After two flights, 2.5 showings of "Letters to Juliet", and one fairly disgusting airplane meal, I arrived in Saint-Etienne around noon yesterday. I was very blessed to have my mom come with me and all of her contact with local church planters and missionaries. The couple picked up up at the airport in Lyon and drove us to my dorm. Everyone in France goes for a two-hour lunch break, so we had to wait a while to get my key. My dorm is about as wide as I am tall while holding my hands above my head. (I'm still quite jetlagged, so my apologies if things don't make sense). My room has its own bathroom in the room, which is wonderful since the only people I have found in my hall have been guys. I've never been in a co-ed dorm, so this will be interesting.
After Mom and I unpacked, set up my room, and bought groceries, the pastor of a church here (it's a house-church, so it seems very New Testament to me) picked us up and we went to his house for dinner. There, we met three families from the church, which was a huge blessing. One couple is from Pennsylvania, one from Texas, and one from England. The British family has two kids, a charming 22 year old guy who (sort of ) fixed my computer and a very wonderful 17 year old girl who already seems like we've known each other for years. I think it will be good here.
Today, Camille and I finally found each other, and we explored the town with our moms and another ISEP student. We started setting up things at school (which was a nightmare). The French are MORE unorganized than North Park. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? In theory, I have a meeting of ISEP students on Wednesday, but the CILEC classes (the French program we're in) start on Monday. Luckily, we're all together, so it should be alright. The lack of structure is going to drive me crazy, I just know it. We met another ISEP girl and the four of us are going to spend the day in Lyon tomorrow. Apparently, we don't have anything else!
And through all of this, I have already learned that my dependence on God will be very great this semester. Last night, I couldn't sleep even though I was so tired, and I was really uncertain and scared. Thankfully, I put the North Park worship album on my iPod, so I listened to that and prayed that God would stay with me and help me sleep. At one point, I felt a great peace, and I knew people were praying for me and that God was in the room with me. He always is, but I really felt Him there last night. It's just like Jesus said in John 16:32, "Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."