Patrick and Marie-France are a wonderful couple that live between Albertville and Annecy. They also attend the Annecy church. They have a heart for missions and have got to know a number of the Togo families who have come to France to study French in the past 10 years. In fact they’ve been a great encouragement and help to many of us. They’ve been to Togo for short term trips, but are now taking steps to serve in Togo for a few months at a time. January 8th they will leave their home and family here in France and spend three months in Florida learning more English so they can better communicate with our Togo team. They will return to France in April and then hope to go to Togo for their first extended period of service in July. They could use your prayers as they take these steps of faith.
Today Aaron’s schools parent’s association had a small sale to raise funds for some of their school outings. It was held under tents and included a time for Aaron’s class to sing some of the English songs they’ve been learning. It was very crowded but it was fun to see how excited and proud the parents were of their children learning English. Aaron had a part of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” that he sang by himself. I think Aaron really enjoyed being able to sing songs where he didn’t feel lost the whole time. They were supposed to sing “The Hokey Pokey” but due to the crowded area they didn’t sing that. Aaron wasn’t excited about singing it but I was looking forward to seeing the French children sing this bit of American culture. The sale was mostly baked items that parents made to sell but it also included crafts that each of the classes made in school. I thought that was a genius idea… have kids make crafts in school and then get their parents to buy the craft their children made at this sale. After all, what kind of parent wouldn’t buy the craft that their son or daughter made? I’m surprised US schools haven’t substituted this sort of fund raising for magazine sales.
In order to try to eek out a bit more time for studying we’ve tried to consolidate some of our tasks. We now try to just do grocery shopping once a week (every Tuesday after class and before Togo Prayer Time), and laundry every Friday after classes. Here Aden is helping me determine if we have enough one and two euro coins to do laundry. Those that knew our shopping habits in Seattle will realize what a shift this is as we were at Costco multiple times each week not to mention Winco and Safeway…
Tonight one of the families on our team showed up at our door with everything we needed for dinner (we actually used it for two or three dinners). Since we are in the middle of four of the most stressful days in quite a while with exams, this was a complete blessing.
Escargot is sold all year long at the supermarket in the frozen food isle but this is an especially popular item for Christmas gatherings. Today as I walked past the butcher shop I noticed they had fresh escargot. We may have to try that for Christmas…
We are thankful that recently Aden has been willingly going to nursery on our school days without the tears and fits. He’s a fun kid who’s always on the go but is very aware of when one of us leaves the house. He enjoys just getting a hug or snuggling when you return.
Wow, we need prayers for calm as we face test days again beginning on Thursday. There’s so much to remember and we really want to do well, and yet sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to start on the reviewing… We took a couple of hours this evening and tried to forget about our studies. We walked the boys downtown for Albertville’s festival for the ushering in of the Christmas season. Frankly it was a little odd and the guys in costume on stilts really scared Aden and Eli.
Tonight we had a scaled-down version of Thanksgiving. We took time to each share things we’re thankful for as we dropped our corn kernels into the bowl one by one. While we’re far from family, there is such peace and comfort knowing we are where God wants us and our loved ones are so supportive. This meal was a hit with everyone. After dinner the boys got schooled in classic American Thanksgiving by watching Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube.
Well I lost a few days there… Let’s see what did you miss? Nicole made it safely back to the states to be with family for the services for her mom, the entire Molsee household has been sick in the past week (and most of the other students and families), and we got our first snow of the season. Now that the bucket brigades are over and everyone is thinking about eating again tonight was my weekly grocery run. Our local supermarket has a section of marked down products in a cooler that is titled “consume rapidly”. Tonight this section had one large bird that I grabbed thinking it might be a small turkey and would make a good addition to our family Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. Upon closer inspection I think it’s a rooster but still the perfect size for the small oven we have in our apartment.
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.)