|Elder Burgoyne, Mussa, Elder Currie - Charleville-Mezieres Branche|
Ami/Freind of the Church
About a week ago our young Elders began teaching a young man (Mussa) from Sudan and his friends. Mussa is a refugee who has been here in France for about six months and is seeking asylum. The Elders find him very open to the Gospel and are encouraged with his willingness to make an effort to understand the truth. Mussa speaks pretty good English so Sister Clark has him in her Sunday School class.
Mussa committed to come to our Sunday meetings and so he did today for the first time. He is a bit on the quiet side but is very respectful and courteous. We are grateful that he came and we look forward to having in our French Class and Family Home Evening Activities on Wednesday evenings.
The opportunities we are receiving to serve refugees is rather interesting. While that was our desire for this Mission, it is not exactly as we had expected. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to know these people and to serve them. It makes our lives as missionaries all the more rewarding!
|Mussa from Sudan - First attendance at Sacrament Meeting|
Coq of the Week
We found our Coq of the Week atop a village church in Marby, France on a cold but clear and sunny Winter day. These coq don't seem to mind the cold but they really do perk up a bit when the sun shines. For the most part they are like our faithful missionaries......diligent and obedient. They are always at work and very obedient to the prevailing wind.
We appreciate the opportunity to encounter so many different coqs. In this part of France and Belgium, the Ardennes, there are villages without end - or so it seems. Many of these villages are just two or three miles apart. We are amazed that the Catholic Church could build so many significant buildings - even in the tiniest of villages. Many of these small village churches don't appear to get much use and quite a few are in serious disrepair. We get discouraged that just a very few can be entered and appreciated from the inside.
One has to imagine that at one time each of these small (some larger) churches had it's own priest and were well attended on a weekly basis. Nowadays there a few priests and those that remain have to travel a circuit holding meetings from time to time in a number of different churches. Hardly any of the small villages have a member of the clergy to watch over their people. A rather sad reminder of what happens when the truth can not be found and faith dwindles.
Passing through the many villages and seeing their church coqs adds interest to our frequent trips to visit members who live throughout the Ardennes.