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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

God is good - all the time

It's almost 9.00 p.m., and delightfully balmy here in L'Isle-sur-le-Doubs, in north-eastern France. The temperature, this afternoon, was about 40 degrees Celsius, but the river was very refreshing as we splashed around, and swam. This morning, there wasn't a single cloud to be seen in the sky. The site at which we are camped is quiet; well-appointed; and the owner and her daughter (neither of whom speak a word of English!) couldn't be more helpful.

That's the good news! The not-so-good news is that there is no car parked beside the caravan - or anywhere else on-site. Yesterday, as we headed south towards Lyon, I was aware that there was something not quite right with the car. However, I had had some work done on it before we left, and I just made a mental note to get it to my mechanic as soon as we returned home, for a more thorough inspection. We were on the motorway, having just passed an exit, when I noticed that the oil-pressure warning light had come on! Those of a technical mind will now be 'way ahead of me! We came off the motorway at the next exit - unfortunately, some 16 miles later - but, as it was an automatic paying system, my dear wife was taking a little longer than would have been the case if the exit had been manned. For the sake of the engine, I decided to stop it for a few moments. BIG mistake (I think!). When I tried to restart it, it just didn't want to know. :-(

The upshot of all of that was that we had to send for the breakdown truck - that had to come from beyond the previous exit. The driver was superb. He poured in some oil, but we quickly noticed that it was pouring out from the bottom of the engine! That was when he pronounced the engine 'kaput'! - and it is only 20 months old, and has only got about 13,000 miles (21,000 km) on the clock!

He took it to his garage, here in L'Isle-sur-le-Doubs but, as a Peugeot garage, he was unable to do anything with a Vauxhall (Opel). He had to contact the nearest Opel dealership to come to L'Isle to collect the car - but he arrived in a truck that couldn't tow the 'van! Thankfully, this site is only a couple of miles away, and the local garage man arranged for one of his vans to tow us here. We have been advised that the problem may require the replacement of the engine - and that it could take two weeks!!!!!!!

Yet we can still say, with absolute conviction, that God is good. We did not have an accident; He provided some very helpful people to assist us (including our younger daughter who is attending to the 'paperwork', back home!); the sky is blue; the sun is shining (okay, the forecast is for rain on Friday!); the river is free for swimming; we have wi-fi internet access; the local Lidl store is within walking distance; etc., etc.

When I read, in today's e-mails, of further atrocities against the Christian community in Pakistan, where two brothers who had been accused under the infamous Section 295C of Pakistan's blasphemy laws, were cold-blooodedly murdered, I was reminded of how richly blessed we are. Pastors Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel had reportedly just left the courtroom in Faisalabad District and Sessions Court, Punjab, when five masked gunmen opened fire on them. Zafar Hussein, a (Muslim?) police officer who was escorting the brothers, was also shot as he tried to protect them, and is reported to be in a critical condition in hospital.

Rashid and Sajid were arrested, earlier this month, and charged with blasphemy after they were accused of distributing a pamphlet that local Muslims regarded as blasphemous against Muhammad. Handwriting experts have since told the police that the brothers' writing did not match that on the offending leaflet.

This is but one in an increasing number of incidents of overt persecution in Pakistan (go to http://mail.google.com/mail/#search/release%2C+petition/128ac3979672f673 for further information, and access to an online petition). So, as we give thanks that our 'problems' are so few, and that they don't effect our personal safety, we do not forget those who, on a daily basis, are suffering for the sake of the Lord Jesus - many, like Rashid and Sajid, to the point of death.

Please join us in our remembrance, and in our prayerful support.

1 comment:

CannuckCol said...

Sorry to hear of your car problems, but there IS a reason behind it all. It could of course have happened on your way back to the ferry when you may have had to miss the ferry (I KNOW you wouldn't have minded HAVING to spend a few more days in France) and then have the EXTRA expense of buying a new ferry ticket. As you say though the main thing is both of you are okay. No doubt will talk when you get home