Remembering the Sacrifice of Christ
Christmas is a time for us to remember why we are doing what we are doing. It is a time where we are rejuvenated as we strive to learn French so we can take the Gospel to Cameroon. It is a time when we remember that Christianity is the only religion whose leader abandoned his home, who became a servant, and who gave up his life for his enemies. It is a time when we remember the sacrifice that the Father made as he chose to give up his son out of love for the world. Although we would love to be near our family and friends during this season, this time has been a good reminder that â€œtrue Christmasâ€ is remembering Christ and then seeking to live a life where we make him known.
The Last Three Months
Honestly we have not done a lot of reflecting on Christmas as we have more-or-less been in survival-mode these past three months. We would like to update you on what has been going on in our lives, but we almost do not remember as it has been such a blur. Dave and I took our A2 tests at school and passed! Praise the Lord! Not only that, but at the beginning of the trimester we were not feeling challenged enough so we asked if one of our professors could teach us the next level of French (B1.1) privatively. Thus we did two levels of French at one time, which was insane. The school has thus agreed to let us skip a level and start at level B1.2 in January. However, this depends on our competence. If we are not where we need to be, we will go back down to the B1.1 class. We would love prayer that we would be able to keep up and eventually excel in this higher level class. Nonetheless, we are encouraged to see our progress in the language. We both are now able to read our French Bibles for our daily devotions. Praise God!
As far as our lives at the kids' school, I (Stacey) am developing a lot of friendships with the moms at the school which has been very exciting. Also, we are very pleased to see that the kids have been speaking French in complete sentences. Not only that, but Kaden has been preaching to his little classmates in French at school. I am praying that at least one person will come to know Christ this year as we are constantly in contact with people from our kids' school.
And yet, there are still difficulties with Elias and Zoey as they have declared anarchy against the authorities in their lives. Thus, we prayed and felt led to keep them home half-day with us as they really need more parenting right now. This unfortunately means that we are missing some class sessions at our school, but I can take notes for Dave when he is home with the kids, and vice-versa. It has not been an easy season with Elias and Zoey, but we feel like we have been faithful. Please pray that the Lord would let us see some (any!) fruit of our labors with them.
A Lot Happening in Cameroon
We are officially half-way through our time here in France and we are getting more and more excited to start our work in Cameroon. We have been dialoguing with our field about the possibility of many projects starting along-side and in cooperation with the Bible translation project. For instance, we are exploring the possibility of working with a national agency to help mobilize the nationals in anticipation for our arrival. This agency would go ahead of us to ensure that the peopleâ€™s expectations of our role in living among them is clear (i.e. we are not skilled to dig wells, deliver babies, we do not have unlimited funds, etc.) and would also put in place committees necessary to begin the process of translation (i.e. a literacy committee). Honestly, we have more questions than answers at this point but will continue to explain what is going on as we become aware.
Also, our future co-worker, Richie Rice, is starting the process of partnership development. We are excited and eager to have him join us.
More sober news is that there have been two instances of westerners being kidnapped in Northern Cameroon by Muslim extremists from Nigeria. The persecution of Christians in Nigeria is unbelievably terrible and we would love prayers that the Lord would intervene for his children in Nigeria and that the violence would not spread to Cameroon. Click HERE to see our blog about terrorism and how it relates to our future plans.
As always, thank you for you love and care and feel free to hit reply and tell us how we can pray for YOU.