Bonjour and Au Revoir ChambeÌry
I (Stacey) had a missions professor in college who said repeatedly, â€œGod is the only constant factor in your lifeâ€ and boy was he right. In a season, and likely a life, filled with changes we tell ourselves and our children that the good character of God remains constant, and maybe one of our only constants. Malachi 3:6 says "For I the LORD do not change.â€ Nearly everything in our lives has changed. We live in a different country, speak a different language, eat different food, and even use different toilets. Our plans have changed, our timetables have changed, our cell phone numbers have changed, but the Lord remains the same yesterday, today and forever. What a liberating truth that frees us up from grasping frantically for familiarity and routine. The Lord does not change.
But other than the Lord, there have been A LOT of changes with us the last couple months. For those who have not heard, we have arrived safely and intact in ChambÃ©ry, France. It is no exaggeration to say that we are absolutely delighted to be here and are convinced that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Further (being the nerds that we are), we are thoroughly enjoying studying French and are eager and excited to learn more.
on May 6th and both of us will be in class for 24 hours a week and we also intend to study outside of class and be involved in the community. Our kids will also be entering into an intensive French language programâ€”called French preschool. They will be attending the local public school full time, will likely all be put into different classes and will (we can hope and pray) come out speaking French by the end of the year. Kaden and Makyra are currently in a French school where we live now and are both thriving (thank you Lord!). Arriving in ChambÃ©ry only to hear that our school was shutting down was discouraging at first, but we are incredibly thankful that the Lord provided another school very close by. We are eager to begin.
However, during our French school orientation, we were told that the school is shutting down and that they could only offer us 9 hours of class-time per week for the both of us. Therefore, I have been in class for 6 hours a week and Dave for 3 hours. At our school in Dallas we were trained how to acquire a language outside of the classroom setting and so we set out to acquire French through the help of language helpers, tutors and self-study. While we have been able to begin learning the language, we are convinced that we could learn it at a much faster rate if we were to go through an intensive language program at a school. Thankfully, there is such a program 30 minutes away from where we currently live in France and thus we are going to be leaving our current city (ChambÃ©ry) and moving to a city called Albertville. The school
has been recommended by many and I also visited it, sat down with the director and had all my questions answered to my satisfaction.
We are scheduled to start classes
In light of these changes, we wanted to remind you why language acquisition is so important. Without knowing the language, we will not be able to help people nor share the Gospel with them. Further, our children will not be able to communicate with anyone outside of our family and missionary community without learning French and the local language in Cameroon. So we are taking this year to be a bit â€œintenseâ€ about learning French for the future good of our ministry and our family. There is nothing worse then not being able to communicate with people.
We would like to conclude this newsletter with a huge thank you to those who have been praying and who have been supporting us financially. We have moved our family across the world and we are happy, healthy, and doing well. We praise the Lord for this. It is also SUCH a privilege to be able to dive into French full time and if we were working to support ourselves, we would not be able to do that. So thank you for your giving and thank you for your prayers. We are so grateful.