Another new experience

Today's challenge: what to do when you miss the train

I am in Lyon, visiting a church here that has a dynamic Muslim ministry up and running. I want to observe their system: what works, what doesn't. Fortunately, I have missionary friends here to visit for two days. This morning I rose at 5:30 AM (ugh) and caught my train just as the sun was coming up. However, we sat on the tracks for about thirty minutes, while the loudspeaker kept announcing "personnel problems." By the time we left, we were way too late for me to catch my connecting train in Paris.

So I found out how it works when you miss your connecting train. I had to find the train conductor to inform him that I was in need of a transfer. He told me not to get off on my intended stop but to ride on further across Paris to the Charles De Gaulle airport. There was another train going to Lyon from there. So I followed his advice, with about 20 other passengers in the same situation. We had about fifteen minutes at the airport to find new train, but they didn't give us tickets or seat assignments. They just told us to sit in any open seat and the conductor would let us pass without a problem as long as we showed our original ticket. It was weird to be at the airport, yet not be arriving or leaving from a flight. I managed to find a seat without too much trouble, and after calling my friends to update them on the situation, I made it to Lyon a few hours later than expected.

We took a tour in the Muslim section of town, including some shopping in one Armenian store that nearly made me homesick for Jerusalem. Walking in, it smelled just like the Old City bazaar, and I realized why--there were bins of loose Arab spices, like sumac, cumin, and tajine. I loved it! Then we found a little Arab restaurant and ate kebabs over couscous, which was delicious. Tomorrow I will meet with the pastor here to see the church and its ministries, before the evening prayer service. Then Wednesday, it's back to to Bordeaux for me, hopefully with no train troubles.

In other news . . . I was at church yesterday for eleven hours! We had youth group leadership meetings in between the two services and then another music practice after the evening service. I was so tired by the time I left. It probably didn't help that all day long the other young adults kept teasing me about having liver attacks!
Ariel Rainey