April 13, 2011

The two hills of Lyon...

We're half way through our vision trip and soaking in as much as we can about this beautiful, but utterly lost city of Lyon.  The first weekend we were whisked off to a chateau about one hour north of Lyon.  Beautiful setting surrounded us.  It felt as if we were in the wine country in California (or in the movie, Mama Mia!).  After just 24 hours in the country, a couple of the kids were already waffling on their desire to move here, but the weekend with some of the wonderful people who attend International Christian Community of Lyon (ICCL) was like a weekend away with family and won their hearts.

The past two days have been filled with lots and lots of walking.  Getting out of bed this morning was quite painful - blisters on the bottom of my feet and leg muscles aching with every move.  (I guess I should have continued after week 3 on the 10-week exercise plan at MapleTronics!)  We all know what we'll be involved with when we get back home - a walking program!

Lyon has two hills on the north side of the city that are affectionately called "the working hill" and "the praying hill".  We walked through the working hill on Monday afternoon, Croix Rousse.  This area of 100,000 people has no evangelical church presence.  Tuesday we visited Forviere, the praying hill, where the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere is set beautifully on the hill.

Viewing the Basilica on "the praying hill" from "the working hill"
The basilica was built to honor the virgin Mary, the mother of God.  They prayed to her on two separate occasions to save their city, once from the plague and once from the the Prussian invasion.  Both times the city was saved and they now worship her for saving them.  They began building it in 1872 and finished it in 1884.  It was built to look as a fortress from the outside and majestic from the inside.  Throughout the inside the walls are adorned with ornate murals of stories from their view of history and the virgin Mary.  As is common within the catholic churches, there was no of evidence of Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, throughout the entire structure.  What a sad concept to realize so much emphasis is placed on the mother of Christ, but no understanding of how close to the source of life-giving hope they could experience through Jesus Christ.

Here are a few pictures (again from my phone) of the Basilica.  We will post great pictures that Morgan took later on our Facebook group, Par-Lay-Voo.

The front entrance (top half) of the Basilica
Inside view from the back of the Basilica
The ceiling work in the Basilica
One of the murals on the inside wall of the Basilica
View from the Basilica, "the praying hill" of Croix Rousse, "the working hill"
Looking over the city (this is just the left angle from the top of the hill) was breathtaking.  Yet, how can such a beautiful city of 1.5 million people be so far removed from the love of Jesus Christ?  There is believed to be only 3,500 evangelical Christians in this city; that's only .2%!  Such a needy people who currently don't think they are in need of anything but their own intelligence.  What a challenge AND an opportunity to share Christ's love with them!

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    We have mutual friends (a couple who is preparing for ministry with ReachGlobal in Prague) who gave us the link to your blog, knowing we would be interested. So I thought I would write to you with encouragement and some thoughts.

    My husband and I have been serving at a Bible camp near Grenoble, France for a few weeks each summer. This will be out third summer and we will be there for seven weeks this year. I was just struck by this blog and encouraged by your passion for this place that needs the Grace of Christ so much even when the people think they need nothing, as you say.

    What also strikes us when we visit France about the churches is how they are often labeled musees (museums) - to them remnants of an ancient and primitive past, not places of worship. Frankly, it is devastating. Missions in Europe (and France specifically) are so difficult because they seem to go so slowly. While missionaries in places such as Africa and South America are seeing conversions everyday, we are blessed to see such a change once every few years. But we have seen the youth at camp revitalized by the Word and excited by the fellowship with believers - know that the work that is done is not in vain and is in God's perfect will. I am confident that people are being and will be reached for Christ through ICCL and your ministry.

    I also wanted to point out that my favorite passage of Scripture is 1 Peter 4:7-11, and so because of all this I just felt the need to share. We will be praying for your family as you take this leap of faith into an incredibly dark place. May God's light shine through you there.

    Please do feel free to contact us. We feel like we could learn a lot from you and hope that we can be a resource for additional connections. God bless. :)