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Entries in France (4)

Thursday
Jun092011

Europe Trip 2011: Andrew Visits Paris

A panorama of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, photo by CBC graduate, John Elshaw. (Click to enlarge)

You know you’ve arrived in the main city of Paris when half of the people are in the streets scurrying to and fro like swarming ants, and the other half are looking at them from street side bistros where they sit with legs crossed, smoking cigarettes and cigars, and sipping espresso or Perrier. People-watching is a national pastime for this city’s sophisticated residents. Andrew and his granddaughter Rhiannon decipher English subtitles on a French café menu. For fun, she wears the napkin on her head. (Click to enlarge)They love to lounge in cafés and discuss the human circus passing in front of them. To them, it’s far better than TV.

Having just arrived from Amsterdam by train, we were hungry and scurried through the human circus to a typical café near our hotel. The next indication that we were in Paris came in the form of sticker shock! Everything--- including a mediocre hamburger--- was WAY expensive! In the short time we spent here, it amazed us to see the amount of commerce flowing in this dynamic city as hundreds of thousands of tourists paid heavily for everything from taxis, to rooms, to dining on the River Seine, to tour busses, to tickets to the Eiffel Tower.

Later, in the lobby of our hotel, a businessman from Cleveland sat with his laptop open. I asked hopefully, “Free Wi-Fi?” Andrew preaches from the oldest stage in Paris. (Click to enlarge)He looked at me as if I had just dropped off of the turnip truck. “Nothing in Paris is free,” he assured me in a tone reserved for the uninitiated.

Our hotel sat a scant half block from the Theatre Dejazet. Mark McCain, a local American pastor and partner of Andrew’s ministry had booked the theatre for our service on the night following our arrival. Our first and most difficult task was finding the entrance. For the first 12 hours of speculation, we were sure that it was the unmarked black door between two cafés opposite the hotel. But it turned out to be on the other side of the first café. Who would have guessed? A growth of grape vines had literally overgrown the marquee so that it could not be read. In America this would have spelled attendance disaster, but in sophisticated Paris, Andrew prays for Parisiennes who have come seeking salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Click to enlarge)“…EVERYONE knows where the Theatre Dejazet is, Darling.”

In fact the Dejazet is the oldest theatre in Paris. This is where Mozart and bunch of other guys with French names you would never pronounce performed. Well, now this stage was about to hear the almost-too-good-to-be-true-news from the mouth of Andrew Wommack. The musty velour seats and curtains were soon to rustle to the sounds of praise and worship.

The painted ceiling of the Theatre Dejazet. Not the Sistine Chapel but… it is what it is. (Click to enlarge)It was nearly impossible to do photography in the old theatre. The lights were dim, or out, or otherwise not-working, or else glaring like open furnaces on the stage so that, by contrast, Andrew blazed in the picture like a candle flame. Hallelujah, none of this was an inhibitor for the Holy Spirit. We could see that He was still glad to show up anywhere two or more gather in His name. Even in musty old, expensive, urbane, sophisticated, Paris. Praise God!

Theatre photos courtesy of David Hardesty.

Filed Tuesday, June 7, 2011 from Paris by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.

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