The anticipation, the fear, the constant rocking of our boat, the English Channel swell, the landing on French sand, the strange accents. I remember it as if it was yesterday.
That's because it was yesterday.
It was Deadline-Day for the Jones family 6 month visa, and we had to take a ferry from Dover to Calais and come back again. It cost me 52 pounds for the return trip and took an hour and a half each way. It was a great time of fun for the family. Those big ferries have playgrounds for the kids. Lots of fun!
Strangely enough, today is the 60th anniversary for the real D-Day, and we are letting the elderly Vets on TV tell us stories of what it was like for them in Normandy.
D-Day changed the outcome of the war. And it also affected the way we framed our missions work overseas. Many of the mission agencies and organizations that were founded in the early fifties (often connected with Wheaton College, Illinois, which was the American mission center before Pasadena and Colorado Springs) were given military vocabulary. Many of the leaders of these missions had seen military service in the 40's or were certainly inspired by the victorious stories of D-Day. From this viewpoint, missions would be talked of in terms of targets, strategic maneuvers, taking cities, etc.
In the eighties, with the cultural dominance of business, much of our terminology for church and missions changed to reflect our new infatuation and new cultural heroes. That change is taking place again now, as we move away from terms of business and commerce and replace them with concepts from new media. But there was a time, when D-Day was a source of inspiration and vocabulary for many of the great movements.
INTERUPPTION . . . 3 South Africans just walked in our door with a big bottle of Coke. They will join us listening to the stories. I think today is a great day to sit in front of the TV and hear these stories. These old guys are heroes. So grab some couch space and invite some friends over.