Thursday, December 24, 2009

European Update #1: We Finally Arrived and Finally have Internet

It is Christmas Day and the team has been enjoying a relaxing day at the Chateau after three very long days of travel. It took us a while to get here, but God was very good to us and we can sense His hand leading us as we go. Here is a look back at our trip to St. Albain France...

We left for the Philadelphia airport on December 22 and all went extremely well. The drive down was good. We got 12 people and 16 bags checked with an excellent flight across the pond. We didn't sleep much, but it was fun to leave Philadelphia at 7 PM and arrive in London England at 7 AM the next morning. But shortly after we landed is when things started to get really interesting...

As worked our way into the arrival section of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, we were informed that our flight to Paris had been cancelled because of the weather and that we were to go through customs, get our baggage (all 16 pieces) and then move up to floor 3 to work on getting new flights. Didn't sound too bad until we realized that we were only 12 people out of thousands in the exact same position as us.

As we got down to baggage there were literally bags laying all throughout the terminal. It took us nearly two hours to get all of our luggage only to find out that we couldn't leave until Thursday AM. With that, a few of us got into another 2 hour line to try and get a hotel room and some meals compliments of the airline. We were thankful it all worked out!

The fun part was that we decided to head into London on the tube (subway) to see a bit of the city. After nearly 40 hours with no sleep it was a trip into the city to say the least, but we survived and enjoyed seeing the Thames river, Big Ben, the Parliament buildings and the London Eye.

Thursday AM we headed into the airport once again and thankfully all the flights (two different ones 3 hours apart) all worked out well and we all arrived in Geneva Switzerland safely. The fun part was that we got to see the Swiss Alps and get another stamp in our passports.

From the Geneva airport we were met by Jay and Debbie Hocking of the Chateau and drove the 90 minutes to the Chateau. We were all very thankful to arrive safely with everybody in tow and all 16 bags of luggage. We then enjoyed a wondeful meal together, got some hot showers and climbed into bed by around 12 midnight France time.

Here is what we are most thankful for:
God provided us great safety through all our travels.
All of our luggage arrived in one piece.
We have had a roof over our head and food in our bellies admist all the changes in plans.
Everybody is getting along great even though sleep deprived over three days of travel.

I will look to post more today as we celebrate Christmas day here in France... I will also look to get some pics up as well for all to see and enjoy.

God is beginning to open our eyes to how needy Europe is for the Good News of Jesus so please continue to pray for us as we seek to encourage the missionaries and their families serving over here. Please also pray that God would place within us our need to have a global concern for those in need of Christ.


Pastor Steve said...

Praise God that you all arrived (finally) with all your bags. Sounds like quite the adventure! Also sounds like you are maintaining a good perspective. Continuing in prayer....

Pastor Tim said...

Thanks Steve. We are truly grateful for God's hand of blessing and care upon us. Thanks to all who lift us up in prayer daily!

Grace Student Ministries Blog said...

Keep the updates coming...God has been bringing the team to mind MANY times each day and I continue to pray for a great and fruitful trip! I'm happy to lead tours of Paris if you should decide you need to go back :)

Pastor Scott said...

Tim, I love the pic of you by John Calvin's chair. Is the word TULIP carved in it anywhere?

Sure miss you, bro! Merry Christmas to you and the team!

Pastor Tim said...

Doug: We might not get to see Paris... We may need you to lead us on such a tour!

Scott: No tupil in the chair but I must confess that I was quite moved at some of the other monuments I saw of the eary church fathers who gave so much for us to worship freely.