We are on another train heading out of beautiful Paris for Cannes. We will spend the night there with a Christian Brother and his wife, who own a hotel and are letting us stay there free of charge. That is so kind. You wouldn’t believe the cost of hotels in France. Paris is an amazing city. The architecture, the rivers, the history, and the masses of colorful characters are incredible. By the way, we didn’t feel an ounce of anti-American feeling. It was just the opposite. Everyone was very warm towards us.
This train is moving at over 180 MPH heading for Monaco, and thankfully the carriage we are in is clean and comfortable, and we are eating good food. I say “thankfully,” because we are all exhausted and needed to sit down. We have carried bags up and down so many steps we have lost count.
We arrived in Paris last night at around 11:00 PM. Duane and his team arrived ahead of us and shot B-roll of the Eiffel Tower and other well-known locations. We met for breakfast the next morning and I laid down the main script (about the importance of purity for the Christian). This will tie in with Todd’s script about the Puritans he was filming at the same time in Scotland. I spoke about how many within the contemporary church could never be called “puritanical,” and that the pure character of God needed to be thundered from the pulpits to awaken the false converts that sit among God’s people. That was done on a grass area with the massive Eiffel Tower behind me. As we were winding down, an over-emotional park security attendant walked towards us yelling something in French. Apparently she was telling us that we couldn’t film on the grass area. She finished with a loud “Viola!” The American equivalent is “That’s how it is buddy!” She did, however, say that we could film on the sidewalk.
Despite the theft of our sound equipment, we were able to film. I felt sorry for Tony (who is a sound perfectionist) who so wanted to do a good job, and had to use minimal equipment was very frustrating for him. Still, things seem to be working out.
After the shoot, we broke for a quick lunch at a restaurant. Scotty and a few others were eating outside when Gypsies walked passed and asked for his chicken bone. Being the kind man he is, he lifted his plate to give the poor people some French Fries he had left. One woman grabbed the plate and tried to run off with it! The owner suddenly appeared; started yelling at her, then chased them down the street. He said that they were always stealing things from his tables. We apologized and walked under the Tower, across a bridge, and Mark, EZ and I preached open air a couple of times about a mile from the Tower. The interpreter was good. One official there tried to stop us by saying that we didn’t have a permit to speak. I told her through an interpreter that we didn’t need one because we weren’t using amplification. She backed down and said something like “Be careful you don’t break the stone steps.” I guess she had to exercise some semblance of authority. It was strange because I perhaps could have done some damage if I had had a sledge hammer, and I didn’t have one.
After the sound equipment was so easily stolen I took my belt off and threaded through two loops and through my bag. That’s the way we are transporting the entire mini DV’s (21 so far) from our filming. If someone stole that bag, the entire trip would be a waste of time. So whoever steals that, takes me with it. Viola!
STOP PRESS! We have been on this train for three hours. Everyone is asleep and Duane has pulled out a bag that was given to the team. It contained twenty large cakes of deluxe chocolate . . . the good stuff. Chris, Duane and I totally lost control. I’ve never eaten so much chocolate in my life. I think I overdosed on caffeine. I can hardly type . . . but the three of us are very happy.
Back to Paris. EZ, Scotty and I preached open air outside Notre Dame and got a large crowd. Our interpreter was wonderful—an American sister who knew how to translate with enthusiasm. On the way back in the train we had around 5,000 people in our carriage. I showed the team how to do “crush” evangelism by putting my backpack into the face of a French woman. The lady in the opposite seat began laughing which gave me a clue as to what was going on. I then turned to Mrs. Crush and offered her a million dollar tract as a consolation. Then everyone around me took tracts and watched a little slight-of-hand.
On the next train some musicians got on and started singing. I gave one of them five euros and gestured that I wanted to speak. He handed me his microphone and I gave a short gospel message to the passengers on the train.
We met with Todd Friel and team (team three) who were in Paris for a couple of days. We did an interview for Way of the Master Radio and quickly left for the train station. We were like ships passing in the night. Last night they arrived late in London to find the hotel had given away their rooms. They had to sleep on the floor. The poor guys.
Five countries down--eight to go. We arrive in Monaco tomorrow. Keep us in prayer. We are so grateful. God bless, Ray
P.S. I just interviewed an atheist on the train. He was a 56 year-old, who backslid after we started talking and said that he believed in a kind of force. He also said that there was no right or wrong. I asked him if I stole his wallet from him if it would be wrong. He said rather than it being wrong, that it would be his fault for allowing me to steal it from him. If I raped and murdered his daughter, was that wrong? He couldn’t make that judgment. Wow. Trish and I then walked through the train looking for more interviews, and were shut down by the police who were on board. They said it was “forbidden.” Surprise.