Our Heartistry Experience in France is over. We will miss the hot croissants for breakfast and the beauty on all sides. We return home with so many memories of special times, new friends from different parts of the world and refreshed skills that will enable us to offer hospitality to our families and community. It is hard to capture all that we learned and experienced, but I would love to try! Enjoy the photos below (some of my favorites) and more pictures in the Gallery. The videos will add another element as you hear the sounds and feel the vibe.
We stayed in St Hippolyte-du-Fort, a charming, small village in the south of France. Our hosts Dudley and Janet and the YWAM community welcomed us to the Chateau de Planque, where we enjoyed hospitality in their "home", parts of which were built in the 15th Century .
We have had men and women attend the Heartistry Experience in the past, but this year we had 12 women attend plus my husband (lucky man!) They came from South Africa, the USA, Canada and Finland. Friendships were formed that will last way past this memorable week in France.
Hospitality is far more than setting a pretty table, but we certainly had fun doing exactly that while we were in France! Heartistry Experience participants had the opportunity to use the supplies provided (and whatever else they could find) to quickly set the table. I was amazed at the creativity shown- cherries from the cherry tree, fresh and silk flowers arranged in novel ways and the theme carried through with cloths and napkins. (I just LOVE napkins/serviettes and arrived with my case half full of pretty ones for us to use.)
We headed out on a few excursions to explore the surrounding countryside. We ate lunch in a medieval village, shopped Uzes market (one of my favorite places in the world), walked over the famous Pont du Gard and visited the Huguenot Museum (Museum of the Desert). We went down a Huguenot (Camisades) cave as we learned more about the persecution of the Protestants in that region during the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Not only did we receive hospitality from the local French community, but we had the opportunity to host two events at the Chateau. It is quite a feat to pull off preparing a meal for a big group in a short amount of time. This group did an amazing job! They shopped for all the ingredients in the local French grocery store, and prepared a Taste of Provence and a banquet with ease and flair! Cooking in a new kitchen, with people you have just met a few days before could be challenging, but all went off so smoothly and our guests loved the meals! Well done team!
We didn't spend ALL our time eating and hosting parties! We had classroom time and I covered 12 teaching modules. We learned about the Biblical basis of hospitality, the difference between entertaining and hospitality, simple hospitality, creativity, cross-cultural hospitality, family traditions and more. We had times of quiet each day when people could either have time on their own, personal devotional times or join in with worship hosted by the staff at the chateau. On the last day we spent time affirming each other. Some of the teaching session included hands-on activities and these were fun!
How would you like to join us on a future Heartistry trip? Read the testimonials of others who have been, sign up for our newsletters so that you can receive notification of future trips and start planning. If you are interested in a couples trip, please email me at Lyn@Heartistry.info as I am considering a specific Heartistry Experience at a different venue in the town that only accommodates couples.