Some more short stories as we get settled.
We have arrived in France and have settled into our “new home” for the next 8 months. Our flight was uneventful, outside of “running” (as much as you can with luggage and kids) for our last connection. As we were boarding the plane, we got to meet and help another family, also coming to the language school. Overall, the kids did well. Nathanael slept most of the way, whereas Noah stayed awake playing games and watching TV. Within a few days of being settled, Nathanael reestablished, to his parents’ dismay, his 5 am wake up routine!
Albertville, Our Apartment and the Language School
Albertville, which hosted the Olympics in 1992, is an old town with a population of about 18,000. There are five small forts located within 10 km of each other, two of which we have already visited. Albertville is located in the cross hairs of 3 valleys and is surrounded by mountains.
The language school has about 50 or so students. All are missionaries and dedicated to going to serve somewhere in the world. It is inspiring to see so many people choosing to serve God, and as such, to serve others in this world.
Our apartment, is a part of the language school and is a three-bedroom apartment located on the top floor of a 3 story apartment building. The nursery for Nathanael is located on the first floor, and the language school is located in an adjacent building.
We have French lessons 4 days a week –Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. School starts each day with 20 minutes of devotions and/or worship. Classes then start at 9:00 and run until 11:15. Afternoon classes start at 1:45 and go until 4:15.
Noah goes to, what is essentially, pre-k school five days a week, with Wednesday being only a half day. We walk Noah to school in the mornings, which starts at 8:25; we pick him up for lunch at 11:25; he then returns to school at 1:25 and finishes at 4:30.
We got Noah a new scooter and he loves to ride it to school. He is in a class of about 25 kids, all of which speak French except for one other “missionary kid”. We are proud of Noah and thanking God that he wants to go to school in spite of the fact that he does not understand most of what is being said! We are praying that he will continue to enjoy his school while at the same time learning the language and that he will make some friends. We do not believe he has an easy task.
Outside of school, Noah enjoys playing with the other missionary kids here at the language school. He and Fred have fun hiking up to one of the old forts. Every Saturday (starting Sept 24th) we’re planning to take him to play some European handball (which will be a 45 min walk one way!). We’re hoping he’ll enjoy it and that it will allow him to make connections and friendships with other French kids his age.
Nathanael goes to the nursery for eight hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This had been going well until a few days ago, when he has started to cry as he goes to the nursery. However, we hear that he only cries for a few minutes and then he is good for the rest of the day (not easy for mom to walk away from!). The ladies in the nursery are very caring and enjoy playing with him -for this we are very grateful! We are praying that God will continue to bless the workers and Nathanael in his time there -as for him we know it is not easy as well.
Overall he continues to do well and is very active! He loves to do whatever Noah is doing from climbing chairs, to taking baths, to running around outside and yelling. However, unlike Noah, Nathanael is fast to eat but slow to use words. We hope he will start speaking more over the next few months.
Fred and Lydia
We are doing well and glad to be settling into a home and in to a routine.
Lydia has healed well. The miscarriage was treated successfully with medications, and no further treatment was required. And although we were and still are saddened by the event, we can clearly say that God used this time to his glory! We have had conversations and discussions with people and have been introduced to people because of this event, and we can say without a doubt, they have benefited us and we them, we hope. Though we would never wish for this experience we are very grateful for what God has brought about as a result of it. In humility we are reminded of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Outside of French studies, and the socializing that goes on in a school, we are spending time preparing for our time in Togo. We are excited, yet cautious, at the opportunity to go back. Our prayer continues to be for a balanced life and God’s clear direction for us in the future.
As you know we have four projects on the go: PET carts, a midwife training program, cervical cancer screening program, and exercise equipment. Over the next eight weeks, we hope to post individual updates on each of the projects! At that time, we will let you know about each project’s funding and the opportunity to give IF you feel so led.
Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael