Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

A complete listing of very specific requests for prayer can be found under "Prayer Requests."

For those just getting to know us, please visit the special sections to the right.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cours d'Anglais et d'art

Russell is shifting into second, swerving around the velos, watching for the motorcycles who come up from behind and pass, looking at the huge brilliant morning sun and the contrails from jets in the blue sky are a few of our sights as we travel up hills and through the woods to French classes 4 days a week. Home again, home again jiggety jig to prepare for the English/Art classes that started this week. Currently, we have 16 students. Not bad for only being here since mid-July. More will be starting in January when our French is complete and we can add another class for younger children.

Most furniture is in place now. 2 days ago we purchased a closet for our hang-up clothes. Maybe by Saturday it will be put together. Little French children came to our house this Tues, Wed. and Thur. to see who the strange people are that are speaking in a foreign tongue. They are so cute and tried very hard to do their lessons. Some of them had a gouter (pronounced gootay) while we started the afternoon classes . This is a snack the children have after school or even at home between 4 and 5. A long cherished tradition.

"What can you do?" "I can run." What can you do? I can jump. What can you do? I can dance. I can sit down and I can sing." We danced, sang, jumped in place, ran, in place and sang with a drum beat in our chairs. "Very good" is English for "trés bon." "Today" is English for "aujourd 'hui"." We reviewed the basics to see where the children were in their language learning. The last 20 - 30 min. we had an art lesson coordinated with their language learning. One of the little girls yesterday told her mother that she didn't want to go home. The mother looked at me and smiled.

The parents want to know why we moved to France? We gave them a brief overview of our job of working alongside young French Christians to start new protestant churches because there are so few. We shared how they want to worship together and have community. Of course we shared our love for art and our skills in this area. Then, we invited them to adult events that are also in English. Some of them want us to let them know when our Gospel Cafe will be and also when we plan to have our historical art tours. At least 5 adults have come to me to ask if we would teach them English. It's amazing the demand.

For now we are glad it is Friday since we are like children and back in school. There is a need for a break but the weekly test comes quickly so of course there is still study even on the weekends.

What can you do?

Bon Weekend!

Friday, September 6, 2013

C'est dans la poche (It's in the Bag) and A French dinner

We now are official residents of France! The immigration office was requesting our presence and after it was said and done we got our medical checkups completed and walked out with our residence permits. Wow - what a process but everyone was nice. 

After saying that my blood sugar was fine she said, "Madame you should lose weight or your blood sugar may go up." I know that and told her that I've lost 7 lbs in the last month." Madame, did you know that I think you have a hernia in your chest." What?! 

She said, "Not to worry." You may have had it for a long time and there is really nothing you can do. I will give you the CD and you can take the x-ray to your family doctor if you wish; the next time you go in. "Have you had a chest x-ray?", she asks. 

I said no. I've had a mammogram but not a chest x-ray. 

She said, "that's not the same. This shows your lungs and liver, etc." She was very nice and said she was doing me a favor by giving me the CD. Madame Doctor said, "The government did not need me to keep it and was not concerned". 

Russell was 'practically perfect in every way' (that's usually me) and he was wondering what was taking me so long. I found him sleeping in the chair when I came out. The nurse in the waiting room said, "Madame is that your husband?" "Yes, I replied, "Il est fatiqué." She looked worried. I just smiled. (Madame, you have no clue how much physical and mental work that man has been doing recently, you'd be fatigué too.) We are on the downhill slope now to a little more rest.

Our shipping container arrived last Monday 3 hrs. late so we lost 3 Frenchmen who had to go to work. But, 3 Englishmen and 1 Australian stayed to help. Praise God! We are continuing to go through boxes and rearrange furniture. whew! It's fun to see the house unfolding.

Our registration day for associations has finally arrived and it will be tomorrow. We got the affirmative from the mayor that our association can provide subsidies. That is incredible because usually if it has "chretienne" in it's bi-laws they will turn the group down for subsidies. If it wasn't for our new precious friend C we would not have moved forward like we have. She gets things done and has connections. 

Last Saturday she invited us to her house for dinner. We met her husband and their 3 beautiful children. All 3 are originally from Vietnam. Some nuns that C knows are working over there and encouraged them to adopt. It is quite a hard ordeal to adopt from France because one has to stay over there 2 months at a time. They had to live 1 year in Vietnam before all adoptions were final. All the children are not related and this went on for a period of years. The nuns themselves are persecuted and they cannot tell people where they sleep at night. God is going to give them a great reward.

We enjoyed our visit with them and before dinner we were asked if we played ping pong. G, their 8 year old, wanted to play someone, so Russell did his best to slaughter him. G would not be undone. He was slamming the ball just as fast. It was quite fun.  

C had said during her invitation that this would be a typical family meal. "Please do not come dressed up. We are casual."  Her husband who is from Burgundy wanted to share the wine from his region. He told us that we had to have one large open stemmed glass for sharing. This is so we can let the oxygen breathe to bring out the flavor. Little G put the appetizers or entree (that is what it is called in France) together for us - Pringles, peanut butter puffs and peanuts. Pretty funny. 

C made fish with legumes (vegetables) which was tasty for the main plat. They offered cheese and bread with dinner which is usually not done in that way. C cited it was her American influence and then served the salade following an apricot tarte. The tarte had the inside of the apricot seeds which were extracted from it's shell. Quite good. Her mother-in-law gave her this recipe long ago. Who would have thought?

C grew up in Canada part of her life but was actually born in Louisiana before her family headed north. Her parents are French and eventually they moved over here. Her husband gets disgusted when she serves the meal this way because, "You do not have salade with the wine. You have cheese with the wine", he said. "It doesn't taste right". She was laughing and he was sitting there rather proper. I think they've had this conversation many times.

C is going to sit with us for a couple of hours tomorrow at the Fete des Associations to introduce us to families who are curious about taking Anglaise with Art. And Papa will be at the tennis table to sign up tennis lovers.

Bon Vendredi! (happy Friday!)