Monday, September 15, 2008

Four Explore France!

This is our itinerary for an exploratory trip to France, which we booked through Expedia today:

Flight: Portland to Paris
Traveler names: David Williamson, Jennifer Williamson, David Williamson, Chandler Williamson

Portland (PDX) to Washington DC (IAD) 10/27/08 7:55 am - 3:47 pm United 250
Washington DC (IAD) to Paris (CDG) 10/27/08 6:20 pm - 6:35 am Lufthansa 9377 Operated By: UNITED AIRLINES

Paris (CDG) to Frankfurt (FRA) 11/06/08 6:40 am - 8:00 am Lufthansa 4237
Frankfurt (FRA) to Portland (PDX) 11/06/08 10:00 am - 11:55 am Lufthansa 468

We had been going back and forth about when exactly we should go over with the boys, but God made the dates clear for us over the weekend, when we learned that the entire GEM France team is going to have a retreat the first week in November, and we were strongly encouraged to attend. There are several advantages to scheduling our trip to coincide with this retreat:
  1. We will get to meet the entire GEM team of missionaries who are working in France.
  2. We will get to be in on the vision casting and strategic planning.
  3. We will get a first hand view of what is being done and where we might fit in to God's plan for France.
  4. Part of the retreat is dedicated to the topic of the role of the family in world evangelism--which is absolutely central to what we feel God has called us to as Four For France. The speaker for this portion of the conference is Rob Reinow, the founder of Visionary Parenting. You can visit his website by clicking here .
  5. The other main focus of the retreat is church planting, which is central to GEM's vision for reaching France. The speaker for this portion is Neil Cole, author of Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens.
  6. The cost for the entire week-long retreat, including room and board, is only going to be 50 Euro per person--which is what we would expect to pay a day under normal traveling circumstances.

After a weekend of prayer, both David and I felt like God was nudging us to go to France for this retreat. Thanks to some very generous special gifts that have already been given by dear supporters, we have the funds in our GEM account to do it. We will head over a few days before the retreat so that we can visit the language school that David and I will attend and the public school that the boys will attend in our first year in France. We will also give the boys a two-day whirlwind tour of Paris. The retreat is at a camp that GEM owns that is nestled in the French Alps, so we will have a six-hour drive from Paris to the retreat center.

If you are wondering why we are traveling in and out of Portland, OR, the reasons are that we saved over $200 per person on airfare and my parents (who live in the Portland area) agreed to keep Libby, the dog, while we are gone.

We hope that you will join us in praying for this trip. Please pray that our boys will have a deepened sense of God's call on their lives. Pray that David and I will get a clearer picture of our role in God's plan. And pray that our love and passion for the French people will continue to grow.


  1. wow that was a change since last we talked. I am glad to hear that you will be able to attend this retreat and I know that meeting everyone face to face will be huge-so happy it worked out.

  2. Hooray! This seems so right....God is so good!
    xoxox Mom/Janica