Eli gave Nicole a good goodnight hug. Tonight we hurt for our friend and fellow student Nicole. Nicole arrived at school the same time we did in January. She’s been a great friend and our boys love hanging out with her. This afternoon she got one of those calls that everyone living far from home dreads. Nicole’s dad called to let her know that her mom had a severe brain aneurysm and it looks like nothing can be done. Would you join us in praying for Nicole and her family? Pray that God would use this situation to draw her family into a relationship with Him. Pray that Nicole could get her passport and get home (her passport is currently in Paris as she was getting the visas needed for her move to Mali in December.)
We have become very acquainted with this little room! On Saturdays and Wednesdays Melissa and I try to take turns watching the kids for a 4 or 5 hour block each and the other person camps out with their French studies in this room at the school. A couple of evenings each week one of us will take the task of feeding the kids and putting them to bed while the other person gets some isolated study time here.
It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas… With colder temperatures, the cities decorations going up, and waking up each morning to see how far down the mountains the snow has crept overnight, it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Of course Eli singing Jingle bells in English and French as he’s learning in school helps with the spirit too. Recently while driving in one mountainous region of France we noticed all their deer warning signs were decorated for Christmas so I decided to stop and take a photo. It just so happened that the one I stopped to take a photo of had been shot through the neck. This of course made it even more perfect because it’s how I remember most of the deer warning signs in Idaho looking where I grew up.
Have I mentioned that France has a LOT of roundabouts (rond-points). While they’re usually filled with flowers, today’s had a chapel in the middle. According to the plaque on the chapel it is all that remains from an 11th century church that once stood here.
Today France shares a holiday with the States. It’s Armistice Day and France recognizes it as a holiday so there’s no school and most businesses are closed for the day. While the day officially marks the end of World War I, France like the US uses the day to remember those who died or were injured in World War I and other wars. Most towns in France have memorials dedicated to those fallen in wars. We’ve also found many reminders of the role the US has played in the history of France and are reminded and thankful for the service of our veterans.
Wow, talk about multitasking…
Melissa found going for a doctor’s visit or going to get her ultrasound very different here in France from her experience in the States. Her doctor’s consists of a couple of the rooms on the ground floor of a building that has apartments on the second floor. The doctor has a small office and shares a waiting room with the ultrasound technician (who also has a small office). When you enter the door you simply sit in the waiting room which really is more like a hallway wide enough for four of five hard wooden chairs to fit along the wall, and wait for the doctor. There’s no office staff, no nurse, and no support staff.
Since we’re used to saying “nous avons trois garçons” it should be easy to begin saying “nous avons quatre garçons”.
Have I mentioned the French love their flowers? Many times the smaller villages have a central roundabout and there you can really find some creative displays sometimes.
Well today was Melissa’s turn to share a devotional for the student chapel before classes. She challenged fellow students to remember that God’s purpose and desire for our lives is what really matters. She recounted the life of William Borden to illustrate a life fully surrendered to God at each step of the way. This is her second chapel devotion given in French and she did well.
We leave today to head back to our apartment in Albertville (about three hours north). We leave refreshed and thankful for the organization and people that oversee this facility. Pierres Vivantes is a small old village that is owned and operated to provide refreshment to pastors and missionaries to French speaking countries. They have 6 modern clean apartments in this facility that they offer for a very low donation per night. Our room spanned three floors of an ancient building and was much larger than our apartment in Albertville.
As we were packing up and getting ready to leave a van pulled into the parking lot and parked in the middle after sounding its horn for quite some time. It turned out it makes a route twice a week and offers bread from a local bakery to anyone interested in having their bread delivered. I think we were their only customers at this stop this week as we grabbed a snack for the road.
Even on “vacation” French studies are never far away. We used the evenings and the time when Aden was napping to try to cram in some more French.