Cultural Bonding

After a long time in Muslim country it can be good to get away into the free air in Europe. Though it’s filled with it’s own type of darkness, Europe has the freedom to preach at it openly and that can be like a huge weight being lifted off one’s soul after 10 months in North Africa. So that’s what we are doing this week, breathing in the freedom on a long drive.

Monday morning we pulled away early from the Basque Country of Northern Spain where I had had the privilege of preaching Sunday in Irun and Beasain with Bro. Juan Alvarez. He is a great man from Mexico with a love for God as deep as any I’ve ever met. My wife and I love the Mexican people. They are some of the kindest in all the world and the food is by far the best! Mary Ester, Juan’s wife, made some awesome tortilla soup Sunday night which was a great closer on the chicken paella we had for lunch at the Dodgen’s home (another missionary family). The Basque Country has some of the most beautiful mountain we’ve ever seen. It was truly a relaxing two days for us. We are praying that we can involve the Spanish churches more in the work of reaching the Muslims of North Africa.

So, pulling out of the Basque Country we made our way over the Pyrenees Mountains and along the coast. We pulled into Nice at the base of the French Alps and stopped at a gas station. I turned the car off and it would start again. I couldn’t find a single nice Frenchy to help jump my car but what I did find a lot of were North Africans. As soon as I started talking to them in Arabic they treated me like a brother. Two men from Algeria came to my assistance trying to power up my battery and finally popping the car’s clutch when our first idea didn’t work.

When we got to our hotel that night the Moroccan night auditor pulled a number of strings to get us a 6 euro refund, free internet, and whatever else I happened to need. When in France, I feel like a foreigner and these North Africans have become closer to me than my own people (being of European descent). So far I have made it through France with Arabic including handling a major car problem and check in to my hotel. Pretty strange.

I am right now getting our car fixed which is turning out to be a three day job and $1,500. Needed to replace the starter and the clutch! God will provide as He always has! The good news is that we made it safe and sound to my sister’s house and she is doing an awesome job of taking care of us while the care is being fixed. Good to have family in the army spread out around the world when you need them!

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