Day 6: This morning, Niki and I had breakfast with our hosts and then traveled back to Carcassonne. Our coffee with the pastor was scheduled for 10am. Like Kevin, he also gave us some valuable advice and insight to working in France. The thing that stuck out the most about his advice was a warning that we do not come over and work alone. Like Kevin, he advised that we either work with someone as a team or work in close proximity to other Christians. He also advised us to spend the first two years after language school working with another church or missionary before venturing out to do our own work. Once more, we have much to think and pray about. We had prayer together, and then allowed him to get back to his work on the new church building.
Niki and I took the rest of the morning to visit the old City of Carcassonne again. This time, we had the Chateau (castle) in our sites. We wondered and winded through the streets of Carcassonne until we finally made it to the gateway that led into the Chateau. The tickets were only 9 euros, and we could spend all the time we wanted walking through the castle. I won't spend much space talking about our tour, but two things do stand out. First, when we entered into the building, there were two old gargoyles that had obviously fallen from...somewhere. That's not the funny part. When we walked by, Niki said, "Oh, look at those big door knockers." I looked around the room. "Where," I asked. "Right there!" She said, "Those are the biggest door knockers I've ever seen!" I laughed through the next three rooms. Don't worry, I eventually told her they were gargoyles, but you had better believe that I'm going to mess with her about that every time I see a gargoyle. The second little tid-bit that I'll share is about the walls around the castle. All along the outside of the castle were narrow, vertical openings in the wall. I told Niki that was where archers would take aim at their enemies while being safely guarded by the walls. I honestly have no idea if that's true or not, but the rest of our walk around the walls were spent watching Niki shoot imaginary arrows at invisible enemies. She's such a kid. Lol
I'm not sure if we took a wrong turn somewhere, but we suddenly found ourselves walking on the outside of the castle along the walls of the city. We followed it around what must have been half of the village. Eventually, we came to the large city gate and could go no further, but the view from up there was spectacular. We got some great photos. My grandfather recently passed away, and he was crazy about pigeons. While we were up there, we had some pigeons come and land beside us. I couldn't help but think about Pawpaw.
We worked up an appetite with all of that walking, so our next stop was to find something to eat. Someone had told us that the signature dish in that area was called cassoulet. Naturally, we needed to try it. It didn't take us long to find a little restaurant whose specialty was cassoulet. It was great! Basically, it's just white beans with chicken and sausage, but I loved it. I'm kind of a sucker for down-home cooking anyway. Some of our French friends made sure that we knew there was much better dishes in France than cassoulet. I guess that would be similar to a French person visiting America and raving over ham and beans.
While most of our day was spent touring Carcassonne, I feel like we were able to gain a better understanding of what life is like in this area of France. Again, we don't feel like we'll be working in Carcassonne, but the pace of life is probably pretty similar to wherever God will have us ministering.
After a late lunch, we drove back to Limoux. Niki hadn't had the opportunity to visit the village yet, so we took an evening stroll through town before returning to Jason's house for supper. She wanted to try and find some things for the kids and for our missionary booth. There really wasn't much to find, but we walked and talked until nearly dark. There are still some concerns that we need to pray through, but we can tell that God is at work.