Friday, August 9, 2013

Franco Fridays: Punjabi Church

Our team had the privilege of meeting with some of the Punjabi Church of Paris in the home of missionaries, Randy and Debby Owens.  We met Randy earlier in the day when we headed out Metro-hopping, and it was an encouragement to me to meet his wife that night.  I just thought it was a beautiful thing to see her joyfully opening her home to these men who were sons in the faith to her, preparing Indian food; and when I saw the framed pictures of her grandchildren, I saw a little bit of what she gave up to be there in this season. 

We had a time of worship, and it was joy to see the joy on their singing faces, even when we couldn't understand a word of their songs.

We knew that they had been learning about sharing their testimonies, and KJ had a couple of guys ready to share, but then Randy asked him to have two guys and two girls share, and I guess KJ thought he could risk putting me on the spot, so he did, and I freaked out on the inside.  I didn't know if I could share my testimony quickly, and I didn't think it could be possible that these men could relate to the story of a little girl growing up in the home of a pastor, gradually growing into understanding her faith.  I bet their stories are completely different, I thought.  Also, I'm just not a fan of being put on the spot as a public speaker.  

But as these men started to share their testimonies, two brothers who are behind the couch, so I couldn't really see them from my angle, shared about how they grew up with a father who was a bishop, and I felt the Spirit within me say, "You're not as different as you think."  And it was encouraging.  And each one of these men had grown up with some exposure to the gospel before their conversion, and the power of the gospel to save, brought tears to my eyes for the second day in a row on this trip, and I felt that it was so good and right for me to be there.  It was hard to leave the responsibility of caring for my children to others for, but it confirmed once again in my heart that God had a plan for me in being there.

I don't think I shared our trip video on the blog, but you can hear some of this church's great singing on it.

  ODBC Paris 2013 from KJ Pugh on Vimeo.

After worship and testimonies came fellowship over my first Indian food ever.  It was delicious.

Those guys laughed at me for taking pictures of my food, but I wanted to remember, and isn't that what people in America do these days?

KJ is talking with Anjilo, the pastor of the Punjabi church, who happens to love English literature and studied it at his university in Pakistan, because we're not as different as we think.

And I need this recipe for chai, because it was amazingly creamy, spicy, and delicious, and you could taste the nutmeg, YUM.

Then it was goodbyes and back to the train and a late-night ride to Rueill-Malmaison.

And a little goofing off, because it was nearing midnight, so...

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