During the last week of 2011, 16 members from the Bordeaux Chinese Christian Fellowship (Groupe Chrétien Chinois de Bordeaux), including those who are no longer in Bordeaux, attended a winter Christian gospel camp that took place in Nouans-le-Fuzelier, a tiny village south of Paris. The 4-day event brought together some 150 attendees from various parts of France, with special guests from Taiwan and the US. It was an unforgettable experience – almost every moment was filled with something to do, and it almost felt like there was a little…too much.
In the midst of four fully-scheduled days of seminars, workshops, games, shows, and interactions at the gospel camp, I would sometimes escape from the crowd to linger in a quiet place by myself. It was no doubt fun to be with so many enthusiastic, passionate, energetic people my age, but some peaceful personal time was much desired and required.
Nouans-le-Fuzelier was, if I may risk offending anyone, in the middle of nowhere. I think the location was chosen intentionally over say, a big city like Paris, so that even though we spent most of our days with other people, we were able to embrace the beauty of nature while renewing our hearts and our minds, away from the suffocation of noise, pollution, and stress. In turn, we were able to truly draw closer to our God, our creator.
Here are some pictures that I took while I was spending some time by myself.
The night before we headed to Nouans-le-Fuzelier, the group from the Bordeaux Chinese Christian Fellowship stayed at a church near Aubervilliers in Greater Paris. This was the view outside the entrance. Truly nothing too spectacular, but the vivid blue sky that night and the mystic clouds gave the whole landscape a feeling of calmness and serenity.
There was a little lake at the farm where we stayed in Nouans-le-Fuzelier where we took a break after lunch on the first day. The reflection of the woods in the lake, even though the trees have all shed their leaves, is quite picturesque.
Winter frost on a thin branch outside the camp at Nouans-le-Fuzelier. People say it’s been a warm winter, but that’s assuming winter has already gone. No snow in Paris yet, but I did see a little bit of snow in Belgium when I was still there. I believe that winter is just beginning this week, seeing the drastic temperature drop in Bordeaux. Bienvenue!
Holes in a leaf after the rain.
There were several cats at the farm in Nouans-le-Fuzelier. What a beautiful animal, so gentle and tamed.
I love pigeon-watching, especially in Paris. Pigeons in Paris are more “enriched” than the ones I’ve seen in any other city because they’re so spoiled! While observing them for a good half an hour, at least two passerbys scattered bread crumbs on the ground to feed the pigeons. And I’m not talking about a little bit of bread crumps, but bags and bags of them! No wonder the pigeons are so large they couldn’t even seem to fly…
Well these ones managed to make it up to that branch, so there’s hope for them. One day all pigeons in France will migrate to Paris.
I find it interesting to photograph traces of light in darkness, the darker the better. This was again outside the camp, taken during a solo stroll. How many geometrical shapes do you see, kids?
Playing with light again, this time a small chandelier inside the church, radiating brightness and warmth upon everyone.
Candle in a cathedral, giving off a little bit of light, a little bit of hope.
Back in Bordeaux for two weeks, and heading back to Belgium in less than three weeks. January is certainly slightly hectic…