First, I want to share a picture with all of you that sums up, rather accurately, what my French looks like on paper:
Greg and I get to begin doing our grammar lessons together now that I am finally caught up, which means we’ll be doing 2-4 hours a week with a tutor, plus several hours of homework. The goal is for us to take our next French exam in March, the French exam that we are required to pass for France Mission, and then after we are free to progress a little slower as our work load for the Descartes project increases.
Mid-October we began our CFRI (aka church planter training) courses on Wednesday mornings that run from 9-12:30. Our current courses are for leading and organizing a worship service and how to disciple others. We have discussions on our required reading, a time to reflect on how the previous Sunday service went, a short time to worship together, and are walked through the discipleship lessons. Greg has begun the discipleship study with a man named Mario whom we met here in Loches, but he lives in Madagascar so they meet once a week via Skype. I’m in the process of looking for someone. Please continue in prayer for all the CFRI students (there are 11 of us!), our mentors, and the adults and youth currently being discipled.
This past week we went to our first ever parent-teacher conference for Ophelia and she is doing really well in school. She is learning a lot of new words and phrases and her teacher told us that although Ophelia doesn't talk a lot, she doesn’t speak English in class. Her "grade" only has school for half a day, so it’s just right for her. She uses more and more French outside of school as well, so we know she is starting to get comfortable with it.
Finally, just a brief word of thanks. Here are Greg and Ophelia in our new car, just after we got it:
Thanks also to people who have been giving all year or give when they can just because.
Many of you are about to celebrate Thanksgiving; know that we are thankful for you! Your financial support, words of encouragement, cards, letters, and Facebook messages have shaped our year. It's certainly a blessing to know that you are being thought of. Thank you for supporting us in the work that God has given us. God is the one making all of this work out, but many times you have been His hands and His mouth. It’s been quite a challenging year for us. It’s been quite a challenging year for France. Pray that we will continually be light here, a country where people are searching for meaning and hope.
This week as we celebrate Thanksgiving with some friends, we’ll be thinking of you!