Bonjour from France!
Of God’s goodness…
Two weeks ago we left our beloved home in Madagascar… it was a hard and tearful goodbye. Leaving all that is known and loved… home, friends, routines, our work and going to a new country where everything is unknown.
We stopped off in Kenya for four days to visit Rift Valley Academy (RVA), the boarding school for missionary kids where Jamie spent his junior high and high school years– he would honestly say, “some of the best years of his life”. The purpose of this stop off was to introduce our kids to RVA where they will likely attend high school in the coming years. And with that said, high school isn’t far off for Isabella… hence we dropped off her application! Eek!
While there we stayed with former RVA friends of Jamie’s who we also both went to college with. It was a sweet time of reconnecting and late night conversations. Equally special was meeting up with so many former classmates of Jamie’s– many of whom are back teaching/working at RVA or who are missionaries in Africa and were dropping their kids off at RVA for the start of the new school year. Truly, what an incredible testimony of the blessing that RVA is to missionary children and families across Africa!
We arrived in France just one week ago. In that time, we’ve settled into our new home, set up our internet and phones as well as navigated the outdoor markets.
We’ve registered our kids for school, made our first Amazon France prime orders (!), purchased some new to us furniture at a second-hand store, discovered the area around us, toured schools and met for orientation meetings, as well as taken placement tests. Gavin and Eliana, 3rd and 5th grades respectively, started school on Monday and are enjoying their new school and teachers. To be honest, I’m astonished by their courage as they smoothly transition into a new environment with stride!
After taking a placement test last week, we’re awaiting news from the Department of Education as to which school Isabella will attend as she begins 7th grade. We’re hoping she can start Monday. Jamie and I also took our placement tests and were placed in our appropriate classes– no surprise that I’m starting at the very beginning in an A1 course. Jamie will be starting in an A1+ course… a further confirmation that though he can speak and understand well, he needs help with French grammar especially as it pertains to reading and writing!
As can be expected, we’re experiencing the many differences between life in Madagascar and France.
Along with 52 other students, Jamie and I begin our formal French intensive classes tomorrow. We’ve been told by several that this is one of the more rigorous french language programs in the country. We’ve also been told by countless individuals, both former students and current teachers, that this will be a difficult year– that we’ll be challenged, stretched thin and pushed to our limits. In all honesty, not the most comforting of words. Yet, we know that this is a year of obedience– being right where the Lord has called us for this time, for this season of French study. Would you pray with us that we would trust the process, that our brain cells would expand, and that we would glorify God with our hearts, words, and actions even during the difficult days.
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