Anil is a gourmet chef from India, and specializes in food from his home country. He has worked at two of the most famous hotels in Nice: the Negresco and the Palais Mediterranean. He and his wife Anju had something even more significant happen in their lives three years ago.
I met Anil and Anju last Sunday evening after preaching at the International Church in Nice, France. That night, I met a guy from Angola; two students from Romania; two students from South Korea; and an art dealer and his wife, from near Monaco. The church building itself has a facinating history. The pulpit was built a century ago, by some folks who were members of Charles Spurgeon's congregation in London. Like many from the U.K., he would visit Nice on holiday. After meeting Anil and Anju, I learned more of their story.
The Christian faith was new to Anju when they came from India. She and Anil got connected to the international churches in the Nice area, and Anju discovered the love of Jesus Christ. Three years ago, both Anil and Anju were baptized in the Mediterranean. They were baptized by James Arnold, pastor of the International Church in Nice, as well as the International Church in nearby St. Paul De Vence.
After preaching at both churches last Sunday, I was able to see the signficance of the international church. In the new globally connected world, the nations are coming to Nice and its environs. They are students, business people, immigrants, and others from every corner of the globe. Even French people are being reached. I met one woman in St. Paul who was on her second visit to the church. She wants to work on her English.
Molly and I are here to serve a gathering of pastors of international churches, and we're having our meetings at the International Church in St. Paul De Vence. All meals are being provided at the church--a huge savings for the guests. But we had another bonus tonight. Anil, the gourmet chef from India, came to offer a seminar in the preparation of Indian food. All of the pastors and families got to enjoy a tasty meal of Indian cuisine.
We might not be staying at the Palais Mediterranean, but we still got to enjoy some of their food. And that's another benefit of the international church.