 4,000 years old! It was the Obelisk guarding the entrance to the Luxor Temple Complex in Upper Egypt and was built to honor Ramses the II----Marco and I just watched a recreation of that in the Ten Commandments a few days ago. It was transported to Paris from Egypt back in the 1830's! You know...before Abraham Lincoln was President.
So an AUTHENTIC 4,000 year old Egyptian Obelisk built for the most famous Pharaoh ever is just outside the subway entrance as I go up the steps. THAT IS PARIS! And that is why I absolutely love this city.